Stud poker is not classified as a single set game, like Texas Hold’em or Omaha but rather a group of games in which a player is dealt his own hand with a mix of some cards showing and some hidden. 7 Card Stud of instance is a game in which a player is dealt 2 cards to start both face down, and 1 card face up. This face up card is that player’s card and not a community card like in Hold’em.
Instead of a dealer button signifying action, in stud games (depending on the variation) the highest card showing or the lowest card showing begins the action on each round, which then follows clockwise around the table. When the players receive their 3rd and forth cards (face up) called “Third Street” and “Forth Street” with betting rounds following each. After the players receive all of their cards with betting rounds following each (1st 3 cards, 4th card, 5th card) the players receive 1 more additional card facedown the river and another betting round ensues. Now that the betting is complete the player with the highest ranking 5 card hand (using only the 7 cards they were dealt) win the pot.
Obviously Stud poker is different than Hold’em in that players no longer use community cards but rather any mix of the down cards and up cards from the 7 they were dealt and this format is slowing becoming less and less popular. None the less Stud poker has a much longer and and richer history than Hold’em with variations from 7 card stud, to 3 card stud and everything in between, it is easy to understand why it quickly became a favourite pastime for soldiers during the American Civil war and spread like wild fire after Casinos started to offer it at the beginning of the 19th Century.
Since the time when 3 card stud was the most popular variation of poker, newer and different stud games have been invented and played. A few popular examples being:
Caribbean stud poker: in which players take on the house in 5 card poker as they try to win exciting jackpots and varying payouts for stronger hands.
8-or-better stud poker (aka Hi-lo): This is a fun version of 5 or 7 card stud in which the pot is divided into two halves and players play for both a high hand and a low hand. (which only qualifies if they have 5 cards 8 or lower that are not paired.
Mississippi Stud poker: is designed to play very similar, but with 1 less betting round, and 1 of the down cards in played face up. This variation is most suited for no limit and pot limit betting structures.
Mexican Stud poker: is exciting to say the least. But with a 5 card variation in which 8’s, 9’s and 10’s are taken out of the deck, and wild cards added (often played with high ante’s) deal’em out and hang on to your seats. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
We hope this guide was useful and if you are interested in trying Stud poker for free, you can head on over to PokerStars for a game. They have tables running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so if it’s real money you want to play, or just trying to learn the game with play money, you can find the action there! Good luck.