Stud poker is a variation of poker where a player is dealt some cards face down and others face up. The game can be played with different numbers of cards. The winning hand can be the highest ranking or the lowest, depending on what type of stud poker is being played.
Betting can take place after any single round of cards is dealt. Usually, the player with the best hand showing will open the betting. Variations in how much can be bet and when are common in stud poker.
The players must rely on knowledge of the odds of poker. Bluffing and being able to read an opponent are a requirement for success.
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Types of Stud Poker
Five card stud is the oldest variety of stud poker. The game begins by each player being dealt one card face down and another face up. From this position, players bet each round a card is dealt.
Seven card stud is a newer and more popular version of stud poker. Play begins by dealing each player two cards face down and one face up. The final card is also dealt face down. Players use their best five cards to make a hand.
Razz is a type of stud poker where the lowest hand wins. It is dealt and otherwise played the same as seven card stud. Straights and flushes do not count and aces are considered low in this game.
Caribbean stud poker is a game where the players try to beat the dealer instead of each other. It has a progressive jackpot which grows until someone wins it. There is also a bet and ante. This game resembles blackjack.
High low stud is a game where in some cases the winning high hand must split the pot with a qualifying low hand. It is sometimes known as stud eight. An eight is the highest card allowed in the low hand.
Chicago is a seven card stud game where the winning hand must split the pot with the holder of the highest spade in his hole cards. Other versions reward the lowest spade with half the pot.
How Does the Ante Work?
The ante is a predetermined amount each player must bet before the hand is dealt. It cannot be raised. This replaces the concept of blinds which do not exist in stud poker.
A player who does not place his ante in the pot cannot participate in that round of cards. Some games are punitive and a player loses chips over this mistake.
Betting in Stud Poker
Stud poker is one of the only games that has spread limit betting. A minimum and a maximum bet limit is imposed on the players. Often this limit is doubled on the final round of betting.
Pot limit is also found in stud games. The maximum bet is however much money is in the pot at that moment.
Fixed limit bets are done in increments of the agreed upon amounts depending on the round of betting. Early round bets are increments of the smaller amount. Later rounds are allowed to use the higher amount for bets.