Stud Poker

Stud PokerStud poker is one of the most-played types of poker in the world. It’s not as popular as Texas Hold’em but there are still many Stud poker sites out there.

If you are a fan of traditional poker variations, then Stud poker is just right for you. There are several types of this game commonly offered on Stud poker sites online, including Seven Card Stud, Five Card Stud, and Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo (8-or-Better). Stud poker is not at all difficult to find since there is a huge number of Stud poker sites that you can play on. If you would like to try it out, check out our list of the best Stud poker sites that we have come up with just for you!

Different Types of Stud Poker and Their Rules

There are three main types of Stud poker that are most popular and that we are going to focus on in this article: Seven Card Stud, Five Card Stud, and Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo (8-or-Better). Let’s check out the general rules and how they differ from each other.

Seven Card Stud

Seven Card Stud is played in 5 rounds. In the first round, each player is dealt three cards, one at a time. The first two cards are dealt face down and called “hole cards” and the third card is dealt face up and called “door card.” Based on these three cards, players decide whether they should continue or not.

After that, four more cards are dealt to each player that decide to keep playing in each successive round. These rounds are called 4th street, 5th street, 6th street, and river. The last card, so-called river, is dealt face down, while the 4th, 5th, and 6th are dealt face up. After the last round has ended, players show all of their cards and five cards are chosen to create the winning combination.

Just like Texas Hold’em has blinds, Stud poker has Antes. These are also known as forced bets. For example, in a $5/$10 game, the ante is $1, the bring-in is $2, and the opening bet is $5. The bring-in is placed by the player with the lowest-ranking “door card” and after that, the betting continues clockwise.

The hands in Seven Card Stud are ranked the same way they’re ranked in Texas Hold’em poker [1].

Five Card Stud Poker

Five Card Stud is a game that is very similar to its sister game Seven Card Stud. It’s played with a deck of 52 cards and allows 10 players at once.

Before being dealt their cards, each player must place an Ante, much like in Seven Card Stud. After that, players are dealt two cards in the first round. One card is dealt face down (hole card) and the other card is dealt face up (door card). The player with the highest door card begins the bet and other players have the option to call, raise, or fold.

Three more rounds are played, where the next two cards are dealt face up and the last card in the last round is dealt face down. All players who have remained in the game must then show all of the cards and the highest-ranked combination of five cards wins the round. Hands are ranked the same way they are in Seven Card Stud. If only one player remains in the last round, they do not need to show their cards.

Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo (8-or-Better)

The Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, also known as 8-or-Better is a fairly complicated poker game. In this game, the traditional “high” hand and the strongest 8-or-Better hand divide the pot at the end of each round.

In Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo poker, players are individually dealt seven cards, the same way it is done in the basic Seven Card Stud. The first and the second card and the seventh card are “hole cards”, while the remaining cards are dealt face up. At the end of each round, five cards are used to determine the “high” and the “low” winner.

A low hand must contain cards that are an eight or lower in order to qualify and they need to be unpaired. In case there are no low hands that qualify, the high hand takes the whole pot.

Seven Card Stud High/Low uses the “California” system to rank the low hands. The following is an example of low hands, from number 10 being the lowest and number 1 the highest ranked hand:

  1. 8, 7, 6, 5, 4
  2. 8, 7, 6, 5, 3
  3. 8, 6, 4, 2, A
  4. 8, 4, 3, 2, A
  5. 7, 6, 5, 4, 2
  6. 7, 6, 5, 2, A
  7. 7, 5, 4, 3, 2
  8. 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
  9. 6, 4, 3, 2, A
  10. 5, 4, 3, 2, A

Stud Poker Strategy and Tips

If you want to maximize your chances of winning, there are certain things that you should keep in mind when playing Stud poker on the best online poker sites.


You should make good use of the fact that you are able to see many of the cards that are dealt in each round. Use this knowledge to figure out which cards your opponents might have and certainly can’t have and use it to your advantage.


If you are playing in a late position and the round unfolds around you, you have a big advantage as you can make decisions based on what other players are doing. If you have a strong card facing up, make sure to always raise or complete the bring-in.

Understand the Players

It is much easier in Seven Stud poker to learn about the tendencies and the temperament of a player because much of their hand is showing. Figure out playing habits of players early on and use them to your advantage.

Be Aggressive

Since Seven Stud poker is a drawing game, you should be playing more aggressively than you’re used to. You will mostly be able to know what cards players have or what hands they are attempting to make, so you should not allow them to get there. If you have a strong hand, play it very strongly!

Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Tips

Since the Hi/Lo variant of the Seven Card Stud poker has some unique features, there are some additional things you need to keep in mind when playing it on the top poker websites.

  • Never chase with just a high hand. You stand a better chance of winning if you aim for the low hand. This is because there will always be a high hand but there will not always be a low hand in each round. This is your opportunity to go for a win.
  • Mind the raising aces. You should be careful when someone is raising with an ace on the third street. Most players assume they are raising with a strong low but they might have a pair of aces. So, calling with a pair of kings might get you in trouble.
  • Avoid chopping. Chopping is great when there is no other way to stay in the game. It is better to win a little bit than lose. However, chopping will not get you far in a tournament or a more serious game, so you will have to snatch some pots as well.

Stud Poker History

Stud poker was first introduced in the United States, during the American Civil War, when it was actively played on both sides. At that time, it was commonly known just as Stud or Stud-Horse. Legend has it the name originated during the Civil War when a drunk man bet on his horse [2]. During this time, the Four Card Stud poker was played, while the Five and Seven Card developed later on.

The Five Card Stud was officially developed in 1864, while the more modern seven card stud made its entrance in the early 20th century. Ever since the 1980s, Seven Card Stud was the most popular poker variant in land-based casinos. At that time, it was overthrown by the new kid on the block – Texas Hold’em poker.

Of course, Seven Stud poker, as well as poker in general, developed from Persian and French origins and later on acquired features that we associate with it today [3].

Frequently Asked Questions About Stud Poker

Where can I play Stud poker?
Are Five Card Stud and Five Card Draw the same?
What is the “Ante”?

Where can I play Stud poker?

Stud poker is one of the most popular variations of the game. This means that you can play it virtually on any poker site. However, you should refer to our list of the best poker websites in order to make sure you are playing on a reputable one.

Are Five Card Stud and Five Card Draw the same?

No, they are not. They are completely different variations of poker with a vastly different set of rules.

What is the “Ante”?

The ante is the initial amount of money that every player needs to pay before they are dealt the first set of cards. It basically acts as a buy-in.