The game starts off with each player being dealt two cards; one of those cards is face up and one of the cards is face down. Each player takes a look at their hands and decides whether or not they want to stay in the hand by calling the forced ?bring in? bet that the person with the lowest card showing is required to make. Most Five Card Stud games also have an ante that all players put into the centre before the hand starts, which is why the bring in bet is usually smaller than the blinds in other variants would be.
Once players have decided whether they are in or out for the round (players of course also do have the chance to raise the initial forced bet amount if they wish), another round of cards is dealt to each player. This is referred to as Third Street and after it has been dealt, all of the players that are left in the hand participate in another round of betting. After that round of betting has been resolved, Fourth Street is dealt face up and one more round of betting follows. Now, this is where the rules can get different depending on where in the world you decide to play. Some Five Card Stud games deal the last card (Fifth Street) face up while some games deal it face down. Regardless of how the card is actually dealt, there is still the final betting round and then the showdown in which the best five card poker hand wins and takes the pot.
Now, what makes Five Card Stud unique is the fact that Five Card Stud can be played on a regular basis with any of the different betting structures that are common in today’s world. These structures are the fixed limit structure, the no limit structure, the spread limit structure and the pot limit structure and while Five Card Stud is not a very common poker variant in today’s world, at the same time there are no pre-biases about which betting structure to use. For that reason, it can be either a very calculating game with the limit betting structure or else one of the most action junkie hair raising games imaginable with the no limit betting structure.
The main reason for Five Card Stud becoming obsolete as a variant was the idea of the player having to get a spectacular run of luck in order to get a good poker hand; this was mediated in a sense by seven card stud and Hold ‘Em, which involve seven cards instead of just five. In order to help Five Card Stud become more popular in today’s world, another house rule has been added in some casinos where after the five streets have been dealt, players can exchange one of their cards. This is however not a universal rule and to the best of knowledge is not a rule that is used in even a majority of casinos, so do not expect it to be there at the casino you choose to patronize.