Stud Poker Rules

A standard deck of fifty – two cards is used for playing the game. Players can be from 2 to 10 but the preferred number of players is 7. The goal of the game is to form a combination of cards that is better than other players’ combination.

The dealer deals one card face down to each player which is called “dark” card. Then each player is dealt the second card face up. Each player tries to make sure that nobody understands what is his / her dark card. This is the only card in stud poker that everyone hides from other players since who is going to win depend on this card’s rank. All other face up cards are called “up” cards.

Then the first betting round is to begin, in other words, the bets are to be announced and placed into the pot. The player with the highest up card should announce his initial bet and place it into the pot. Of course, the amount of bet could be fixed. Sometimes the game is to be opened by the player with the lowest up card. In case two players have cards of the same rank, the game is to be opened by the player who is closer to the dealer’s left. This player is to bet first. Each player is allowed to do the following:

  • a player can refuse playing further i.e. he’s out and folds;
  • a player can call i.e. places into the pot an amount equal to the amount already placed by the previous player;
  • a player can raise i.e. places a bet increasing the amount of the previous bet.

This continues until one of the following situations occur:

  • only one player stays in the game. In this case he takes the entire pot and may not show his dark card to the other players;
  • two or more players stay in the game. Players who are still in the game are called “active” players. If the game continues, each player is dealt a card face up (the third card).

Now it is time for the second betting round. The player with the highest up card may act as follows:

  • he is allowed to refuse playing further i.e. he’s out and folds;
  • he is allowed to check i.e. he stays in the game but he does not place a bet;
  • he is allowed to raise i.e. he increases the bet of the previous player.

In case the bet has not been increased, the game is to be continued by the next player. This continues until there are some active players who stayed in the game with the same amount of bets placed in the pot. Then each player is dealt a card face up (the fourth card). And again each player is allowed to act as follows:

  • he is allowed to refuse playing further i.e. he’s out and folds;
  • he is allowed to stay in the game and call;
  • he is allowed to stay in the game and raise.

This continues until there are some active players who stayed in the game with the same amount of bets placed in the pot. Then each player is dealt a card face up (the fifth card). Now is time for the last betting round. It is similar to the previous betting rounds but at the end of the last betting round players reveal their dark cards and then one with the highest card combination wins the pot. He is the winner.

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