Five-Card Stud - Rules and betting

1. Summary
In Five-Card Stud, every player is dealt five cards. The first of these five is your hole card (which only you can see), whilst the following four are open, that is, in full view of all the players. As opposed to Texas Hold'em and Omaha, there are no cards that can be used by all players. The betting in the first two rounds is limited to the table's lowest limit. One exception to this rule is when a player has a pair showing after the third card. In that case, the player is allowed to bet up to the table's higher limit. The last two rounds of betting are also limited to the table's higher limit.

2. Ante
As opposed to Texas Hold'em and Omaha, Five-Card Stud uses the ante system, not blinds. This means that all players who wish to participate in a hand have to place a predetermined amount into the pot. This sets the initial pot and gets the game going.

3. First round of betting
Every participating player is dealt two cards, the first face down and the second one, face up. The player with the lowest open card begins the betting, this is also called the bring-in. If two or more players have the same lowest card, the suit order (from high to low) is: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs.

Diagram explaining point 3:

The first thing that happens is that the Bring-In round starts. The players have put in their Antes and are dealt two cards. One face down, which only the player can see, and one face up, which everyone at the table can see. To make it easier to follow, we who are just watching the game can see what Player 1 was dealt as his hole card - it is the Jh (Jack of Hearts). The open card is the Jd (Jack of Diamonds), meaning that Player 1 has got a pair. We haven't yet seen what Player 2's hole card is, but his open one is the 9h (Nine of Hearts).

4. Second round of betting
Once the first round of betting is over, another card is dealt, face up, to each of the players who are still in. After that, the player with the highest hand showing begins the betting. If two or more players have the same hand, the player sitting closest to the left of the dealer, starts.

Diagram explaining point 4:

The third card is dealt and this round is called Third Street. Player 1 gets the 8d and continues to have a pair as his best combination, whilst Player 2 gets the Th and has still not got anything from the cards we can see. There are no pairs in view at Third Street, which means all betting in this round is limited to the table's lower limit.

5. Third round of betting
Another face up card is dealt to every participating player. The same rules as before are valid for who starts the betting.

Diagram explaining point 5:

The fourth card is dealt and this round is called Fourth Street. Player 1 gets the 5c and is left at the same place he started at. Player 2 gets the Ks and as far as we can tell, has still not gotten any combinations. Players are allowed to bet the table's higher limit from this round onward.

6. Fourth round of betting
Another face up card is dealt to every participating player. The same rules as for the second and third rounds are valid for who starts the betting.

Diagram explaining point 7:

The last card is dealt to each participating player and this is called Fifth Street. This is the last round of betting before the showdown and players are still allowed to bet the table's higher limit. Player 1 is dealt the As for his fifth card and so still has only a pair of Jacks. Of course, Player 2 doesn't know this, as the four open cards do not show any combination. Player 2 gets the Js as his last card and so has still not got a combination from his open cards.

7. Showdown
All the cards have now been dealt and it only remains to see what hands the participating players have. Their hole cards are placed face up, making a full five card hand for each player.

Diagram explaining point 7:

The cards are shown and Player 1 reveals the pair that we have been able to see from the start. Player 2 shows his hole card, which is the Ts. Player 2 therefore had a pair of Tens, made in the Third Street. However, this doesn't help, as Player 2 has a higher pair and so wins the pot.
Player 1's final hand: Jh-Jd-8d-5c-As - Pair of Jacks
Player 2's final hand: Ts-9h-Th-Ks-Js - Pair of Tens