Five-card stud is probably the earliest form of the card game, stud poker, originating during the American Civil War, but is less commonly played today than seven-card stud and other games. It is still a popular game in a few locations such as South Africa (where it is played with a stripped deck). In Finland a specific version of five-card stud called Sökö (Canadian stud or Scandinavian stud) is still quite popular. The word sökö is also used for checking in Finland (“I check” = “minä sökötän”).Unlike seven-card stud, five-card stud plays very well at no limit and pot limit, though fixed limit and spread limit games are still more common (with higher limits in the later betting rounds). It is typical to use a small ante and a bring-in.
High-low and other variants
The game can be played with low hand values, in which case the best low hand showing starts each betting round instead of the best high hand showing. Also, the highest-ranking card must pay the bring-in if it is played with a bring-in. If played high-low split, the highest showing hand always acts first.
The fifth and final card is dealt face down in some games. Otherwise play is identical (the player who acted first on round three will therefore act first again on round four since no one’s exposed hand has changed). This game is described as “one down, three up, one down” or simply “1-3-1”, while traditional five-card stud is called “one down, four up”.
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