Different from Texas Hold'em, each table of Show Hand only offers 6 seats. The dealer takes the middle position to deal cards, leaving the other 5 seats available to other players.
1. When the game starts, all players place an ante in the pot.
2. Each player is dealt one card face down which is known as the hole card (only visible to the holder), followed by one card face up.
3. After the 2nd card, every time when a face-up card is dealt, the player with the best hand of the round can bet first, while other players get to act in order with the option to Follow, Raise or Fold.
4. If only one active player remains before the 5th card is dealt, that player automatically wins the pot.
5. At each betting round, all players are given the option to Show Hand which means to wager the maximum bet that all the remaining players are able to call without exceeding the table limit.
6. When the last betting round ends, all active players show their cards, and the owner of the best five-card hand wins the pot.
• Everyone posts an ante to begin (blinds are not used)
• The initial deal consists of one down card and one up card
The Betting Rounds
After the first round of betting another up card is dealt to each active player. This sequence takes place until there are four up cards dealt to each active player. After the fourth and last betting round, the highest hand is awarded the pot.
The key strategies are not numerous and are easy to learn resulting in a rather straightforward, somewhat boring game unless you're fortunate enough to have a few fish in the game that don't quite understand the concepts we will share.
1. Fold if any opponents' up cards beat your up and down cards. This usually means that you need a pair or an ace or king in the hole to call that first significant bet. The odds that starting with two unpaired cards, lower than kings, that you will wind up with a pair in five cards is less than even money. This means that more than half the time you won't even be able to beat Ace or King high. In addition, if you do pair a lower card you may still lose to a higher pair. Tight is definitely right in five card stud.
2. Having an Ace in the hole is better than any other start, including pairs, with the exception of a pair of Aces.
3. Chasing straight or flush draws as the reason to continue with a hand is folly and the quickest way to go broke in this game. If your hand has other attributes, such as high cards, then there is added value and continuing may make sense. Therefore, avoid low straights and flushes!
4. If you have bet an open pair on the board which was called by an opponent who has unpaired higher cards showing – do not initiate another bet. Fold with a hidden pair if an opponent with a higher card showing is betting or raising.
5. Never bet into an opponent who can know that he has you beat at the time of your bet. With only one unexposed card recognize the potential nuts.
Once players have thoroughly understood how to play 5 Card Stud Poker, it is time to learn, understand, and implement some basic strategies.
• Watch opponents' cards – Playing 5 Card Stud Poker is relatively easy because most of the cards are dealt face down. Players have to watch not only their own cards, but also their opponents' cards so that can make a better move.
• Starting hands – Players should be careful about choosing their hands because not all hands in 5 Card Stud Poker can be played.
• Players must fold if their first three cards do not contain a pair or a better combination.
• Players should always remember what hands have been folded so that they know all the live cards.
• An Ace is always a great card to have, especially if it is a hole card, but players had better fold if the Ace is the only good card in their hand and if their opponents are having far better cards.
• It is always better to fold as early as possible instead of folding late into the game. If players feel that their odds of winning are too slim, they had better fold instead of chasing their losses.
• Bluffing is always a good strategy to use.
Place the Ante
The ante amount should be determined well in advance of the game. Once this is done, the cards are well-shuffled and a face-down card and a face-up card are dealt to each player, starting from the player seated to the left of the dealer.
Place the Bring-in
The "bring-in" is a forced bet, which the player with the weakest face-up card is made to place. There are two ways to do this: The player with the weakest face-up card places a small bet, which is called the bring-in. Second, no player is forced to place a bet, and the player with the strongest face-up card places a bet. In case two players have the same card, the player who is closest to the deal will have to place the bet. The game then moves on to several phases, called streets. Whenever a fresh card is dealt to players, it is called street.
The players receive a third card face up, during the phase of the game called Third Street, followed by a betting round initiated by the player who has the strongest face-up card. The betting then moves in a clockwise fashion till all players have made their move.
Players now receive a fourth card face up, and the maximum bet is now placed by each player who has not yet folded.
Players now receive the last card face up, during the phase of the game called River. As usual, the player with the strongest face-up card initiates the last betting round. Now it is time for the showdown, and the player who displays the strongest hand wins the pot.
Tips to Play a Better Game of Showhand
To become a successful 5 Card Stud Poker player, one needs plenty of time and patience and should be willing to spend long hours practising how to implement strategies.
Players should not raise if they have a weak hand
Until and unless players are absolutely sure that they have a superior hand, which will lead them all the way to the pot, they must never raise more than twice. Under these circumstances, bluffing is of no use because players who have raised many times have a good hand and are determined to play it till the end. There is a danger that an opponent might re-raise, making the game more expensive than ever. If players are willing to play an expensive game, they must make sure that they have a really good hand.
Players should not play if they lack confidence
Smart opponents can mercilessly use your lack of confidence against you and to their best advantage. First, players should determine the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents. If the opponent is very strong, players should play with great conviction and self-confidence. The game should move so quickly that the strong opponent must not suspect anything is amiss. One can afford to go a bit slow with weak opponents, bluffing a little and playing a good hand. This is a good strategy because strong opponents tend to fold if made to feel that they do not have a good enough hand. Weak opponents, on the contrary, continue playing with a bad hand and do not really care much about the money they lose.
Never play a weak hand
While it is fine to try one's luck with a weak hand while playing no-limit stud games, weak hands must be folded as quickly as possible while playing pot-limit stud games. Players who make small bets on weak hands stand to lose a lot of money because their opponents, who have far superior hands, will not quit and will ultimately win the pot.
Never play without knowing the rules
Impossible though this may sound, a large number of players play 5 Card Stud Poker without first understanding its rules. The best 5 Card Stud strategy is to understand the rules first and then practice the game in the fun mode before trying to wager real money on it. This will give players a better understanding of how to implement the strategies of the game better.
Never stop learning
Many players come to the conclusion that there is nothing more to learn about the game once they have understood its rules and mastered a few of its strategies. But this is far from true. Plenty of books have been written about 5 Card Stud Poker; besides, there is plenty of information available online, giving players the chance to learn 5 Card Stud tips, strategies, and secrets for free. Besides, a number of blogs and articles have been written by talented professional poker players.
Never play a hand without studying its value
Before playing a particular hand, players must study and analyse each card and how it can help them win the pot. This will put them in a better position to make wise decisions. In other words, never rush through a game of 5 Card Stud, but play it patiently and wisely.
Never play under the influence of alcohol
Players need to be in alert mode while playing 5 Card Stud Poker. They need to stay calm and focus on the game so that they can successfully track live cards. If they fail to keep track of the live cards, they will not be able to create a winning hand and will lose a number of chips.
Never play only face-up cards
Opponents always have an advantage over players who play only their face-up cards. Players should take all their cards into consideration while playing a hand. If they play only face-up cards, opponents can easily predict their moves and gain advantage over them.