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Stud Poker is a poker variation where each individual player is dealt a combination of face-down (hole cards) and cards dealt face-up (up cards). Much of the strategy comes from analyzing other players up cards and trying to deduce both what your opponents might have in their hole as well as what cards are still available to be drawn.

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For more specifics on the rules and game play of Stud Poker, visit our guide to the Rules of Stud Poker

Stud Poker Variation

There are a number of Stud Poker variations, many of which are quite popular.

  • 7-Card Stud – The most common type of stud poker. Each player is first dealt two hole cards and one up card. This is followed by three more streets of up cards, followed by one final hole card on the river. PokerStars has regular freeroll tournaments for players who are looking to get the hang of 7-Card Stud online.

  • 5-Card Stud – As the name implies, 5-Card Stud is a variant where the players receive only five cards. Each player is dealt one hole card and one up card to start with. Every subsequent card until the river is dealt face-up.

  • Razz – One of the most popular variants of Stud Poker, Razz is a low-card game played much like 7-Card Stud except that in Razz the lowest possible five-card hand wins. That means players want to avoid pairs, although straights are not counted in Razz.  Aces always count as the low card. The best possible hand in Razz would be 5-4-3-2-A.

  • Hi/Lo – A split game, Stud Hi/Lo is not as common as some of the others, but is still often available on some online clients such as Full Tilt Poker. The goal of Stud Hi/Lo is to have both the highest available hand and the lowest hand at the same time. If someone does not have both, the pot will be split 50/50 between the player with the highest and the player with the lowest. Like Razz, one of the best Hands is 5-4-3-2-A, because it is both the low hand and a straight.

Playing Stud Poker Online

While not as popular as Hold ‘Em games, Stud Poker has a thriving online community. Bodog has regular stud games, and both PokerStars and Full Tilt have some high quality 7-Card Stud and Razz tournaments.

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