Stud Poker is the overall term used for any type of poker game where some cards are dealt to each player face down and hidden, while others in the same hand are dealt face upwards for all players to see.
This opens up the game to more complicated play, as the opportunities for bluffing and other strategies are increased when players have an inkling of what kind of hand their opponents hold. Cards which are face down are known as being in the hole, which is where the popular phrase ‘ace in the hole’ comes from (the idea of having an advantage hidden up one’s sleeve).
Stud poker dates back over 150 years, and was originally played using hands of four cards per player. This soon expanded to 5 cards each, with the still hugely popular 5 Card Stud, although games played with 7 card hands are now probably the most popular versions of Stud both online and in casinos.
There are any number of variations on the Stud Poker theme, with some of the more popular and well known being:
– Five-, Six-, and Seven-Card Stud
– Mississippi, Californian and Mexican Stud
– High-Low Stud (with ‘no qualifier’ and ‘8 or better’ variants)
The more standard versions of Stud Poker are easy to learn for beginners, but can lead to complicated games requiring skill and judgement to be successful. This is especially the case when the large amount of variations on the theme are taken into account, and while 7-Card Stud is still the most popular stud game, passionate poker fans have a whole world of variety to explore within the stud poker variant.