Poker Home Games: Stud ‘em

April 5, 2009

 It’s been a while since I’ve learned a new game. In fact, I’m usually the one teaching them to my poker groups or the occasional new gathering of people I haven’t played with before. Truth be told, I can get bored sometimes playing straight Hold ‘Em tournaments (which is what everyone seems to want to play these days – still, so between tournaments I’ll first plant the seed to switch over to cash ante games. Once we’ve been doing that for a while, I’ll start throwing different games out when it’s my turn to deal. You have to know your company, though, and if they seem overly agitated at learning something new, or don’t have the functioning brain cells left to handle any new intake, it’s best to stick with the basics.

Anyway, even though this one isn’t exactly new (it’s more of a meshed hybrid of two classics), I’m still excited to write about it.

So here’s the game. I’ll call it…Stud ‘Em Poker.

For starters, you can use any betting system you prefer here. Traditionally, there will be a big blind amount that one person puts in, and the rest of the people at the table would ante up half that amount. But you can use a straight ante system, a regular blind system, or a low-card antes system, whatever works for the table.

1) Each player receives their two down cards. These remain hidden but the player can look at their own.

2) First round of betting.

3) Remaining players receive one card face up now. At the same time, a single community card is deal face-up. The face-up card in each individual hand counts only toward that person’s hand. Whereas the community card, as always, is available for everyone to use.

4) Second round of betting.

5) Here’s a little bit of a twist on both straight Stud and Hold ‘Em games. At this point, each remaining player receives a hidden card, counting toward his hand only. At the same time a face-up community card is dealt. So to recap, at this point each player should have 3 hidden cards and one card face-up that are exclusively counting toward his hand. There also should be two face-up community cards on the table.

6) Third round of betting.

7) Remaining players (any of you left?) receive another card face-up. Another community card is also dealt, face-up. So now each player has five cards, three hidden and two face-up. There also are three total community cards in the center.

8) Final round of betting.

9) Now the reveal, and the player with the best five-card hand wins. There are no Omaha-esque rules here, either. You can use any combination of your cards and the community cards. Of course, mathematically you have to use at least 2 from your hand since there are only three community cards to work with.

Note – Again, it’s table preference, but you could just as easily play high-low for this game, as well.