Stud Poker Online | Best Stud Poker Sites

One of the three categories of poker, stud poker plays in a five- or seven-card format and has a ton of interesting variations.

This stud poker guide will teach you everything about this dynamic poker classic. Learn how to play, the game variations, hand rankings, stud poker rules, tips, and where to play online.

Where Can I Play Stud Poker Online?

Page Contents

The Best Places to Play Real Money Stud Poker

If you want to play straight away, look no further than these fantastic options:

  • Bovada – Best stud poker for beginners

  • Ignition – Best for stud poker tournaments with prizes up to $12,000,000.


Bovada logo

Bovada is one the most respected names in the online poker industry and it is easy to see why.

It’s game library is extensive, and features five different types of poker, including Caribbean Stud and Let ’em Ride. All the games can be played for free, if you want to practice before playing for real money. If you need pointers on how to play, there are articles to help you understand and play stud poker, which is great for beginners.

Outside of online poker, players can enjoy a range of video poker games and a live poker lobby. There really is plenty for the avid poker fan to enjoy.


  • Demo mode
  • $100 welcome bonus up to $3,000


  • Unspecified payout times for withdrawal methods aside from cryptocurrencies


Ignition casino logo

Ignition casino is another big name in the poker world.

In the game library, you’ll find games like Carribean Stud poker, Tri-Card poker, and Let ’em Ride. Players can also enjoy great selection of casino games, and eight great video poker titles.

Ignition also stands out for its poker lobby, where you can enter exciting series, such as the Black Diamond open where a whopping $12,000,000 is up for grabs.

And to top it all off — yes, you guessed it — new players can enjoy a 100% match up to a total of $3,000 on their first three deposits.


  • Great selection of casino games, including seven table games
  • Demo mode
  • Online poker lobby with tournaments


  • No phone customer support
  • Smaller game selection on mobile

How We Pick the Best Stud Poker Sites

All of the online casinos we recommend must meet or exceed specific criteria before they make the list. Here’s what we look for:

Safety & Security

Safety and security is a priority at any online casino and, for this reason, we only recommend safe online casinos. Here’s what we look for and expect from a trusted casino:

  • Licensed casinos from a reputable authority
  • SSL encryption to keep sensitive information secure
  • RNG software to ensure fairness in games
  • Positive customer reviews

Game Variety & Quality

Variety, quality, and quantity of games are all important when analyzing the best online casinos.

We look for casinos with multiple variations of games like stud poker, great graphics, quick load speed, quality software providers, free demo mode, and live-dealer platforms.

The best real money onine poker sites offer stud poker, draw poker, community games like Hold’em & Omaha, video poker, poker tournaments, and a variety of fun poker variations.

Bonuses & Promotions

Bonuses and promotions are a great way to enhance your online casino experience. Real money casino sites offer an array of welcome bonuses, crypto bonuses, reload bonuses, weekly & monthly promotions, loyalty perks, and more. What’s more, we make sure the bonuses can be used on stud poker.

Many of our recommended poker sites offer bonuses, rebates, and bad beat specials specifically for poker players.

Payment Options

Online casinos are much less enjoyable without money. Because of this, we only pick online casinos that have a host of payment options with attractive conditions.

When evaluating casino payment methods we look for casinos with multiple ways to deposit and withdraw funds including all or some of the following methods:

The best online casinos offer instant deposits, fast payouts, and zero or low fee transactions.

Customer Support

Customer support is crucial when you need answers and assistance. We look for sites with a well-rounded customer support team that provides prompt, courteous replies.

We expect to see some or all of the following methods to find answers when you need them most.

  • Live chat
  • Email
  • Phone
  • FAQs

UI & Mobile Experience

When you gamble online the last thing you want to worry about is navigating through a website. Our recommended casinos have an easy-to-use interface and are mobile friendly. We need to be able to find the stud poker games easily and they need to look great on whatever device we’re playing from; big or small, handheld or desktop.

If it doesn’t look good on large screens and small, forget about it.

What is Stud Poker?

Stud poker is the name given to varieties of poker that feature rounds of betting and each player plays with a set of face down and face up cards, which are dealt by the dealer.

The players have to decide whether to bet or fold based on the face up cards. They cannot look at the cards that are face down.

Let’s look at how stud poker differs from other types of poker.

  • There are no hole cards. Instead, the cards are a mix of face up and face down, so the majority of cards are visible to all players.
  • The betting style is fixed limit. Unlike hold’em, there are no blinds; instead, an ante is paid by each player.

Betting rounds are called “streets,” starting with third street.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth betting rounds are referred to as fourth, fifth, and sixth street.

The final betting round is seventh street. Seventh street is referred to as the river in some stud variations.

  • The betting order is based on card rankings.
  • The first player to wager pays a pre-set, bring-in bet or can bump it up to a small bet amount.
  • When it comes to bet sizes, players wager either small bets or large bets. Players wager small bets before the fifth street and large bets afterwards.

If a player has a face-up pair, they can choose to play a small bet or a big bet, but that’s the only time there’s a choice. From fifth street on, all betting is big-bet size and small bets are no longer allowed.

Poker Hand Rankings

Like in other versions of poker, the winning hand is that which comes highest as per the poker ranking of hands. If you do not know how the hands rank, playing any variety of poker will be a challenge.

The following table lays out the poker hand hierarchy, with the best hand at the top and the worst at the bottom.

Hand Description

Royal Flush

Five card Ace high straight, same suit

Straight Flush

Five sequential cards, same suit

Four of a Kind

Four of the same cards, any suit

Full House

Three of a Kind and a Pair


Five cards in the same suit, any sequence


Five sequential cards, any suit

Three of a Kind

Three of the same cards, can be different suits

Two Pair

Two pair of cards, any suit


Two of the same cards, any suit

High Card

Highest card plays

Knowing the ranking by heart will help to improve your game.

How to Play Stud Poker

Stud poker — sometimes referred to as typical stud, or poker stud — is a category of poker games with a lot of variations based on the seven-card stud and five-card stud formats. The rules of the game vary depending on which version you’re playing, but the fundamentals are the same.

Except for the first round of betting, the player with the two highest face up cards bets first.

Betting then moves according to suit rankings from high to low: spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs. One way to remember the suit rankings is to think of them in reverse alphabetical order.

Dealing and betting alternate until seven cards are dealt to all players. The instructions below are based on the popular seven-card stud variation:

  1. Every player places an ante bet before any cards are dealt.
  2. Each player is dealt two cards face down followed by one card face up.
  3. The player with the lowest face up card starts the first round of betting, it then moves clockwise.
  4. A fourth round of cards is dealt face up. For the remaining rounds of betting, the player with the two best face up cards bets first.
  5. A fifth round of cards is dealt face up.
  6. A sixth round of cards is dealt face up.
  7. The seventh and final card is dealt face down.
  8. All remaining players show their hand, the player with the best five cards wins.

Up to eight people can play stud poker. If no one folds by the seventh round, the final card is dealt as a community card that all players use.

There are 52 cards in a deck, and 8 players x 7 cards = 56. Hence, the players share the last card.

Play Stud Poker for Free

Now that you know the rules, it is worth practicing a few hands before playing for real money. Luckily, a few online casinos will let you play for free so you can get the feel for the game and improve your skills.

Playing for Free vs. Playing for Money

Both free play and playing for real money have their pros and cons. Here’s a list that we think could help you decide which type of stud poker is for you.

Real Money

  • Chance to win real money.

  • Take advantage of bonuses and promotions to increase your bankroll.

  • The thrill and chance to win real money.

Free Play

  • Chance to practice strategies and techniques before risking your cash.

  • Practice different types if stud poker to see which you like best.

  • Practice in a relaxed environment.

How to Get Started Playing Stud Poker for Real Money

By now, you should feel comfortable going ahead and playing a hand of stud poker or two. If you are ready to take that step, here’s what to do:

  1. Head to one of our recommended online casinos. All of the casinos mentioned on this page have stud poker. All are a good choice.
  2. Sign up and log in. You will need to provide some personal information. Some casinos offer free play, so there’s no need to sign up.
  3. Head to the table games section and find your stud poker game of choice.
  4. Select the game. Remember to read the information to know the rules of the variant you are playing.
  5. Play the hand.
  6. If all goes well, collect your winnings.

Variations of Stud Poker

Whilst playing at online casinos, you’ll come across different types of stud poker. They all have the same stud poker attributes, but each has its own unique set of rules that sets it apart.

Now that you know the basic stud poker rules and how to play, let’s review some of the stud games you’ll find online.

Seven-Card Stud

Seven-card stud is the most popular stud variation. Players receive seven rounds of cards. Two face down, one face up, and then three face up, and the last one face down for a total of seven.

As with all stud poker versions, the game starts with everyone paying an ante. Betting begins after the croupier deals the first three cards, and continues with each new card. After the final round of betting, players still in the game reveal their best high five card hand in a showdown. The player with the best stud poker hand wins.

Five-Card Stud

Five-card stud poker is similar to seven-card stud, but players receive five cards instead of seven. The croupier deals the first card face down and the remaining four face up.

After all of the players put in an ante, the croupier deals two cards; the first face down, and the second face up.

At this point, the player with the lowest card places a bet, which is known as the bring in. The croupier then deals another round of cards face up, and another round of betting follows.

This continues until the remaining players have one face-down and four face-up cards. Everyone left in the game reveals their face-down card. The player with the best high hand wins.

“Seven-Card Stud Eight or Better” / High-Low Stud

“Seven-card stud eight or better” is also known as high-low stud, seven-card high-low, or stud eight. This variation uses the seven-card stud format with four face up cards and three face down cards dealt in seven rounds with five rounds of betting.

The twist to seven-card stud eight or better is that there are two winners:

  1. The player with the highest hand; and
  2. The player with the lowest hand.

The winners split the pot evenly.


To qualify as a low hand, all five cards must be eight or lower.

The highest low hand is this variation is: 8-7-6-5-4 and the lowest hand is: A-2-3-4-5.

If no one has a qualifying low hand, the best high hand wins the entire pot. Pairs are not allowed in a qualifying low hand. It is called “scooping the pot” when both a high and low hand win.

Caribbean Stud

Caribbean stud poker follows the five-card stud format. Rather than playing against each other, all players play against the dealer. The dealer dishes out five cards to each player face down. The dealer gets four cards face down and their last card face up.

After everyone has folded or raised, the dealer reveals their hand. The players win if their hand is better than the dealers as per the poker-hand ranking system.

How much the players win depends on the a couple of factors. Firstly, the dealer’s hand is checked to see if it qualifies.


To qualify, the dealer must have ace-king or better.

If the dealer doesn’t qualify, all winning players win their ante bet and their raise bets are pushed. If the dealer qualifies, the winning players also win on the raise bets, which are paid out depending on the hand each player has.

Mississippi Stud

Mississippi stud poker is a five-card stud variation. Players are betting against the pay table in this form of stud poker. All players put an ante in the pot to start. The croupier deals two cards face down to all players and places three cards face down in the middle of the table. The three face down cards are community cards.

Then, the players decide whether to fold or bet based on their two face down cards. After a round of betting, the dealer flips over the first community card.

After another round of betting, the dealer flips over the second community card. Players fold or bet. The dealer then flips the last community card and analyzes everyone’s hand. The player with a pair of jacks or higher is the winner.

Mexican Stud

This variation of stud poker is similar to five-card stud. Players play against each other and receive four cards face up and one face down. All eights, nines, and tens are removed from the deck and a single joker stays, giving a total of 41 cards.

All players put an ante in the pot to kick things off. The player who has the highest hand wins.

The joker is full of tricks in Mexican stud. It is a wild card, but only if it is one of the face down cards.


If a player keeps a joker face down, then it acts as a wild card that can complete any poker hand.

However, if a player chooses to flip the joker over or if a joker is dealt face up, it has the value of an ace.

The first two cards are dealt, one face up and one face down. The player with the highest hand clockwise from the dealer starts the betting round. After betting is complete and before the next round is dealt, players can choose to flip their face down card over. If they do, the dealer will deal their next card face down and vice versa, so that each player has one face up card at all times.

The dealer burns a card every round after the second round. Dealing, burning, betting, and flipping continues until all players have five cards (one face up and four face down).

With the eights, nines, and tens removed, straights can look like any of these variations:

  • 4-5-6-7-J

  • 5-6-7-J-Q

  • 6-7-J-Q-K

  • 7-J-Q-K-A


Razz is low-ball variety of stud poker— meaning that the “worst” hand wins — and is a fixed limit game. The object of this stud variation is to get the lowest five card hand. Sometimes referred to as seven-card razz, the player with the lowest hand wins.

Razz is also the R in the mixed poker game HORSE. It follows the seven-card stud format, but the player with the highest card is the bring in bet instead of the player with the lowest card. Aces are the lowest cards, and kings are the highest, and there are no flushes.

Other Stud Poker Variations

As you can see, there are numerous stud poker games. Here are several more stud games for you to review:

Variation Description

Six-Card Stud

Follows seven-card stud format with six cards. The player with the best five card hand wins.

Chicago Stud

Follows seven-card stud format. The highest face-down spade and the player with the highest hand split the pot.

Cowpie Stud

Follows seven-card stud format with an extra round of betting.
After the seventh street bet, players split their cards into a two card hand (one face up and one face down) and a five card hand.
The five card hand must outrank the two card hand. A final round of betting & showdown. The pot is split between the highest two card hand and the highest five card hand.

Baseball Stud

Follows seven-card stud format. Threes and nines are wild, and fours dealt face-up, add an extra card to the player’s hand.


A name given to variations of poker where the lowest hands wins instead of the highest.

New York Stud

Follows five-card stud format, but a four flush beats a pair.

Canadian Stud

Follows five-card stud format, but a four flush beats an outside straight.

Spanish Stud

Twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes are removed from the deck. If playing five card format, six people can play, and four can play in seven card format.

Wild Cards

Wild cards can be added to any game to make it more interesting. The best wild card stipulation is to only allow a specific card to be deemed wild if it’s dealt face down. It’s wise to keep a wild card to yourself for the best vantage.

Bet or Drop

This option can be added to any stud game. It removes the check or pass option and requires the player with the highest showing hand that opens the betting round to either bet the table minimum or fold.

Cold Hands

Cold Hands is also known as a showdown. This option has no betting rounds and a higher ante. All cards are dealt face up, and the highest hand wins.

More Stud Poker Tips

As you can see, there are many different types of stud poker with a ton of different rules.

Whichever type of stud poker you choose to play, here are a couple of tips to help to improve your chances of winning.

  • Familiarize yourself with poker terminology so that you find it easier to follow the game.
  • Learn how betting works in the version of stud poker you are playing.
  • Practice for free before playing for real money.

Stud Poker FAQs

  • Yes, it’s legal to play stud poker online at our recommended casino sites.

  • The bring-in is a stud poker term used in the first round of betting. The player with the lowest face up card starts the betting.

  • Rounds of betting in stud poker are called streets. Third street is the third round of betting, fourth street is the fourth betting round, and so on.

  • There are no blinds in stud poker. Each player is required to put a pre-determined ante in the pot before the first round of cards is dealt.

  • Typically stud poker is played as a limit game, which means betting limits are set per round. The first two rounds are smaller bets and bet increments increase as the streets increase.

  • Yes, stud poker has featured at the World Series of Poke since 1973.

  • One of the best ways to learn stud poker is to play it. Many of our recommended poker sites have demo mode where you can practice for free before making a wager.

  • The best place to play stud poker online is at one of our recommended casino sites. You’ll find a variety of stud poker games to play.