Our Top Pick
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What to Consider when Choosing a Stud Poker Site
The most popular and certainly the most memorable game of the Wild West, stud poker is the electrifying ancestor of Texas Hold ‘em. A selection of hidden and face-up cards are dealt to each player, and the games begin. There are quite a few varieties, so this article will take you through which to pick, as well as what to look for in a stud poker site.
Choose Your Game
You’ll want to try out a selection of different stud games when looking for a site. Here are three of the most popular, and the benefits of each one:
- 5-Card Stud | Over several rounds of betting, each player ends up with four private "hole" cards and one face-down card. The best hand still in the game wins. Why play? It’s quick and easy to learn, but needs a good level of skill to really master.
- Stud Hi or 7-Card Stud | One face-up and two face-down cards are dealt, then rounds of betting commence as more cards are dealt. Why play? This game is highly skilled, and will help hone your strategy as well as your memory.
- 5-Card Stud High Low | Same rules as 5-Card Stud, but at the showdown, or last round, the pot gets split between the best high and low hand. The best low hand would be a straight flush A-2-3-4-5. Why play? There are more chances to win, and you’ll need double the strategy if you want to win both the high and low hands.
7-Card is a newer game than the traditional 5-Card, and although slightly more complex, is increasingly popular in casinos online. Other variations include Caribbean Stud Poker, which is played against the dealer, but many online casinos will have their own subtly different variations. You can often try these out for free, finding where your talents work best.
Reap the Rewards
In your search for a stud poker site, check you’re getting value for money. Sign-up or first deposit bonuses are often given as cash you’re able to wager on the site; just be sure to read the fine print and check how much you’ll need to stake in order to withdraw your winnings.
If you’re interested in joining tournaments, check their prizes and frequency, as stud poker tournaments will be less common than the overwhelmingly popular Texas Hold ‘em. On some sites, you also have to stay in for the whole tournament, so ensure you have the time.
Freerolls are tournaments that don’t charge you anything to enter, but still offer prizes, so are a great way to get value from the site. Check how many people are playing, as the fewer there are, the more likely it is you’ll win something.
You may also be able to access a VIP or loyalty programme, which are especially worthwhile if you stick with the site and do most of your gaming there. Finding out the kind of stakes normally wagered on the site will also help you make your decision. Look for sites with tables playing at the stakes you’re willing to gamble, and check they run often, so you’ll never have to wait around for a game.
Finding your favourite stud poker site is unique to you, so ensure that you enjoy the player experience. The interface should be intuitive, with easily identifiable buttons for betting, folding and raising.
Software shouldn’t get in the way, contributing to the fun and atmosphere of the poker room rather than distracting you from the game or stalling. If you’re unsure of what the site’s game play will actually be like, take a look at a couple of videos online or read reviews from other experienced players.