This article needs additional citations for verification. Stud poker is any of a number of poker variants in which stud poker player receives a mix of face-down and face-up cards dealt in multiple betting rounds. Stud poker variants using four cards were popular as of the American Revolutionary War. Five-card stud first appeared during the American Civil War when the game was much played among soldiers on both sides, and became very popular.
The number of betting rounds in a game influences how well the game plays with different betting structures. It is a common convention in stud poker to name the betting rounds after the number of cards each player holds when that betting round begins. So the bet that occurs when each player has three cards is called «third card» or «third street», while the bet that occurs when each player has five cards is «fifth street». The final round, regardless of the number of betting rounds, is commonly called the «river» or simply the «end».
As mentioned above, seven-card stud is probably the most common form of the game, with most other games being variants of that, although five-card stud is also a basic pattern upon which many variations are built. This latter form more closely resembles five-card stud with an extra downcard. Razz is a variant where the lowest hand wins the pot instead of the highest. Versions differ in the rules for treating straights and flushes as high or low. London Lowball is a popular version that counts straights against the player. High-low stud is played using high-low split betting, where the pot is split between the player with the highest hand and the player with the lowest hand. In the most common form, known as «eight-or-better» or «stud eight», an 8-high hand or lower is required to win low.
If there is no qualifying low hand, high hand takes the entire pot. Another form of high-low split stud is played under the same rules as stud eight, but there is no qualifier required for the low half of the pot. Often referred to as Q, it is much less common than stud eight, and is generally played at higher limits. Various forms of roll your own five-card stud, often with a stripped deck and wild cards, are called Mexican stud, Mexican poker, or stud loco.