Rules of Soko Poker

Soko Poker is a 5 Card Stud variant and also goes by the names of 'Sökö' and 'Canadian Stud'. The game is generally played with up to 8 players in any one game. Like in any game of poker, blinds and antes should be posted for each hand (clockwise starting with the first active player after the dealer). The one major difference between Five Stud and Canadian Stud is that there are two additional hands that are added to the ranking of hands. These hands are a four card flush and a four card straight. The hands are as they sound, just 4 card variations of what you would expect to see in a straight or flush. Here is a look at the order of play, starting with the initial deal.

The Initial Deal

All players in the game receive 2 cards, one face down and one up (there will be 3 more cards dealt face up to each remaining players).

The Bring in Bet

Soko Poker - Ranking of SuitsThe player showing the highest up card after the deal makes a forced bet, known as the "Bring in" that usually amounts to twice the ante or above. Should there be a tie (2 or more players having the same card but different suit), the cards are also ranked by order of suit. Betting will continue round the table clockwise until the first round of betting is complete.

Betting Rounds

The betting structure is identical to 5 Stud. Once the initial bet (bring in) is made, all players are dealt another 3 cards (face up) followed by another round of betting.

The Showdown

The best 5 card poker hand wins the pot (kickers count). We already covered that a 4 flush and a 4 straight counts as a hand. For example 2-3-4-5-10 will count as a four straight and not a 10 high with a 5 kicker, as it would in many other games. The same goes for a 4-flush (using four of the 5 cards to make it). In terms of the ranking of hands, the new hand ranking structure for Soko is:

Straight flush (best hand)
Four of a kind
Full house
Three of a kind
Two pair
Four flush
Four Straight
High card (worst hand)

At showdown, the player who bet last on 5th street (last round of betting) should show his/her hand first. If there was no betting the first remaining player to the left of the dealer shows his hand first. If two or more players show the same hand, taking into account kickers, they split the pot. The ranking of suits is only used for the bring in bet.

You may struggle to find this one online, although a few of the casinos do offer video versions of the game. You will however be able to play 5 Card Stud, a few of it's variations as well as over 20 other games! See which games are available and how rooms stack up against each game.


Important Beginners Guides..

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Check out this set of rules. It's as close to universal as you will get! Most card rooms use a variation of these.

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