Soko Poker – also known as Canadian Stud or Scandinavian Stud – is a variant of Five Card Stud. Soko is played almost exactly the same way as Five Card Stud, with just one major difference: there are two additional hands a player can make in addition to the traditional ones. These two hands are a four-card straight and a four-card flush.

These new hands are exactly what they sound like: four-card versions of the hands you already know. A four-card flush is made when you hold four cards of the same suit, while a four-card straight is made by holding four consecutive ranks of cards (i.e., 4-5-6-7). In Soko Poker, these hands beat a pair, but lose to two pair. This makes the new hand rankings as follows:

Straight Flush
Four of a Kind
Full House
Three of a Kind
Two Pair
Four-Card Flush
Four-Card Straight
One Pair
High Card

Other than this one change, Soko Poker is played just like the Five Card Stud games you know and love. To begin, everyone contributes an ante to the pot. In the first round of betting, each player receives two cards – one face down, one face up. The player with the lowest face up card is forced to make a bring-in bet. Moving clockwise around the table, each player can choose to fold, call the bet, or raise.

Everyone remaining in the hand gets a 3rd card, face up. The player with the best hand showing (either high card or a better completed hand like a pair or three-of-a-kind) has the first option to check or bet, after which play proceeds as normal, clockwise around the table.

You can check out SOKO Poker in action at Fortune Poker and even play for play money until you get the hang of it.  For more information on Fortune Poker, read this Fortune Poker Review.

Everyone remaining in the game after that round receives their 4th card, face up. In most games, the size of the bet now doubles, but otherwise, the game continues as normal. This process continues with the 5th and final card which is dealt face up. Any players remaining in the hand at the end of final round of betting must showdown their hands. Each player makes their best five-card hand (including, in Soko Poker, four-card straights and flushes), with the highest ranking hand taking down the pot.

As you can see, Soko Poker is played almost identically to Five Card Stud. The added hand categories is the only thing you must keep in mind while playing, so if you know how to play one game you should have no problems playing the other.

Now – read our SOKO Poker Strategy Guide.