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7 Card Stud Rules Stud Hi-Lo Rules 7 Card Stud Strategy

7 Card Stud Hi-Lo Rules

Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo, also called Seven Stud Eight-or-Better is a variant of Seven Card Stud and follows most of the rules of Seven Card Stud but with new rules regarding low hands and split pots. Players play for two pots, with the best five card-high poker hand receiving the high-half of the pot and the best five-card low poker hand receiving the low-half of the pot, thus splitting the pot equally. Pots become much larger in this game versus Seven-Card Stud, since players are less likely to fold bad hands during the game in hopes of getting the low hand and half the pot. Fold when necessary. Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo is for players with patience! It can get very costly if you choose to chase too many low or high hands!!

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Game play by play:

First all players must put in an ante before the cards are dealt. If a player does not put in an ante, that person will not receive cards and must wait until the next game to enter play.

Deal:

Each player is dealt three cards, the first two down (hole cards) and the third one face up (door card), just as in standard seven card stud. The player with the lowest door card (first up-card) must bring in the forced bet to start the betting round. Each player can then either fold, call, or raise the bet. (The betting is capped at one bet and three raises per player.) Once the round of betting is down, if a raise was made, the person with the low card forced bet must either match the bet, re-raise, or fold.

Second round:

Each player remaining is dealt one card face-up (called fourth street). A second round of betting then ensues. In this round and all the following betting rounds, the high hand on board (the face up cards) initiates the action. (A tie is broken by position, with the player who received cards first acting first.) In all fixed limit games, the smaller bet is enforced on this round of betting. With Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, if the door card is paired, there is no option to any players to bet the higher limit bet as in Seven Card Stud. Only the smaller limit can be wagered.

Folded hand without a wager made:

If a hand is folded even though there is no wager (everyone checked), that seat continues to receive cards until the hand is "killed" as a result of a monetary bet.

Third round:

Each player remaining is dealt another card face up (fifth street). A round of betting ensues. The bet amounts are now raised to the higher limit in all fixed-limit games, which are generally $5-10 limit and up.

Fourth round:

Each player remaining is dealt another card face up. (sixth street). A round of betting ensues.

Fifth and final round:

Each player remaining is dealt a final card face down, called the "river". If more than five players are remaining, it may be necessary for the dealer to deal a community card since there may not be enough cards remaining to deal each player their own card. If this occurs the community card is used by each player to make their five-card poker hands, but it is not necessary to use the card if it does not help your five-card hand.  One last round of betting occurs and then the players remaining in the pot, expose their hands to determine the winner.  This is called the showdown.

The "showdown":

All players show their best five-card high poker hand and/or best low-card poker hand (with the first bettor or last raiser showing first). The players with the best five-card high and five-card low poker hands will split the pot.

Scoop pot:

It is possible to win the entire pot and this can be done in two ways.

  1. A player can have both the five-card highest and lowest hands to win.
  2. It is not always possible for players to create both a high and a low hand. Sometimes the players will play with only the high hand or the low hand. Therefore, if no low hand was created, or eligible, then the player with the highest hand will win the entire pot. (See Important Note Regarding the Low a the end of this article)

Ties:

If more than one player ties for the low or high hand then each will receive an equal portion of the pot, and hence the pot will be split by half and half again or"quartered".  This more frequently happens to players contesting the Low half of the pot and is much more common in Omaha Hi/Lo due to the community cards that are shared among the players.

Example Tie Hand:

Player 1 has the lowest five-card hand and players 2 and 3 have tied with the best high five-card hand; Hence player 1 will receive half the pot and players 2 and 3 will each receive a quarter of the pot. (The half of the pot set aside for the high hand is further split in half for the two that have tie hands, so that each player who has tied receives a quarter of the original pot.)

So a player must keep in mind that if there are less than 4 players in a hand, it is still possible to LOSE money any time the pot is quartered. Therefore, players must decide quickly if they are eligible to play for the low hand and must adjust their bets accordingly to limit the amount of their loss should there be a tie. If it is apparent that any player has the only, or best, low hand and others clearly have only high cards, raising the bet is a good choice since the low player can be almost assured of winning at least half the pot.

Important Note Regarding the Low: 

The rules for Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo are very similar to that of Omaha Hi/Lo. A qualifying low hand is made with five cards that are all 8 or lower, an ace counting as the lowest. No pairs can exist in a low hand, but a straight and/or a flush may. The lowest possible hand is A 2 3 4 5, which is known as the wheel.  This hand can not be beaten, for low, only tied. The highest possible qualifying low hand is 8 7 6 5 4.  Any qualifying low hands that also consist of a straight or flush are very strong hands in Seven Card Stud Eight or better because they have the potential to scoop the pot by winning, both, the high and low portion of the pot.  The types of hands should be played aggressively.

Conclusion

7 Card Stud Hi/Lo is an intricate game with many possibilities for the astute player.  The combination of the High and Low hands winning the pot provide many opportunities to maximize the amount that can be won in any given pot.  We hope that you now understand the rules of Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo a little better and will give this game a try. If you enjoy Seven Card Stud high, this version can provide some additional excitement.

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