This variant of Seven Card Stud poker is a notorious split pot game in which, the technical aspects of poker reign supreme. 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, is played with a minimum of two and a maximum of eight players, just like the traditional variety. Also similar to the regular Seven Card Stud, the players are each dealt a total of seven cards out of which three are face down (also known as downcards), and the remaining four are face-up (also known as upcards).
However, in this unique Seven Card game, the players are challenged to make their best five-card high hand and their best five-card low hand. The winner's position is open to both the lowest hand and the highest hand. Half of the pot is rewarded to each of the winners, so reasons to lose become scarce.
Objectives of 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo
Since this game allows for multiple winners, you can win this game with either a good hand or a bad one! So, if you are riding an unlucky wave get in on the next 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo game and claim your half of the pot. If you are in the habit of winning, then too, you are in luck because, if there is no low hand that qualifies, according to the rules, then the best high hand walks away with the whole pot.
The rules dictate that a low hand must consist of a five-card hand that has cards that are all eight or lower than that. In this hand, an Ace counts as the lowest card. However, in the high hand, an Ace counts as a high card. Further, this low hand must not have any pairs. Since suits do not rank differently in this game, the best possible low hand is an Ace, two, three, four, five and the highest low hand that can qualify is an eight, seven, six, five, four.
Other Game Types
1. Seven Card Stud
Seven Card Stud is a top-rated poker game. In the past, this game was played more than even the Texas Hold’em variation of poker. It is quite different from the Texas Hold’em which is a cult favourite today. This game is played with up to seven cards on every player's board instead of the regular five community cards.
The game allows for a minimum of two and a maximum of eight players at a table. In a game of Seven Card Stud, like other favourite poker card games, the best five-card hand from a player’s board, wins the sweet glory of the pot.
The fixed-limit format wherein the smaller bet is a wagered in the first two betting rounds is the most common played format of the game.
Similar to the Hi/Lo variant of Seven Card Stud, the higher bet is wagered in the later three rounds or streets. If there is an open pair available on the fourth card, then any player has the option of increasing the stakes to the larger bet. For example, in a 2/4 limit game, the game bets are in increments of two dollars in the first two betting rounds and increments of four dollars in the subsequent betting rounds.
Razz is a variant of the Seven Card games which is popularly played in many World Series of Poker tournaments. Similar to a game of Badugi Poker the entire pot in this Seven Card Game is awarded to the low hand.
The players on a bad roll can make some extra bucks with a low hand in this poker game for sure. a game of Razz can be accurately described as an amalgamation of a lowball and half a Seven Card Stud game. The aim is clearly to make your best five-card hand out of seven cards on the table and take the pot home.
Although the game stages of 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo are similar to a regular Seven Card game, here is a step by step guide to help you play your best game.
An ante beckons the start of a game of 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, instead of the traditional blinds. The ante is a fixed payment that every player contributes to the pot before the cards are dealt. Each player pays this ante at the beginning of a new hand to be able to receive new cards. This takes place even before the bets are introduced in the game.
As soon as a player joins the table, they need to pay the ante and need not wait like they would have to in games where blinds are customary.
Post this payment, all the players are dealt two cards face-down, called downcards and one card face-up, called an upcard. The downcards are the player’s hole cards. With the ante out of the way, the players head straight into the betting rounds like in any poker game.
2. Third Street
The first betting round in seven-card stud is known as the third street. The first two cards, which are the downcards are already dealt before this round. Hence, the third card or the third street is dealt face up to the players.
At this point, the player with the worst upcard is supposed to be the first to act. This player, with the worst upcard, is forced to post a bet called a bring in. There is a specified minimum amount for this bet. If the player matches this minimum amount, then it is called a bring in.
The decision as to which upcard is the lowest is made with respect to not only the value of a card but also the suit to which it belongs. This is one of the rare occasions in which the suits of the cards are given importance in poker.
Although all suits are undifferentiated by rank in poker, in this case, they follow a hierarchy. This hierarchy is as follows.
Spades rank the highest
Hearts follow Spades
Diamonds fall below them
Clubs occupy the last rung.
To illustrate this rule with an example, let us consider that two deuces (deuce of spades and deuce of diamonds) appear amongst the four upcards dealt. In this case, the one with the lowest-ranked suit, here the deuce of diamonds, will be the lowest card.
The player with the lowest card has to choose to either post a bring in or increase that to the lower limit. Usually, players post the bring in when they are so early in the game.
This first betting round gets the wheels of the game turning, and the betting action goes around the table in a clockwise direction. Players have the options of checking, betting, calling, raising or folding. It is rare, however, for players to fold for a bring in.
Since this is a 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo game, both set of cards, high and low, can help you make a winning hand. It is thus wise for you to start evaluating your decisions accordingly. Although you can technically win both the high and the low hand to scoop the pot finally, you need to be realistic. If your hand has cards that are of a nine and above, the chances of you building a low hand are slim. Similarly, if you have aces and deuces, chances are, you will not be bagging the high hand anytime soon.
3. Fourth Street
The Fourth Street or the second betting round begins once all the players around the table have had the chance to either match the betting of the first round or fold their cards. This is when a new upcard is presented to players.
In 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, the betting limits of all the rounds are predetermined. That is to say, the first two of the betting rounds are fixed at the lower limit, and the following three are consequently fixed at the higher limit.
This round onwards players have two options; to check or to make a bet at the given limit as per the round.
In this round, it is possible for no betting to occur. Betting is only compulsory in the third street.
4. Fifth Street
The Fifth Street or the third betting round begins once all the players have had the chance to check or match the betting of the previous round. The dealer then deals a third card, again an upcard, which is the fifth street.
This betting round is the first one with the higher betting limits. The players continue betting, checking, or folding as per their respective hands, in a clockwise direction.
The small bucks in the pot are now multiplying as the stakes get higher in the last three betting rounds.
5. Sixth Street
The Sixth Street or the fourth betting round begins once all the betting for the fifth street is done and dusted. Players who are still active in the hand now receive a fourth upcard and have another chance to bet. The betting limits remain the same as the previous betting round.
6. Seventh Street
The Seventh Street is the fifth and the final betting round. A fifth and final upcard is dealt by the dealer in this round. Like in most poker games, this is the last chance for players to place their bets. By this round, the players have a pretty clear idea of whether they are aiming to secure the strongest five-card low or high hand. Bets can now be strategically placed according to the hand because decisions made here will affect the overall game. The players will head on to the Showdown from this round.
The Showdown is the moment for which every player in the game has been anxiously waiting. The players each finalise their high hands and low hands. The highest five-card hand from the seven cards available, claims half the winnings in the pot. The lowest five-card hand, which has the highest card as an eight, claims the other half of the pot. If by chance, there is no qualifying low hand then the entirety of the game pot is awarded to the player with the best high hand.
What makes 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo different from Seven Card Stud?
Apart from the fact that as opposed to Seven Card Stud wherein only the highest five-card hand can win, in 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, as discussed earlier both the highest and lowest hand can win.
Also, all the poker lovers out there should know that it is possible to win both the high and the low hand in 7 Card Stud Hi/ Lo, ramping up the fun and challenge in any given game. Winning them both, would be known as ‘’scooping the pot’’.
Surely, all you players out there are ready to try your luck at scooping the next game. But before that get all your facts right with the game types stages of any 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo game.
Quick facts about 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo
A game of 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo has a greater probability of split pots, between high and low hands, when compared to other split pot games like, Omaha Hi/Lo. Players in 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo can form their hands using any of the seven cards at their disposal, whereas, in Omaha Hi/Lo, a low hand can only be made when one of the three community cards are eight or below eight. The possibility of making a low hand decreasing exponentially. On the hand, in 7 Card Stud, the possibilities seem endless in comparison.
There is a chance that the betting does not get equalised in the final betting round. In this case, there is no showdown. The pot automatically belongs to the player who made a bet or raised the bet. This can be the case in any betting round and the outcome will be the same.
A player may finish their chips before the betting is over in a game. In such contingent situations, one or more pots may be created on the side and are then rewarded as appropriate.
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7 Card Stud Hi/Lo FAQ
1. Are 7 Card Stud poker games available online?
Yes, you can easily find games available online on many poker websites.
2. Can a player fold in the middle of a game?
Yes, at any time if a player does not see the makings of either a low or a high hand, they can choose to fold.
3. How many chances does a player get to bet?
There are five betting rounds in which you can match or raise a bet, the first two rounds have a lower betting limit and the next three have a higher betting limit.
4. Are there blinds in 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo?
No, players have to post an ante at the beginning of each round.
5. Can there be more than one winner in 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo?
Yes, there can be more than one winner. Both the best high hand and the best low hand can win and the prize money is split between the two.
6. Can my low hand win the game?
Yes, the beauty of this game is that even the best low hand can win the game.