Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo is a game in which high and low, both poker hands win. The person who has the highest-ranking five cards gets half of the pot. The person who has the lowest ranking five cards gets the other half of the pot. The rule is that all the five cards in the low-ranking hand must be below 8.
What happens when there are no five cards below 8? When you cannot make a poker hand with cards below 8, the person who has the highest-ranking poker hand wins the whole pot. This is known as scooping. Let us now see how to play seven-card stud hi-lo, stud hi-lo strategy, and stud hi lo rules in detail.
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. On 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 poker 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.
How to Play Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
- As per the stud hi/lo, hand rankings rule, a high hand can have any of the following poker hands: pair, two pairs, three of a kind, straight, flush, four of a kind, and so on. A Low hand, on the other hand, can only consist of cards with a value of 8 or less.
- When making a Low hand, flushes and straights are not counted.
- Because an Ace is both the deck's strongest and weakest card, it counts toward both your High and Low hands.
- In Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, each player receives their own set of seven cards.
- Position and the sequence in which players act in Stud Hi-Lo are determined by the strength of the cards revealed by each player.
- Depending on the cards dealt, the order in which players take action during a hand frequently changes. For the deal and bring-in and third street rounds, the player who has the lowest ranking card acts first. For fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh street, the player with the highest-ranking card acts first.
- Stud Limit rules apply to Hi-Lo, which means that the maximum bet amount allowed is determined by the size of the pot.
Other Poker Game Types
- 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 favorite 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 favorite 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 wagered in the first two betting rounds is the most commonly 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 Poker
Razz is a variant of the Seven Card games which is popularly played in many World Series of Poker. 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 poker 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 poker table and take the pot home.
Seven Stud Hi-Lo Strategy
Use the below stud hi-lo strategy to play the game better.
- Playing two-way hands is a good way to start a stud hi-lo game. Look for high and low, both hands that you can make at the start.
- Figure out where you'll get your money if you don't scoop, and adjust your raises accordingly.
- It's always a good idea to practice freerolls to learn stud hi-lo strategies on the go.
Seven Card Stud Hi Lo Playing Rules
In seven-card stud hi-lo, all players add an ante. It is a notional sum that players add before a game of Seven Card Stud Hi Lo begins.
Deal and Bring-in
- In 7 card stud hi-lo, each participant is dealt three cards, two of which are hidden and one of which is revealed.
- The player with the lowest face-up card is the first to act and must place a "bring in" stake or if desired, a complete "small bet."
- If two or more players have the same low card with the same value, they are separated by suit. Clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades are the lowest to highest suits in sequence from stud hi/lo hand rankings.
- In this situation, the lowest suit wins: if the two of hearts and the two of clubs are faces up at the start of the hand, the two of clubs will go first. It's worth noting that the suit hierarchy is only employed in this case and isn't used at showdown.
- If one player has the Ace-10-8-5-2 of clubs and the other has the Ace-10-8-5-2 of diamonds during a showdown, both the players will win and split the pot.
2. Third Street
The first betting round in the seven-card stud is known as the third street. The first two cards, which are the downcards are already dealt with 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 poker 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 sets 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.
From 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 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
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 finalize 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.
- In 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo, the last player to raise must show their cards first once all bets have been called in the last round of betting.
- If no bets were placed on the final round of betting of stud hi lo, the player who checked first must reveal their cards first.
- After then, the hands are always revealed clockwise around the table.
- Half of the prize goes to the winner of the High. The other half of the pot goes to the winner of the Low in the stud hi lo game.
- Both the High and Low hands can be won by the same player.
- If no Low hand is available, the best High hand takes the entire pot.
- If more than one player has identical High and/or low hands, the pot will be shared evenly. For example, if one player has the best High hand and two other players have the best Low hand, the first player gets half of the pot and the other two players split the remaining half.
Difference Between 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo and 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.
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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.