7 Card Stud Hi Lo (Eight or Better)
7 Card Stud hi lo, also known as 7 Card Stud Eight or Better, is thought to be one of the more complicated variations of poker. When playing 7 Card Stud Hi Lo the pot is split at showdown between the best high hand and the best low hand. The eight or better part only affects Lo hands. To qualify as a Lo hand when playing 7 Card Stud Hi Lo your hand must be an eight card low or better. You can not win the Lo pot if you don’t have at very least an 8 low hand hence the name 7 Card Stud Eight or Better.
7 Card Stud Hi Lo, whilst not considered a true lowball poker game, is still very popular among lowball poker players. The game is spread at Pokerstars.com and is actually more popular than you might expect it to be. The 7 Card Stud Hi Lo limit cash tables start at the 4c/8c level and go right up to $100/$200. At the time of writing this article there are 38 different 7 Card Stud Hi Lo ring games running at Pokerstars across the various limits which includes a $30/$60 game.
7 Card Stud Hi Lo Hand Rankings
The Hi pot uses the conventional hand rankings system in which a Royal Flush is the best possible hand. The low part of the pot uses the ace to five lowball hand rankings system in which the best possible hand is A-2-3-4-5. When playing ace to five poker straights and flushes don’t count as high hands and aces are always considered low. So you get the idea here are the top five ace to five lowball poker hands:
*Note: The highest card is always used to determine the winner so A-2-3-4-8 would lose to 3-4-5-6-7.
7 Card Stud Hi Lo Rules and How To Play
7 Card Stud begins will all players placing an ante into the pot. This is a forced bet that must be made before the cards are dealt designed to force the action. Antes vary in size depending on where you play, at Pokerstars the ante is around 10% of the big bet depending on what stakes you are playing. Players are then dealt three cards, two face down and one face up. The player with the lowest card on show is then forced to bring in the action. The bring in is another forced bet designed to get the betting action going, again the size of the bring in varies from game to game but is usually between 15% and 20% of the big bet. A round of betting then occurs and play moves around the table in a clockwise direction starting with the player directly to the left of the bring in.
This is followed by the remaining players receiving a fourth card (known as Fourth Street) which is again exposed to the table. Another round of betting occurs starting with the player who currently has the strongest high poker hand exposed. A fifth card (Fifth Street) is then dealt face up to players and another round of betting commences. When the game reaches fifth street the betting limits are doubled. A betting round takes place starting again with the player who has the best high hand on show. A sixth card (Sixth Street) is dealt face up followed by more betting and then finally a seventh card (Seventh Street) is dealt to players face down. A final round of betting occurs followed by a showdown. The last player to bet or raise is obliged to showdown their hand first, if there was no bet or raise on Seventh Street then the player closest to seat 1 shows down first.
The player with the best high hand wins 50% of the pot and the player with the best low hand wins 50% of the pot. It is possible to win 100% of the pot if you hold both the best high hand and the best low hand. For example you hold A-2-3-4-5 which is the nut low hand and a five high straight, it can be both the best high hand and the best low hand winning you 100% of the pot. You can also win either 25% of 75% of the pot in a situation where you tie for the high pot and the other player wins the low pot or vice-versa. This is known as quartering someone or getting quartered.
To play 7 Card Stud Hi Lo online visit the Pokerstars website.