May, 2013 - Seven Card Stud Hi Lo is one of the more intimidating forms of poker, especially for the beginner. Regular Seven-card Stud is difficult enough as it is, and in Hi Lo, there is a low hand component added to mix things up. In Seven Card Stud Hi Lo players are competing for two halves of the pot. One half of the pot is paid out for the best regular five card poker hand. The other half is paid to the player with best qualifying low hand. The low hand will be discussed later. If you have any experience with Omaha HL or Razz poker you will find Stud Hi-Lo quite easy to pick up. I have added some links to our other Seven Card Stud H-L articles below. Check out our Stud HL strategy articles after you have learned how to play Stud HL.
Setup and game play in Seven Card Stud Hi Lo is identical to regular Seven Card Stud. If you are not familiar with the rules of Seven Card Stud, read our primer article on the 7 Card Stud rules for more information. The main difference in rules is the low hand and how it works into the game.
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In Seven Card Stud Hi Lo in order to qualify for a low hand, a player must have a five card hand with five different ranking cards all eight or lower. An ace is considered the lowest ranking card but also plays as a high card too. The best low hand a player can get is called the wheel, it is A2345. You’ll notice that the wheel also is a five high straight meaning it is a powerful high hand as well. The best Hi Lo players in the world are ones that concentrate not on just taking one half of the pot but on getting both halves. It is important to note that if no player has a qualifying low hand, then 100% of the pot goes to the best high hand.
One of the more confusing aspects of Seven Card Stud Hi Lo for beginners is figuring out which low hand is better in a showdown situation. It is actually not all that hard once you become familiar with the hands. We will show you a simple method for figuring out which hand is best.
The trick is finding the lowest high card after accounting for ties. There are several ways this can be done, but one of the easiest is to line the hands up from highest card to lowest card. Once this is done, the hand representing the smaller five digit number is the winner. Let’s look at a few examples:
76432 would defeat 76532. Simply read the two hands out loud, Seventy six thousand four hundred thirty two is lower than Seventy six thousand five hundred thirty two.
The concept is really quite simple it’s just that it might take you a few rounds to get the hang of things and be able to “see” which hand is best. Stick to the method outlined here though, and you should be fine.
Do all online poker sites use the same set of rules for 7-card Stud Hi Lo? the answer to this question is basically yes. There are some minor differences in the way that online poker rooms handle running out of cards but that isn't a big deal. The antes schedule can also vary from place to place so that is something you should look at when you sign up at a new poker room.
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