Seven Card Stud Hi Lo Poker Rules

Seven Card Stud Hi Lo is also known as 7 Card Stud 8 or better, 7 Card Stud 8 ball and 7 Card Stud split. It is very similar to 7 Card Stud but each player tries to make two hands  – a high hand and a low hand. 7 Card Stud Hi Lo is usually played as a fixed limit game.

Like Omaha Hi Lo, the trick when playing Seven Card Stud Hi Lo is to fold your hand if you do not have good possibilities for making both a high and a low hand. This is because you should not be aiming to win only half the pot but to take the whole pot down.

Basic Seven Card Stud Hi Lo Poker Rules

The poker rules for Seven Card Stud Hi Lo are the same as Seven Card Stud but as follows:

1)       The high hand does not win the whole pot. Instead the pot is split between the high hand and the best qualifying low hand. If there is no qualifying low hand then the high hand takes the entire pot. If there is no qualifying low hand then the high hand takes the entire pot.

2)      The ranking for low hands in Seven Card Stud Hi Lo is the same as in Omaha Hi Lo. Aces play both as high and low and to qualify for the low hand, a player must hold 8-7-6-5-4 or lower. Straight and flushes do not count when determining what makes up a low hand.

3)      If two or more players have the same high/low hands then the pot halves are split.

Competing Low Hands

New Seven Card Stud Hi Lo players have difficulty working out the value of their low hand. The “Ace to Five” system is used for ranking low cards and so the nuts low hand is A-2-3-4-5. But what about the non nuts low hands? How do you work out which is better?

A low hand is always ranked from its highest card downwards. So 8-7-6-5-4 is beaten by 8-7-6-5-3; and 7-6-5-2-A is beaten by 7-5-4-3-2.

An easy way to quickly work out which low hand is better is to look at the hand from the highest to the lowest card and the hand which has the lower 5 digit number wins. So 7-6-4-3-2 beats 7-6-5-3-2 as 76,432 is a lower number than 76,532.

Seven Card Stud Hi Lo Strategy

Seven Card Stud Hi Lo is one of the most complicated poker games you can play so here are some useful tips to give you an edge. Some of what follows is also applicable to Seven Card Stud.

1)      Always fold your hand if you can see that you are being beaten by an opponent’s face up cards. The only exception to this is if you have a very strong draw.

2)      Conversely, when you have a high pair and you can see that your opponent is on a low draw you should bet your hand as you have the advantage. In general its always better to bet than check as this allows you to win the hand without going to showdown.

3)      Keep track of your opponents face up cards. Seven Card Stud is played with one deck of 52 cards and therefore if you are going for a straight or flush but can see that your opponents hold one of the cards you need then this will dramatically reduce your chances of hitting your hand so you should fold.

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