Many poker games can be divided into two categories: Community or Stud. Here’s how they break down:
In Community poker games, hands are made using a combination of personal cards players receive directly from the dealer (called “hole” cards), and community cards the dealer places on the table for all to use.
In Stud poker games, hands are made using only the personal cards a player receives directly from the dealer.
7 Card Stud Hi/Lo
This exciting variation of 7 Card Stud follows the same rules as its namesake, with a key difference. In Hi/Lo, the pot may be split between the player with the highest-ranking hand and the player with the lowest qualifying poker hand at the table.
Object of the Game
As the name implies, the objective of 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo is to produce the highest or lowest five-card poker hand at the table. Here’s how it works:
1. The entire pot goes to the player with the highest hand, unless another player produces a qualifying low hand.
2. If a player produces a qualifying low hand, the pot is split between themselves and the player with the highest hand at the table.
How to Play
1. The game begins with each player placing an Ante bet to build up the pot.
2. Once Antes are placed, the dealer gives each player two downcards and one upcard. The player with the lowest-value upcard starts the round with three options:
- Make the minimum bet
- Make a bet equal to the Ante
3. Now the first full round of betting, known as the “Third Street”, commences. This time, the player with the highest visible poker score goes first.
In this, and all following rounds of betting, players have four options:
4. After bets have been placed, the dealer deals the “Fourth Street” an additional upcard that leads into the second full round of betting.
5. After bets have been placed, the dealer deals the “Fifth Street” an additional upcard that leads into the third full round of betting.
6. After bets have been placed, the dealer deals the “Sixth Street” an additional upcard that leads into the fourth full round of betting.
7. Finally, after bets have been placed, the dealer deals the “Seventh Street” the final upcard that leads the final round of betting.
8. Finally, the round ends. There are two ways this can happen:
All players left in the hand turn over their cards. The best hand among the players still standing wins. If another player has produced a qualifying low hand, the pot is split evenly with the highest hand at the table.
Many hands of 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo end when one of the players bets so much that everyone else folds. Because of this, a hand can end during any of the rounds of betting.
How hands are scored
- Scoring works according to traditional poker rankings
To qualify, the low hand winner must have a hand with:
- No cards higher than an eight
- No pairs, triples or four of a kind
Best possible qualifying low hand: A-2-3-4-5 (Aces are low in a low hand)
Worst possible qualifying high hand: 4-5-6-7-8
Like all poker games, the outcome of 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo depends on the random distribution of cards from a shuffled deck.
Want to know how poker odds work?
Pay close attention to your opponents’ cards
7 Card Stud offers players an exceptional opportunity—the ability to see most of the cards their opponents are holding. Since the odds of receiving any particular card decrease as the deck is depleted, it’s always good to keep an eye on which cards are being played around the table.
Only bet, call or raise if you have at least three of a kind
With seven cards in play per player, the odds are decent that many people around the table will have a pair of some sort. Subsequently, some players believe that unless you have three of a kind you should fold.