How to Play Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo – 7 Stud 8/b Rules

Stud poker is a popular format and is usually offered in either 5-card or 7-card styles. There are variations on what constitutes the winning hand as well. In some stud games, the highest hand wins the whole pot. Other games such as Hi-Lo have both a high and low end. 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo has the same ranking structure as Holdem for the high hand. However, getting used to a low hand is what some Holdem players may find a little difficult. As with any poker game, knowing the rules, basic strategy and applying a little practice and patience is absolutely necessary to be successful.


7 Card Stud Hi-Lo is fairly simple in terms of the rules but it may take a little adjustment to learn depending on which poker games you’re already familiar with. You’ll find that most casinos play 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo with antes. The ante is just a small bet that is required from each player before the hand is dealt. The ante replaces the blinds that are commonly used in other poker formats such as Texas Holdem.

Each player is dealt three cards starting with the player to the dealer’s left and moving in a clockwise motion around the table. Two of these cards are hole cards (face down) and one of them is face-up. The betting begins in 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo by first determining the bring-in.

The bring-in is the person that has the lowest card showing (face-up). This is a forced bet. It is also a set amount determined by the table. Usually, the bring-in is equal to the small side of the stakes or half the small side. In other words, in a $5/$10 game, it would be either $5 or $2.50 normally.

After the forced bet, the action continues around the table. Once the round has concluded, each player that remains in the hand is dealt another card face-up. This is referred to as 4th street. There are 7 streets in 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo referencing the 7 cards each player receives if they remain in the hand.

After each street there is a betting round. The 5th and 6th streets are also face-up and the final street is another hole card. To review, if you don’t fold and are in the hand to the end, you will have two cards face down and one card face-up followed by three cards face-up and the final card face down. This makes up your seven cards. You are to use 5 cards to make the best hand possible.

In 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo there is a high hand winner and a low hand winner. The high hand has the same ranking as Texas Holdem and the majority of all poker games. The low hand, however, has to qualify. In order to qualify, you have to have a 5-card hand containing no cards higher than eight. Straights and flushes do not count against the low hand. For example, A-2-3-4-5 or the wheel hand, is a 5-high low hand as well as a 5-high straight.

The high hand gets half the pot and the low hand is entitled to the other half. If there isn’t a low hand within qualification, the high hand will win the whole pot.

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The objective in 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo is to win the entire pot. Starting hands should be based upon the possibilities to win both ends of the pot. Rarely in 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo does a experienced player stay in the hand without having at least one end of the pot secured and a shot or chance at winning the entire thing.

If you find yourself at 5th street with your draws still incomplete and you have not secured either end of the pot, you should most definitely fold. Trips or three low cards that have straight possibilities are the best starting hands. A-A-A is the best trip hand. Other examples of good low starting hands with straight possibilities would be A-3-5, 2-3-5 or A-2-4.

As with all poker games, you should pay attention to your position. The later you are to act (make your betting decision), the better your position is. In poker, having the opportunity to react or make a move behind your opponents gives you a positional advantage. If you’re early to act, you may want to re-consider playing questionable hands. When you’re late to act, if no one has raised and there are not that many players in the hand, you may want to consider a raise on a marginal hand.

This is just a general idea of how position works. You should use position along with your cards and your opponent’s actions to make plays.

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7 Card Stud Hi-Lo Poker is an exciting game that can be very profitable. Online casinos offer tournaments constantly and there are cash games readily available. If you’re new to the game, play the stakes that suit you. Once you feel comfortable with the structure, rules and strategy of the game, move it on up. Just remember, poker requires practice and patience to be successful.