How to Play 7 Card Stud Hi Lo
Learn here how to play 7 Card Stud Hi Lo poker game. If you are already familiar with the Stud Hi rules, learning this game will be easier, but we still have here a complete beginner guide.
Let’s say that you already know the poker hand rankings, so we can start going thorugh the Seven-Card Stud High Low poker game playing. We recommend you also practice the game online, for free, before playing for real money. Download a poker client now and register a free account for practicing.
|7 Card Stud High Low index|
As all the other poker games, this variation is played with a standard 52 card deck, at an 8-handed table. Each new hand of Stud Hi Lo begins with each player putting an ante into the pot. The ante is a share each player must contribute for the beginning pot before cards are dealt with a simple purpose of stimulating action. The highest ranked hand is easy to identify: this is formed from any 5 cards a player is handed until the end of the game (3 down-cards and 4 up-cards), while the lowest hand card is not mandatory to be present (it must accomplish certain rules like: all cards to be different, all cards must be no higher than 8, flushes and straights do not count).
In Stud Hi Lo, as soon as you take a sit at the table, you can put in the ante bet and you’ll get dealt in immediately. Stud High Low does not have blinds, that is why you do not have to wait as in other poker game variations to be dealt in.
The deal position in this game does not rotate as in blind games. The fixed dealer position is indicated by a white disk called the stud button / dealer button. This stud button is always by seat 8, and each new deal always starts at seat 1, clockwise.
The ante is a share each player must contribute at for the beginning pot. Antes are not blinds, therefore they do not count for any future bets.
In the the first round of a 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo (also known as third street), the betting starts with the player having the lowest up-card. This bet is a forced bet for this player is of at least a specified minimum, but it can be more. The bet is also known as the bring-in. The bring-in is usually one-fourth the lower limit. If two or more players have the same rank of up-card, determining the player that will make the the bring-in is done by suit, in reverse bridge order (clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades).
The player with the lowest up-card has 2 options: open for the bring-in (post the minimum required) or complete the bet (increase the bet to the lower limit). As in any other poker game, more players are open for the bring-in (or blinds in other games), a complete bet (raise) could attract many to fold. If all players fold, the one making the complete bet take in all the antes stakes and a new hand is dealt.
All succeeding players after a bring-in have a three options: fold (exit the game without making any other bet), call (match the bring-in), or complete the bet (increase the bring-in to the lower bet limit). If anyone completes the bet, all succeeding players have 3 choices: fold, call (match the complete bet) or raise (an increase of the preceding bet – up to maximum 3 raises are allowed in a betting round for Stud Hi).
Once the Third Street betting round got equalized (when everyone has had an opportunity either to fold or match the total betting), the dealer will deal each active player the second up-card (known as the fourth street). Players still active participate in a new round of betting.
In comparison with the 3rd street, on the fourth street (and all successive streets afterwards), the betting starts with the player showing the highest board. If two or more players have the same high board, the betting begins with the player closest to the left of the stud/dealer button. The situation is the same for either 2 players show pairs of same ranking.
Online poker comes with an advantage of having the software prompt the player when it’s his turn to take action (this way no player should worry about having to figure out who must start a betting round). On the fourth street, the player that starts the betting round has two options: check (continue without making any bet) or make a bet. If anyone bets, all the other players have three choices: fold, call (matching the previous bet) or raise (increase the preceding bet).
Starting with the fourth street it is possible however that no betting will occur in the round, what is known as a checked round.
Once the betting for fourth street is equalized (when everyone has had an opportunity either to check/fold or match the total betting for the round), the dealer deals each active player the third up-card (called the fifth street – meaning the fifth card dealt to the players). Players still in the hand participate in a round of betting. The betting starts at the table with the player showing the highest board (similar with the fourth street – see above).
Once the betting for fifth street has equalized, the dealer will deal each active player the fourth and last up-card. Players still in the hand participate in a new betting round that will take place just like in the previous 2 rounds (the betting round starts with the player showing the highest board).
Once the betting for sixth street is equalized, the dealer deals each active player the final card, but this time face down (seventh street or the river card). Players still in the hand participate in the final round of betting. The betting proceeds exactly the same as the three previous rounds.
Once the betting for the seventh street was equalized, the betting is over.
Last step of the game is the showdown, where remaining active players show their cards and the best 5 card hand formed from any of the 7 cards each player has wins the pot. As this is a Hi/Lo game, it is possible to also have awarded half of the pot to the lowest hand. Having a low hand paid is not always something we have at each High / Low poker hand. A low hand must accomplish a few basic rules like: the 5 cards used to be 8 or lower in value (8 high card), all cards to be different (no pair accepted), flushes and straights do not count (therefore a A, 2, 3, 4, 5 hand will be counted and it is the lowest possible hand in Stud Hi Lo poker). In online poker, the software will determine automatically the best hand and the lowest hand (in any) at the table and will award the pot to the winning players. If we have both high and low hands winning, the pot will be divided half to each player.
The showdown is a process that takes place in a specified order. The first player to show the cards is the first player to have placed a bet or the last player who raised in any of the previous rounds. That means, that if in the seventh street we had a checked round, the rules for the showdown apply based on the previous round (sixth street) betting. Once the first player shows the cards, the showdown can continue around the table, clockwise: if the next player to show cards has a better hand or similar in value with the first player, he must show the cards in order to be able to claim the winnings; however if this next player has a lower hand he is not forced to show the cards and has the option to muck the cards. The same process applies to all the other players left active in the showdown.
In online poker you don’t have to worry about misreading your hand or accidentally throwing away / mucking your winning cards, the poker software will check all players’ cards and hands automatically, and if you have a winning hand combination, it will make sure you are awarded your winnings from the pot.
On the other hand, if the betting on any of the previous streets was not equalized, that is, one player bet or raised and no one called, there is no way to reach the showdown, and the pot is awarded to the player who made that bet. If this happens on earlier streets/rounds, no further cards are dealt, because the hand is over. That is why, in order to reach the showdown, there must be at least 2 active players left after the seventh street.
If a player runs out of chips before the end of the hand, there will be formed 2 side pots, and in online poker the software will award the appropriate winnings to each player.
If at the showdown, more than one player have a ranked hand as the best (equal hands) or more have an equal low hand, the pot will be split all among the winning players.
Don’t forget: practice for free the Seven-Card Stud High Low variation just by simply downloading the poker software and opening a free account (regular registration without depositing any real money).