How to Play Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo

Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo PokerSeven Card Stud Hi Lo (also known as Seven Card Stud High Low, Stud 8 or Better, and Stud Eight or Better) is an even tougher game to master than Seven Card Stud. If you want to learn how to play poker, Seven Card Stud Hi Lo is a very different game to Holdem, with different strategies and challenges.

In Stud 8 or Better players compete for both the high pot and the low pot, with hand rankings in for low being the same as Ace to Five Lowball. Again, only five cards from the seven dealt to each player can be used to make a hand.

Not every hand can qualify for low. As this is an ‘Eight or Better’ game, a low hand must have at least five cards equal to or less to an Eight, with no pairs, to qualify (straights and flushes don’t count).

Other than high and low pots being awarded, the game is played exactly the same as Seven Card Stud. The game is always played for fixed limits, players post the antes and establish the ‘bring-in’, and play commences through seven ‘streets’, or cards dealt, just as it does in Seven Card Stud.

From Fourth Street on, the player first to act is determined by who has the best poker hand showing (not including down cards),  and from Fifth Street all bets and raises are big bets (example $2 in a $1/$2 game).

At showdown, if no hand qualifies for low the whole pot is given to the high hand winner. If one hand or more qualifies for the low, the pot is split between the high and low winner. If two or more players tie for the best low hand, the low half of the pot is split between the winners. Again, ties for low are not split but suits (as ties for the ‘bring-in’ are).

Hand Rankings

Following are the best low hands in Seven Card Stud Hi Lo, in descending order of rank (with A-2-3-4-5 being the nut low hand).

1: A-2-3-4-5
2: A-2-3-4-6
3: A-2-3-5-6
4: A-2-4-5-6
5: A-3-4-5-6
6: 2-3-4-5-6
7: A-2-3-4-7
8: A-2-3-5-7
9: A-2-4-5-7
10: A-3-4-5-7
11: 2-3-4-5-7
12: A-2-3-6-7
13: A-2-4-6-7
14: A-3-4-6-7
15: 2-3-4-6-7
16: A-2-5-6-7
17: A-3-5-6-7
18: 2-3-5-6-7
19: A-4-5-6-7
20: 2-4-5-6-7
21: 3-4-5-6-7
22: A-2-3-4-8
23: A-2-3-5-8
24: A-2-4-5-8
25: A-3-4-5-8
26: 2-3-4-5-8
27: A-2-3-6-8
28: A-2-4-6-8
29: A-3-4-6-8
30: 2-3-4-6-8
31: A-2-5-6-8
32: A-3-5-6-8
33: 2-3-5-6-8
34: A-4-5-6-8
35: 2-4-5-6-8
36: 3-4-5-6-8
37: A-2-3-7-8
38: A-2-4-7-8
39: A-3-4-7-8
40: 2-3-4-7-8
41: A-2-5-7-8
42: A-3-5-7-8
43: 2-3-5-7-8
44: A-4-5-7-8
45: 2-4-5-7-8
46: 3-4-5-7-8
47: A-2-6-7-8
48: A-3-6-7-8
49: 2-3-6-7-8
50: A-4-6-7-8
51: 2-4-6-7-8
52: 3-4-6-7-8
53: A-5-6-7-8
54: 2-5-6-7-8
55: 3-5-6-7-8
56: 4-5-6-7-8

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