7 Card Stud Hi Lo Poker

7 Card Stud Hi Lo is a popular variation on the normal 7 Card Stud game. In this variety, the pot is divided in two equal parts and both the highest and lowest hands receive half. It is, however, possible for the same player to be awarded the full pot if they qualify for both the best and worst hand on the table, often by forming two separate hands. 7 Card Stud Hi Lo is considered to be an advanced form of the normal 7 Card Stud and should generally only be played by players experienced with the normal version. However, any players experienced with other varieties of Hi Lo games such as Razz or Omaha will be able to grasp the single major difference between normal 7 Card Stud and 7 Card Stud Hi Lo.

Understanding the Lo Hand in 7 Card Stud Hi Lo

If you have an understanding of another Hi Lo type of game such as Omaha Hi Lo or Razz, you should be able to grasp the fundamentals of 7 Card Stud Hi Lo. Like Omaha Hi Lo, each pot is split in half and each half is given to the player with the most valuable and least valuable hand. 7 Card Stud Hi Lo is popular with experienced 7 Card Stud players. Like in any poker variety, the Ace is considered to be both a Hi and Lo card. In this way, the most powerful Lo hand (A2345) is also a quite valuable high hand - one that frequently wins the entire pot. Like Omaha Hi Lo, Stud Hi Lo games typically come with a qualifier of eight or lower. This means that, in order to be considered a Lo hand, a hand must not contain any cards higher than an 8.

Another similarity that 7 Card Stud Hi Lo has with Omaha Hi Lo is that they both do not consider straights or flushes to reduce the Lo quality of a hand. However, a hand could still be a Flush to win the Hi hand while having the lowest card on the table to win the Lo hand. Finally, if there are no hands that qualify for the Lo hand in 7 Card Stud Hi Lo, the player that won the Hi hand also takes the half designated for the Lo player. This happens a great deal more often than beginning players may think as, remember, only the players remaining in the hand at showdown qualify to participate in either hand. This often encourages players with obviously poor Hi hands to stay in the hand for a chance at the Lo half.

7 Card Stud Hi Lo Strategy

Most professional 7 Card Stud Hi Lo players will agree that it is better to go after Hi hands than it is to go after Lo ones. Statistically speaking, you will only qualify to even participate in the Lo hand about 1 out of every 5 times before you add in the likelihood that you will have the best Lo hand. You have a great deal of information about each player at the table through their face up cards. In general, this makes it relatively easy to determine whether they are chasing the Hi hand or the Lo hand. After making this determination, you can decide whether or not their up cards show a possibility that they will be able to take both (A2345, for example).

Bluffing in 7 Card Stud Hi Lo becomes very difficult depending on the amount of players still in the hand. Obviously, the more players - the more face up cards around the table. One of the only situations where bluffing can be effective is when your face up cards show an obvious low straight possibility while you might have only a pair. There is little point investing a great deal of money into bluffing a hand where the cards you are trying to convince your opponents you have were already folded by a previous player and you forgot.