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The structure of Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo is the same as Seven Card Stud, with the only difference being the possibility of two winning hands, the high and the low. While the betting rounds are the same as 7 Card Stud, the fact that a low hand has the potential to win in addition to the highest hand, makes the strategy and thought process different. In 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, it is possible for one player to win both the low and the high hands. There will always be a high winner, but not necessarily a low, which will be explained below.

Bets and play

To begin a hand of 7 Card Stud, up to eight players must put up an ante. An ante is a bet that essentially creates a pot. Unlike a blind, an ante does not make up part of a later bet; it is the same amount for all players and must be made by all players who wish to participate. The first round deals each player two face down cards, and one face up card. The card showing is called the “door card.” Once all players have been dealt these three cards, the player with the lowest showing card is responsible for putting up the “bring in.” The bring in is a bet that gets the action started. While it is a fraction of the required bet, the bet can also be made in full, if a player is confident about his hand. Any player wishing to remain in the hand, must act now by calling, folding, or raising.

When the initial round of betting is finished, the dealer must burn one card and then deal another card face up to each player. This card is referred to as “4th street.” After every player has two cards showing, the player with the highest (not the lowest as in the previous round) showing combination of cards will start the

betting. In the event that two hands are equal in rank, the player who sits nearest the dealer will act first in 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo. By this time it is okay for players to bet at the maximum table limit.

After the second betting round takes place in 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, the next two rounds, “5th street” and “6th street,” are carried out in the same fashion as 4th street, so that each player will have two cards face down and four cards face up. Next, the final card, “7th street,” will be dealt face down. After betting, any players who are still in the hand must face showdown.

How to win the game

This is where 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo is different from 7 Card Stud. As previously stated, there is the potential for both a high and a low hand to win, while the most profitable scenario being the same player win for both the high and the low hand. When this happens, the player wins the entire pot, which is called “scooping the pot.” Otherwise, if two players win, one with the high hand and one with the low, the pot is split. In 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, a pot can also be quartered, should there be two low hands equally ranked. There is also a chance that no low hand will win, thus the alternative name for 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, “Seven Card Stud Eights or Better.”Since the best low hand is an A, 2, 3, 4, 5, (also called “the wheel”), a hand that doesn’t include any cards of value less than 8, is ineligible to qualify for the low win.

Playing 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo is challenging and rewarding. If you can play with the mentality that you are in every hand to take the entire pot, then you will ultimately be more successful at 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo. Once you adopt this mind frame, you will be ahead of the curve at any 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo table you sit down at.

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