Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo is a variant of Seven Card Stud, also known as Seven Card Stud 8-or-Better. For the basic rules, which both formats share, please read our Seven Card Stud article.
Low hands are ranked the same as Omaha Hi/Lo, with straights and flushes not preventing your lowest five unpaired cards being used for your low. To win, or "qualify" for the low half of the pot, a player must be able to make a hand of 8 high or lower, using five of their seven cards.
You may use any of your seven cards to make a five card high hand, and a different five of the seven to make a low hand. This means that five, six, or seven of your cards may count towards your final hand(s).
Seven Card Stud is typically played as Fixed Limit and you can see several cards removed from the deck as folded cards. This gives the opportunity to be able to calculate your outs to complete your hand.
The deal works the same as standard Seven Card Stud, with everyone paying an ante before receiving two facedown cards, and one face-up.
During the first round of betting, the player with the lowest ranked up-card must make a nominal bet. This is called the "bring in," and it's smaller than the normal opening bet size of the small blind.
There are five rounds of betting in both Seven Card Stud and Hi/Lo. Each round, or "street," can be raised to five increments of the bet size. The bet size on the first and second street is the low blind, but the last three streets are double, set at the big blind size.
After each of the first three rounds of betting, each player receives another face-up card.
After the fourth round of betting, when everyone has six cards, there is a card dealt facedown to each player, followed by a final round of betting.
As in standard Stud, if any player has a pair showing on the fourth card, all players have the option to double-raise the bet to the big blind on this street. Until someone exercises this option, bets can be at the small blind level. However, when any player makes a double raise, the following raises must also be in increments of the big blind.
Awarding the Pot
- For every pot and side pot, if no player in that pot has a qualifying low hand, the pot is awarded as high only.
- If there is an odd chip when any pot is divided into high and low, it goes to the high half of the pot.
- The high half of each pot is awarded first, with any odd chip being awarded to the player nearest to the Dealer button, i.e. first to the left of the player with the Dealer button.
- You do not have to "declare" which half of the pot you are claiming at showdown. Any player who has a winning hand will automatically show their cards and receive their share of the pot.
Important Strategy Tip
As in Omaha Hi/Lo, you should be wary of trying to win just half of the pot unless you believe that everyone else is playing for the other half, or you have an exceptionally strong chance of scooping all of that half.