7-Card Stud Hi-Lo Poker is a challenge from top to bottom. It switches the action with the high card taking the lead and there are 2 winning hands: the highest and lowest. Play your cards right and you can win both and take the whole pot.
The set up for 7-Card Stud Poker and its Hi-Lo sister are pretty much the same, but in Hi-Lo, 2 hands split the pot: the highest and the lowest. A low hand can't have any card higher than an 8 and in 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo rules there are no straights or flushes.
For example, get an A, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of spades and you might win highest hand with the ace as high card. You’ll likely win lowest hand too with the 5 as your highest low card. Aces play as both high and low.
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The highest hand follows the hand ranking standard to all poker rules. A low hand is always ranked from its highest card downwards, with the lowest high card taking the lead.
If two players have the same high card, then the next lowest card is used, and so on. If all hands have a card higher than an 8, then none rank as a low hand and the highest hand takes the whole pot.
Let’s start with how to pick the right table. The limit, or min and max bet and raise amounts for each round are preset. Look for the FL (Fixed Limit) symbol alongside games posted in our Lobby to determine the stakes or small and big bet..
Example: $10/$20 Fixed 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo game
First 2 rounds small bet & raise: $10
Last 2 rounds big bet raise: $20
In a Fixed Limit game like this, each round has 1 bet and a max of 3 raises, after which all players must call or fold. The 3-raise limit is called the cap. If there are only 2 players left in the hand, the cap is increased to a max of 5 raises.
Readmore on Game Limits.
The game starts with every player making a contribution or small bet to the pot, called the ante. The Pocket is the first two cards dealt face-down. The face-up card that follows is called the door.
The player showing the lowest door must post the bring-in, a mandatory initial bet of usually half the small bet. The bring-in player can raise this bet to the full small bet amount.
If two players are showing the same door card, suit rankings decide which card is weakest. Suits rank from high to low as spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.
To stay in the game all players must call, raise or fold to the bring-in bet. Betting begins to the bring-in player's left, and continues clockwise. If the bring-in opens with half the small bet, the first raise completes the bring-in by raising it to the small bet limit.
After this, raises must be the small bet amount.
Example: $10/$20 Fixed 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo game
Bring-in bet: $5
Raise: $5, completing the bring in by reaching the small bet
Next raise: $10
Once all the bring-in bets have been called, each player is dealt another card, face up called fourth street. The highest showing hand opens the round of betting. If a pair is showing on fourth street, that player has the option of doubling the bet amount, and raising the stakes for this betting round. If not, fourth street bets and raises are limited to the small bet.
Example: $10/$20 Fixed 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo game – fourth street
Bring-in bet: Option of doubling the bet to $20
Next raises: $20
If the bring-in does not double up, the bet and raise for this round stays at $10.
Another card is dealt to each player face up, called fifth street. The highest hand opens the betting round with the big bet, say $20 in a $10/$20-stake game.
The next round is called sixth street, and also kicks off with the big bet.
The final round is called the river. Each player is dealt 1 card face down, for a total of 7 cards in each hand. Like the last round, the highest showing hand starts the betting with the big bet, or $20 in a $10/$20-stake game.
Too many players on the river? If you have 8 players in the game on the river, you won’t have enough cards in the deck (7 x 8 = 56). The dealer flips a single community card used by all 8 players.
The showdown happens when all bets have been called. The last player to bet or raise shows their hand first. If all players checked through and nobody bet on the river, the player to the left of the dealer show first with action continuing clockwise, unless a hand is weaker than the winning hand shown. In this case, you can show, or fold without showing, called a muck. If you make a bet and all the other players fold, you ‘buy the pot’ and have the option to show or muck your cards. That’s where the bluffing comes in.
The highest and lowest 5-card hands split the pot. A player can use any 5 cards in their hand to win either the high or the low, or both. If the pot doesn't split evenly, it’s called an uneven split pot and the player with the high hand takes the extra chips.
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