Seven Card Stud Poker

Seven Card Stud Poker Strategy and Tips:

The basic principles and strategies for limit Seven Card Stud Poker (Hi/Lo) shown here are those that are generally recommended by the experts on the game. A good understanding of these basics is needed for all levels of competitive play.

In this poker game, the high hand winner must split the pot with the player with the best qualifying low hand. There is always a high hand winner but not always a low. For a hand to qualify for low, it must have five denominations no higher than an eight. Any five of your seven cards may be played for high and any five can be played for low.

Aces are played both high and low. Straights and flushes do not disqualify a hand for low, so a player ending with 5 4 3 2 A would have an unbeatable low hand and a 5 high straight to play for high. This hand would have an excellent chance of winning both ways. In this example, the player could also have another hand that is higher than the 5 high straight to play for high.

The most important thing to keep in mind in split pot games is the big profit difference between winning half the pot and “scooping” it all. Beginners tend to think that winning two split pots is equal to winning one full pot. Not so at all from a profit point of view! Scooping the pot usually builds a healthy addition to your stack of chips. Getting half often puts you barely ahead of where you were before you started playing the hand.

Winning Seven Card Hi/Lo players often have to settle for half, occasionally lose both high and low, but ALWAYS play only hands that have a good chance of winning it all. They never play for one side only unless they have an almost or certain unbeatable one-way hand or have a probable “escape” on the seventh street already made.

The second most important thing to do in Seven Hi/Lo is to get out EARLY when it looks like you don’t have the best probable scoop hand! As soon as hands that start out with good possibilities for both high and low, turn into probable losers for either end, they should be folded unless they are almost certain winners for half of the pot. This also applies to strong high hands that are not an almost certain high-end winner, that will probably have to split with a low.