Eight or Better – Seven Card Stud Poker Hi/Low

Rules Index:
Description
Betting Rounds
Strategy
Tie Hands
Poker Winning Hands

Seven Card Stud Hi/Low (8 or Better) Description

Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, a game for between 2-8 players, is today among the most popular versions of Poker. The game has gained popularity, both in the US and abroad, due to its true Poker feel and highly challenging game play. Betting in Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo consists of an initial Ante, preceded by 5 Betting Rounds. Throughout the game each player receives 3 face-down cards and 4 face up cards. Each player creates the highest valued and/or lowest valued qualifying Poker hand(s), using any combination of 5 of his/her 7 total cards.

The Buy-in

In order to Sit-in (join) a Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Table, Members must purchase a minimum amount of Chips to play with (“Buy-in”). At most of the poker rooms, the minimum Buy-in amount is 10 times the Lower Limit Stake of that particular table (i.e. at a $1/$2 Table the Member must Buy-in with a minimum of $10).

Ante

Before the initial deal of the cards, each Member must place an initial Ante (opening Bet), equaling one half of the Table’s Lower Limit Stake (rounded down to the lowest $1), in the center of the Table, to seed the Pot. Each Member is then dealt 2 face down Hole Cards and 1 face up Door Card.

Betting Limits

Many poker rooms offer a variety of Tables, designed for different numbers of Players, and offering various Table Betting Limits.

In the game of Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, each Table has both a Lower and Higher Limit Stake (Betting amount). A Table’s Lower Limit Stake is always half the Higher Limit Stake (i.e. a $1/$2 Table, or a $5/$10 Table).

In the first¬†Betting Round¬†(see the Betting Rounds below), of a Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo game, Members Bet (wager) in multiples of no less than one half of that Table’s Lower Limit Stake (“Bring-in”), and no more than that Table’s Lower Limit Stake.

In the second Betting Round, of a Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo game, Members Bet (wager) in multiples of that Table’s Lower Limit Stake. However, in the event that a Member is showing a pair, with his/her initial 2 face up cards, at the beginning of the second Betting Round, Members have the option to Bet in multiples of that Table’s Lower or Higher Limit Stake. If a Member Bets at the Table’s Higher Limit Stake, then all following Members must Bet at the Table’s Higher Limit Stake.

In the final three Betting Rounds, of a Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo game, Members Bet in multiples of that Table’s Higher Limit Stake.

Seven Card Stud Hi/Low (Eight or Better)- Betting Rounds:

There are five possible Betting Rounds in Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo.

After the initial deal of the cards, the first Betting Round is set at the Bring-in Bet amount (one half of that Table’s Lower Limit Stake) and no more than that Table’s Lower Limit Stake.

After the initial deal of the Members’ first 2 Hole Cards and 1 Door Card are dealt, the first Betting Round is initiated by the Member with the lowest valued card showing, **by suit (see Poker Hand Value Chart below). This Member is required to Bet no less than the Bring-in amount (half of the Table’s Lower Limit Stake), up to the Table’s Lower Limit Stake.

**Card suits are valued in the following order, with Spades being of the highest value, followed by Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs (lowest value).

After the second deal of the cards (“Fourth Street”), in which each Sitting-In Member receives an additional card, face up, there is a second Betting Round. This Betting Round is initiated by the Sitting-in Member with the ***highest valued card(s) showing. This Betting Round is set at the Table’s Lower Limit Stake. However, in the event that a Member is showing a pair, with his/her 2 face up cards, Members have the option to Bet in multiples of that Table’s Lower or Higher Limit Stake. If a Member Bets at the Table’s Higher Limit Stake, during the second Betting Round, then all following Members must Bet at the Table’s Higher Limit Stake.

***In the event that 2 or more Member’s showing card(s) signify a tie, the Betting Round is initiated by the Member with the highest valued Poker hand and sitting closest to the left of the Dealer (first Member to the left of the Chip Box), in a clockwise fashion.

After the third and fourth deals of the cards (“Fifth Street” and “Sixth Street”), in which each Sitting-In Member receives an additional card, face up, there is a third and fourth Betting Round. These Betting Rounds are both initiated by the Member with the highest valued card(s) and are set at the Table’s Higher Limit Stake.

After the fifth deal of the cards (“The River”), in which each Sitting-In Member receives a final card, face down, there is a fifth and final Betting Round. This Betting Round is initiated by the Member with the highest valued card(s) and is set at the Table’s Higher Limit Stake.

Betting Rounds always proceed in a clockwise fashion, from one active Member to the next. Each Member must either:

  1. Check – Pass the option to act to the next active Member.
  2. Bet – Place a Betting Rounds initial increase to the amount that each of the following Members must place in the Pot, in order to remain in the game.
  3. Raise – Place a Betting Round’s 2nd, 3rd or 4th increase to the amount that each of the following Members must place in the Pot, in order to remain in the game.
  4. Call – Equal the previous active Member’s Betting amount in that Betting Round and remain in the game (In the first Betting Round each Member must at least equal the amount of the Big Blind).
  5. Fold – Discard hand and no longer remain active to participate in that game. The Member forfeits the amount (if any) that he/she has previously Bet during that game.

In keeping with conventional Poker rules, within each Betting Round there can be no more than one Bet and three additional Raises (“Raise”, “Reraise” & “Cap”). Once a Cap occurs, the following Members will only be able to Call or Fold.

A Betting Round is concluded when:

  1. All active Members have Checked in Turn. or
  2. All active Members have matched the last Member to increase the amount (Bet/Raise) to be placed in the Pot, during that Betting Round. or
  3. All previous Members have chosen to Fold, leaving only one active Player. This last remaining player automatically receives the Pot. In this case both the Betting Round and game are automatically terminated.

The River Community Board card

Occasionally there are not enough cards in the deck to give each player his/her own final seventh card, the River, face down. In this case one card will be placed, face up, in the center of the table. This Community Boardcard will be shared by all remaining Sitting-in Members when determining their final hand (see The Showdown below).

The Showdown

Once the fifth Betting Round is completed, if more than one Member remains active in the game, there is a “Showdown”. In the Showdown, each active Member may utilize any combination of 5 of his/her 7 total cards, to create the highest valued and/or lowest valued qualifying 5 card Poker hand(s).
The standard poker rules are:

  1. The active Member who creates the highest valued Poker hand wins 50% of the Pot, minus the percentage of the Pot won by any Members holding higher valued All-in hands and the “Rake”.
  2. The active Member who creates the lowest valued Poker hand wins 50% of the Pot, minus the percentage of the Pot won by any Members holding lower valued All-in hands and the “Rake”.
    1. In order to qualify as the lowest valued Poker hand, the Member must create a Poker hand containing no card higher than an 8.
    2. Straights or Flushes are not applied when vying for the lowest valued Poker hand (i.e. and A-2-3-4-5 is the lowest valued Poker hand).
  3. An active Member who creates both the highest and the lowest valued Poker hands wins 100% of the Pot, minus the percentage of the Pot won by any Members holding higher or lower valued All-in hands and the “Rake”.
    1. No “Crossovers” are permitted in Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo (i.e. a Q-K-A-2-3 is not valued as a Straight).
  4. If none of the active Members are able to create a qualifying Lo hand the Member with the highest valued Poker hand wins 100% of the Pot, minus the percentage of the Pot won by any Members holding higher or lower valued All-in hands and the “Rake”.

If the active Member with the highest and or lowest valued Poker hand is “All-in”, that Member receives the appropriate percentage (50% or 100%) of the Pot total, up until the time that they were All-in. (A Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Poker game can have as many All-in Pots as there are active Members, minus one.) The remainder of the Pot goes to the active Member(s) with the next highest and/or lowest valued Poker hand(s).

Tie Hands

In the event that 2 or more active Members participating in the Poker hand’s Showdown hold equal ranking (by combination) hands the winner is determined by the highest and/or lowest card (i.e. a pair of Aces beats a pair of Kings for the Hi hand and a 2 beats a 3 for the Low hand).

Should the Poker hands remain tied (i.e. a pair of Kings vs. a pair of Kings or low card 2 vs. low card 2), the highest and/or lowest valued card not held in common (the “Kicker”) determines the game’s winner(s).

In the event of exact ties in Poker hand value, between 2 or more active Members, the appropriate percentage of the Table’s Pot will be split evenly between those Members. In the event of extra odd Chip(s) the first winning Member to the left of the Dealer, in a clockwise fashion, will receive the odd Chip(s).

Auto Muck Losing Hand

Members participating in the Showdown, whose hands are of a lower value than an already showing hand, are offered the option to not show (“Muck”) their losing hands to the other participants at the Table. The automatic Mucking of non-winning hands protects Members from unknowingly revealing his/her hand to the Table’s other participants.

If a Member checks the “Auto Muck Losing Hand” box, his/her non-winning hand will automatically be Mucked, if there are higher valued hands already showing.

If a Member wins a hand by virtue of being the only remaining active Member, his/her winning hand will not be shown to the other Members participating at the Table by default. If this Member presses the “Show Hand” button, his/her winning hand will be shown to the other Members.

Rank of Hands:

  • Straight flush
  • Four of a kind
  • Full house
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a kind
  • Two pair
  • One pair
  • High card