Stud Hi/Lo – Rules, Strategies, Tips
7 Card Stud is a very popular variant of poker games. Stud games use an “ante” which is a small fixed bet provided by each player before the dealing begins. The amount of an Ante differs from game to game but as a general rule usually does not exceed 25% of “the bring in”. Players lay their ante and the dealing begins. Dealing always starts with the player immediately to the left of the dealer. Two cards face down are dealt to each player and then one card face up is dealt to each player. Cards in stud are called “Streets”.
The betting begins with the lowest ranked card starting. There is usually a “cap” on the number if bets in each round which is usually limited to 3 or 4 per round. This continues through the fourth street. Before the betting begins if there is an exposed pair, the first player to bet following pair can choose to double their bet. If he decides not to double this bet, the next player is allowed to double his or her bet or double rise.
Before the fifth and sixth streets the dealer burns a card before dealing. The betting continues through the fifth and sixth streets with the exception of the pair rule. The seventh street is slightly different. The dealer deals each player their seventh street face down. The seventh street is also known as the “river card”. There is a further round of betting and then the showdown. The pot is split between the player or players with best scoring high hand and the player or players with the best low scoring hand.
Players must remember that cards from Ace to 8 are considered as low cards and 9 to Ace high cards. You must read the cards carefully. Decide which 2 hole cards (cards in your hand) and which 3 community cards make the best hand or hands when combined. Are you looking at a low hand or a high hand?
It is essential that players of all level, (beginners and intermediate players particularly) familiarize themselves and fully understand the odds of completing a hand. This is an essential part of Stud Poker Hi/Lo and one that too many times lets players down. It is also an integral part of all poker games. It is a skill that all players must learn.
It's hard work. Gambling. Playing poker. Don't let anyone tell you different. Think about what it's like sitting at a poker table with people whose only goal is to cut your throat, take your money, and leave you out back talking to yourself about what went wrong inside.
Stu Unger, Three-time WSOP Champion