Perhaps one of the most difficult poker varieties, which is preferred by professionals or amateurs with a great gaming experience. For the use in the game of low-hands “from the ace of the extra clue”, this type of poker was called the 7-card stud “Eight or better.” This is a truly dynamic and aggressive game that requires in-depth knowledge of poker strategies and useful tactics.
This game originated from a seven-card stud. Therefore, most of the rules inherent in stud poker remained unchanged. It must be remembered that only in the high-low version of the total bank can be divided between several players on the principle of “split”. This means that the player with the best high-hand wins the high-part of the pot, and the second low-part is received by the player with the strongest blow-out combination.
Most often, the seven-card stud high-low is played with a fixed bet limit (Fixed-Limit or short FL), where the size of the minimum and maximum bets, as well as raising each round is limited. For example, in the “7-card Stud Hi Lo game FL $ 1 / $ 2” in the first two rounds Bet or Raise will be equal to $ 1, and in the following three rounds – $ 2. Each betting round allows for no more than four bets: Bet, Raise, Re-raise (still one raise).
In a 7-card stud, the player needs to collect the strongest high low-combination of 5 cards. A player who holds both hands can claim both sides of the pot. In the stud, there are no such concepts as “common cards” or “board.” For five rounds, each player receives only pocket cards, 3 of which are dealt face down, and another 4 cards – face up.
For the formation of a common bank in a 7-card hi-low stud, Ante is used. Ante has to put each player who wants to participate in dealing. The Ante size always depends on the limit of stakes set in a particular game, and on average is 1/10 of the Big Blind. The higher the stakes, the higher the Ante will be.
This stage of the game begins with the first handing of pocket cards. Each player receives two face down and one face up card, which in the stud is called “the door card”. The player with the low “Door card” starts the first round of betting. He has to make another required bet – Bring in. According to the rules of the game, the Bring-in should be equal to either half the minimum bet, or the whole bet, as the player wishes. Then, the play continues clockwise. When all active players equalize their bets, the initial betting round is considered completed.
Each player receives a fourth upcard, which is called “fourth street”. The player starts with the best combination of two upcards. He can Bet or Check. If the player chooses a Check, the right for decision making goes to the next player clockwise. If the player who opens the round places a Bet, then his opponents can only make a Call, Raise, or exit the game.
!!! Even if one of the players has an open “Pair”, he is not allowed to make a “Double Bet”. This option is provided only by the rules of the Seven-card stud. In the high-low variant, the first two betting rounds take place at the lower betting limit.
At this stage of the game, the fifth card or street is also dealt face up. The player starts with the strongest three open cards. In this betting round, players have to Raise the minimum bet to the upper limit. Otherwise, betting rules and procedures remain the same.
All players receive the sixth open card or “Sixth street”. Then follows an alternate betting round, which opens the player with the strongest combination of four open cards.
The seventh card or “Street” is dealt face down. Players that have reached this betting round continue to play at the highest bet limits. The right to go first remains for the player with the best combination of open cards. At the end of the last betting round, active players can proceed to the final stage of the game – the showdown.
If at the end of the last betting round in the game there are two or more active players left, the winner of the hand is determined by the strength of their card combination. The first to open the cards is the player who made the last bet or Raise the final round of betting. Cards are opened clockwise. The best high-combination wins the high-part of the pot, and the strongest low-combination wins the low-part of the pot. The player who has collected the best hi and low combination, takes away all bank. If the winning combinations have collected several players, in this case, a common bank is divided between them. If no player has been able to collect the combination, the bank will be taken by the owner of the best hand.
As in any other poker game, the distribution in the seven-card stud Hi-Lo may not reach the showdown. For example, in one of the betting rounds a player makes a bet that no one wants to equalize and all opponents simply fold. In any case, if the total bank is played out, the whole described process of the game begins anew.
Sometimes it happens that all eight players reach the seventh street, and the traditional 52-card deck is simply not enough. In this case, the seventh upcard is counted, which is considered common. Any player can use to form his best hand at the showdown.