Updated In May, 2013 - 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo is not your standard poker game. Most players are hoping, at best, to claim half of the pot in a single hand – either the High Hand or the Low Hand. This cuts the standard profit in half, requiring a player to double their win percentage in order to make the same profit they would normally find in traditional poker variants. In this 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo Strategy, we're going to go over a few valuable tactics a player can use to alleviate unnecessary chip loss and maximize net profits. I have a complete list of all the mixed poker games that include 7 card stud hi-lo below.
7 Card Stud Hi-Lo Strategy - Value of the High Hand
What so many players don't tend to realize is that the Low Hand in 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo is incredibly hard to win. It's not a matter of competing against lower hands, but the simple fact that a player must be dealt at least 5 cards of 8 or below, without pairing them. Because less experienced players don't realize how difficult this can be, they put entirely too much value into a moderately low starting hand, such as 2-3-6.
Yes, the hand has potential for progressing into a winning low hand, but it has absolutely no High Hand value. If it doesn't become a great low hand, you are left with nothing. Don't make the common mistake of placing a hefty wager on a low starting hand when you have no high hand potential to back it up.
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7 Card Stud Hi-Lo Strategy – Scooping the Pot
The only way to make a respectable profit from 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo without spending a great deal of time on the felt is to scoop the pot. Scooping the pot is when a player wins the entire pot, rather than one half. This can be done in two ways – either by winning the High Hand and Low Hands, or by winning the High Hand when no one else qualifies to take Low pot.
The first option is going to require a very impressive hand, such as A-A-2-3-5-6-6 (High Hand: Two Pair, Ace High; Low Hand: A-2-3-5-6), or A-2-3-4-5-*-* High and Low Hand: A-2-3-4-5). The second option is mostly luck, but if you are confident you have the High Hand won, and sense someone else is close to developing a qualifying Low Hand, you can always toss a large raise to scare them away from the pot.
7 Card Stud Hi-Lo Strategy - Dominating Door Cards
There is so much emphasis put on the concept of Starting Hands, that many players tend to overlook the dominating nature of the Door Card. In some cases, having an excellent Door Card can win the hand very early on, regardless of your hidden cards. For instance, an Ace Door is the most threatening card in 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo since it is the best possible card for both High and Low Hands. If your opponent(s) are showing mediocre Door Cards, 9 or 10 for example, you may be able to swipe the Antes with a moderately sized bet.
There's a reverse benefit from this theory. What if you have a terrible Door Card, like a 9, but you hidden cards are excellent, such as Pocket Aces? This is the easiest hand to take advantage of, drawing chips into the pot early on, as your opponents will take you for a weak player.