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Poker High-Low Seven-Card Stud Game Tips

Apr 17, 2008
High-low seven-card stud is regular Seven-Card Stud in which the high and low hands split the pot However, the same hand may win both ways, using different five-card combinations from the full seven cards. In most games, no declarations are required as to whether the player is trying for high or for low.

Of all the high-low games this is the most appealing and the most exciting. There are two-card, five-card and six-card High-Low Stud games, and a new kind of six-card High-Low Stud called Symington, that are all quite popular; but none of them offers the over-all excitement that the seven-card game does.

One of the great thrills in Poker is to win a pot both ways in a high-low game. This happens more often in the seven-card game than in any other, simply because you have more cards dealt to you from which to pick out both a win- ning high hand and a winning low hand.

Every High-Low Poker player's dream is to hold something like this:
Down cards: 4* 6 A 4 A 2 Upcards: A 5 OK S? 7 A3
The upcards make it appear that you might have a good low, but the hand looks quite harmless for high. Actually you have a straight flush for high and a "perfect low": 7-5-4-3-2 for low. In this game the Ace counts high only.

This hand leads me to the subject of the winning strategy in this game: Generally play for low. Sometimes your low combinations will turn into straights and flushes and you win win high instead, or may win both ways.

The aim of all Poker players is to have a sure thing on the last round of betting. This can often happen to a player going for low almost never to a player going for high. Let's say you have an A-K flush made and no pairs are showing on the board at the end of the hand. This fine hand can easily lose to a completely concealed full house.

I differ with most experts on the type of hand that is worth playing at the start Many experts advise playing only with three low cards or three of a kind. I believe in playing on quite a few different combinations. The time to drop is after you receive your next card, when you have two up and two down. However, if you are the kind of player who once you start in a pot can't stop, the advice I am going to give you may get you into some trouble.

Playing for High Any high pair or better is worth playing once, but drop immediately if you don't get three of a kind or two pair on the next card. Here is a very important word of warning: I just wish I had the money I have seen lost on two pair in Seven-Card High-Low Stud. So be prepared to drop even your two pair if you don't improve to a full house in the next card or so, or if the betting gets too high. Almost any three-card flush or straight should be given one chance, but drop immediately if there is no improvement on the next card.

Playing for Low All authorities say any three cards headed by an Eight are worth playing. I say play any three cards headed by a Nine, but drop if you get a pair or draw a Ten or higher on the next card. Play once on a low pair and a low card. This is quite contrary to all other authorities. If you draw another low card or three of a kind, stay in for another card. Otherwise, drop. I would even play on this three-card holding: Q 9? 5 V2. But I drop next time unless I draw a fourth heart or a card below a Nine that does not pair me. In a liberal game I would play once more even if I drew a Nine.

The determining factor on borderline hands is: What do I have to gain? If a questionable hand might turn into a two-way winner, it is worth while taking some risk. Another time to take a chance is when the element of surprise might give you a big pot. An example is when you hold what looks like a low hand and you actually have a concealed full house.

Here is the kind of hand on which you might call even a large bet and stay in for the last card, because you have so much to gain:
Down cards: 5 07
Upcards: OA *4 OQ 42

If you draw the right low card, you will get low. If you draw any Diamond you will probably win high. And if you draw a very low Diamond you might easily win both ways.

Change just one card make either the five or the seven of Diamonds in the hole some other suit and I wouldn't dream of calling a big bet, in spite of my chance for low.
About the Author
Malcolm Blake has researched into entertainment and many types of games including modern Zune games .
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