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Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo (8 or Better) Poker Rules

Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo (8 or Better) Poker Rules

Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo

Stud 8 or Better is a high-low version of the 7-Card Stud. This game belongs to the “split-pot” type of poker in which the highest hand takes one half of the bank and the lowest takes the other. The game rules and procedures are the same as in the Seven Card Stud. The difference in Hi-Lo is that the bets cannot be doubled on the fourth street with the presence of a pair and that at the end of the game the pot is split between the high and the low hands.

Almost all of the 7-Card Stud games are played in a form of 8 or Better which means that the cards higher than 8 cannot be used in low combinations.

Basic Points

Here are some basic points to know about Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo:
  • Difficulty level: Medium
  • Time required: 30 minutes
You will need:
  • 52-card deck
  • Chips
  • From 2 to 7 players

Game Play

At the start of the game, all players are required to place antes. Starting from the left, the dealer gives every player two closed cards (also called hole cards) and one open, also known as the door card. Every player then checks their hole cards. The player with the smallest open card has to make a small bet called the bring-in. The betting round continues towards the left of the player with the smallest door card. The players might call, raise or fold their cards. After the betting round is over, each player is dealt another open card. This card is called the fourth street or the turn. Then another betting round begins starting from the player with the highest open cards. From this moment, the player with the highest open cards is the one to start the rest of the betting rounds. After each player receives their fifth card, which is dealt face-up, another betting round takes place. It is followed by the distribution of the sixth (open) card to each of the remaining players and yet another betting round. The seventh card is being dealt to each player face-down and followed by the last betting round.

After the showdown, the player with the highest five-card combination collects one half of the pot, whereas the one with the lowest hand takes the other half.

In a 7-card Stud 8 or Better poker game, there are some instances when none of the players collect the low hand. In this case the highest hand gets the whole pot.


The most important thing to note when stating to play 7-Card Stud 8 or Better is that the players receive 7 cards each to make their 5-card combinations and they can make two different card sets in order to make up the best low and high hands. In other words, if the player has A-A-2-3-4-6-6 they may claim both for the highest hand with two pair – A-A-6-6 and for the lowest with A-2-3-4-6.

In a high-low game of Seven Card Stud 8 or Better, the lowest card combination cannot contain cards, higher than 8. This means that if the player has A-2-4-6-9-10-10 after dealing the final seventh card, they cannot collect a low hand as the best possible low combination is A-2-4-6-9.

Another important thing to know about 7-Card Stud 8 or Better is that a straight or a flush does not affect the strength of the hand. So if the player has A-2-3-4-5 of hearts, even if it is a straight flush, this combination will be perceived as a wheel or the lowest hand.

How to Determine the Lowest Hand

  • The players need to collect 5-card combinations that would include cards of different value from ace to eight (the ace acts as the lowest card), to claim the low part of the bank. The best low-hand is A-2-3-4-5 (also known as the “wheel”).
  • The low-hand can only be won by one player having the lowest high card.
  • If two or more players have the same high card in their low combinations then the winner is determined by the second highest card (as well as the third, the fourth or even the fifth highest card, if needed) in their combinations. For example, 2-3-4-6-8 is a better low hand than A-2-4-7-8.
  • Flush and straight do NOT influence the low-hand strength in Seven Card Stud 8 or Better.
  • Any card combination can be used to form the low or the high hand, as well as some of the cards may be used both for high and for low.

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