7 Card Stud 8/b or 7 Card Stud HighLow as it is also known, is a variation of 7 Card Stud Poker in which the pot is split between the highest and lowest hands. Players must make their hands using any combination a total of their 7 dealt cards, three of them face down and four face up. The game is played with 2-7 or sometimes eight players using a 52-deck without the jokers. High hands are standard poker hands but straights and flushes are not ranked for low hands and aces can be either high or low. To qualify a low hand must be below 8-7-6-5-4.
Play is as follows: Before the start of each round all players lay down an ante for the pot. Three cards are dealt to each player two of which are face down and one face up. This is known as ‘3rd street’ and the face up card is called the ‘door card’.
After checking their cards players lay down bets. The betting starts with the player showing the lowest ranking face up card who must put down a blind bet, known as a ‘bring in’ that is half the minimum bet for the table. Moving clockwise around the table the player after the bring in must either call by bringing the bet to the table’s lower limit or raise or fold. Betting continues around the table as usual with each player either calling, raising, of folding the previous bets. Only three rounds of betting are allowed at this stage unless there are only two players staying in the round in which case betting can continue unlimited.
A fourth card is dealt face up card to each player, known as ‘4th street’ and another round of betting follows this time beginning with the player showing the highest ranking cards. Because there are only two cards face up straights, flushes and full houses are not considered when ranking the hands to determine who opens the betting.
When all bets are called another two rounds follow known as ‘5th street’ and ‘6th street’. For each round players receive another face up card. In each round the player showing the highest ranking cards opens the round and then betting continues clockwise around the table. In these round the minimum bet is double the minimum in previous rounds. Finally a fourth card, the ‘7th street’ is dealt face down and followed by another round of betting, again starting with the player showing the lowest ranking cards.
After the 7th street comes the showdown in which players compare their hands. The pot is divided between the high and low hand and the low hand pot is split if there is a tie. If there are no qualifying low hands the high hand takes all of the pot.
If there are eight players at the table and they all stay to 7th street then it would require 8*7 = 56 cards! For this reason many casinos limit the number players to only seven. If eight players are taking part and the dealer runs out of cards then for the 7th street a single card is dealt face-up as a community card.