Beginners Strategy


7 Card Stud 8/b, or 7 Card Stud Hi Lo as it is known, is a complex game that requires a lot a skill to master. For new comers to the game the first step to improving your winning chances is to understand that 7 card stud 8/b is a split pot game. The final pot is split between the high and low hands and that means less chips for you. This is one the most important considerations in your strategy because as large as the pot may seem you will have to split it with other players unless you can scoop the pot which means winning both the high and low hand pots. The low pot can be split among several players further reducing its value.

All this means that when you consider your hand you should be aiming to scoop or at least win the high hand. Don’t focus on low hands that may seem tempting because they are an alternative when you don’t draw good cards to start with. Low hands are very often split and when you consider what it might cost you to get there in raised bets it is often not worth the chips. Of course if you have a good strong low hand you should play it but don’t make low hands your goal on each round.

The best low hand is 5-4-3-2-A as this can’t be beat but it is also a strong high hand because it gives you a straight. When you consider your cards always look for both a high and a low hand before you start laying down chips to get to 7th street.

Another important tip that many beginners miss is to pay attention to your opponents face up cards including those that fold. Although the player may not be in the round anymore neither are the cards that they held and that will affect your chances of winning.

So what hands are good to go with after your initial 3rd street draw? Any set or three cards the same is a great starting hand. You have good chances of making a full house or even four of a kind so take these cards all the way to 7th street.

Any three low cards towards either a straight or a flush. If your straight or flush comes through you are on you way to the high hand and if not you may still take the low. Three low cards with an ace or a low pair with an ace is a hand that has potential but you must know when to abandon it if things don’t work out. If by 5th street the hand hasn’t improved to a winner and you can see two or more low cards drawn with other players you should fold unless you can check to get to 6th street.

As a general rule you should only play an early strong hand. If you can’t see anything good at 4th street then get out early and wait for the next round.