Intermediate Strategy

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As with all types of poker 7 card stud 8/b requires a careful betting strategy if you want to succeed. Depending on your starting hand you will either want to take things slowly or bet hard to try and keep the number or opponents in the pot to a minimum. In 7 card stud Hi Lo, as the game is also known, the split pot can make manipulating other players tricky because the low hand often keep players limping along in the hope of drawing a winner on 6th and 7th street. However, this can be played to your advantage and here’s how.

The first four cards are what will make or break each round. That is to say by 4th street you should be able to see your winning hand and should be betting accordingly. The key point here is that on 5th street the minimum bet is doubled so make your decision to fold or continue before it starts costing you even more.

If you are holding a high pair of face cards then bet hard and fast to push out opponents unless of course you can see a higher pair face up with someone else. However if you hand hasn’t improved by 5th street then let it go.

Likewise, if on 3rd street you have a pair of aces with another high card or a low card then go in strong but don’t take it to 5th without strengthening your hand on the way. If you are holding three high cards to a straight flush then take things easy until you get to 5th street. This means call or check as much as possible without raising. If you have made your straight or flush then play to win, otherwise pull out.

Two low cards with a high towards a flush should also be taken slowly until 5th street. If you haven’t made your flush then get out.

In 7 card stud 8/b fours and fives are often key cards to make low hands. Keep an eye on your opponents showing cards to see if there are any there. Also if a door card is paired up on 4th street then your opponent could very well be holding a trip that will be hard to beat. Many players forget to also consider the cards that have been folded. Pay attention to these and don’t get caught chasing a hand that requires cards that are in folded pile! Deciding whether or not to check or bet is always a tricky decision. One rule of thumb is that if you are holding a strong hand that you would call a bet with if someone else raised then you should raise rather than check. This will push others to fold who are wavering whereas if they stay in the round then may get lucky and draw a winning straight on 6th or 7th street. Unless you hold a nut or near nut hand, that is an unbeatable hand, you should always try and reduce the number or opponents in the pot by raising.