7 Card Stud Hi-Lo – Compete for Two Pots

Posted on May 4, 2015 by Denise Marie

7 Card Stud Hi-Lo is a variation on 7 Card Stud – with the difference being that the players are competing for two pots – the highest and the lowest. Although this sounds easier, there is still a lot of skill and strategy involved!


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Sequence of Play

Players place an ante on the table. The ante is set by the card room, and is not applicable in games where increments are $0.50/$1.00.

3rd Street – three cards are dealt – two “hole” cards, and one visible “door card”.

At this point, the Player with the lowest card must bring-in the betting.

First round of betting – options are to check, fold, bet, or raise.

4th Street – the fourth card is dealt – face-up.

Betting round – options are to check, fold, bet, or raise.

5th Street – the fifth card is dealt – face-up.

Betting round – options are to check, fold, bet, or raise.

6th Street – the sixth card is dealt – face-up.

Betting round – options are to check, fold, bet, or raise.

River Card /7th Street- the final card is dealt – facedown.

Final round of betting follows. If two or more Players are still vying for the pot when the betting concludes, the hands at the table are turned face-up.

The Showdown! All remaining Players create the best possible five-card high and five-card low poker hand using: any 5 of the 7 Cards to create a high-hand or any 5 of the 7 Cards to create a low-hand.

The two Players with the best high and low hands split the pot!

** Note: It is not always possible to create both a high and low hand; in this case, the winner with the only qualifying hand wins the entire pot. It is possible for one Player to win the entire pot by having both the highest and the lowest hands. If two Players tie on either a low or a high hand, then they win a quarter of the pot – this is known as the pot being “quartered”.

Betting Rules

As per normal poker rules – playing and betting proceeds in a clockwise direction.

All Players must first ante before they receive their initial cards, except the $0.50/$1 game which has no ante.

There are five betting rounds in a complete game of Seven-Card Stud, not including the ante.

On the first round of betting, the Player with the lowest value door card “brings-in” and starts the betting – equal to at least half the minimum bet for the game. In proceeding rounds, the Player with the highest hand initiates the betting. If hands tie, the Player to the left of the dealer acts first.

Betting increments in the game determine the bets. In a game of $2 and $4 betting increments, the first two rounds of betting and raising are set at the lower level of $2, the other three rounds of betting and raising are set at the higher level of $4.

The exception to this rule is if any Player displays a pair with their 2 face-up cards on 4th Street. In this circumstance, all Players have the option to bet either the lower limit or the higher limit. If a Player bets the higher limit, then all subsequent raises must be made at the higher limit.

The maximum allowable number of bets per Player during any betting round is four. This includes a (1) bet, (2) raise, (3) re-raise, and (4) cap. The term cap is used to describe the 3rd raise in a round since betting is then capped and can’t be raised further. Once capped, Players will have only the option of calling or folding.

In betting rounds where Players have folded, the first active Player left of the Disc/Dealer is first to act.


A “big pair” is worth betting on, unless another Player is betting aggressively on what seems to be a very good hand.

When there are less than four Players at the table, you still lose money if the pot is quartered.

Decide quickly if you are eligible to play the low hand, and adjust your betting accordingly.

Fifth Street is a make or break point. As the bet amount doubles each round, ensure your hand can produce a win at the end of the game. This will minimize your loss.

It is advisable to fold if another player’s exposed cards beat your entire hand.

If you are trying to compete a Straight, check to see if another player displays the cards you need. You can then adjust your strategy accordingly.

Fold when necessary. 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo poker is a game of patience; so do not bet all your money on losing hands. 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo rewards patience above all other virtues.

Best Hand Wins

The object of the game to finish with the best poker hand and win the pot.