7 Card Stud Hi/Lo poker is a less-popular variant of 7 Card Stud.
Since the game is split pot in nature, 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo poker strategies basically revolve around understanding the difference of profits between winning half the pot and the entire lot. Scooping has a significant role to play in these games. And, quite often, players mistake that winning two split pots is the same as winning an entire pot. However, in terms of profits, it is never the same.
The Basic Strategy in 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo Poker
The basic 7 card stud Hi/lo poker strategy is to play hands that have a very good chance of winning the entire pot. At times, winners of this game look to take home half the pot and not to lose both the high and low sides. Another important 7 card stud hi/lo strategy is to dump your hand early when you do not have the best possible scooping hand. There is a high possibility that the hands that begin well for both high and low turn bad for both sides. Hence, fold if you are not sure that they will bring you at least half of the pot. The same 7 card stud hi/lo strategy applies to high hands that are strong but are not sure of winning the high end. And, they have a high probability of splitting with a low.
Starting Hand 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo Strategy
In 7 card Stud Hi/low, the best starting hands are those that have a possibility of winning both at the high and the low. However, it is important that you don't overlook the importance of high hands completely. At the same time, do not rely too much on these hands. The best starting hand 7 card stud hi/lo strategy is holding trips like A-A-A to 2-2-2. The next best hand is the A-A-(and an 8 or lower). A-(2 cards 5 or lower) are also equally good. The third highest ranked hands in 7 card stud hi/lo poker are the low suited connectors which are 8 or lower like Ah-2h-5h. The next best hand is the A-A-(a 9 or higher), followed by the 3 unsuited wheel cards, i.e. A-2-5. The hands that are ranked next to these are the 3 unsuited wheel cards without an Ace (2-4-5). Additionally suited cards with an Ace and a low card (A-7-K) are also good starting hands.
Winning 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo strategies
Winners often maintain a consistent record by trying to scoop the pot whenever they can. Hence, the most important and effective 7 card stud hi/lo strategy is to try and take the entire pot after making other players fold their cards. Additionally, the simplest way to win is to try and make the best high hand/best high hand and qualified low hand. Qualified hands are those that comprise of 5 cards, which are 8 or lower like A-3-4-5-8.
As a part of 7 card stud hi/lo poker strategy, you must try to go for a low hand. One of the most effective 7 card stud hi/lo strategies is to make an effort to win both pots. This explains why many premium starting hands are constituted of low cards. At the same time, you should also try and keep your opponents in the game. 7 card stud hi/lo strategy is usually centered on winning half the pot if you are not trying for the high hand. If the latter is the case, make sure you raise and force the low draws to fold. Additionally, when you are going for a low hand, ensure that you fold if you get 2 strikes for the hand you are holding.
Another effective 7 card stud hi/lo strategy is to raise your hand when you discover that the second half of the pot is eyed by other players. There is a high possibility that they will call you without any apprehensions. Additionally, 7 card stud hi/lo strategy requires that you raise when you realize that another player has missed on a draw, in case you're in the last card and are heads up.
Key Tips to Avoid Losing 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo Poker
Remember that the first 5 cards give you a great chance of winning 7 card stud games, which applies to the 7 card stud hi/lo variant as well. In case you apply the right 7 card stud hi/lo strategy for the starting hands, you have a great chance of scooping the pot. In case it doesn't work out that way, try to fold early in order to reduce losses. A winning 7 card stud hi/lo strategy is to keep an eye on any key cards that can reduce the possibility of making a strong hand. Stay away from medium starting hands, such as pairs.