Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, also known as Seven Card Stud 8 or Better, Stud/8 or Stud 8, is a variation of Seven Card Stud. Stud Hi-Lo is a pot-splitting game. The best high hand wins half the pot, while the best low hand wins the other half. To win half of the pot, the low hand must "qualify" with at least five cards ranked below eight. Straights and flushes do not count against your hand in this game, which applies the A-to-5 lowball ranks.
How to Play Stud 8
All players ante a nominal amount before the game starts, the actual amount depends on the game. It is a certain fraction of the small bet. Almost all the Stud 8 games are fixed limit, the small bet size is used in the first two betting rounds, and the big bet size is used later on.
Each player is dealt three cards at the beginning, two concealed hole cards and one face up. The 'bring-in' is the player with the lowest exposed card, and he or she is required to begin the action. They must place another nominal bet (the actual size of the bring-in differs depending on the game) or if they choose a full bet of the lower betting increment. The action proceeds clockwise around the table until the round's betting is finished.
Each poker player is now dealt another exposed card, called "Fourth Street". The player whose exposed cards have the highest poker value is the first to act. This player may check or bet. Unlike in Seven Card Stud, no double-sized bets are allowed if a player makes a pair on Fourth Street — all bets must be in the lower increment (e.g., $10 in a $10/$20 game).
If no other player is showing an Ace high or better, a player showing a King high would act first. This player has the option of checking or betting the lower betting amount (for example, $10 in a $10/$20 game).
There is a betting round.
Each player is now dealt another exposed card, called "Fifth Street". According to the rules, the person whose revealed poker hand has the highest poker value is the first to act. There is a betting round.
All bets and raises are in big bet increments (e.g., $20 in a $10/$20 game) beginning on Fifth Street and continuing for the rest of the hand.
Each player is now dealt another exposed card, called "Sixth Street". Again, the person whose revealed poker hand has the highest poker value is the first to act. There is a betting round.
Seventh Street (The River)
Each player is now dealt a seventh and final card, which is dealt face-down and known only to the player to whom it is dealt. The player whose exposed cards have the highest poker value is the first to act. There is a last round of betting, and if more than one player remains, we proceed to the Showdown.
If there is more than one player left after the last betting round, the last bettor or raiser shows his or her cards first. If no bets were made on the last round, the player in the first seat shows his or her cards. More hands involved in the Showdown are revealed clockwise around the table.
The person with the best five-card high hand wins half the pot, while the player with the best low hand gets the other half. If no hand qualifies for low, the best hand for high wins the whole pot.
Keep in mind that in Seven Card Stud, to win the low in Hi-Lo, a player must have an unpaired five-card hand with all cards less than or equal to an 8. If no player fulfills this requirement, no low qualifies.
If two or more players have an identical high or low hand, the pot will be split accordingly.
After the pot is awarded, a new game of Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo poker begins.
Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Hand Rankings
For high hands, Stud 8 follows regular poker hand rankings.
For low hands, Stud 8 follows A-to-5 lowball hand rankings.