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Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Strategy
Seven Card Stud is a poker game in which players are dealt seven cards and have to choose the best five card hand from them. What makes the game interesting is that three of the seven cards are dealt face down and the remaining four cards are dealt face up for the other players to see.
Seven Card Stud poker is played in three variations. One is the usual Hi variation in which the objective is to make the highest ranking poker hand; the other is the Lo variation, also known as Razz, in which the objective is to make the Pokerstarslowest ranking poker hand and the third is the Hi-Lo variation in which both the highest and lowest ranking poker hands come into play. In this variation the player makes two different five card hands from the same seven cards – one vying for the highest rank and the other vying for the lowest rank.
Before understanding the strategy it is essential to understand how the pot is won. At the showdown the pot is divided into two. One half is for the high winner and the other half for the low winner. If no one has bid for both the pots then the winners are decided in the following manner. The player still in the showdown with the highest hand wins the high pot and the player with the lowest hand wins the low pot.
If a player has bid for both pots then the winners are decided in the following manner. His high hand must rank the highest and his low hand must rank the lowest of all players in the showdown including those bidding for single pots. If there is no player bidding for both pots that meets this requirement then the pots go the winners who have bid exclusively for them.
Going for both the pots is a glamorous choice that offers excitement and many players enter the betting in the hope of getting suitable cards. But the important thing to remember is that it is not worth entering the betting unless the first three cards dealt are good enough for either the high pot or the low pot. If the subsequent cards happen to be good for the other pot then the player can stake the claim for both pots.
The following combinations of cards are considered suitable for starting the betting for the high pot: three of a kind, three card straight flush, three card flush, three card straight, pair of tens or higher, low or middle pair with ace or king, concealed pair with face card and three high cards with two straight or flush.
The following combinations of cards are considered suitable for starting the betting for the low pot: three card seven high or lower, three card eight high with two cards five or lower, three card nine high with other cards being an ace, two or three and ace plus five or lower card and an odd card. The idea is to play for a high or a low pot and if the remaining cards are suitable then bid for both pots.
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