While there are many detailed beginning and advanced plays that go into creating a comprehensive 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular strategy, basic concepts of how to win at this game come up over and over each time you sit down at the table. This article provides you with the most essential tips to insure that you can succeed at a game that many players do not understand. Once you have mastered these ideas, you will have a big advantage over less educated opponents.
- Play hands that can scoop the pot, which in 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular are almost exclusively hands with low cards- Many players who are more familiar with 7 Card Stud High/Low 8 or better forget that, with no qualification for low, there WILL be a low half of the pot awarded in each and every hand. If your hand has little or no chance to win it, you will face an uphill battle just to break even on the hand. This is the exact opposite of the way you want to play 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular. If you are dealt high cards, such as split kings with a ten, just throw them away, and move on to the next hand. The most important thing to remember in playing ANY split pot game is that the players who are profitable are the ones who wind up winning both ends of the pot the most frequently. Resist the temptation to play for half-pots. Even though you can make a few dollars in multi-way pots when you take half, those small profits will be decimated by the times when one of the low hands backs into a straight, a flush or two pair, while your hand never improves.
- Remember the “paint” rule- Face cards are almost always damaging to your hand. Even if you were dealt a great starting hand like 6-5-4, you should throw it away if you catch a jack on fourth street, especially if any opponents catch a good card. Think of it this way: With the bad fourth card, you now have only three cards left to receive, two of which have to hit for you to take any of the pot. Remember that a bet saved is a bet earned, and at the end of the day, that is money which is staying in your bankroll, rather than winding up with your opponents.
- Other players will chase for half the pot, so be hesitant to bluff- While you are being disciplined and throwing away hands when you miss, some of your opponents will not be as solid as you. Identify these players early in the game, and avoid trying to bluff them, as they will call you down even if they seem to have no shot at the pot, hoping to escape with half of it. Especially as the hand reaches its later stages, with more money in the pot, the chances are that you will have to showdown a winner to take the cash. Don’t get caught with your hand in the cookie jar against someone too foolish to lay down his cards.
- Don’t miss bets- When it is clear that you have the best hand, especially when you have a good chance to scoop, you need to charge your opponents for the privilege of drawing out against you. Therefore, slow playing your hand is almost always a mistake in 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular. Bet or raise at every opportunity and maximize your profits. You will be amazed at how often other players will get into a raising war with a hand like two pair or three-of-a-kind against a made low straight. Punish these players by taking as much of their money as you possibly can.
- Don’t chase with the second-best hand- The worst thing you can do in 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular is to be the player in a three-way pot with both the second-best high AND low. All you will be doing is providing the profit for the two other players. Getting into this situation with any frequency will make you a losing player, and eliminate any profits you may have made in other hands. If you can see fairly early on in a hand that you are likely to be trailing both sides of the pot, just let it go before it becomes expensive on fifth street.
PokerWorks Main Poker Variant Index: An Introduction to Poker Variants
The Main Index for Poker Variant Seven Card Stud High/Low.