It may be difficult to find a 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular tournament to play in, due to the fact that the game has almost completely been replaced by 7 Card Stud 8 or Better in most venues where high/low stud is played. However, you will still often find this variant in home games, and those players might want to set up a tourney that involves this high action game. This article teaches you how to play a 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular tournament for maximum profitability.
The first thing to remember about this game is that, unlike its 8 or better counterpart, SOMEONE is going to win the low half of the pot. Unless your hand has possibilities for scooping the pot, it is better not to get involved in the hand at all. So a hand like a pair of kings with a queen kicker, which you can often play in an 8 or better tourney to great effect when the lows don’t get there, is a more or less worthless hand in 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular. Any opponents with low cards will be freerolling against you to try and beat your high, and they will often get there, with a straight, a flush, three-of-a-kind, or even a low two pair, if you don’t improve. It’s better to avoid this type of hand altogether, and wait for cards that have better two-way potential.
The next important point to remember is this: When you miss on 4th street, fold. Almost regardless of how good your first three cards are, if you hit a bad card on 4th street, while your opponents catch good ones, you will be fighting a losing battle if you stay in the hand. Get out while it’s still cheap, unless everyone else also hits a bad card. Having the discipline not to chase is the first step towards becoming a good tournament player.
Remember that you only have a limited number of chips to begin with, and once they are gone, you are out. Don’t squander chips either chasing when you are behind, or playing marginal hands to begin with, and you will find you have much more ammunition available when the time comes to get involved in a hand. When you do get involved, play aggressively, and force your opponents to make the tough decisions, always making them pay to try and draw out on you.
As the tournament moves on, and the antes and limits get bigger, it is important to stay ahead of the tournament level. If it is possible, keep at least 100 antes in your stack, which will allow you not to have to risk too many of your chips early in a hand. Once you become too low on chips, you are going to have to pick a hand and commit to it, since you will have so few chips left if you fold in the middle of the hand. If that situation arises, make sure you are giving yourself the best chance to take the whole pot and double up.
In the later stages of the tourney, get even more aggressive when you feel you have an edge in a hand, as other players will be tightening up while trying to avoid finishing on the money bubble. This is the time to take advantage and build your stack, hoping to get up among the top places in the tournament, which is where the vast majority of the prize money is.
By paying attention to these strategic concepts, you should be able to do extremely well in a 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular tournament, should you find yourself playing in one.
PokerWorks Main Poker Variant Index: An Introduction to Poker Variants
The Main Index for Poker Variant Seven Card Stud High/Low.