The sequence of play
Betting Small and Big Blinds
Using wild cards
Probability of holding
First betting interval
seven card stud
Other forms of poker
Texas Hold'em Basic Hand
Five - Six card Omaha
Other Gambling Card Game
Strategy - 2
Restraint is one of the best virtues you can have in Seven card Stud, High-low. Weak players will generally stay in far too long, chasing possible high hands and low hands simultaneously, always expecting the card or two they need for a great hand, mostly against all the odds.
It is a good policy to go from the outset for whatever your initial cards suggest – high or low, and if the hand goes wrong, fold. A high hand might develop into a high-low hand, as the specimen deal above showed with player 2’s hand. But it is fatal to keep putting in chips just because your hand looks a possibility for both.
So far as the betting goes, don’t bet hard if you need specific cards to make your hand, but bet hard when it looks as if your opponent needs specific cards to fill in a gap or two in his hand.
Stud Poker, Lowball
Both Five-and seven card stud (or indeed stud with any number of cards) can be played as Lowball. The rank of the hands is as for Draw Poker, Lowball, i.e. flushes and straights are ignored, so the lowest possible hand is 5,4,3,2, a.
The procedure in both cases is as in regular Stud Poker, with the lowest hand betting first on each round as opposed to the highest. Because there are fewer ranks of hands, these games are less interesting than the regular or High-Low versions.
The strategy in Lowball is to get out with a pair or with a high card. The left-hand illustration on shows a sample deal at five-Card Stud Lowball. The shaded cards are the hole-cards, known only to their holders, of course.
EXAMPLE STUD POKER, LOWBALL, BASIC HAND
First betting interval
- Player 1 is dealer, so Player 4 speaks first (two 4s are showing as lowest, and player 4 is the holder of the one nearest to the dealer ’s left). He bets.
- Player 5, 2 and 3 call.
- Player 1 is not a player to stay in with a King and folds.
1ST BETTING INTERVAL Player 1’s King in the hole is a bad card for Lowball, so he will fold.
Second betting interval
- Player 3 speaks first (5, a is the lowest hand showing) and bets.
- The others call. Player 3’s possible flush and Player 5’s possible straight are immaterial, as these don’t count in Lowball.
2ND BETTING INTERVAL At this stage player 3 has a good set of low cards, narrowly better than player 2’s.
Third betting interval
- Player 3 is still the first to speak, and he bets the maximum. He knows he beats all other hands going into the last round.
- Player 4 has picked up a pair, and folds.
- Player 5 knows his hand currently beats that of player 2, and calls.
- Player 2 folds. He knows that to win he needs both players 3 and 5 (unless they’re bluffing) either to get a pair with their last card to get King or Queen.
3RD BETTING INTERVAL Player continues well with a 9, while player 5’s 3 helps his hand.
Fourth betting interval
Player 3 unluckily draws a second Ace. Player 5 has the best hand showing, and is asked to speak first at the last betting interval. He knows that player 3 cannot beat him, and player 3 knows he has lost unless player 5 takes the pot. A single card can ruin hands in Five-card Stud Lowball.
Of course a single card does not have such a big effect in Seven-card-Stud Lowball because of the extra two cards.
4TH BETTING INTERVAL The second Ace gives player 3, a pair, and ruins his hand.