Poker Beginners Guide: Best Low Hand (1)

The process of identifying your best five-card low hand from the seven available is exactly the same as that used in Omaha Hi/Lo. The key difference is that in Omaha you have four hidden cards and five board cards, whereas in Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo you have three hidden cards and four open cards on your personal board. The idea of the low hand is exactly the same in the two games: you are trying to make the best possible qualifying Eight or better low.

Although in Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo you only have seven cards rather than nine, you are not hampered by the requirement to use a specific number of your down cards. You may use one, two or all three of these down cards. This means that it is much easier to read the board in Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo than in Omaha Hi/Lo!

In Hi/Lo games, there is always an Eight qualifier for the low. In other words, to qualify as a low hand, you must have five different cards ranked Eight or below. Thus 8-7-6-5-4 qualifies as a low hand in Hi/Lo games, whereas 9-4-3-2-A and 4-3-3-2-A do not. The 9-4-3-2-A hand contains only four qualifying low cards (the Nine is disqualified), and the 4-3-3-2-A hand only has four cards of different ranks (pairs are also not permitted).

Lets take a look at some examples.

  Down Cards     Up Cards  
       

Unfortunately, you cannot make a low here. Remember that to qualify for a low, your hand must have five unduplicated cards of eight or below. Here you only have an Ace, a Trey, a Six and a Seven.

 

  Down Cards     Up Cards  
       

In this example you can make the best possible hand, a Five low or wheel: 5-4-3-2-A. You take the Ace from your down cards and combine it with all four up cards.

 

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