7 Card Stud Highlow Starting Hand Selection


The two best starting hands in high-low stud are a “trips” (three-of-a-kind) and three suited “babies” (three cards between ace and eight of the same suit). If you are playing any high/low game, it is essential to realize that winning only half the pot on a consistent basis will not allow you to be a profitable player.

The most important rule you can follow in selecting which three-card hands to play in 7 Card Stud High/Low is this: “Does this hand have the potential to “scoop” (win the entire pot, both high AND low)? If it does not, either by taking the high when no one makes a low, or by developing into a great two-way hand, such as a low straight or flush, then the hand should be thrown away. Remember when you are playing agen bola terpercaya? You need to be very strategic. This rule also applies in this game.

Why is that the case?

Imagine that your first three cards are 2-5-8 of different suits. This is a hand that MIGHT win low (remember that you still need to complete your low hand with two good cards out of the remaining four to be dealt, AND other players may have better low draws than your 8), but it has almost no potential to win high, unless you get a perfect draw. If you are up against one other player with a high hand, you will, at best, break even on the hand, and depending on the “rake” (the amount of money the casino or online site takes from each hand), maybe even lose a few pennies. Often, you will not even complete your low, and you will lose everything you put into the pot. This scenario is not worth either your time or the risk of your money. So which starting hands ARE worth playing?

The two best starting hands in high-low stud are a “trips” (three-of-a-kind) and three suited “babies” (three cards between ace and eight of the same suit). The first of these is powerful because it will make the high hand the vast majority of the time, and since a qualifying low hand is not that easy to complete, it will scoop many pots. The second hand will frequently develop into a hand that will win both ways, and when it doesn’t, can still get you at least half the pot very frequently. Both of these hands should be raised with, or re-raised if someone else has already put in the first raise.

Other hands that should be played strongly (with early raises and re-raises) include:

  • three low straight cards (e.g. 2-3-4, 3-4-5, 4-5-6, etc),
  • a pair of aces with a low card,
  • an ace with two other low cards (pairing the ace can often make the high hand),
  • an ace combined with a low pair (lots of possibilities for making both high and low hands, as well as deceptive value),

Low straight cards with gaps (e.g. 2-4-5, 2-3-6, 3-5-6) are also strong starting hands, but you need to be careful playing these (and the other straight possibilities) when an 8 is part of your three cards and other low cards appear in your opponents’ hands, as an 8 low is very vulnerable. This is especially true when your 8 is in the “door” (the first card shown face-up), as players will be more likely to continue in the hand against you if they see that your low draw is a weak one.

One other hand that can be played, and should be played aggressively to try and thin the field, is a hidden high pair (J-J,Q-Q,K-K) with a low door card. Ideally, this should be played heads-up, as the more players involved in the hand there are, the more chance there is of someone hitting a low that also turns into a straight or flush, or of someone outdrawing your very vulnerable high hand.

Depending on what other cards are showing on third street, you can also play a three-card flush, where two of the cards are low, and there are zero or one of your suit showing at the rest of the table. Almost everything else should be thrown away, unless you attempt a late position ante steal against players showing bad up cards like 9-10-J-Q.