Introducing Stud Hi-Lo
Stud Hi-Lo is played out very similar to usual Stud, the differences between the games are at the showdown. Mixed games in general have become widely popular and H.O.R.S.E in particular, since Stud Hi-Lo is one of the games in the rotations it's necessary for players that want to play in these mixes to learn the rules of this game.
However this article will only highlight the difference between Stud High and Stud Hi-Lo since the games are very similar, so if you want to learn more about standard Stud, you can do it here.
Stud Hi-Lo showdown Rules
The main difference between Stud and Stud Hi-Lo is that the latter is a "split pot" game, meaning that the pot is divided in half, with one half of it going to the best high hand and the other half to the best qualifying low hand.
The winning hand is simply the best five card poker hand. There are no qualification requirement for the high, which means there will always be a winning high hand.
The low is also a five card hand, but the goal is to make the lowest possible hand. The cards the player uses for the high hand has no effect on which the player can use to the low hand, any five cards can be used. To get a qualifying low hand the player must have five unpaired cards, all with ranks at or below 8 where the ace is counted as 1 in the low hand.
Flushes and straights are ignored in the low hand, the best possible hand is 5-4-3-2-A regardless of suits. The low hand is counted from the top, this means that the hand is only as good as it's highest card. For example Player A:8432A is beaten by Player B: 76543. Even though player A have lower cards in general, the highest card is still an 8 which is higher than player B's 7 .
If two players has the same low hand they will split the low pot regardless of the cards suit. In a pot of $20 they would win $5 each from the low pot since they each get half of the low pot which is $10.
Player A: A♦3♥A♣7♣7♦8♣Q♥
Player B: 5♣8♦6♥7♣J♦9♥K♥
High winner: Player B with a straight 9♥8♦7♣6♥5♣ which beats the two pair A♣A♦7♣7♦Q♥ of Player A.
Low winner: No qualifying low hand. Altough player A have five cards below 8, both the A and 7 is paired up which only gives this player a four card low hand of 873A. Player B only have a four card hand as well 8765. Since neither have a qualifying low hand the whole pot will be awarded to Player B with the best high hand.
Player A: A♦3♦7♦5♠8♦J♣4♦
Player B: 7♥5♣2♥3♥4♣9♥Q♥
High winner: Player A With an ace high flush A♦8♦7♦4♦3♦ which beats the queen high flush of player B Q♥9♥7♥3♥2♥.
Low winner: Player A wins it with a seven high 7♦5♠4♦3♦A♦ which beats the seven high of Player B 7♥5♣4♣3♥2♥. The two players share their four highest low cards but because player A's fifth card is lower than player B's the low pot goes to Player A.
-If there is no qualifying hand, the entire pot will be awarded to the player with the best high hand.
-Players can use any five cards they want in both the high and low hand. The five cards you pick for your high hand has nothing to do with your low hand picks, you can choose any five cards for this hand as well.
-If there's an extra odd chip in the pot which cannot be split. The chip goes to the player with the winning high hand.
Good luck at the tables!