The Ubiquitous Eight-Low Hands in Seven Stud High Low Split - Qualify

Regular players know that this happens way too much.

You finally catch a strong high hand like aces full or so, against a couple of other seemingly high hands. You win the high side easily only to find that you have to split with another player who hung in there to make an eight low on the river. By this he managed to turn your expected swooper into a split of two almost profitless hands.

"Well" you say, "that's tough. The game is called high-low split".

That's true, but our objective is to win without splitting and my point is that it seems like the low hand that rains on your parade is hardly ever a good low but usually just a crummy eight! We all understand that naturally there are more eight lows than others because there are more ways to make an eight then a wheel, six, or seven. However, it might surprise many to learn that almost two thirds (62.5%) of all the qualifying low hands are eights. In the world of low hands, eights are indeed everywhere.

By using the denominations of Ace through 8 that in combinations of five make up all of the 56 possible low hands, we have this many of each:

5 Low . . . . 1 combination . . . 1.8% of all lows

6 Low . . . . 5 combinations . . 8.9% of all lows

7 Low . . . 15 combinations . . 26.8% of all lows

8 Low . . . 35 combinations . . 62.5% of all lows

Notice that there are a lot more eight lows than all the other lows combined.

Now if you happen to get involved in a battle of eights with another player and have a "slick" eight (85 or 84), you have an 85% chance to win low. More than half of the eights are 87s followed by a lot of 86s.

So much for the eights. Since we see so many of them, it doesn't hurt to know them well.

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