Seven Stud High Low Split Qualify Eight - The Most Challenging of the Limit Poker Games!
For those who don't already know, Seven High Low Qualify (the shorter name) is dealt and played like the old favorite Seven Card Stud with some major differences. The winning high hand of course splits the pot with the winning low hand, but in order for the low hand to qualify for half the pot, it must be no higher than an eight low. With no qualifying low hand, the high hand wins the whole pot. This happens roughly about half the time.
The basic strategy is to only play the hands that offer the best shot at winning, or "scooping", the entire pot. With both high and low action coming in from the beginning, some very big pots are often built. When you don't scoop the pot, you try to "escape" with some profit from half the pot.
Even though Seven High Low is a little hard to find in regular casino poker rooms, the best games are easily found online. This is a good game.
So what's so "challenging" about it? . . Well here it is.
Typically, starting out you'll read something about how to play. It will seem easy enough so you give it a try. You get in one of the low limit games and after scooping a pot or two and winning several split pots you end up losing money. For the next several sessions, this not only happens most of the time but you also notice that you have plenty of company in the losing money business. On the other hand, you become aware of a select few players that seem to patiently end up winning most of the time. The other players fear them.
This is when self-doubts begin to appear and you start questioning yourself. Am I playing too tight or too loose? When should I give up on two pair? Should I play that ace in the hole even though there is only one low card to go with it? How come I see others winning with bad starting hands etc. etc.?
The only answer I know to questions like these is to become a serious student of the game. Buy books by Ray Zee and other experts. Learn a lot and play a lot at the low levels until you get very good.
A perfect golf swing is easy! . . All you have to do is remember to perform ten simple body movements . . all at the same time.
With all the upcards, folded cards, opponent betting practices, trap signals, two way aspects of the game, and your own hand development, Seven High Low Qualify arguably involves the processing of more information than any other popular poker game. Those who make the most of the information available and master the tactical nuances become expert players of the game. Like the golf swing, it can be difficult to get everything right but those that do, make the move from prey to predator.
In the difficulty of the transition lies the challenge.