Daniel Negreanu continued his “How To” series of poker videos on YouTube with ‘How to Play 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo.’ This variation of Seven Card Stud, also known as Stud 8 or Better is perhaps one of the most misunderstood games by beginners.
Stud 8 is one of Daniel’s favorite games and it showed in this video as he spent nearly 25 minutes introducing players to this variant. If you haven’t watched the video yet, check it out before continuing.
Avoid Chasing Second Best Highs or Lows
Daniel started his video talking about which starting hands to play in Stud 8 and as an avid player, I completely agree with his starting hand strategy and it definitely is one that will help a beginner advance quickly.
Staying away from big pairs other than aces and focusing on low hands with scoop potential is a solid starting hand strategy that will help players avoid falling into the trap of calling down with the second best high or low hand.
Throw Out the Trash
There’s a wide variety of hands that are considered trash hands in Stud 8 that would be playable in regular Stud. Hands like three medium straight cards, three non-suited high cards and most high pairs fall into this category.
In addition, a lot of non-coordinated low hands, especially hands that are three card eight lows are considered junk hands that should largely be avoided. In the case of non-suited or coordinated three-card eight lows, you probably want to only play those in instances in which you are certain that your opponents will be chasing high.
Looser Strategy Than Some Might Employ
For anyone that has learned the game in the last 20 years, Negreanu’s strategy may actually come across as a bit aggressive due. The reason is that some traditional Stud 8 strategy makes Fourth Street a key street rather than Fifth.
In a number of spots, conventional strategy has suggested that players should fold when they fail to improve their three card low on Fourth Street. Daniel overall seems to support calling until Fifth Street except for certain situations. It would have been nice to see him expound on this a bit more and give some examples of when it would be good to abandon their hand on Fourth.
However, the strategy Negreanu employs is reflective of a general shift in poker as a whole. The game is much more aggressive and focuses more on pushing edges and opponent reads. It’s not a shock that some “old school” thinking has been shoved to the wayside as a result.