Stud 8 or Better, sometimes known as Stud hi/lo, is the 5th and final form of poker which makes up the game of HORSE. Stud 8 is also a split pot poker game like Omaha 8 and is a limit poker game like all of the other poker games in HORSE. In theory, Stud 8 is a combination of Razz, Stud and Omaha 8. The hands is dealt like in Razz and Seven Card Stud. The pot is split depending on the best Razz hand and best Stud hand, and it is split in the end like in Omaha 8. Also like in Omaha 8, there does not have to be a low hand, even though every hand dealt will have a best high hand.
For example, a hand of A-2-3-4-5-K-Q has a high and a low hand. A-2-3-4-5 is the low hand, which is the nut low, while A-2-3-4-5 also is the high hand for a straight. A hand of A-A-K-K-Q-7-8 does not have a low hand so it could not win the whole pot unless the other player(s) also did not have a low hand and had a worse high hand. If 2 players tie for one half of the pot, the player who has the best other half of the pot will win three quarters. For example, if one player hols A-2-3-4-5-6-7 and another player has A-2-3-4-5-Q-K, the player with A-2-3-4-5-6-7 will win three quarters of the pot with a 7-high straight and the nut low.
How to play
The best starting hands in Stud 8 are 2 small cards that are connected, suited, or both. A-2-3 suited is the absolute best starting hand. The hand is drawing to the nut flush, drawing to a straight and is drawing to the best low as well. A-3-5 is also a good starting hand. Hands like K-Q-9 are not good, since they have no chance to win the low half of the pot. General strategy says that players should always be aware of the dead cards and what cards are left to act behind them. Since aces play as low cards and high cards, they are extremely valuable in this game, like they are in Omaha 8 as well. Therefore, even a hand like Q-Q-7 should not be raised if there is an ace left to act behind it. Hands like Q-Q-7 should only be raised if all of the remaining hands behind it have up cards with rankings less than Q.