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HIGH CHICAGO and LOW CHICAGO


How to Play High Chicago and Low Chicago

 

HIGH CHICAGO or LOW CHICAGO Stud Poker: Standard 7 card stud with a split pot. The pot is split between the highest poker hand and either the highest (High Chicago) spade or lowest (Low Chicago) spade held as one of a players' hole cards.
1. High Chicago - the highest spade in the hole. (Ace of spades is highest card.)
2. Low Chicago - the lowest spade in the hole. (Deuce of spades is lowest card.)
If no player has a hole card spade at the showdown, the entire pot is won by the player with the best standard poker hand.

Summary of action:
Deal 2 hole cards and 1 up card to each player.
Bet
Deal 1 up card to each player ("4th street").
Bet.
Deal 1 up card to each player ("5th street").
Bet.
Deal 1 up card to each player ("6th street").
Bet.
Deal 1 hole card to each player ("7th street").
Bet.
Showdown.


Playing Tips for High Chicago & Low Chicago

 

Strategy for both High Chicago and Low Chicago Stud Poker is similar to classic 7 card stud. The twist is that the pot is split between the best standard poker hand and the highest or lowest spade held as a player's hole card. At the very beginning of this game the best poker hand has yet to be determined while the best hole spade may already be in play. If you have not been dealt a strong hole spade among your first 2 down cards you are essentially competing for only the highest poker hand and you will have to call numerous bets and raises for that chance. You must have cards strong enough to seriously compete for the best hand when that occurs. When you start with neither, you should get out right away.


Starting Hand Selection

 

As noted above, you must have a spade in the hole otherwise you are competing for only half the pot. In an 8-handed game it is almost a certainty that someone has been dealt a spade. If you are not dealt at least 1 decent spade as one of your original 2 hole cards you should fold, unless you have a starting hand that has a good possibility of becoming the best poker hand. Examples include trips, 3 to a flush or straight, big pair with big kicker. Consider using playing standards a bit tighter from what you do in a regular game of 7 card stud. While it may still be possible to pick up a winning spade as your last hole card, there are too many rounds of betting you will have to whether and too small a chance of doing so. (In the very best case scenario - 7 players staying until the end and neither the ace (or deuce) of spades appearing among the up cards - there is less than a 20:1 chance of you catching it as your final hole card.)

HIGH CHICAGO The absolute best starting hand you could get in High Chicago is the ace of spades as one of your initial 2 hole cards. You are now guaranteed to win at least half the pot and your first objective is to build the pot as high as possible. Unfortunately, you have less than 4% chance of drawing the ace. And, in an 8-handed game, if you didn't get the best spade, there is nearly a 30% chance someone else did. Having a high spade (K or Q), while not a lock, is worth playing, but you need to be careful. Obviously, you'd love to see the higher spades show in the up cards. If that does not happen you may already be beaten and will be facing a lot of bets and raises from anyone holding the best spade. Having anything less than the best spade is a situation where you stand to win a small pot but lose a big one.

LOW CHICAGO The absolute best starting hand you could get is the deuce of spades in Low Chicago as one of your initial 2 hole cards. You are now guaranteed to win at least half the pot and your objective is to build the pot as high as possible. Unfortunately, you have less than 4% chance of this occurring. And, in an 8-handed game, if you don't have the best spade, there is nearly a 30% chance someone else does. Having a low spade (3 or 4), while not a lock, is worth playing, but you need to be careful. Obviously, you'd love to see the lower spades show in the up cards. If that does not happen you may already be beaten and will be facing a lot of bets and raises from anyone holding the best spade. Having anything less than the best spade is a situation where you stand to win a small pot but lose a big one.


Hole Card Probabilities

 

Approximate chances of these hands being dealt to you as your first 2 hole cards.


Your 2 Hole Cards Percent ProbabilityOdds Probability
Best spade (A♠ or 2♠)3.9%25:1
2nd best spade (K♠ or 3♠)3.9%25:1
3rd best spade (Q♠ or 4♠)3.9%25:1
Any other spade38.8%1.6:1
NO spade49.5%1:1