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How to Play Cow Pie Stud Poker


COW PIE Stud Poker: A split pot version of 7 card stud. Deal, play and bet exactly like 7 card stud. At the completion of 7th street betting, each player re-arranges their 7 cards into 2 separate hands. One is a regulation 5 card poker hand. The other is a 2 card poker hand. Up cards must remain up and down cards must remain down. In arranging the 2 hands, these important requirements must be met: The 5 card hand must out rank the 2 card hand and each hand must include at least one down card. Once so arranged, there is a final round of betting. The hands are revealed and the pot is split between the highest 5 card hand and the highest 2 card hand. The 2 card hands are ranked as high card(s) and pairs only. If a player misplays his hand by creating a 2 card hand that is better than his 5 card hand, both hands are disqualified.

Summary of action:
Deal 2 hole cards and 1 up card to each player.
Deal 1 up card to each player ("4th street").
Deal 1 up card to each player ("5th street").
Deal 1 up card to each player ("6th street").
Deal 1 hole card to each player ("7th street").
Arrange cards into a 5 card poker hand and a 2 card poker hand.

Playing Tips for Cow Pie Stud Poker


Strategy for Cow Pie Stud Poker is similar to classic 7 card stud. The twist is that your 7 cards must be divided into 2 separate hands. For that reason, you are striving to get a hand that can be arranged into a winner in both the 5 card and 2 card hands. Examples of those hands include a full house, a straight or flush plus a separate high pair, 3 pair (preferably with 2 high pairs). Always keep in mind that both hands must include at least 1 down card and that could restrict how you are able to split your hand. Also critically important is that your 5 card hand must rank higher than your 2 card hand. More on this and what to consider when arranging your hands later.

Starting Hand Selection


You can approach this game using your normal starting hand requirements for high only 7 Card Stud, but perhaps adjusted more toward favoring pairs and high cards. For your first 3 cards you would like to see:
3 high cards.
A pair with a high kicker. If starting with a pair it is preferable that it be a split pair as this gives your hand more versatility.
Straight or flush draw. Preferably these would include at least 2 high cards and should normally be avoided if they do not. If you do start with 3 to a flush or straight realize that you must complete those hands by 6th street. If it takes you until 7th street to complete your flush or straight it will not qualify with the rules as it will require you to use all 3 down cards in your 5 card hand and you will have no down card left to use in your 2 card hand.
Overall, Cow Pie stud is a game where ending up with 2 big pairs probably gives you a better shot at scooping the entire pot than does a flush or straight.

Arranging Your Hands


When arranging your cards into your 2 hands make 100% certain you follow both of these rules. If you fail to do so both of your hands are disqualified.
1. The rank of your 5 card hand is higher than your 2 card hand.
2. Each hand includes at least 1 down card.

Your primary objective is to attempt to win both ways. That is often accomplished by splitting a very powerful hand into 2 medium strength hands. For example, a full house could be split into trips for the 5 card hand and a pair for the 2 card hand. But, you must also be aware of what hands other players may have and how they might split them and adjust your decision accordingly. If you feel you do not have hands strong enough to win both ways your objective should be to guarantee as much as possible you will win 1 way. As an example, if you suspect someone has a straight or flush and the pair of your full house is fairly low, you might end up losing both ways. In that case it is better to be nearly assured of winning half the pot with your 5 card full house and conceding the 2 card hand. On the other hand, if your pair were aces or kings, you could still make the split as originally suggested knowing you have a virtual lock with the 2 card hand and the hope that your trips might hold up.

Below you will find hands and suggestions on how to arrange them, assuming ideal conditions. Think about your hand and analyze it carefully to make sure it can be split in a way that complies with the requirements. There may be situations in which, although you have these hands with 7 cards, they cannot be split into 2 hands that do so. You need to be aware right from the start and think about it throughout. Do not wait until all the cards are out to figure how to arrange your hands. Examples of problem hands include: 2 pair - both exposed; 2 pair - lower exposed & higher hidden; straight or flush in which you must use all 3 down cards.

7 Card Hand Split Into:5 Card Hand2 Card HandConsider These Factors
Straight FlushStraight flushRemaining 2 cards
4 of a Kind4 of a kindHighest 2 remaining cards
Full House3 of a kindPairDo not split if neither trips or pair are likely winner
FlushFlushRemaining 2 cards
StraightStraightRemaining 2 cards
3 of a Kind3 of a kindHighest 2 remaining cards
3 Pair2nd & 3rd pairHigh pair
2 PairHigh pairLow pairDo not split if neither pair is likely winner
1 PairPairHighest 2 non-paired cards
None of the AboveHigh card & remainders2nd & 3rd high cardsWhy are you in this hand?

Problem Hands


Problem hands are those in which it is not possible to split your 7 card hand into qualifying 5 and 2 card hands. Problems result when 1 (or both) of these situations occurs:
To complete your 5 card hand requires the use of all 3 of your down cards. There are no down cards available to use in your 2 card hand.
The preferred split will result in your 2 card hand being ranked higher than your 5 card hand.

7 Card Hand Problem Situation ifResultWhy?
Straight FlushAll 3 down cards are neededStraight Flush does not qulaify1 down card required in 2 card hand
4 of a KindAll 3 down cards are needed4 of kind does not qulaify (highest hand is trips)1 down card required in 2 card hand
Full HouseAll 3 down cards are tripsFull house does not qualify1 down card required in 2 card hand
FlushAll 3 down cards are neededFlush does not qualify1 down card required in 2 card hand
StraightAll 3 down cards are neededStraight does not qualify1 down card required in 2 card hand
3 of a Kind3 down cards are trips3 of a kind does not qualify1 down card required in 2 card hand
2 PairBoth pair exposedMust play 2 pair as 5 card handCan not use exposed low pair as 2 card hand
2 PairLow pair exposedNot able to use low pair in 2 card handCan not use 2 up cards as 2 card hand