Qualifying and Evaluating Low Hands

Unlike games played for low only, which allow any hand to be considered a low hand, high-low split games require that a low hand consist of five unpaired cards where every card is an Eight or lower. Thus 8432A qualifies as a low hand, but 9432A does not. You also need to know that low hands are counted from the highest card down, not from the lowest card up. For example, if one player has 86543 and another player has 8732A, the player with the Six as the second highest card beats the player with the Seven as the second highest card.

What If We Run Out of Cards?

You might have done some quick math and determined that if all eight players stay in for the entire hand, thus requiring seven cards each, you'd need a 56-card deck. You can't add cards to the game, but there is a procedure in place in case this unlikely event occurs. If there are fewer cards in the deck than are required to give all remaining players a final face-down card, the dealer instead turns up a common card in the middle of the table. Like the board cards in flop games, such as Hold 'em, this common card is assumed to be in every player's hand.