is a related concept. If early bets are much smaller
than later bets, you usually shouldn't throw in a
small raise with a big hand. You may put people on
guard so that even if they don't fold immediately,
they will when the bets increase in later rounds.
You're likely to get more action on your big hands
by slow playing them. Conversely, with a large increase
in bets from one round to another, you may decide
to put in extra action with a weaker hand on an early,
cheap betting round to create the wrong impression
later when the bets are expensive. Thus, you should
consider not only the amount in the pot now but also
how much the bets are now compared to what they may
be later. You might check a big hand early to win
big bets later, and on the other hand, you might bet
with a weaker hand early in hopes that your opponents
will check later to give you a free card.
Obviously, you can better afford to disguise your
hand in early rounds in pot-limit and no-limit games
than in limit games, since both the size of the pot
and the size of the bets may increase enormously from
one round of betting to the next. With a big hand
and a lot of money in front of you, you can check
and give your opponents many more free cards. You
are not so concerned about protecting the money in
the pot as you are about getting paid off when you
bet a much larger amount later. Furthermore, it costs
too much to protect small pots, especially when you
have only a fair hand. To win them, you need to make
a considerably bigger bet than you would in limit
games, and so in no-limit you would tend to give more
free cards even when you are not altogether happy
sometimes find different rules for what constitutes
a low in home games, rules such as straights and flushes
count against a low and Aces go both ways, or Aces
are always high but straights and flushes don't count.
In rare low-only games in cardrooms (like five-card
loball draw or seven-card razz), you'll also sometimes
find variations on the rules for a low hand. But cardroom
rules for low in hi/lo split games are fairly standard.
There may be some exceptions somewhere, but I'm not
aware of them. Straights and flushes don't count against
a low hand and Aces can be played high and low. A
wheel (5 high straight) is the nut low in most games.
If no hand meets the 8 qualifier for low, then the
high hand gets the whole pot. You might sometimes
find a seven-card stud hi/lo that has a qualifier
for high also, and some games are played with a two-pair
qualifier for high. But this is rare and I don't address
this variation in this book.
In a hi/lo game, you form two separate hands, one
for the low and one for the high. You don't have to
use the same five cards for your high hand as you
do for your low hand. They can be the same hand. You
don't have to declare whether you're going for high
or low: just turn your hand face up and let the cards
speak for themselves as to whether you have a low
hand or a high hand, or both.