These two poker games are closely related to Seven Card Stud and are so similar to each other that they have been combined into one article. Both forms of Chicago play just like Seven Card Stud except for one difference.
In Chicago High, the game is played normally until the very end when the pot is awarded to the winner. The player with the best hand wins half the pot while the player with the highest Spade hole card wins the other half of the pot.
It’s important to note that this only applies to hole cards, which are the face down cards in a player’s hand. If a player is showing the Ace of Spades, that doesn’t help anything. The highest spade has to come from one of the hidden cards.
Chicago Low is the opposite of Chicago High. At the end of the hand, the player with the best hand wins half the pot and the player with the lowest Spade for a hole card wins the other half of the pot. If nobody has a Spade for a hole card in either version, the player with the best hand wins the entire pot.
At the beginning of each hand, each player pays an ante to get the game started. The ante is a small, mandatory bet equal to 10% the size of the lower betting limit. Antes are used to force people to contribute to each pot so that players can’t wait for the perfect hand every time.
Each player is dealt three cards, two of them face down and one of them face up.
The player with the lowest card showing begins the first betting round by paying the bring-in. The bring-in is a forced bet equal to half of the lower betting limit. The player who pays the bring-in may leave the current bet at that amount or raise it up to the lower betting limit.
The betting then continues clockwise around the table. Each player must call the bring-in or minimum bet to continue in the hand. If any player makes a raise, all the other players at the table must either call that raise, re-raise, or fold.
The dealer gives each player one card face up. The betting in this round begins with the player who has the best hand showing. This player has the option to check, bet, or fold. The betting then continues to the left around the table.
The dealer gives each player one card face up. There is another round of betting just like the last round. From this street on, the betting amounts move up to the upper betting limit.
Each player gets one card face up. There is another round of betting just like the last round.
The dealer gives each player one card face down. There is a final round of betting just like the last round.
The players still in the hand now reveal their cards. The player with the best poker hand, using any five of his seven cards, wins half the pot. The player showing the highest spade hole card wins the other half of the pot.
There are two ways to deal with a situation in which the player with the highest hand also has the highest spade. One option is to give that player the entire pot. The other option is to give that player half the pot and give the other half to the player with the second best spade.
Note – These showdown rules assume you are playing Chicago High. If playing Chicago Low, you would use the lowest spade instead of the highest spade to determine the winner.