7 Card Stud - 5th Street Strategy
Now we are into the big money streets. Besides your starting hand decision, this is probably the second most important decision point of the game, simply because the majority of money won or lost comes in the final streets of big bet play. Again, stay vigilant as to what the other players are calling, checking and betting with, as you will have even more insight into what they hold.
5th Street with a Dominant Hand
There are a whole host of dominant hands possible on 5th street. If you are lucky enough to have a Royal Flush, 4 of a kind, Full House, Flush or Straight by 5th street, then by all means, consider slow playing. You've all but won the pot already, and your remaining task is to make sure you extract as many chips as possible from your fellow players. There may be times that slow playing here will allow someone to draw out and beat you, but the great majority of the time, these hands are money in the bank.
3 of a Kind is still a dominant hand on 5th street. The chances that someone else has been dealt a higher hand in the first 5 cards is small. However, I am inclined to bet my 3 of a kind on 5th street, if there are alot of limpers looking for flush or straight draws. If by looking at the board your are confident that there are few if any flush/straight chances, then slow play with your trips here as well, otherwise, jam the pot and force a couple of them out if possible.
5th Street with 2 Pair
Bet and raise. You want to win the pot right here, and without seeing another street if possible. There are way too many hands than can beat 2 pair if you allow them to draw out on you. Again, follow the old axiom of making them pay to play.
5th Street with a Draw Hand
If you have 4 to a flush or 4 to an open ended straight on 5th street, you are probably staying to the river. However, you want to call here, not bet or raise. You only have 2 more chances to make your hand.
If you only have 3 to a straight or flush draw on 5th street, fold. There are precious few times I will call a bet here. If I have other value like a small pair with high kickers, I may stay, as this provides a larger number of outs. But as a general rule, fold on 5th street if you have not got your 4th draw card.
5th Street with a High Pair
If noone raised your bet on 4th street, then continue to jam the pot. You are hoping to force as many people off the table as possible now. If you are “beaten in sight” as in someone has a pair on their porch that beats you, fold immediately. Don't chase.
5th Street with a Low Pair
Dont bet. Your best chance now is to get in free or call one bet. I generally don't even call one bet, unless none of my outs have shown or folded. In reality, this is probably a losing hand already. Don't invest anymore into it if you can help it. Here again, you want live overcard kickers. Small pairs with small kickers are losers hands.
Of course the exception would be a continued bluff attempt from 4th street, if there is only one player left at the table.