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7 Card Stud - 7th Street Strategy

Hopefully if you have made it to 7th street, you are now preparing to rake up the chips and start counting your winnings.  Either you have the best hand or you dont.  If you think you do, bet, if think you dont, fold.  By now, from watching how the other players bet or called their hands, and from the 4 cards showing on their porch, you should have an excellent idea of what they have.

If you have missed your straight or flush draws, then obviously you are checking/folding.  Always check if given the chance, because at least you will be able to see the winners cards, and this may give you an edge down the road in understanding how he bets and what he bets with.

If you have dominant hands, you are betting, squeezing that last penny from anyone who will call.  On the other hand, if you're holding a high pair, 2 pair or 3 of a kind, checking on the river might be a good idea.  If one of the other players made their straight or flush, be assured that they will bet and you will only have to put in one bet to call to make sure they aren't bluffing.

I have read one play philosophy that said always bet out on the river, thus giving yourself a chance to win by the other players folding, even if they have a better hand than you.  In my opinion, this only works in high limit or no limit games.  In low limit poker, noone is going to fold a good hand when they can see if your bluffing for a couple of bucks.

When do you fold a good hand on the river?  Almost never.  By now, the pot size is big enough that its worth one extra bet to make sure you're not being bluffed.  By gaining the reputation as someone who can't be bluffed out on the river, you will also avoid having people try it very often.

One of the few times I will consider folding on the river is if I have been jamming with a high pair or limping with a low pair, and I have a “rock“ (extremely conservative) player bet on the river.  Another exception might be when I have a high pair or low pair and 2 other players who have been drawing get into a bet/raise war.  Chances are that both of them aren't bluffing, and at least one if not both have made their hand.  I would probably fold in this case.


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