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Seventh-Street Strategy

Introduction

Strategy to play on seventh street

On seventh-street, you need to pay more attention to the details of the game. You will have to remember the cards that your rivals have folded which will give valuable information about the possibilities of your rivals' hands. Take the best judgment based on the information you have gathered all during the play of the hand. If you make guess then you are gambling. Stop making any inaccurate guesses and let the gambling be out of the game.

On seventh-street, you won't get any relevant information about your rivals' hands because the last card is dealt face down, and that's the real thrill of poker game. Therefore when the last card is dealt you should be looking at your rivals rather than at the cards being dealt, like other players will be doing. After your rivals have watched their cards, you can look your card at the last. Your card will stay with you. It is not going anywhere.

This is a place to identify a tell from a rival who has been drawing to a flush or a straight

After a player misses his hand, he might look little distress or perhaps may not show any interest in playing the hand as he is not ready to play mentally. He might share his misfortune with the player next to him, in which case he did not make the hand. You should be concerned that he would show a tell to give it away.

If he looks for only a very short time, folds his cards together and looks at his chips, he has made the hand and is ready to call any bets.

If he looks at his hole cards, and then at his upcards, and then at his hole card and again at his upcards he is likely to figure out if he made a straight. It doesn't take so much looking, even for a new player, to see if he made a flush or a full house. If you are simply watching your cards after the cards have dealt, then you will miss all of his expression.

After all the cards have been dealt and four or more players are still active in the hand, you can figure, it will make three eights or better to win at these limits. With three or fewer players staying to the end, two big pair will win often than they will lose.

Remember that large pots got large because of big hands competing for it. And the bigger the pot, the bigger the hand you generally need to win it.

At medium or lower limits, it is better to play straightforwardly

Sometimes, check-raising is a paying proposition. Many rivals are not sophisticated even to be trapped. Your “moves” will be wasted. Check-raising will not get most of money into the pot at these limits. Solid, mistake-free play will make you win most money.

If you think you have the best hand and are first to act, go ahead and bet. Many players will call with a hand they would not bet, because they doubt of bluffing. You should bet with strong hands, trips, or better and try to reach an inexpensive showdown with your medium or weak hands. However remember that if you consider that your hand is the best hand, whatever his strength, bet it. You don't always need a big hand, but the best hand.

If you think you are in a position of having to make your best guess as to whether yours is the best hand, it is better to call for one last bet with your average-to-good hand, rather than trying to outguess yourself. The pot will be offering you sufficient pot odds that you need to be right only one out of the five times to make this a profitable play. This is a suspicious call that should be made when you have doubt about having the best hand, but there is a better possibility that you do.

For example, you are against one player whom you have figured to be on a flush draw. You have three eights. At sixth-street of 7-card-stud, he was showing four clubs as his board. You have seen only two other clubs. You watch as he looks at his last card, but you don't get a tell. You are high and check. He bets, representing the flush. Rather than trying to guess and figure out if he has made it, just call. It is only one more bet. If he has made it, you might induce him. If he hasn't made it, you win the pot.

Remember this is a suspicious call that should be made when you have doubt about having the best hand, but there is a better possibility that you do

An advantage is that your call will keep players from bluffing at you, especially if you have a tight image. But use your best judgment as far as possible. Better be careful that you develop an image of calling stations.

Many players, especially wise players, fold often in such situations. The pot is big enough at seventh-street even heads-up that it isn't worth your energy to try to guess whether to call or fold. This assumes that there is no scary raise from a third player in the pot. Even if your call is a mistake, it can cost you only one more bet. Not making this call when you should will cost you the entire pot.

What about bluffing? It is advisable that you should not bluff at these limits. If the pot is large you aren't going to bluff everyone out of it for one more bet. And if it is a small pot, why should you bluff it?

Conventional poker wisdom says that you should promote by doing some bluffing early in order to get paid off on your big hands later. This assumes that you are going to have big hands later. You might not. Because from the following reasoning:

Bluffing in a home poker at pubic poker

If you have been playing different poker games with the same people for many years, you can do some bluffing at the game. Otherwise even the weakest of them will figure that you don't bluff and they will not tend to call your seventh-street bets unless they hold big hands which can beat you.

However, in public poker at these medium and lower limits, bluffing isn't necessary. It is difficult to create image as a bluffer. That's because you aren't playing against the same players at every session. For becoming a known bluffer, you have to try and get caught at, several unsuccessful bluffs. That costs money. But before you can set up an image as a bluffer, two rival leaves, a third goes broke and a fourth runs off. Their seats are taken by the players who have not seen you bluff, so you have to start the process all over.

Another problem with bluffing these players is that they tend to do lot of calling on seventh-street, even if you raise or check-raise.

At medium or lower limits, most of the time you should show down the best hand to win because most hands goes to a showdown

There is a saying in poker, “Give the bluffers a chance to bluff.” That means that if you are heads-up against a known bluffer while you are holding a strong, hidden hand and if you suspect that the bluffer has a weak hand that he won't call with, do not bet. Check and give him the opportunity to bluff. If he does, you profit one bet by calling and maybe two by raising – but only if he suspects that your raise is a bluff. Only a bluffer would suspect his bluffing because of his own tendency to bluff.

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