Well this is the end. You either have the best hand or you don't. If you have followed the guidance for the early streets, you either have a hand or a busted draw. If you have a busted draw, you should simply abandon the hand. Bluffs at this point tend to be -EV and have little chance of success. If you have a hand, you need to determine if you have the best hand. So, reading your opponents cards and actions is the prime consideration.
First let's look at those hands that stand to be the best, Full Houses, flushes, straights, etc. BET or RAISE. Do not attempt to check raise unless you are positive an aggressive player yet to act will bet. Unless you have a good read, or the player showed you his hand, you should normally re-raise or call if you are raised.
• vs. ?-? -? Even with a Full House, in this situation, a check and call is probably the best.
• vs. ?-? -? (or ?-? -? ) Another case of discretion might be the best idea. Check and call.
• vs. -? (or the hands above.)
• Check and call.
With any of these hands, if there has been significant action on the early streets, you might consider folding. If the hand bets and another player calls, your hand is even weaker. Although you sometimes see it at the lower limits, most players will attempt to bluff more than one player.
Trips or a High two pair. Against one or two players either of these hands could be the best hand, and unless you have reason to believe someone has a better hand you should bet and call if raised. To a simple bet, (Ask your self this question, "Has anyone indicated a better hand with their play during the early rounds?") the pot odds normally dictate a call. If there is a bet and a raise to you, a FOLD is probably the best play.
A low two pair, or an unimproved high pair are not much more than bluff catchers at this point. You've got to make the read. Some players will continue to drive, hoping that you are on a busted hand and will fold to a bet. Run the hand and the player's actions back through your mind. Could he be bluffing? If there are other players in the hand, a FOLD is usually best.
As recommended at the beginning, everything else should simply be folded.
In conclusion, since this is the end. The goal of this tutorial is to get you to the end of the hand with best hand, and to fold all other hands as early as possible. Although following this guide in low limit games will often be profitable, it does not maximize your winnings. It is designed to put you in the game, so you can gain the experience needed to progress, without losing your whole bankroll. Here are a few good rules.
You will have the best hand only 1 out of 8 times. You should fold early and often. Only start with good starting hands. Calling the small bring-in bet with marginal cards is a slippery slope that will cost you money as you get just enough to see one more card.
• Do not chase a higher pair heads up.
• Do not chase higher trips, higher straights or higher flushes unless the pot is very, very large.
• Do not call on 3rd street with a flush or straight draw if you will be heads up.
• Always know how big the pot is. It is the first step in calculating the pot odds.
Well I've started the tutorial on reading hands in 7 Card Stud, and I've got an outline on Advanced Play. I tend to play on Full Tilt but can be found on Poker Stars, Bodog and Party Poker. My Id on all three is jbharshaw. You can contact me through the PokerWorks Forum, (Email, or pm me and I'll send my MSN or Yahoo id.) If you find me online I'll gladly rail you while you're playing, or if I'm in a stud game you are welcome to rail me.
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