Bluffing is an integral part of poker. In a game such as 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular, where so many of the cards are in plain view for everyone to see, it is more challenging to bluff, as compared with games where all or most of the cards are hidden. However, there are still times when it is essential to deceive one’s opponents in order to take down a pot.
The art of bluffing in 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular will provide you with concepts that will allow you to understand when and why these moves are likely to be successful. In looking at these plays, the assumption is being made that you are playing “cards speak,” where there is no declaration of which direction you are playing to win. 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular with declaration creates an entirely different set of bluffing opportunities that is beyond the length of this article, but will be dealt with separately in another article.
Because a low is always paid off in 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular, the most common bluffs are made to represent winning low hands, hoping to push all the players with one-way high hands out of the pot.
For example, if you are dealt the only door card that is an 8 or lower, you can take a shot at the pot by completing the bring-in, regardless of what your two hole cards are. Frequently, you will eliminate all or most of your opponents with this move, and if not, a second low card on fourth street will often take care of the rest of them. Don’t be afraid to follow through on the bluff, even if your hole cards are very bad. Many players will expect you to try and make a move with the only low card on third street, but few will continue on once you catch another good card.
The best times to bluff in 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular are when you have a powerful board. For example, three flush cards, with at least two of them low, or three low straight cards on fifth street will make it very difficult for your opponents to call your bet, especially since the betting limit doubles at that point in the hand. Although this is a great time to try and make a move, you also need to be very conscious of what your opponents are showing in their hands.
Since most good players will fold when they catch a paint (picture) card as their fourth or fifth card when their opponents catch good cards, you should be ready to fire off a bet in these circumstances, even if you know you are probably behind. However, if other players have also caught good cards, you need to be very cautious in trying to push them off their hands, especially if you know they are generally tight players who only play strong hands.
As in any poker game, you will be more successful with your bluffing if a) you have a strong table image, meaning that you tend to show down winning hands and generally don’t play bad cards, and b) you bluff against good players only. This second aspect is very important, because bad players usually won’t lay down marginal or decent hands against aggressive betting from dangerous boards, but will just continue on hoping that you are, in fact, bluffing. Good players, on the other hand, will read the board, and, even if they suspect something is up, will usually lay it down if they sense they are probably beaten.
Remember that bluffing is something you should do sparingly, especially in any 7 Card Stud game. Be prepared to abandon the attempt if your board turns bad, or if your opponents clearly have the better of you and are not going anywhere. You should be someone who rarely bluffs, but makes the moves just enough to be seen as unpredictable and dangerous. That is the easiest way for bluffing to work for you to increase your poker profit margins in 7 Card Stud High/Low Regular.
The Main Index for Poker Variant Seven Card Stud High/Low Regular.