Playing Seventh Street
Seventh street is the final betting round, also known as the river, in Seven-Card Stud. By this stage, you should have very strong clues about what remaining players are holding in their hands – you will have seen how they bet or called their hands over the four preceding rounds, and a total of four out of seven of each player’s cards are face-up on the table.
If you haven’t folded in an earlier round, it should mean that you think you have a good chance of winning and it’s time to bet, raise and re-raise aggressively.
When to Fold at Seventh Street
Generally, the size of the pot by seventh street means that it almost never makes sense to fold. The cost of one extra bet is a small price to pay to ensure that you’re not being bluffed, at least in relation to the chance that you could lose the pot by folding with a winning hand.
Some exceptions though:
- consider folding if your hand is weak (for example, only a high pair) and you’re up against a very conservative player
- also consider folding if your hand is weak and you’re up against two opponents who look set to enter a betting and raising war, meaning the odds are good that one or both have made their hands and the stakes are going to get uncomfortably high
If you failed to draw a card that would have given you a straight or a flush and you’re holding a high pair, two pair or three-of-a-kind, it makes the most sense to check rather than folding (if you get the chance). This will at least give you the benefit of seeing the winner’s cards, which could give you some clues about how the player bets for use in subsequent games.
Bluffing at Seventh Street
At the very least, your hand should be good enough that you might be able to get away with a bluff. For example, other cards dealt, your exposed cards and your betting behavior thus far should lead your opponents to believe that you have a very strong hand indeed (even if your hand is missing the card that would make it this strong). Still, bluffing at seventh street in Seven-Card Stud is extremely risky. Especially if you have more than one opponent left, it’s likely that you’ll be called.