Playing Sixth Street in Seven Card Stud

(This article is a follow up to "Seven Card Stud Fifth Street Strategy")

Sixth Street StrategyThe sixth street in Seven Card Stud is mostly just a continuation of your play on fifth street. By now, you have a pretty solid idea of what your final hand is going to look like. If you still don’t have a strong hand, this is the time to get out of the hand.

Many stud players will tell you it’s a mistake to fold on sixth street but that’s nonsense. Yes, the bets are typically small compared to the size of the pot, but that doesn’t mean you should call no matter what you have. If you’re drawing dead or your hand is clearly not the best one at the table, there’s no better time to fold than right now.

If you read the strategy articles for 5th and 6th street, you should already have a pretty good idea of how to play your made hands on sixth street. Slow playing with your strong hands is no longer a good idea because there is only this betting round and one more on 7th street.

Your drawing hands are only going to get one more chance to improve so you better make sure you’re getting the right price to continue chasing your draws. The pot will occasionally be large compared to the bets so there will be times when chasing is still a profitable play on sixth street.

Bluffing on Sixth Street

Bluffing is usually a bad idea on sixth street for several reasons. First of all, the pot will often be too large compared to the bet sizes for you to successfully bluff. Many of your opponents will feel like it’s worth calling a small bet to see the next card.

Secondly, your opponents are less likely to fold because they have gotten this far in the hand for a reason. They either have a strong hand, a strong draw or are just too loose to fold. The players who are willing to fold will usually fold when the bets double on fifth street. If they stayed for that action, there’s a good chance they will stay for more.

I’m not suggesting that you never bluff on sixth street, though. That would make it too easy for observant players to exploit you. All I’m saying is that you should usually avoid bluffing on sixth street – especially in small stakes games.

Observation is Key

On sixth street, you can now see every card you’ll have a chance to see. You can combine what you see on the board with your opponents’ betting patterns to get a pretty good idea of what everyone has. Every bet and every card tells a small piece of the story, and when you put it all together, you can often fill in the gaps to come surprisingly close to guessing any opponent’s hand.

The main thing you want to figure out on sixth street is how well your hand fares against the likely hands of your opponents. If you suspect you have the best hand, you will want to bet aggressively from here on out. This is the second to last betting round so you should get as much money as you can in the middle. Your opponents will let you know if they have you beat.

Now that you know about playing sixth street, learn how to play seventh street.

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