MCU poker tip: Two big kickers + small pair in 7-stud

After the fourth card, should you chase down a probable pair of jacks with a smaller pair in seven-card stud? It depends on many factors — the number of players, the exact cards exposed, the betting sequence, the habits of opponents, tells, and more. Remember, the decision you make on fourth street is very important, because — under most casino structures — the fixed limits double on the next betting round.

I will almost always continue to pursue the pot for a single bet when I have two cards higher than the probable opposing pair and I don’t see a higher card than my kickers in that opponent’s hand. So, if my cards are 4-A-4-Q and I suspect a pair of jacks and see no higher cards in that hand, I’ll still play. (In fact, I’ll sometimes bet out and sometimes raise if bet into.) That’s because if I make another pair, I’m likely to have two pair larger than those my opponent would most likely make (jacks up).

If I have 4-3-4-10, though, I’d almost always fold. If I have only one higher card, such as 4-K-4-10, I usually fold, but sometimes call. Of course, this explanation is very simplistic, but it’s a profitable guideline when there are no obvious other factors guiding your

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Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

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