Now if you have reached to the final table with a short or medium stack against many large stacks, you will need to put your patience to the test by waiting for the correct situation possible to put in your money. If your stack is small and you can make only one or two bets, you will need to fold them in on a medium pair, three big cards, or a strong looking three-flush which is live.
The antes are generally small enough in relation to future bets that you can wait for a premium hand. But once you have committed with a short stack, you will have to go all in. You hope to either eliminate players or to make your rivals put in their money early so that if you end up with the best hand, you can get full value from the pot. With a short stack, it is a bad play to put in only the minimum bet when you know you will need to go all-in on a later street irrespective of what your rivals do. If you just call, the rivals left to act behind you can get away form their hands on fourth-street without putting in any extra chips.
When you are against one rival or the table is down to three players, in that case you will have to do more ante stealing in the later stages than you have did in other stages. You should be ready to slow down more quickly because your rivals won't continue to let you intimidate them without taking a stand. So if you get caught in a bluff or a semi-bluff, be ready to throw away your hand as quickly as possible.
If you are on a semi-bluff and get called, whether you fold on fourth-street depends upon your style of playing poker. For instance, if you are on a three-flush and did not catch anything good on fourth-street and don't have a scary front, you should better fold even if your rival's front also looks weak. For example, if he called you on third-street with a small pair, fold if you cannot beat that.
However, if you are semi-bluffing and catch a card that gives you a pair or gives you either a four-flush or a four-straight, you can continue to play the hand so long as you have overcards. You should continue betting into your rival, if you are first to act.
If you are against a very aggressive player, be selective about when you take a stand. If he is trying to mix up with you, you may try to re-raise bluff or semi-bluff although they are very risky moves. But if it looks nothing will slow him down, you should wait and try to pick him off with better cards.
Heads-up play needs an accurate evaluation of your rivals. In the later stages of the tournament, you should be able to read him rather well: his behavior, his style, what is he planning to do and so on. Remember that it takes far less strength to get involved in a pot heads-up than it does when even as few as three or four players have left the table.
For example the low upcard is a deuce and you have a jack showing. You have far better chance of taking the pot with a raise than you would if low card were an 8 and you held a 9. When you have nothing at all, you should better off just fold.
There are two possibilities when you can limp in heads-up rather than raise. One possibility is with a marginal hand such as 9 up against an 8. If, for example, you have 7-10 in the hole you may want to take off a card. Although you are looking for that perfect 8, you might catch one of your overcards and end up with the best pair. Another possibility with such a marginal hand is when you hold a three-flush and only your upcard is higher than your rival's doorcard. You hope to either pair your high card or catch a fourth flush card. If you don't, you quickly throw away your hand if your rival bets into you.
Strong boards are the key to whether to semi-bluff, bluff or continue with a hand in heads-up play. The best judgment in seven-card stud is always required in deciding how to best continue with your hand.
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