bluff is a bet or raise with a hand you do not think
is the best hand. With more cards to come, you should
generally restrict yourself to semi-bluffs with hands
that may become the best hand.
When deciding whether to make a pure bluff, you estimate
whether your chances of getting away with it are better
than the pot odds you are getting. However, if there
are more cards to come and you plan to continue to
bluff, you must take into account your effective odds.
On the end you should usually bluff with a busted
hand when you think your opponent is weak. Against
a tough player, the bluff tends to work more often
in first position. However, if you have
a hand with some value, don't bet when you are first
so that you can snap off your opponent's bluffs. If
you are in second position and your opponent checks,
show down these same hands since they have little
chance of winning if you bet and get called.
The odds against a bluff s working increase almost
geometrically with each extra person in a pot. Therefore,
it is rarely correct to try to bluff out two or more
players, especially on the end.
When to bluff and when to bet a fair hand for value
is a difficult problem of judgment and experience.
In general, if you do not think you could get away
with a bluff, you should bet your fair hands for value;
if a fair hand cannot be a profitable bet, then a
bluff should be.
Bluffs are another tool of the well-rounded online
poker games player. In my opinion, they should show
a long-run profit the same as any other online poker
games play. Even if you get caught only occasionally,
you can still expect to get paid off when you do have
For semi bluff we'll summarize this somewhat lenghy
on this point by point
semi-bluff is a bet, raise, or check-raise
with a wide variety of hands which you believe
are not the best at the moment. However, they
may win not only right there when your opponent
folds but also in a showdown when they improve
to the best hand. They may also win when your
opponent folds on a later round after you
catch a scare card that makes your hand look
like the best hand
semi-bluff may be used in any games, but it
may be used only with more cards to come.
a hand with which you think you are semi-bluffing
is in fact the best hand. By betting, you
prevent a worse hand from getting a free card.
you have a hand that warrants a call when
your opponent bets, it is usually correct
to bet yourself, particularly in first position.
You thereby gain the chance of winning the
immediately, and you show more strength than
you actually have, which can be to your advantage
Semi-bluffs allow you to be the bettor instead
of the caller, which nearly always puts you
in a more advantageous position.
are a good way to randomize your bluffs, for
you have the added equity of a possible win
even when you are called.
semi-bluff can frequently be a profitable
play in situations where a pure bluff is not.
Your extra out of outdrawing your opponent
can swing your mathematical expectation from
the minus to the plus side.
usually do not semi-bluff when you are sure
your opponent will call. However, if there
opponent will fold, you should bet - or raise
- with a semi-bluffing hand, especially as
the pot gets larger.
is usually better to make a semi-bluff bet
when you are first to act; when you are last,
the opportunity of giving yourself a free
card, and you may not want to risk the chance
opponent check-raising you.
Nergeaua, a well-known tournament player, likes to
think of the play of a hand as having a "flow"-a
smooth transition from one step to the next, from
one bet to the next. Looking for a flow in my play
of this hand, you should be able to see a "jerkiness"
to the flow. Call a raise, then bet. Call a raise,
then bet. Passive, aggressive, passive again. This
isn't a sequence that "flows" to a poker
player. There is no simple beauty to the pattern.
This lack of flow suggests I made mistakes in the
play of the hand.
I might have made a mistake on the flop in not reraising.
Some people think this, and the lack of flow to the
action suggests it. But I think that lack of flow
helped establish a deception. It served to confuse
If he had a 4 or pocket 7s, I wanted him to think
I had overcards. There was a large range of hands
he could have had. Much more than just either overcards
or an overpair to my 10s. His range of possible hands
was larger than that. His unlikely hands (because
of the preflop limp) were QQ KK AA AQ AK. The list
would be too long to list the possible candidates.
But I agree my play was way too jerky. I often play
jerky like that. When I have a hand that I think is
best, but might be drawing thin, I'll often just call
a raise on the flop when an opponent could be betting
a draw and then bet out on the turn. I don't three
bet the flop because I don't want to go four bets
with the hand, but I bet the turn because I don't
want to give a free card. I don't always do that,