The Delayed Semi-Bluff Raise
 
A third case in which calling against a possible semi-bluff might be a good play is what I might call the delayed semi-bluff raise. It's a play I make against very tough players who frequently semi-bluff and who are thoroughly familiar with the ordinary semi-bluff raise as a response to their semi-bluffs.

Here's how it works. In seven-card stud I might have a queen showing and a queen in the hole, giving me a pair of queens, and an opponent with a king showing raises. I suspect this person might be semi-bluffing with maybe a small pair or even less, but I just call. On the next card we both catch blanks, and the opponent comes out firing. What I do now is raise! I raise with a pair of queens into a possible pair of kings. It may seem like a strange play, but it adds a confusing twist to the ordinary semi-bluff raise. When I called the first bet, my opponent suspected I had queens though I could have had something like a three-flush. Now when I raise him on fourth street, my opponent has to wonder whether I've made queens up. Unless he really does have two kings, he can't conceivably call with something like ace, king high. And I want him to fold even if my pair of queens is the best hand. I want him to make a mistake according to the Fundamental Theorem of Poker, because with a couple of over cards or with, say, a small pair and one over card, he is getting sufficient odds for a call.

Suppose, though, my opponent really does have kings. Well, I'm not in the best of shape, but my opponent most likely won't reraise, fearing I have queens up. Furthermore, he'll check to me on the next round if his hand hasn't improved, and I can get myself a free card. Should this card happen to give me an open pair, it would be very difficult even for a pair of kings to call my bet since it looks as if there's a good chance I've now made a full house.
Is the Comfort Worth It?
 
Although one might debate the merits of questionable grooming habits, it's certainly clear that in many ways one can be more comfortable playing Internet poker than B&M poker. Leaving the companionship issues aside, there's a threshold question you should examine before you decide one of the strong arguments in favor of Internet poker is that extra comfort.

Is feeling so very comfortable really in your best interest when playing poker, especially if (as would seem when playing on the Internet, where the social aspect is greatly diminished) your goal is to win money~
A strong case can be made that you don't want to be quite so comfortable when you play to win. A winning poker player is focused. He's looking for every clue he can find, pushing every small edge he can find.
 
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