Inducing and Stopping Bluffs
The two preceding pages demonstrated how, with sound judgment or poker game theory, a poker player who bluffs correctly gains a tremendous edge over his opponents. In fact, given two games - one with otherwise poor poker players who bluff approximately correctly and another with solid poker players who do not bluff - you do better to play in the solid poker game. When I started playing draw poker for a living in Gardena, California, I intuitively suspected I was better off playing in games with the typically tight Gardena players than in the looser poker games with poker players who played too many hands. I realize now what the difference was. The tight poker players never bluffed, which was profitable for me, whereas in the looser poker games players were bluffing more or less correctly - and that hurt me.

Good bluffing strategy is such a powerful weapon that it is important to develop tactics to keep your opponents from bluffing correctly. Naturally you are not concerned about changing the habits of opponents who almost never bluff or bluff far too much. But when you find yourself up against a player whose occasional bluffing keeps you on the defensive, you want to try to lead that opponent away from correct bluffing strategy. You want to induce him to bluff more than he should or stop him from bluffing as often as he should.

Whether you try to induce a bluff or to stop a bluff depends upon your opponent. If you are playing against a relatively tight player who nevertheless seems to be winning too many hands without getting called, suggesting he may be stealing some pots, you want to stop him from bluffing. That is, you want to push him away from optimum bluffing strategy to the point where he is afraid to bluff you at all. On the other hand, you want to push an aggressive player who may be bluffing slightly more than optimally into bluffing even more. In other words, against an opponent who seems to bluff a little more than is correct, induce a bluff and make that player bluff more. Against an opponent who tends to bluff less than is correct, stop him and make him bluff even less. In either case, you are stopping bluffs or inducing bluffs to make your opponents bluff incorrectly.
[ 1 ][ 2 ]
 
General Comments on The Game

 
Seven-card stud is a game of live cards. You have to be alert to other players' upcards, not just how it might effect their hand, but also how it effects your hand.

Every betting round brings a new set of upcards and a new situation.

Use the upcards and your opponents' actions to put them on a hand. Does he have a straight draw? A flush draw?

Many players will bet automatically if they have three cards to a flush showing, trying to represent a hand they don't have. A corollary to this Is that a player who is aggressive with a completely uncoordinated board and has no possible straight or flush is probably not bluffing. He isn't representing anything, so he probably has a hand.
 
eXTReMe Tracker copyrights © 2005 all rights reserved. Online Poker Guru