One thing has been overlooked. All players at a table are LIARS, at least some of the time. And it is more difficult to “spot” a liar when you are not able to see or hear the player. Therefore we need to rely on the way they play and bet. I have found it useful to spot someone who over-bets, rather than bluffing. Not that I have perfected it by any means, but it is a good tool.
It’s not so easy to see if someone is bluffing, but if you have played with your opponents for a while, you learn, but as I said, it is not easy! A player who does not have that many chips left often takes a chance! But that’s the charm of this game, everyone can win if you are good enough at bluffing
Yes, frequency is important. Someone who bets rarely is likely to have fewer bluffs mixed in with their bets that someone that bets a very high fraction of the time.
I’ve also observed that some players are very unbalanced with bet sizing, where they’ll have one size that is mostly bluffs, and another size that is mostly value. Occasionally you even run into a gold mine, where one size is always a bluff, and another size is always value.
Another pattern I’ve seen that can sometimes be useful here: I’ve seen players that have a high bluff frequency on the flop and turn, but almost never bluff the river. The pattern is not necessarily always those same streets, but it is worth noting that many players bluff some streets more than others. A similar pattern is someone that often fires a c-bet (and hence has a higher ratio of bluffs on the flop), but if you see a bet on the turn, it’s time to give up unless you have a real hand.
I think using that word “ Liar “ is a bit harsh. You could have picked a better word because believe you me if you were at a live table and called someone that you’d probably get knocked out.
I took the word “Liar” from the article RP is promoting written by Alan25main. if its ok for him, why not me? Also, everybody I have played with live, would agree that all players lie or misrepresent their cards sometimes. It was not meant to be disparaging, only to point out something we all know. And it was not said about one player but about players in general.
AND its just a comment about Alan25main’s article. I am trying to fit into RP’s forum like RP wants us to do – trying to be part of the community. Post it or don’t – I don’t really care at this point. I did not know that my post would be so closely censored. Why censor me but allow others to blatantly disregard your rules?
Let’s hope our fellow players are a little less sensitive about being named for telling un-truths–which every one of us has to do. Except me–I only bluff that I bluff. In fact, I just mis-click sometimes and get away with it–sometimes.
I apologise. I thought CRAIG_ANTHONY was part of RP staff. Sorry.
I’m not too concerned about the terminology – but – a liar by any other name is still a liar. we try to soften it up by calling it a bluff but it still misrepresents our hand.
By the way – I rarely bluff but i sometime overbet my hand.
I think it’s fine to say that bluffing is lying in jest, or for an interesting and eye catching point, but I also feel strongly that bluffing does not in any way constitute a lie. We are playing a game where any player may put chips in the middle of the pot whenever they want to. When I put chips in the middle of the pot without a strong hand, I am simply making an investment based on calling frequencies, and to improve future value when I do have stronger hands. I am not stating that I have a strong hand… just that I like the idea of putting chips in the middle at that spot.
A lie is a statement that you know is untrue. A bluff is not a lie.
When you bluff, you say, “I’m willing to bet that you can’t call this amount with the cards you have.”
How is that a lie?
SunPowerGuru & Yorunoame::
I agree with you both. I had not considered bluffing in that light. However, I think we are getting off the point. And that is we need to spot a bluff to play better poker. Thank you both for speaking your mind on the topic. I appreciate your thoughts.
You don’t always know when you’re bluffing, let alone when someone else is.
Take, for example, someone who makes a continuation bet on the flop every time they are the preflop aggressor. The flop will miss them 75% of the time, but this doesn’t mean they are bluffing that often.
If we assume they opened or 3-bet or whatever preflop because they believe they have the best hand, they will often have the best hand on the flop whether they connected or not. Is a C-bet a bluff there?
What about someone who flops a big combo draw, say to the nut flush and a straight. Yeah they didn’t directly connect with the flop, but are still a statistical favorite to win by showdown. If they bet, is it a bluff?
The point is that you can’t always spot when you yourself are bluffing.
@Yorunoame pointed out some of the ways to predict the likelihood of a bet being a bluff. Frequencies and betting patterns are usually good tells, but not everyone makes such mistakes.
Another question might be, “How strong do you have to be in order to call what you think is a bluff?”
These aren’t easy questions to answer.
You can also just watch my ears… they turn red when I’m bluffing.
Yes, that’s true. And there is also a lot of bluffing in play between the blinds, where bets are partly information seeking (do you have an ace, do you want to continue with this pot?) and partly bluff.
And then there are preflop 3-bets that are partly bluffs. Having 3-betted an early raise and a call from position, now when the flop comes low, you have laid the groundwork for suggesting to your opponents that you have a high pair in your hand.
In a sense all bets are bluffs, in the sense that the aim of nearly all bets is to deceive your opponent about the strength or weakness of your hand. There are possible exceptions, like raising preflop with a pocket pair to warn your opponents that you have a made hand, and if they call and miss the flop, there will be no mercy shewn, or when you shove the turn with a massive overbet to tell your opponents “I am ahead right now with two pairs, and I don’t you to continue to draw to your flush or straight.” This kind of bet, of course, gives you cover for when you make the same move with nothing, in which case it IS a bluff.
The trick to lying, and bluffing, is to make sure there is ample truth involved to keep em guessing.
“See, honey, sometimes my lips are moving and I’m NOT lying.”
I will admit to poor eyesight causing me to think I had a flush all along, or confusion causing me to not realize I flopped a boat until the river, but liar? Not ME
me gusta pensar que hay que pagar para ver lo mio tiene un precio y lo del otro tiene su precio pagan y pago ,jajaj nada de mentiras …
Bievenido a esta communidad. No se cuantos aqui entienden espanol, y posiblamente es mejor usar una applicacion de traducion para escribir en ingles.
Sí, supongo que puedes verlo de esa manera, pero solo quieres ver lo que tiene la otra persona si crees que tienes una mejor mano de 5 cartas.
I actually like paying to see sometimes when I’m pretty sure I’m behind. I think I’ve called a river bet with 3 high at least once before. It is certainly a losing play in the short run, but if it is someone you play regularly, better understanding how they play has value.
I don’t think this applies much to tournaments, unless it is someone you bump into on final tables over and over again.
I do think it might be fair point out I’m being a bit silly here, since I could probably just wait for a better hand to make the same call with…
I hope you at least had outs to a straight flush or something in order to get to the river with 3 high! (haha)
But yeah, table image considerations aside, I have called with nothing a few times just to see what my opponent was playing.
One thing that people sometimes overlook is that it can be worth calling a river bet with an Ace no kicker, because playing the board as a kicker may chop the pot.