Many people think poker is about bluffing but many times you will hear people say how do I get a bluff to work? Others will say bluffing is a waste of time as they always get called and lose.
While there is bluffing in poker, poker is not about the bluff. Most top pros say if you bluff more than a handful of time per session you may be over doing it. One of the reasons for this is if you bluff to often you will be more likely to get caught and once players see it, they will start calling you more often. Of course, this is great for you when you have a value hand but it not easy to make a hand in poker.
As for bluffing never working, if this is you the real question is why is it happening to you? Some players bluff to bluff or feel that’s the only way they can win a hand. While there are times this is true bluffing is not really that simple. It could be bad timing, or they just had a hand. It could also be a bad bluff.
So how do you bluff? Bluffing is about telling a story as the hand plays out. The idea is to convince the player you are against that you have a specific hand of a hidden monster. Let’s for example say you call in the small blind an early position raises from a tighter player 120 big blinds deep. The flop is 8s 7s 3d and you check call the flop cbet. The turn is a 2c. and you check call again. At this point you have to realize the early position raiser most like has a good over pair as this flop and turn is not that good for them. Notice I haven’t said anything about your hand. It doesn’t matter. TO the raiser he has to think you don’t have that big of a hand. maybe you not playing an 8 aggressively but it could look to him you don’t have 2 pair, or a set as based of his play you could re raise his bets to attempt to stack him. What is also could look like is a flush or straight draw. So, let’s say the river is a 2d. If you decided to bluff here is will most likely fail. Why? Well, what are you representing here? Some would say well I could have trip 2’s. OK what hand did you call a raise that would have call the flop that had a 2 in it? Are you really calling 32s? of course not. Making a bluff here would not make sense. Now let’s say its 6s. This is an ugly card for the early position raiser. Why? Well, the obvious is you could have a flush but also calling with say T9s on the flop would have given you overs that if they hit could beat his ace high hands, but you also would have an open end straight draws the 6 completed. This would be a great situation to make a bluff on. With 2 obvious draws coming in against a player who most likely has an over pair this story could make enough sense to a player with an over pair to fold his hand.
Bluffing maybe part of the game but always remember is has to make sense and be logical. Going to the river you can see an opportunity that you may be able to make a bluff but if the card you need does not show up you should not attempt the bluff.
On any free online poker sites this theory goes right out the window. In real live cash games bluffing is an art form and should be used sparingly.
Exactly. It’s not wise to bluff on free sites, and even if you are playing at really small stakes online for real money, a few pennies to your opponents to call you down really isn’t costing them much more than on a free site. Think about it, are few pennies or a nickle or two a lot of money to you? Bluffing works when it starts to hurt their pocketbook. Even then, bluffing shouldn’t be overdone, but your bluffs have a much greater chance of getting thru when the stakes start to get higher. A bluff at 200NL has a much greater chance of working than at 5NL or free poker.
This is completely incorrect!
On rivers where no draws complete, by following your guide, one would never bluff. Never bluffing is a terrible play, because you become easily exploitable, as an opponent can snap-fold every value bet you make, and you don’t get paid for your good hands.
Try bluffing with hands that block the part of their range that call you - you generate fold equity this way, and force your opponents to call your value bets.
I agree that a bluff has to be part of a believable story. I would not likely try a bluff from the SB, but would be more likely to try it when I have position on the other player and also when I have a good understanding of the player’s tendencies and playing style (if they are a calling station - never bluff them but if they are a tight player or play “fit or fold,” then I would be more likely to try a bluff). I would also be more likely to make a “semi” bluff when I have a good draw and there are still cards to come rather than trying a big river bluff.
Define “ Semi Bluff “ please
By “semi-bluff,” I mean I do not have the best hand now but I could get there if my draw comes in. So, at this point, it would be a bluff, but the next card (turn or river) could give me an actual hand where the next bet would be a value bet instead of a bluff.
Semi bluff** = some chance of winning the hand if called. I would add @mattiebumpo Large chance of loosing and suggest, think of patience and discipline unless the gut feeling of Faith is with you!!
Never heard of it and I’ve been playing poker for just about 40 years including WSOP. You either Bluff or you don’t. “ Semi Bluff ? “ that’s going to be a good topic on my Podcast. Thank you for responding.
What is a Semi-Bluff?
A semi-bluff is nothing more than a bet with a hand that’s probably not the best one right now, but has a pretty high likelihood of improving to the best hand on subsequent rounds. Drawing hands – particularly straight and flush draws – fall conveniently into that category.
Great post mate. If I were writing about Semi Bluffs, it would be like the info you added.
I will disagree with you this is incorrect. It’s a start on a safer bluffing strategy. To give out all options it would be way too much of a post and would probably confuse many. I agree there are time you need to bluff when A draw does not come in but is still needs to be based on some logic.
A Bluff is part of the great game of poker. However do it wisely!!!
Definitely need to keep in mind that at free sites like Replay that far too many players won’t fold, no matter what.
Not to mention most feel “ lucky “ as if they were born that way and the fact that it’s free chips.
I never ever bluff! I always think I have something. Go figure.
I do believe bluffing is a figure of speech, we are simply playing the hands dealt to us and believing the raise or re-raise will increase the outcome of positive results for us. However for those who lost their stack will be considered as a bluffer to many.
I get the idea of a semi-bluff…you flop an open ender, a 4 card flush, low pair. You might even be leading with low pair.
A bluff that often works after a preflop raise from late position is after the flop if everybody checks to you, you can probably buy the pot, particularly if a ace showed up.
An example of when it doesn’t work helped me out today when the button was raising, after the flop as well and into the turn with 32o. I had kx, flopped trips, after the all in the I rivered 4 of a kind…wtf?
I see a lot of this go on whereas players go all in post flop with zilch. I guess sometimes that works, but keep it up and you’ll soon be gone.
Then there’s the art of the check raise bluff. If you can do that, you’re amazing since almost always if you get check raised, you’re in bad shape.
Bluffing is bluffing. If you got nothing and raise, reraise, or shove, you’re bluffing the table.