Was this bluff believable

It didnt work, but I think it was a good bluff, with the flush project. Moreover, the villain didnt have flush blockers.

What do you think?

Hi @Topav,

I would have believed you, your opponent didn’t.

Hope this helps.



I like your idea to bluff, and having a potential flush card hit the river makes it a pretty good spot to bluff. However, there were a few issues with your play/bluff.

  1. Never min-raise. The only time I min-raise is on the button heads-up and late in tournaments when the average stack is <40bbs. Most of the time it accomplishes nothing except create a bloated multi-way pot (though I am curious what your hand was).

  2. You called on the flop. What hands with two spades should be calling? 6x/8x/97/75 and maybe T9/54, but that shouldn’t be too many combos. You could call with other spade hands like Ax but you will be losing in the long run from those calls, and the ace of spades on the turn takes away most of those combos. By the river there are only 45 spade combos if you play every single suited hand. A more credible range is like 25 combos, and that is if you called flop with all of them. Realistically, I could generously give you 15 combos, but that is under the assumption that your range is something like 500 total combos (so you would have a flush ~3-4% of the time on this river).

  3. Your bet sizing is too small. You only bet half-pot on the turn, so villain only needs to be ahead 1/3 of the time to call. If you want folds and to rep a big hand, you need to bet bigger. But there were no straights or flushes by the turn, so you can’t rep them. Maybe you are repping a draw, but it doesn’t make a ton of sense. On the river you make a small raise. Given that villain already showed strength by betting, this is unlikely to work. You don’t really have enough chips behind to apply a ton of pressure (they are still getting a decent price to call, especially after improving to two pair), but you at least need to shove initially. Once they re-raise you need to give up, and your shove is very tiny in the end.

  4. None of the above ideas even matter. Most players here aren’t thinking about what you are repping, just about what they have. In my opinion, it looks like you are repping an ace or maybe two-pair or a set (like QQ/A6), but it looks like all villain sees is “I have two pair, I am not folding”. Don’t bluff players like that if it looks like they like their hand (you can tell because they bet/call/raise). Only bluff them if they seem weak and/or have shown themselves to be capable of folding or fold too often. You don’t really need to bluff here.

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OMG I can’t give you enough likes for this answer. It was clarifying in so many ways!!

Where can I learn more about combos? any web or video recommendation? ^^

Here is one page/video on it (https://www.splitsuit.com/poker-combos-blockers). I find Splitsuit and The Poker Bank to be really useful resources for the fundamentals of poker (on their websites and on Youtube). Equilab is a free software to play around with this stuff.

But, as much as I use combos and blockers in these discussions, they aren’t something you will know or be calculating in real time. They are to provide a sense of how frequently you will hit a certain board or have a certain hand strength within your entire range. So, if I think my opponent usually raises with pocket pairs, they will not have many two card flushes (because they have few combos of suited hands in their range). Or with blockers, if I hold 9h9s, and the nuts on the board (7h6cTs2cKd) is a straight with 89, my opponent can only have half as many straights (8 combos) than they would if I did not have a 9 in my hand (16 combos). The point isn’t to count combos but to use them to estimate frequencies more accurately.

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I’d focus on bullet 4 in JoeDirk’s response: I don’t bluff much at all when playing at those stakes. Your bluffs will lose money on the whole, and they don’t really add much value to your value bets either, as people are already probably calling value bets at an insanely high rate, and it often feels like they don’t remember what happened on prior hands anyway.

A minor exception: people on the lower stakes tables will fold to bluffs on the river, as they’ve often been on a draw the entire way, especially if you’ve been showing some strength on prior streets. But here, you’re looking for river bluffs where a dry card comes, that would have caused the obvious draws to miss. Here you had the opposite. A wet card bluff in general, in my opinion, tends to work better against tighter opponents, and there are just fewer of those at these stakes. But if they’ve missed their hand, many of your “bluffs” will just be thin value bets, or even the worst kind of bet: a bet where all the hands worse than yours fold, and all the hands better call. You want to avoid making that last kind of bet, as you gain nothing extra when they fold, and then lose additional chips when they call. So if you “bluff” here, you want to only do that with an incredibly weak hand (maybe 5 or 6 high).

One other key: someone that has shown strength at these lower levels has often completely fallen in love with their hand. Their heart is pounding, and they can’t even really see what the river card was, they just know that they finally, finally, finally have a winning hand. It is almost impossible to get someone in that state to fold their hand. Note how this player just kept on raising and raising and raising, even though those raises really made no sense: after you kept raising back, you’d normally think Q8 is probably not good there. Even a set wouldn’t normally take the line you did.

preflop felt like I was seeing a game of limit holdem … after that I couldn’t continue.

LOL… that also ended up continuing post flop.

Congratulations on climbing into the top ten, by the way. Looking forward to seeing you in the top 5.