Originally Posted by Bill_Hollorian
One question, when is it appropriate to re steal, and thwart a steal attempt?
If you suspect that He is semi bluffing and ultimately fails to improve, how do you time a raise? Could you reraise the turn or the river to confirm, and hopefully resteal the hand?
In the hand you describe your calling all the way, I beleive. How would things have turned out if you popped him on the turn, or even the river?
"It all depends."
But to qualify a bit more, I usually play one of two ways (presuming I'm intent on staying in the hand because the pot odds
makes my draw worthwhile).
- If I'm in last position, I'll often raise on the flop. Very few players at the lower limits are strong enough to see through that to counter with a reraise when they're on a draw. But some are, however, so be watchful of that. The purpose of that raise is to test the strength of his hand, primarily, but secondly to see if he'll check the turn (in which case, he's no longer semibluffing). If the turncard doesn't react the way I want it to, and he checks, I get a free river. Of course, checking the turn on the button after reraising the flop is one of the largest signs of weakness you can give. He's sure to put you on a draw at that point, and so he can probably tell on the river whether you hit or not.
- Last position, sometimes (rarely), I'll call the flop and raise on the turn. This is more to mix up my own game than a good way of making money right then and there. Presuming that the turn didn't help me, my raise on the turn serves only to push others into folding and might reduce my winnings if I do hit on the river.
- In earlier position than the guy who bet the flop - presuming I don't just fold or call, as I generally don't like playing aggressively with a draw out of position - I might checkraise on the flop. Checkraising is one of the primary signs of strength at the table, and might really make your opponent wonder what you just hit on the flop. A checkraise on the flop, and then a bet on the turn might just make him fold unless he gets pot odds to continue to the river.
You asked what would happen if I popped him on the river, which is an interesting idea. Clearly, he's shown tremendous weakness (or incredible trickyness, and you're facing a checkraise, but I've hardly ever seen that play - interesting idea though), and a bet here would therefore be positive outcome if he folds to your raise once in a while. But here, I'd also stop and consider how he must reason now. He's bet out on the flop, on the turn, and then stopped to check on the river. All of a sudden you - who's just been calling - decide to bet. He perhaps had you figured to be on a draw, and nothing indicates that you had gotten what you were looking for. Surely you're just trying to steal it? Of course, he can't call, as he has nothing, so you're taking it home.
That river bet, though, falls mostly into the category of "if he calls, you'll lose and if he folds, you would have won anyway", so I'm not so sure I'd recommend it. If you want to make a move, I'd do it on the flop (early signal of strength) or on the turn (where the raise hurts him more to call).
But this is really an "it all depends" situation. To be aggressive with a draw, you need to feel confident about who you're up against, you need to have a feeling for the texture of the flop and that he's unlikely to have hit anything. You need to have a table image of someone who's not a maniac, and you need to not be afraid to lose money if it fails. If you do fail to draw or push him out, and he cackles as he realizes his Q2o was good with the pair of deuces he got on the turn, you need to re-evaluate how you're perceived at the table. Anyone who watched that hand will immediately now presume that you're a complete maniac bluffer.
This is extremely dangerous to you, because from that point on, you're much less likely to be able to bluff anyone. But it's also extremely profitable to you, if you're aware of what just happened in the minds of the other players, as you can now flop a monster and bring down huge pots.
I think a lot of people feel that micro- or lowlimit players don't really notice anything about anyone, so any idea of "table image" is a waste of time. I disagree. People notice more than you may think - heck, they notice more than THEY think. They may not have consciously registered that you just fired all three barrels and got caught with nothing, but somewhere in their head, a little flag just went up that says "FPau is not trustworthy!" The next time you bet into them, they'll go "Hmm. I wonder if he has it. I'm not sure why, but I don't think he does."