KC 4k Bluffing Strategy Post
Alright before you read the KC bluffing strategy want to say a little bit about my stay so far here at CC for the last 4K posts and almost 10 months.....I would have never imagined making so many good friends on an internet forum site. I would have laughed at anyone saying that before I came to CardsChat. I think that that in itself is amzing and that Nick should be proud that not only did he make a great site for people to learn and play poker for free, but he is also helping to build life long freindships better than ones built in the non virtual world! I hope that I have been more helpful and fun than anything else so far. I want to thank the mods for their hard work, and I want to say that they are the best(even you Chris ) Thanks again CC you are my family now!
KC Bluffing Strategy
Introduction: As many may have other ways of doing things, this again is my strategy on bluffing and stealing. Accept this time I am going to be going a little more in depth, rather than just a guideline or walkthrough. Please be aware that if you are not ready for extreme aggression betting, this is not for you, and that bluffing is not used every hand it just doesn't work that way.
Types of Bluffs: To me there is different types of bluffs which I will categorize from pre flop to river, then continue with others in no particular order.. I will explain the best way to use these and how after the definitions.
Pre-flop bluff/Steal: This is done late in tournaments when the blinds are high and crucial. It's looked more at as a steal since your goal is to take the pot down before the flop.
Flop Bluff: This is called the *first barrel/bullet when bluffing at it. Also can be known as a continuation bet in most cases.
Turn Bluff: Same as the flop bet but called the *second barrel.
River Bluff: This is the almighty *third barrel bluff that can go wrong about 90% of the time, but if you do the right things early it can be successful.
Semi-Bluff: Not a complete bluff, since when betting at the pot you have a draw, wether it be a flush or straight draw or both, betting when you have these is a semi bluff. Even having middle or bottom pair can be considered this also. Also remember that sometimes when having multiple draws you may be ahead technically in the hand!
Successfully Bluffing: Now I will explain how to execute these bluffs above properly, in order to not get caught or trapped, and eventually build a nice stack, along with non bluff plays.
Pre-flop bluff/steal: My main concern here is your table image, and what notes or reads that you have on the certain players that you are playing against. Obviously if you steal the majority of the time, someone will eventually fight back, and this could result in being knocked out if not careful. So please do not steal every hand, instead do it randomly and not in a certain order against the same player. This will be easy if you take notes early or start taking notes asap. Knowing who is tight, or who steals or protects there blinds will lead you to the weak players who unknowingly will fold to your weak hand but strong bluff.
Average stack: 16000
Hero Stack: 24000
MP1 Stack: 20000
Table: 9 Handed
Hero: Picks up Ks 10s OTB
Rest of Table: MP1 limps, everyone else folds to Hero
Hero: Raises 3x+1(for limper)
Rest of Table: folds
This is a marginal hand here to raise with in position to steal. We would never raise with this early on in position, it would most always be folded. Like I said before In my KC Strategy, when blinds are high enough to steal, your hand range should widen thus opening a lot of broadway cards like K 10, K J, etc. to raise with in position to steal. I also want to touch on the limper in this hand in MP1. In any case when being aggressive as you should be, punish these limpers. DO NOT let someone see a flop cheap. And if they call your steal/raise then that will lead us perfectly into the next phase......
Flop Bluff/Continuation Betting: Now getting to the flop may be different than the example above but in any case this is how you should go about it. Although I do advise not to C-bet when more than 1 limper calls your raise. The more to the flop the more odds they have of hitting compared to you. So please slow down, since many limpers in early to middle positions can be sitting there with a set, and these type of people love us aggressive breeds, since our only weakness is the TRAP.
Flop: 9h Jh 2s
Hero: Bets 2/3 the pot
This is a perfect C-bet that has worked. Note I say "has worked" because sometimes you may get called here. Again leading us to the next phase, the turn.
Turn Bluff/second barrel : This is where we slow down and take time to dissect the hand more to figure out what our player has, especially if we think he is on a draw. Also if you haven't already, read the notes that you hopefully have on this player.
Notes: Loose Player, Caught a Straight on the river against a solid player with a set.
Alright now we know this guy is capable of having a drawing hand that isn't made yet, and if possible using our gut from past hands and paying attention to see that he is capable of a drawing hand.
Hero: Bets the pot
Now usually if we already had a made hand we would make a bet of maybe 1/2-2/3 the pot, but in this case if we think he is drawing, we PUNISH, we become so aggressive so that he has to pay to see his draw hit on the river. Now depending on what limits you play at, if low or micro, many fishy or loose players like we have here will take a bullet to the chest to see the next card. So we must prepare for that, leading us to the final phase....
River Bluff/third barrel: Like I said above this bluff can be very fatal and many do this all wrong, for many reasons, including a bad read, not taking notes, bluffing a good player, etc. But since we have a good read, made the right bluffs, and now know what the river card is we can act accordingly.
Hero: Raises 1/2 the pot
Alright! We built the play up nicely and it payed off, we took down a nice pot and will continue in the tournament.
Now there is multiple ways this hand could end, since some fishy players try and do the river bluff themselves which I mentioned fails 90% of the time, especially since we have a really good read on this player and it is more than obviously he missed and this is his last resort. The thing is, can we call his bluff even though we know he missed it all? What can we put him on? Well that is a really tough decision, which I'm honestly going to say it comes down to your gut and read. If you think your K high is good then re raise or call, because most likely he has nothing.
Also note that you will not be doing this every hand, and actually it will be done rarely. Then again this brings us to good news. If you take the pot down on the river no one will see your bluff thus making you look like an aggressive player that no one will want to mess with. This also brings me to another really good and advanced point. While many will debate that showing your hands is bad, I will disagree, but only in certain situations, and usually I can affirm that showing your cards could set up a nice trap later on. Lets say you show your cards here, revealing your hand and the bluff. Quickly everyone(maybe) takes note either in there mental safe, or online.
Showing your cards: After doing exactly what happens above, many have you pegged as a bluffer now. Which is Great!? For those not used to this strategy you may be confused so let me give you an example. Let's say you pick up AK in position and the same thing happens like in the hand above but instead you hit a hand wether it be the nuts or TPTK. If you play the same exact way and bet every street the same exact way, you'll most likely get called down by a weaker hand since they remember you doing the same thing with K high. Yatzhee, you take down the pot and perform a professional play, congratulations!
Slowing Down: Lets say MP1 plays this hand differently and is labeled as a good player in your notes or reads.
Flop: 9h Jh 2s
MP1: Bets the pot
Well I would fold here and to be honest you should too. Some may try a raise here but if he is limping then calling a raise PF. This means he might have a hand and re raising a good player when he's aggressively betting is bad. Lets say MP1 calls like he did above here then raises on the turn, this is also bad and means get out or slow down, it smells like a scared trap!
Semi-Bluffing: Now that we got all the other bluffs out of the way lets focus on semi-bluffing. Some may say to slow down when you have a draw but I have my own theory or easy formula to decide wether to semi bluff or not.
KC's Formula: It is not really a formula but more of a guideline. It states that in order to make a semi-bluff you must have no less than 10 outs on the flop to continue betting aggressively. This does not mean if you have less than 10 outs that you should fold, only to bet aggressively. There is nothing wrong with calling down cheap bets to make a flush or open ended straight. Now remember you should be in position, and you must remember your notes and reads on this player you are trying to perform the semi-bluff on.
Understand that It could save you more chips if you bet now. There is two reasons for this. First if you would not have made the hand your most likely going to have to make a silly river bluff which again, hardly works. Also, if you do hit then the pot is already built up, and you will not have to worry or hope that he will call your large bet to make maximum money on the turn or river. This is the cousin of non slow playing, which can be argued but I think is most valuable.
The Dreaded River Bet: I know I have said many things about this already but I want to make it as clear as possible. This play is HORRIBLE! Let me give you an example.
Lets say you are holding Qh 10h and the you and one other player came to an un raised flop(before the flop). The flop comes Kh Ah 3c. The other player bets about 1/2 the pot and you call this easy bet. The turn is no hell at a ll the 2d. He bets again and you call. Now it comes down to the river and once again a big old blank. So its on you first to act in the BB and you try and make a play by betting since you don't have a hand and don't want to lose your money. He calls you down with K Q since you played so cautiously early and now all of the sudden, some how that blank card helped you? No way and he knows it so you lose. Please just don't do it, I see too many beginners try it and fail.
I am not going to right a novel here and this still may seem a little simple......so I am willing to volunteer and help out other CCers if need be. I am willing to look at HH's in the strategy section and answer to my best knowledge as of how the bluffing or stealing should have occurred. So please pm me and let me know you posted and don't forget it is only for failed bluff attempts that you don't understand went wrong. I think that this volunteer work is better than any article, since we can interact and study a specific hand!