Bluffing

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Alfoldem

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Hey guys, looking for some guidance here as ive had my fingers burnt a couple of times recently.

How often and when do you bluff??? :confused:

Do you have certain tells that you look for before bluffing? ive heard people talking about instant all-ins on the river when online etc.
How successful are you at bluffing?
Any tips on how to spot a bluff?
For the more "seasoned players" here - how important a part does bluffing play in your game?

Bascially anything on bluffing - when to, when not to, how to spot etc.

Forgetting about table image and position - i can appreciate the logic behind those.

I have read the bluffing article on the site which was useful and tend to play more cash games than tourney's if that makes much difference.

Much appreciated for any help

:)
 
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Styrofoam

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i bluff when i feel there is a reasonable chance i'll win the pot... i don't have any statistics, but it's probably around 5-10%
 
stormswa

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bluffing

in order to bluff you need to have good timing, you cant just throw out some silly bet on river and expect to sell it.

If you really are trying to represent hand you need to start from preflop and play the hand like you would normally do. So say you have some junk like 9s7s and you raise because you are LAG player like me hoping just to take blinds or hit a nice flop. Well some dude call and you bet on flop when Ah6d2c like you should, he makes the call. If you are tying to represent the ace you need to continue it and fire the 2nd and 3rd bullet.

if you go check on turn and then safe card hits river and you try to bluff it your getting called. But if you continue the bluff on turn and then also fire at the river you will get more folds. I mean what do you think when the board reads AJ63 and a 2 hits the river and the guy overbets the river when it has gone check/check, hell that looks so much as a bluff .

in otherwards if you want to sell something really really sell it, also only bluff on scare cards and do not I mean do not bluff your whole stack. You may be bluffing into the hand you are representing. Also dont get pissed if you are called it will happen, let them talk their shit saying how they made such a great call. Next time try that same play against them but have the hand!!!!

as for how often you should bluff like the last poster said I dont think there is a percent to use, you do it when you think there is a great chance the guy will fold.
 
mrsnake3695

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It is important that bluffing be a part of your game but be carefull not to overdo it like some people do. Betting on draws, and making continuation bets after raising pre-flop are both forms of bluffing that everyone needs to have. I agree with alot ofo what storm said, however, it is also important (crucial) to know your opponent. Whereas his suggestion of keep firing at the pot may work against a TAG player it won't work against a calling station that will call all the way down to the river with bottom pair. You need to know what kind of player you are trying to bluff. This is an important aspect to bluffing that is often overlooked.

Also, it is important to know what your table image is. Are you showing alot of bluffs? Are you winning alot of hands without showdowns (what your cards were is not important since the rest of the table does not know what you were winning with)? These kind of images might cause someone to call you with a marginal hand when they might otherwise fold.

In other words there are alot of factors involved when making a bluff, not just pushing all-in with nothing and hoping your opponent doesn't have anything.
 
stormswa

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ty

It is important that bluffing be a part of your game but be carefull not to overdo it like some people do. Betting on draws, and making continuation bets after raising pre-flop are both forms of bluffing that everyone needs to have. I agree with alot ofo what storm said, however, it is also important (crucial) to know your opponent. Whereas his suggestion of keep firing at the pot may work against a TAG player it won't work against a calling station that will call all the way down to the river with bottom pair. You need to know what kind of player you are trying to bluff. This is an important aspect to bluffing that is often overlooked.

Also, it is important to know what your table image is. Are you showing alot of bluffs? Are you winning alot of hands without showdowns (what your cards were is not important since the rest of the table does not know what you were winning with)? These kind of images might cause someone to call you with a marginal hand when they might otherwise fold.

In other words there are alot of factors involved when making a bluff, not just pushing all-in with nothing and hoping your opponent doesn't have anything.


yea forgot to mention that good looking out!!
 
KerouacsDog

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at the start of a sng, i get a crap hand and keep bluffing/firing bullets all the way to the river, if I win, ok, if i get caught I tighten up and wait for a decent hand then bet the same way again.
 
c9h13no3

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I just consider what's on the board, my table image, how much money is in the pot, how many players are in the hand, if someone raised preflop, and if I sense weakness or not. One example from a tournament I was just in:

I was holding AcKc and I had been playing pretty tight up until that point. The blinds were starting to climb, and the flop comes out 3c3d6h. I had raised preflop, and a particularly aggressive player had called my raise. I'm in early position, and I check. He quickly puts out a pot sized bet. So, I raise (hoping to represent a high pocket pair or a set), 5 times the size of his bet (about 1/8th of my stack). He folds.

Why did I bluff? I had raised preflop, the blinds were high, and there was only 1 player in the hand. There was a decent amount of money to be won, and it was worth risking my tight table image to take that pot down. Additionally, with the raise preflop, I doubt my opponent had a 6 or a 3. And even if he had a pocket pair or a 6, I had a 24% chance of sucking out by the river if I get called (which isn't terrible, flush draws are about 36%).

So, it really depends on a lot of things, but in general the tips in the article that ChuckT linked to will help.

Oh, and never bluff beginners. They always call.

Also, this just popped in my head, but I bluff far far less in ring games. There's much less of an incentive to bluff in a ring game since the blinds never get bigger. In tourneys, you need to pickup chips at a steady pace. In ring games, I usually fair better by just being patient.
 
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stormswa

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well

at the start of a sng, i get a crap hand and keep bluffing/firing bullets all the way to the river, if I win, ok, if i get caught I tighten up and wait for a decent hand then bet the same way again.



you basicly just described what they call mixing up your game. It is basicly when you play a strong hand the exact same way you would play a weak hand. Many think that mixing up your game means playing the same hand different ways but it actully means like I said playing different hands same ways.

this is not something I suggest doing early in a tourney because the blinds and stuff just are not worth it. If you are trying to give off false imformation in how you play there are much cheaper ways to do it then spending 1/5 of your stack making a silly bluff early. Basicly blinds start at 10/20 with 1k chips to start so you make a 5x raise preflop that is 50 now u get say 1 caller now the pot is about 140 then you make pot size on flop a bluff of course. 140 which now takes your stack to 800 you see where this is going by the time your done you are going to waste alot of chips to show some loose image.

now say you have that loose image and get beat by someone with 2nd pair and hits trips or 2 pair. They only called because of your loose image.

better plan is this play your normal way in beginning of tourney the blinds are not worth it at this point, its still early no reason to make big risks. Then start mixing up your play as the tourney progress's. Again pick your bluff times and opponents carefully, dont just do it early when you dont have a clue who you are playing.


edit: just noticed you were talking about sit and go, same thing goes for that no reads on people no reason to risk it early.
 
KerouacsDog

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you basicly just described what they call mixing up your game. It is basicly when you play a strong hand the exact same way you would play a weak hand. Many think that mixing up your game means playing the same hand different ways but it actully means like I said playing different hands same ways.

this is not something I suggest doing early in a tourney because the blinds and stuff just are not worth it. If you are trying to give off false imformation in how you play there are much cheaper ways to do it then spending 1/5 of your stack making a silly bluff early. Basicly blinds start at 10/20 with 1k chips to start so you make a 5x raise preflop that is 50 now u get say 1 caller now the pot is about 140 then you make pot size on flop a bluff of course. 140 which now takes your stack to 800 you see where this is going by the time your done you are going to waste alot of chips to show some loose image.

now say you have that loose image and get beat by someone with 2nd pair and hits trips or 2 pair. They only called because of your loose image.

better plan is this play your normal way in beginning of tourney the blinds are not worth it at this point, its still early no reason to make big risks. Then start mixing up your play as the tourney progress's. Again pick your bluff times and opponents carefully, dont just do it early when you dont have a clue who you are playing.


edit: just noticed you were talking about sit and go, same thing goes for that no reads on people no reason to risk it early.
no offence mate, but I prefer to bluff early in a MT tournament, as it's cheaper to bet half the pot etc rather than nearer the end of a tournament.
near the bubble I play loose sometimes, but mainly TAG when I get a hand.
but thanks for your input, sincerely.
KD
 
stormswa

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k

no offence mate, but I prefer to bluff early in a MT tournament, as it's cheaper to bet half the pot etc rather than nearer the end of a tournament.
near the bubble I play loose sometimes, but mainly TAG when I get a hand.
but thanks for your input, sincerely.
KD


no problem good luck.
 
KerouacsDog

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You're welcome

And yeah I'm doin OK :) How bout you?
im good, busy taking photos of sunrises and building my website(in another thread somewhere), I took 100 photos this morninhg. see you on the tables soon.
KD
 
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Alfoldem

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ty

cheers for the feedback, was looking for some personal opinions on this and from what you guys have said i can see mostly where im going wrong.

Looking forward to improving this area of my game, i must admit there is a slight smugness that comes when it works.
 
pokerrqueenn

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i go by my gut instinct or women's intuition when i bluff. sometimes you really have no choice but to bluff when the cards are just not hitting for you. but you do have to pick and choose when you think you can get away with it. i tend to not do it much early on in game . i play tight then and before i start mucking every hand i do show a few i win to let people believe that i don't bluff. bluffing is a risk but later in the game it can pay off bigger when people don't want to lose the chip stakc they have ben building for a couple of hours.
 
Dorkus Malorkus

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I came here to pimp my article but Chuck already did it. :(
 
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Styrofoam

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you basicly just described what they call mixing up your game. It is basicly when you play a strong hand the exact same way you would play a weak hand. Many think that mixing up your game means playing the same hand different ways but it actully means like I said playing different hands same ways.

this is not something I suggest doing early in a tourney because the blinds and stuff just are not worth it. If you are trying to give off false imformation in how you play there are much cheaper ways to do it then spending 1/5 of your stack making a silly bluff early. Basicly blinds start at 10/20 with 1k chips to start so you make a 5x raise preflop that is 50 now u get say 1 caller now the pot is about 140 then you make pot size on flop a bluff of course. 140 which now takes your stack to 800 you see where this is going by the time your done you are going to waste alot of chips to show some loose image.

now say you have that loose image and get beat by someone with 2nd pair and hits trips or 2 pair. They only called because of your loose image.

better plan is this play your normal way in beginning of tourney the blinds are not worth it at this point, its still early no reason to make big risks. Then start mixing up your play as the tourney progress's. Again pick your bluff times and opponents carefully, dont just do it early when you dont have a clue who you are playing.


edit: just noticed you were talking about sit and go, same thing goes for that no reads on people no reason to risk it early.

there is not much difference in what you just described....playing the same hands different ways, and different hands the same ways... Either way, you're changing the way a hand would normally be played by you. You're just trying to argue semantics here.

Example: You are dealt AA in under the gun. Generally, you limp/ re-raise, so lets say you do that. Later on you get QQ utg. You raise this pot up from early position. Then later on you get AA again utg. This time you simply raise the pot.

Which did you do? Did you play different hands the same way, or did you play the same hand a different way? The answer is both. No point in arguing semantics here.

By the way, its far more profitable to bluff in a tourney (as has been pointed out) that the blinds in a ring game stay constant. They will always be 1 / 2 or whatver. But in a tournament, you're goal is to accumulate chips at a steady pace because the blinds increase as it continues. Playing top 10 hands is simply not a reliable way to do this... you have to make moves at the pot when the time is right, and you do this by bluffing.
 
stormswa

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no

there is not much difference in what you just described....playing the same hands different ways, and different hands the same ways... Either way, you're changing the way a hand would normally be played by you. You're just trying to argue semantics here.

Example: You are dealt AA in under the gun. Generally, you limp/ re-raise, so lets say you do that. Later on you get QQ utg. You raise this pot up from early position. Then later on you get AA again utg. This time you simply raise the pot.

Which did you do? Did you play different hands the same way, or did you play the same hand a different way? The answer is both. No point in arguing semantics here.

By the way, its far more profitable to bluff in a tourney (as has been pointed out) that the blinds in a ring game stay constant. They will always be 1 / 2 or whatver. But in a tournament, you're goal is to accumulate chips at a steady pace because the blinds increase as it continues. Playing top 10 hands is simply not a reliable way to do this... you have to make moves at the pot when the time is right, and you do this by bluffing.


your talking about AA and QQ im talking about AA and 6d4d playing the same way. Its not even close to the same.

there is actully a big difference between playing the same hand different ways and playing different hands same ways.

I agree you need to bluff in a tourney but I believe it is dumb to do it in beggining levels. As for the argument that you should do it when blinds are low is silly because even late in tourney you will have plenty of chips. The blind levels shouldnt matter when you bluff, the situation and your reads on your opponents should matter. I think we can agree on that at least?

Say you have 1500 chips at beggining of tourney and decid to bluff during 15/30 blinds or you have 15,000 chips and bluff at 200/400 level its all the same dont matter. Blind levels should be the least of your concerns when you decide to bluff it should be the right situation. Trust me im a lag player I dont wait for top 10 hands.

plus im a real big fan of semibluffing instead of bluffing outright.
 
c9h13no3

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As for the argument that you should do it when blinds are low is silly because even late in tourney you will have plenty of chips. The blind levels shouldnt matter when you bluff, the situation and your reads on your opponents should matter.
Raising 4xBB with 27os just because you can steal your opponents blind is a bluff. And if the blinds & antes are going to add a significant amount to your stack, then it does affect when you bluff. There's no point in blind stealing when there's no ante, and the blinds are 0.1% of your stack. But if by stealing the blinds of 1 limper and the SB & BB you take down 3500 chips into your 30,000 stack, that's an 11% boost.

In short, the size of the blinds in relation to your chipstack will certainly affect how much you bluff.
 
stormswa

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really

Raising 4xBB with 27os just because you can steal your opponents blind is a bluff. And if the blinds & antes are going to add a significant amount to your stack, then it does affect when you bluff. There's no point in blind stealing when there's no ante, and the blinds are 0.1% of your stack. But if by stealing the blinds of 1 limper and the SB & BB you take down 3500 chips into your 30,000 stack, that's an 11% boost.

In short, the size of the blinds in relation to your chipstack will certainly affect how much you bluff.


I didnt think we were talking about blind stealing that is a whole different topic then what we were talking about.

I do agree with you 100% though and you will get no argument from me there, I would never argue that point.
 
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Hello? you're STILL arguing semantics here buddy. even with [6d][4d], you limp in usually...and sometimes you represent a bigger hand by raising it up. There is no difference in the examples, only a difference in the strength of hands we're talking about.

If you limp with AA you're playing Aces the saem as you'd normally play a suited connector, and if you raise with a suited connector, you're playing them the way you'd play a premium hand. But you're also playing Aces differently than you normally do. Semantics, pal, nothing more. Both mean the same thing, just use different words and a different view of hte subject. They're BOTH the same thing, both of them are "changing up" the way you play.

and if you can get away with bluffing in the early rounds, you SHOULD BLUFF....especially if you have something along this line:

[Kc][Jd] in position. The flop comes [Qh][5s][2d] and it goes check-check-check-check. What do you do here? Check behind them? If you do, you probably just cost yourself 4big blinds at least. And chances are, with KJo in position in an unraised pot, you've raised already... this is a bluffing bet, as much as its a payment for information. You're hoping to see if someone has a queen. If there is a call behind you, chances are you get the river card free anyways... but it is STILL a bluff. If you check and the turn comes [3c] and it goes check-check-bet you have no course of action but to fold. Chances are someone has a small pair now, or a straight draw, or both, and you probably are going to lose the hand. If it checks around to you again, and you don't bet, you cost yourself the pot, because the next card, if it doesn't help you, you're not calling a any bet with no cards to come with king jack high. And what do you do if you're not in position? You check. And if someone IN position doesn't bet, you bet, sometimes you raise a bet from someone in position for this exact reason. If i see you not betting your position enough times, i'll know that you have something when you do bet.
 
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stormswa

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heh

Hello? you're STILL arguing semantics here buddy. even with 6♦4♦, you limp in usually...and sometimes you represent a bigger hand by raising it up. There is no difference in the examples, only a difference in the strength of hands we're talking about.

If you limp with AA you're playing Aces the saem as you'd normally play a suited connector, and if you raise with a suited connector, you're playing them the way you'd play a premium hand. But you're also playing Aces differently than you normally do. Semantics, pal, nothing more. Both mean the same thing, just use different words and a different view of hte subject. They're BOTH the same thing, both of them are "changing up" the way you play.


For starters if you limp with AA please sit with me! PLEASE and if you limp with suited connectors from EP I also have a seat for you.

i wish I would of saved article, was in bluff i think.
 
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Styrofoam

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For starters if you limp with AA please sit with me! PLEASE and if you limp with suited connectors from EP I also have a seat for you.

i wish I would of saved article, was in bluff i think.


for starters: I never said I did limp in with AA....secondly, i do occasionally limp in with big pairs. Not often, because its -ev, but often enough that it keeps people on their heels. "oh, he limped with AA, so, he must be stupid" or i planned on limp / reraising, and it back-fired. More often, i raise with hands like [10d][10s] rather than limp with them if I'm trying to throw someone off.... Either way, i attempt to randomize my play simply because *HELLO* It's a good thing to do. I also love how you move away from the fact my examples prove you wrong, and instead you insult me as a poker player. Nice going chief.

You're not understanding the basics of the language here stormswa. I gave you two (2) examples of how the language is worded different with the same meaning. You said its not even close... would it have made a difference had i said JJ instead of QQ? The comparative strength of QQ to AA is horrible anyways, but JJ is even worse. Its sometimes the right play to simply call a raise with JJ when it is NEVER right to simply call with aces unless you're trying to throw someone off. In both examples, I explained how the language says two different things, but means the same thing. Its akin to saying "The fox doesn't run fast" and "the fox runs slow" they mean virtually the same thing.

Finally: Yeah, sometimes i'll limp in with [10c][jc] from EP.....hell, if the game is passive enough, i'll limp with as low as [6c][7c]. NOthing beats making the nuts for almost nothing. I play the table, and the people at it... Not the cards.. the cards are almost meaningless man.

Lets recap: Randomizing your play is a good thing...it makes you harder to read. Limping in with small suited connectors from any position in a passive game is okay, you don't understand the meaning of the words you type, and Styrofoam majored in English throughout college, and arguing semantics will get you no where, as you'll likely lose.
 
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