Is everyone bluffing?

rindhoops

rindhoops

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Recently (for some unknown reason) I have been unwilling to lay down hands
to people hard betting on me, hand which I would usually fold on I have called
through and lo and behold 7 out of 10 I have won, big pots too.

Most of the time I have been gobsmacked to say the least at my opponents hand, example AJ4Q9 on the board and my opponent raised like he had a big pair for a set in his hand when in fact he had 4-5!!!! there's me with A-J thinking I've been done on trips. The above was a made up example btw, but it's very common on the low grade $1,-$5 tables, I haven't seen it so much on the $10 games so much (I play SNG's and Tourneys only).

Ahem, getting to the point; my blood runs cold at how many big pots I've laid down in the past, I suppose people have sussed I'm a v tight player since I've been at the same poker room for about 6 months and try it on.
Problem is to catch them I have to become one of them, dilemma.
 
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Dwilius

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if you're worried about the case jack and the dreaded 5th jack, people will bluff you all day.:rolleyes:
 
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rindhoops

rindhoops

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if you're worried about the case jack and the dreaded 5th jack, people will bluff you all day.:rolleyes:

:) I;ve mad a fool of myself as well as the example, but you get my drift?
fixed example (I think) How I ever win is a mystery to me as well!
 
Dwilius

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Yeah guess you meant AA, but its like set over set, it will happen but not enough to worry about it.
 
Dwilius

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I'm sure some have noticed you always have the goods or don't go to showdown often. You don't have to become like them, but you do need to learn to call a big bluff on occasion. That'll make them think twice and its some of the easiest money to be made. I'm tight and don't bluff often, but I've learned a little about calling some playing limit holdem. You see showdown alot and its cheaper to learn. NL bluffs will be a little diff but still good practice.
 
Steveg1976

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if people are bluffing you that often then is sounds like they have you pegged as a rock which means that not only were laying down too much you are losing a lot of value from well timed bluffs.

Gordon said it best, if you don't occasionally get caught bluffing you aren't bluffing enough.
 
Dorkus Malorkus

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I remember reading in some book or other that "most actions mean exactly what they appear to mean at face value" or suchlike. I think that applies somewhat here. Sometimes you will fold the best hand and sometimes you will make a river herocall only to be shown the nuts. As poker is a game of imperfect information (unless you're an AP/UB superuser ofc), these things are inevitable. But certainly against unknowns at the $5s, just take every action at face value.

Steve, at $5 donkngos nobody really has anyone else pegged as anything because 90% of the players can just about tie their own shoelaces. :)
 
rindhoops

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Hi Steveg, I think you have answered my question.

As a 'real' gambler who rarely bets without some sort of edge,
I am loathe to bluff and v rarely do, people must notice this.
Yu are right I really ought to bluff a lot more, It's just not in my nature though!

In my defence, last night for example I played in a $5 rebuy,
I played 3 hands an hour (nearly fell asleep) but got to the money
90th/1000 I think & got unlucky, so I'm playing v tight.

As for going to showdown my monitoring software seems to view a high 'wts%' as a bad thing, (my av is 49%) in other words my software
(Holdem Indicator) is telling me I'm not laying enough hands down,
prob because my average 'wtsw%' is a rather poor 50% considering
the hands I play.

nevertheless I feel I am getting better at spotting a bluff, I just assume every bet is a bluff now & I am usually right:)





if people are bluffing you that often then is sounds like they have you pegged as a rock which means that not only were laying down too much you are losing a lot of value from well timed bluffs.

Gordon said it best, if you don't occasionally get caught bluffing you aren't bluffing enough.
 
rindhoops

rindhoops

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Thanks for the reply Dorkus

Thats the way I used to read it, mainly to save my head exploding,
but as I said above I think from now on I am going to assume a bluff
in most cases as this could be quite profitable in the short-term (for me anyway):D

Agree with you about the donkngos some players are so bad It's
painful to watch. From the books\articles I've read, all say you should
play t&g against bad players like these, which is what I do.

I guess I shouldn't winge too much as I am showing a 60% roi in tournaments over the last 3 months but I'm always looking to improve.





I remember reading in some book or other that "most actions mean exactly what they appear to mean at face value" or suchlike. I think that applies somewhat here. Sometimes you will fold the best hand and sometimes you will make a river herocall only to be shown the nuts. As poker is a game of imperfect information (unless you're an Absolute Poker/Ultimatebet superuser ofc), these things are inevitable. But certainly against unknowns at the $5s, just take every action at face value.

Steve, at $5 donkngos nobody really has anyone else pegged as anything because 90% of the players can just about tie their own shoelaces. :)
 
rindhoops

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Hi D
The only problem with calling a bluff on occasion is the piddling
starting stack you get in most games (diff if you are talking cash ring games
I guess) Calling or making a bluff is going to cost at least 20%+ of my starting stack, prob a lot more, and for me, where every chip counts,
this would hurt.

The argument I guess is that you can get it back on the next bluff when you get people folding to you. I just feel uncomfortable with that as it could all so easily go breasts up and I would feel stupid throwing away a game like that.

But you are all right I really need to add more & call more bluffs.

I suppose the obvious answer is to do a bit of bluffing when I have built my stack up. There, I just answered my own question!!!!

Thanks people.



I'm sure some have noticed you always have the goods or don't go to showdown often. You don't have to become like them, but you do need to learn to call a big bluff on occasion. That'll make them think twice and its some of the easiest money to be made. I'm tight and don't bluff often, but I've learned a little about calling some playing limit holdem. You see showdown alot and its cheaper to learn. NL bluffs will be a little diff but still good practice.
 
RickH2005

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To Bluff.......or not!

Being a fairly tight player myself, I do, however, occasionally bluff. And when I do, I will, at times, SHOW my bluff! That way, when I DO have a strong hand, I will get called, and BAM!!! I got their stack!! However, I don't ALWAYS show my bluff--THAT KEEPS 'EM GUESSIN'!!!:confused:
 
R

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rindhoops: I feel your pain! I am/was very similar to you...tight, aggressive. But, that also means I have/had a tendency to get bluffed. Every time someone made a big bet into my good hand, I'd see "monsters under the bed" and believe that they had the immortal nuts. Several times I became frustrated and called anyway, only to discover that they had much less than the nuts and we bluffing. As a result, I think I am less bluffable than in the past. Now, I just need to avoid going too far in the opposite direction and making bad calls.
 
B

bw07507

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In my defence, last night for example I played in a $5 rebuy,
I played 3 hands an hour (nearly fell asleep) but got to the money
90th/1000 I think & got unlucky, so I'm playing v tight.

Please, please dont play rebuys if you are only willing to play 3 hands an hour, especially during the rebuy period. Early in rebuys you should be taking tons of chances trying to build a massive chipstack since you can just rebuy if you bust. Hence the name
 
rindhoops

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Please, please dont play rebuys if you are only willing to play 3 hands an hour, especially during the rebuy period. Early in rebuys you should be taking tons of chances trying to build a massive chipstack since you can just rebuy if you bust. Hence the name

Hmm, some of my best wins so far have been in rebuys and I rarely if ever rebuy, I do add-on most of the time. The reason I do this is to take advantage of the really loose players taking loads of chances & it does work, check out my page on poker ratings and see my rebuy ITM ($1000+)

I take your point and your way is also valid, and I doubt I`ll ever win a rebuy as I am nearly always short-stacked, but this method works well for me, esp as I don't have money to throw around like confetti :)

The 3 hands an hour was simply because I was getting total rubbish all the time, not because I wasn't willing to play, OK I could maybe of bluffed a few but the right conditions never arose.
 
DaFrench1

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To the OP

Ya, I would say most people are bluffing but that is neither here nor there, The game is based on this anyway so what do you expect? Just mind you don't become a calling station with that in mind or you'll lose far too much in the long run.

My advice would generally be this: Use position more to your advantage as in try to be the guy that gets checked to rather than the one that checks to your opponent. Also, use the re-raise if you suspect someone is bluffing or just c-betting out rather than calling them down, if they are you will generally take the pot down right there rather than going to a showdown and if you get re-raised or faced with a shove then you pretty much know to get out there. I used to be tight too and was happy with regular itm's but now I'm pretty loose and agg overall and its a lot more fun and profitable. :cool:

Once you start thinking more about situations rather than cards then you will know you are on the right track. Tournament NL Holdem isn't just about playing good cards, I would say its more about knowing when to fold great cards because you don't like the action and when to play bad ones very aggressively. You are right about gauging your stack for the amount of bluffs and call-downs you can make but that all comes later...

Have fun experimenting!
 
rindhoops

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Hi DaFrench

I wish I could play loose, but it's simply not in my nature, I have tried it
in the past and like you say it was great fun (when it went well) but
as soon as I loose a few big ones I start thinking what is the point of playing poker like this? It's basically relying on luck so I may as well
go play Bingo or a fruit machine, so I revert back to my boring tight ass way :)



To the OP

Ya, I would say most people are bluffing but that is neither here nor there, The game is based on this anyway so what do you expect? Just mind you don't become a calling station with that in mind or you'll lose far too much in the long run.

My advice would generally be this: Use position more to your advantage as in try to be the guy that gets checked to rather than the one that checks to your opponent. Also, use the re-raise if you suspect someone is bluffing or just c-betting out rather than calling them down, if they are you will generally take the pot down right there rather than going to a showdown and if you get re-raised or faced with a shove then you pretty much know to get out there. I used to be tight too and was happy with regular itm's but now I'm pretty loose and agg overall and its a lot more fun and profitable. :cool:

Once you start thinking more about situations rather than cards then you will know you are on the right track. Tournament NL Holdem isn't just about playing good cards, I would say its more about knowing when to fold great cards because you don't like the action and when to play bad ones very aggressively. You are right about gauging your stack for the amount of bluffs and call-downs you can make but that all comes later...

Have fun experimenting!
 
rindhoops

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Hi Ranger Thanks for the reply.

Yes, playing tight we are going to attract bluffs from observant players, this could well explain my original question, the nail on the head so to speak. It's not so much that everyone appears bluffing to me it's just that most players ARE bluffing just :mad:me!!!!!


rindhoops: I feel your pain! I am/was very similar to you...tight, aggressive. But, that also means I have/had a tendency to get bluffed. Every time someone made a big bet into my good hand, I'd see "monsters under the bed" and believe that they had the immortal nuts. Several times I became frustrated and called anyway, only to discover that they had much less than the nuts and we bluffing. As a result, I think I am less bluffable than in the past. Now, I just need to avoid going too far in the opposite direction and making bad calls.
 
rindhoops

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Hi Rik

At mansion Poker the software allows you to muck or not all the time.
When I was on Ultimate bet they had a 'show hand' button for each game
and you could decided at the end of each hand whether to show or not,
this can be used (as u said) to show bluffs or not, but I can't do that at Mansion.



Being a fairly tight player myself, I do, however, occasionally bluff. And when I do, I will, at times, SHOW my bluff! That way, when I DO have a strong hand, I will get called, and BAM!!! I got their stack!! However, I don't ALWAYS show my bluff--THAT KEEPS 'EM GUESSIN'!!!:confused:
 
zachvac

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Please, please dont play rebuys if you are only willing to play 3 hands an hour, especially during the rebuy period. Early in rebuys you should be taking tons of chances trying to build a massive chipstack since you can just rebuy if you bust. Hence the name

Well I think a lot can be said for just tightening up and exploiting all the players who really loosen up. Now against really good players this wouldn't be optimal but the fact is that after the re-buy period, the players with big stacks won't be that good, they'll just be the ones who got lucky. They'll play extra-loose with their big stack, and double you up extremely light. This strategy isn't conducive to winning the entire thing, but this could easily place itm the majority of the time. Take aloevera who plays like a 3/1/0.00001 style and moneys the 3.30 rebuy like every single time she plays. Then the times you get hands and move up the ladder to take a decent spot it's just a bonus.
 
CAPT. ZIGZAG

CAPT. ZIGZAG

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Min bet and calling, then suddenly a push on the river. A strong clue to a desperate attempt to bail oneself out of a pothole.

When you can, you gotta call a suspected bluff. It cools them off immediately.

On the other hand. There is always another hand which will be more productive for you.

Last night. Final table. "The Series" at FT. 1st. round. 7 players left and I'm sitting with 58K. Chip leader has 110K. Hand comes along which provides me with top two pair. The turn reveals a fourth heart. Of which I have none. Chip leader bets hard. I folded, knowing that a small stack was all in with him, so's I was gonna see his cards. The river gave me a boat, (too bad) and the chip leader had no heart. He won with a pair of 6's.

Three hands later I caught a monster and popped into the chip lead. While stranding the former chip leader. Re: Bluffer. When on to win.

The monster hands come along, if you wait for em. If you're still there to play em.


---
 
rwilson

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Hi Steveg, I think you have answered my question.

As a 'real' gambler who rarely bets without some sort of edge,
I am loathe to bluff and v rarely do, people must notice this.
Yu are right I really ought to bluff a lot more, It's just not in my nature though!

In my defence, last night for example I played in a $5 rebuy,
I played 3 hands an hour (nearly fell asleep) but got to the money
90th/1000 I think & got unlucky, so I'm playing v tight.

As for going to showdown my monitoring software seems to view a high 'wts%' as a bad thing, (my av is 49%) in other words my software
(Holdem Indicator) is telling me I'm not laying enough hands down,
prob because my average 'wtsw%' is a rather poor 50% considering
the hands I play.

nevertheless I feel I am getting better at spotting a bluff, I just assume every bet is a bluff now & I am usually right:)

Hi Rindhoops

I understand where you're coming from with this statement - "As a 'real' gambler who rarely bets without some sort of edge", and I think we any player who takes their poker remotely seriously tries to do this.. however I think it's important to point out that mathematical edges regarding which cards are likely to fall out of the deck or whether your hole cards are likely to be the best aren't the only ways to determine advantages in poker.

In low limit tourneys and full ring games you can be mildly successful by simply playing the cards. But the fact of the matter is you're very rarely going to find yourself in a situation where you have the best cards for a majority of the time, so eventually, to progress, players have to find ways to keep winning when they don't have the best cards.

In a lot of circumstances these bluffs or semi-bluffs that you are having bet into you may actually be mathematically correct play by the opponent- i.e they are exploiting an 'edge' they have over you. Where you might think someone's acting like a maniac for betting 4,5 or whatever into you.. they may actually have a sound reason to do so, whether they know it or not!

For example, if a player is folding 85+% of hands preflop and only continuing after the flop when they hit the board, then other players on the table can justify raising and betting nearly any two cards into them, because it's a play that will win a higher percentage of the time. When you take into account the likelyhood the 'rock' will fold preflop, the odds that the rock will miss the flop and fold if he does call the initial raise, then add those percentages to the chances of your weaker hole cards actually holding up if the hand goes to a showdown, you'll find raising preflop or calling then betting these weaker hands on the flop is more than likely mathematically justifiable correct play against this type of rock.

So the moral is! don't always just look at the likelyhood of hole cards being the best or the odds of cards hitting on the board, and by all means DON'T just assume that every bet is a bluff cause you could just turn into a calling station. Look into the other "implicit" edges in poker tournaments and sng's. The better you get at working out when and why an opponent is likely to fold, the more successful you'll be.

You might find some articles on ICM interesting. There's a few on this site but some do get pretty in depth: Independent Chip Modeling Part 2: Positive Chip EV Doesn’t Mean Positive Monetary EV
 
rindhoops

rindhoops

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Hi Rw
Thanks for your detailed reply. Since writing the above I have taken what people said to me seriously and read everything I could find on bluffing.

I soon realised that of course I was wrong and most of you replying here are right, not just because what I read says you are right but because now I understand the huge hole in my game was rarely bluffing.

Because I'm not a natural bluffer I tended to ignore it as a risky and fanciful
thing for the youngsters :D but after reading that if the conditions are right
a bluff or semi-bluff is a very good bet and it is also noticed by other experienced players and can affect your table image and help to protect you against obvious bluffs.

Also now I understand some of the principles and conditions for bluffing.
I am noticing obvious bluffs a lot more, this alone has helped my game immensely, now I find myself continually looking for the right conditions to bluff, it also means that on those long dry spells of bad hole cards I should get the odd play and not go out of my mind with boredom.

I want to thank everyone that has helped me on this thread with solid advice.

As if to prove it, I've made a few bluffs and won tonight in my rebuy and I've even caught out one obvious bluff and now I'm ITM in 39th place with a decent stack (usually I'm scraping my last 1000 chips at this point, as it stands I still have 50,000 chips, who knows, this could be my first major win:rolleyes:



Hi Rindhoops

I understand where you're coming from with this statement - "As a 'real' gambler who rarely bets without some sort of edge", and I think we any player who takes their poker remotely seriously tries to do this.. however I think it's important to point out that mathematical edges regarding which cards are likely to fall out of the deck or whether your hole cards are likely to be the best aren't the only ways to determine advantages in poker.

In low limit tourneys and full ring games you can be mildly successful by simply playing the cards. But the fact of the matter is you're very rarely going to find yourself in a situation where you have the best cards for a majority of the time, so eventually, to progress, players have to find ways to keep winning when they don't have the best cards.

In a lot of circumstances these bluffs or semi-bluffs that you are having bet into you may actually be mathematically correct play by the opponent- i.e they are exploiting an 'edge' they have over you. Where you might think someone's acting like a maniac for betting 4,5 or whatever into you.. they may actually have a sound reason to do so, whether they know it or not!

For example, if a player is folding 85+% of hands preflop and only continuing after the flop when they hit the board, then other players on the table can justify raising and betting nearly any two cards into them, because it's a play that will win a higher percentage of the time. When you take into account the likelyhood the 'rock' will fold preflop, the odds that the rock will miss the flop and fold if he does call the initial raise, then add those percentages to the chances of your weaker hole cards actually holding up if the hand goes to a showdown, you'll find raising preflop or calling then betting these weaker hands on the flop is more than likely mathematically justifiable correct play against this type of rock.

So the moral is! don't always just look at the likelyhood of hole cards being the best or the odds of cards hitting on the board, and by all means DON'T just assume that every bet is a bluff cause you could just turn into a calling station. Look into the other "implicit" edges in poker tournaments and sng's. The better you get at working out when and why an opponent is likely to fold, the more successful you'll be.

You might find some articles on ICM interesting. There's a few on this site but some do get pretty in depth: Independent Chip Modeling Part 2: Positive Chip EV Doesn’t Mean Positive Monetary EV
 
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