Spotting a scam!

najisami

najisami

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Hello everyone,

Some of the most exciting moments in poker are when you pull a successful bluff or when you sense one and make a hero call. And without those moments, poker would never be what it is.
In this thread, which I want instructive for all of us, the topic is "How to spot a bluff ?"
I'll start with what I think the most common way to sense a bluff from your opponent :

You open preflop and you got a call.
You hit top pair on a very wet flop, you bet and he calls.
No draw got completed on the turn. You bet and he calls again.
The river doesn't complete any draw. You check, vilain shoves !
You call, they show a busted straight !!!!

You guys are welcome to contribute with something different or share hands where you had made a successful hero call.
 
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Nafor

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Or we can turn into philosophical thinking and ponder - what is a bluff anyways :unsure:

Is bluff a bluff only then when it works and no-one questions that something odd happened???

For example, if a bigger stack raises every hand preflop (regardless of his position) we can all be sure that he can't have a reasonable hand all the time. So is that a bluff or simply a show of force?
 
najisami

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Or we can turn into philosophical thinking and ponder - what is a bluff anyways :unsure:

Is bluff a bluff only then when it works and no-one questions that something odd happened???

For example, if a bigger stack raises every hand preflop (regardless of his position) we can all be sure that he can't have a reasonable hand all the time. So is that a bluff or simply a show of force?
Hey Nafor,
I think whether a "Show of force" works or not, it's still called a bluff.
 
Luvepoker

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How to spot a bluff or even bluff is not easy to pull off or catch. The one thing I heard from a professional though has really helped me understand how to catch them more often.

Does there story make sense?

EX I raise from ep 2BB someone calls and there is a 3bet from the BB for 9BB "who is tight but aggressive we have some history with. I call the other player folds. Pot is 20BB We both have 130 BB behind us. Flop is T53 rainbow. They bet big "13BB and I call. Pot is 46BB. The turn is a 4 no flush draws and they bet 25BB again and we call. pot is 96BB. We both have 93BB left. The river is a 6 and they jam. What do they have here? There is no flush but a straight is possible.

I have see this happen and people say how can you call me here when I representing a straight? The problem is as I said they were tight. would they 3 bet 77 or 22 and bet strong like this? Of course not.
 
Ruslan L

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It all depends on the situation, and they are rarely typical. I rarely bluff, but I keep a close eye on my opponents' play, and because of this, I often correctly identify the opponent's bluff.
 
najisami

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How to spot a bluff or even bluff is not easy to pull off or catch. The one thing I heard from a professional though has really helped me understand how to catch them more often.

Does there story make sense?

EX I raise from ep 2BB someone calls and there is a 3bet from the BB for 9BB "who is tight but aggressive we have some history with. I call the other player folds. Pot is 20BB We both have 130 BB behind us. Flop is T53 rainbow. They bet big "13BB and I call. Pot is 46BB. The turn is a 4 no flush draws and they bet 25BB again and we call. pot is 96BB. We both have 93BB left. The river is a 6 and they jam. What do they have here? There is no flush but a straight is possible.

I have see this happen and people say how can you call me here when I representing a straight? The problem is as I said they were tight. would they 3 bet 77 or 22 and bet strong like this? Of course not.
A tough situation indeed, but if we look at it closely, what could he have 3-bet with preflop ? A2, A7,22, 55, 33 are very unlikely, 77 possibly except that he wouldn't probably have bet that much on the flop with the 10 showing. But he also could have TT, but then would he bet that much with top set ? The problem is that you didn't say what you were calling him with. Did you have any kind of a bluff catcher at least ?
 
najisami

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It all depends on the situation, and they are rarely typical. I rarely bluff, but I keep a close eye on my opponents' play, and because of this, I often correctly identify the opponent's bluff.
That's exactly the point. You cannot bluff a player or catch him bluffing without having been watching him and actually watching all the action on the table.
 
najisami

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Does there story make sense?
Oh yeah, I actually forgot to mention that ! And that's the best way to catch a bluff. It's all about the "Story" they are telling, from the first pre-flop action all the way to the river. If it makes no sense and you have a bluff catcher, go get them with that hero call 😂🤣.
 
Luvepoker

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A tough situation indeed, but if we look at it closely, what could he have 3-bet with preflop ? A2, A7,22, 55, 33 are very unlikely, 77 possibly except that he wouldn't probably have bet that much on the flop with the 10 showing. But he also could have TT, but then would he bet that much with top set ? The problem is that you didn't say what you were calling him with. Did you have any kind of a bluff catcher at least ?
Opp, forgot that part. Yes you must have a bluff catcher at least. I had aces and he could have been representing that but as I said he was pretty unhappy about the call. I knew he had something, it was queens but he said he was representing a straight witch was obviously the issue. I was more concerned about the ten to be honest for the set but I did not believe he would 3 bet they here since he was pretty tight
 
najisami

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Opp, forgot that part. Yes you must have a bluff catcher at least. I had aces and he could have been representing that but as I said he was pretty unhappy about the call. I knew he had something, it was queens but he said he was representing a straight witch was obviously the issue. I was more concerned about the ten to be honest for the set but I did not believe he would 3 bet they here since he was pretty tight
You had Aces ? Omg ! I suppose you didn't raise him on the flop in case he shoves on you and he might have a pocket 10s.
But to come back to our topic, you were right, this is a perfect example where "The story didn't make any sense".
Thank you for sharing.
 
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That's exactly the point. You cannot bluff a player or catch him bluffing without having been watching him and actually watching all the action on the table.
I disagree. If you have the right spot/hand to bluff a player you dont know you should take it, otherwise you are playing too passive. Similarly you need to bluff catch when you would expect villain to be bluffing alot and have a good bluff catcher even without reads e.g. when you check back top pair on the flop.

Reads obviously help but we cant stop playing poker while we try to figure out what our opponents are doing.

Of course I agree that paying attention to your opponents helps!
 
Luvepoker

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You had Aces ? Omg ! I suppose you didn't raise him on the flop in case he shoves on you and he might have a pocket 10s.
But to come back to our topic, you were right, this is a perfect example where "The story didn't make any sense".
Thank you for sharing.
Oddly enough I wanted to 4 bet him but he so rarely 3 bet and all i ever saw was aces king queens or AK, i did not want to scare him off. This was very specific to the player I have to admit. If I knew he would 3 bet hands like tens I would have been more scared on the river.

The really tough question is what would I have done if I had KK QQ JJ by the river. I was fairly certain he had kings of the other 2 aces when he put all the chips in and was surprised by the queens.
 
najisami

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I disagree. If you have the right spot/hand to bluff a player you dont know you should take it, otherwise you are playing too passive
Oh yeah absolutely, I have no problem with that. With the right hand/spot like you said, even if you don't know the player that much, you can take a shot here and there. My phrase : "You cannot bluff a player without having been watching him" was too exclusive. Sorry about that and thank you for the insight. A real good point..
 
thedarkman

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At the end of the day you might just as well flip a coin.
 
SpanRmonka

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Love the spot you described here @Luvepoker and the thread in general @najisami

Quick comment on the hand. Is this an actual bluff, genuine question? The player had an overpair. I would say its potentially poor play, but could be value bets. I just find this interesting, for example if you had JJ? Do we still consider it a bluff, or do we only consider it a bluff as they were losing.

Final point. I dislike the thought process of 'representing' a hand, and therefore expecting other players to follow that expectation and fold. Any player can do anything at any stage, and so representing without understanding how the play will look to a thinking player is just burning chips. Sounds to me like the very tight player got very very sticky after they finally got a good hand. I reckon we've all done it.

I take the wider point @Luvepoker about spotting a bluff, and the key to spotting a bluff I suppose is what are they bluffing with in comparison to what you are bluff catching with.

AKs for either player? Bluff catch?
 
SpanRmonka

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At the end of the day you might just as well flip a coin.
Nooooo. this thread is, to my mind at least, about changing a 50/50 to a 51/49 in your favour. If you can do this in many situations through your daily grind you will see the difference long term.
This can be from better bluffs, better bluff catching, better reading/catorgerising of other player as in luvepokers hand etc
 
najisami

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The really tough question is what would I have done if I had KK QQ JJ by the river. I was fairly certain he had kings of the other 2 aces when he put all the chips in and was surprised by the queens.
I can only agree there. The way he played the hand suggested that he had a monster, a set of 10s, KK, QQ, JJ or the other 2 aces. And he was not to blame either, the board looked like a dream to his QQ. It turned out that proceeding with caution payed off for you (y):ROFLMAO:(y).
As to your tough question, I personally would've folded the JJ for sure, but with KK or QQ, I would've reevaluate depending mainly on the size of my stack. If my remaining 93BB were deep enough for me to keep going, I would probably throw them in the muck and say "Nice bet", what about you ?
 
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najisami

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I just find this interesting, for example if you had JJ? Do we still consider it a bluff, or do we only consider it a bluff as they were losing.
Hey Span,
What I actually find interesting is YOUR question :unsure::unsure:. I thought about it and I admit that I'm confused and can't come up with any clear answer. I just evaded it by concluding that in this hand, both players had monsters, therefore there were no bluff to be considered.
Great insight throughout your post too. I'm still thinking about what you said after that, I'll get back on that as soon as I can.
Thank you so much for jumping in.
 
najisami

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At the end of the day you might just as well flip a coin.
I don't know about that man. I might start another thread in which we can discuss races. Like when to call a shove knowing that you are flipping for example.
 
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I have see this happen and people say how can you call me here when I representing a straight? The problem is as I said they were tight. would they 3 bet 77 or 22 and bet strong like this? Of course not.
Most likely not. But would you open from EP and then defend to the 3-bet with those hands or anything else, which connects with a board of T6543? Most likely not apart from TT exactly. So it can be argued, that AA and KK can still go for max value against QQ or JJ and that this is, what they are representing. But if they dont merge their range like this, yes then it is probably a good spot to bluff catch.
 
G0930

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Or we can turn into philosophical thinking and ponder - what is a bluff anyways :unsure:

Is bluff a bluff only then when it works and no-one questions that something odd happened???

For example, if a bigger stack raises every hand preflop (regardless of his position) we can all be sure that he can't have a reasonable hand all the time. So is that a bluff or simply a show of force?
It's both I'd say..
 
Claudiunm

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I really liked the topic.
I would like to propose another situation:
We always think of a bluff as someone with a hand that doesn't connect or at most an interesting draw hoping for a miracle on the river.
But then there's that player who makes a monster hand on the flop and plays dead hoping someone connects something good and bets big to crush him on the river. Considering that the bluff is nothing more than a lie, how to identify a player with a monster in his hands that is playing dead?
 
najisami

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I really liked the topic.
I would like to propose another situation:
We always think of a bluff as someone with a hand that doesn't connect or at most an interesting draw hoping for a miracle on the river.
But then there's that player who makes a monster hand on the flop and plays dead hoping someone connects something good and bets big to crush him on the river. Considering that the bluff is nothing more than a lie, how to identify a player with a monster in his hands that is playing dead?
This is another interesting situation. A situation,I should say, where someone could be digging their own grave. The only way out of this, I think, is the ability to sense when we are beaten. To begin with, when we choose to 3 or 4bet with a none prime hand, we have decided to take a shot, so if we Cbet and got called or raised, of course we should proceed with caution and eventually give it up, especially when the flop is more likely in the opponent's range. That's all I got to say about this one, but I'd like to hear more opinions..
Thank you for bringing that one up Claudiunm.
 
christovam

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Your analysis is very interesting.
I see some players bluff when there is A or K on the table, even when they are in BB and only calling. It's complicated to call when you don't have those cards, but in BB there are a lot of donkeybets, so depending on the bets it's worth paying and winning with low pair.
 
Roobz75

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I generally play an honest game, but played against enough regular players on CC and PS, to know the main bluffers.....
 
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