Wrapping my head around when to continue bluffing...

M

Mdf1992

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Hi All!

So I am trying to wrap my head around when I should continue bluffing on the turn and river.
Let's say preflop I open raise in the cutoff with 89s. Let's say the flop comes 76K. I c-bet semi-bluff with the open-ended straight draw. Let's say the flop comes...i don't know, let's say a 2 comes. Or let's say an Ace comes. This is the sort of position that I get confused. If a card comes that is any other card other than 5 or 10 (completing my straight), what do I do? How would the 2 coming on the turn change my actions than if an Ace came on the turn? And why? Like I understand the semi-bluff bet on the flop. Past that...I'm completely lost, and so I basically just 50% of the time continue barreling and 50% of the time give up on the turn.

Thanks so much for any clarity here...

Mark
 
C

CallmeFloppy

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I think you need to focus on what is your opponents range and what are you trying to represent? Is your opponent the type to call your flop bet with an ace and now hit? Did they hit the king but might fear the ace? possible you can steal the hand if you are the type that likes to continuation bet a lot.

You have to know what your opponents think of you as well. And each opponent may be different. I like to think that I am a handsome guy, so does my wife (though that could be a bluff based on our bedroom activities) but others might rather watch Richard Simmons do cartwheels in LED lights through an Amish village than have to give me a second look. Same works in poker. Each opponent might view and play you differently.

Focus on identifying a few players you feel you can read and play tighter than they should. Those are the ones you want to try running bluffs on. Take notes on when they work and when they don't and learn from those times.
 
killing_random

killing_random

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You're have some expected value, so you can start build up the pot by little with some 1/3 c-bet. It will be enough for completely missed "air" to fold. Overcards, 3th and 2d pair (also other draws) may call; thats ok, second c-bet should be enough to make them fold. If opp having top pair or better he has no reason to fold whatever bet-size you will choose.

On a turn you're have to decide if continue bluffing is worth it (that's another complex topic). If you choose to continue bluffing, you should not check behind on a turn, that will make your bluff look very weak on the river with incomplete draw. If opp is smart, he could call your river's bet even with 3th pair. Ace on a turn is definitely better (if opp doesn't have it) than some blank card, this is a new top pair that could scare away the former one. If turn is dangerous like this you should make a bigger >50% size c-bet (even overbet should fit), if it's blank you can stick to a same size.

If after all of that your opp still want to see a river that's a tough spot. But you have to bet something if he checks. What size you should choose is hard to tell, too many "depends" here. But choosing size that you usually make at a river is always good. So I would suggest having some consistency with that. It could make even relatively small bet like 1/4 for example, or 10bb regardless of a pot size, look serious.
 
J

JimTheBadger

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This question is complex and very situational.

Easy explanation: We bet boards and continue betting on boards that are good for our perceived range and bad for villains perceived ranged.
 
blueskies

blueskies

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Avoid bluffing too much at micro stakes. It's spewing.

I find myself giving villains too much credit and end up screwing myself. Sometimes I am amazed at the kinds of calls they make. Now I just bet the F out of the hand even if it's obvious that I have a huge hand.

Against smart opponents, I will mix things up. Otherwise, ABC poker works.
 
darthjewel

darthjewel

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I think that you should start with recognizing who are you playing with
and decide what kind of bluffs you could use,
then do your calculations.
 
R

Roger1960

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Hi All!

So I am trying to wrap my head around when I should continue bluffing on the turn and river.
Let's say preflop I open raise in the cutoff with 89s. Let's say the flop comes 76K. I c-bet semi-bluff with the open-ended straight draw. Let's say the flop comes...i don't know, let's say a 2 comes. Or let's say an Ace comes. This is the sort of position that I get confused. If a card comes that is any other card other than 5 or 10 (completing my straight), what do I do? How would the 2 coming on the turn change my actions than if an Ace came on the turn? And why? Like I understand the semi-bluff bet on the flop. Past that...I'm completely lost, and so I basically just 50% of the time continue barreling and 50% of the time give up on the turn.

Thanks so much for any clarity here...

Mark

No offense intended...but I think maybe you need to concentrate on other aspects of the game. When it comes time to make a bluff, I usually know about what the other players might do....with CardsChat it is easier because you play a lot of the same players. Some are too hard headed to fold and hope to luck out on the river, meaning they will call any bet with a less than 5% chance of getting their card.
Some play with devices that tell them what to do, again in this case if the device tells them to stay in...they are not folding.

I rarely bluff, no I mean it this time....lol
But when I do, I don't think before the hand I am going to bluff, I will see what the first round of betting does. Then after the flop, being in the right position, I can decide if I have a bluffing hand or not.
Most times I do bluff is when it looks like no one caught the hand and I feel that someone should have the chips, so why not me??
 
H

Hermus

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There are a lot of different aspects to this topic.

First of all, you need to consider player type. Bluffing more vs a station is obviously a very bad idea so you only bet for value. Bluffing vs a nit is very good so you increase your bluffing frequency.

Then you have the idea of range vs range. Considering the board is pretty dry and contains a K, you as the pre-flop aggressor are perceived to be better here. Meaning that your opponent should fold more.

If you have no prior information about the player type or player pool tendencies it's best to play the GTO strategy. Consider how many hands you bet for value and balance that with the lowest part of your range of hands you played up to this point. Best to review solvers at this point, but if you want to build ranges yourself go for a bluff to value ratio of 2:1, 1:1, 1:2 on the flop, turn and river respectively.

In this specific situation, assuming that villain is in the bb. GTO wizard bets: AA, AK, KK, 77, 66, 22, K9s+, KTo+, K7s, K6s, and 76s for value, and bluffs with: A3s, A4s, A5s, T9s, T8s, 98s (our hand), QJ, and QT (on average because the solver also bets some weird stuff at very low frequencies)

In conclusion: Bluff more on boards and situations where you also have a lot of value combos. Reduce bluffing frequency on later streets.
 
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Tracid

Tracid

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Hi All!

So I am trying to wrap my head around when I should continue bluffing on the turn and river.
Let's say preflop I open raise in the cutoff with 89s. Let's say the flop comes 76K. I c-bet semi-bluff with the open-ended straight draw. Let's say the flop comes...i don't know, let's say a 2 comes. Or let's say an Ace comes. This is the sort of position that I get confused. If a card comes that is any other card other than 5 or 10 (completing my straight), what do I do? How would the 2 coming on the turn change my actions than if an Ace came on the turn? And why? Like I understand the semi-bluff bet on the flop. Past that...I'm completely lost, and so I basically just 50% of the time continue barreling and 50% of the time give up on the turn.

Thanks so much for any clarity here...

Mark
Hi Mark,

This is a great question and a topic which deserves careful consideration!

Considering (by your own admission) you have felt lost in these situations, your assumed strategy of re-barreling 50% of the time (at a loss of knowing how to proceed otherwise) really wasn't a terrible tactic under the circumstances and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it worked about half of the time! Funnily enough... :laugh: :wink:

Most, if not all, topics within poker strategy are highly situational and this is no different.

We always want to be assessing our situational foundations and then moving forward with our decision making process with those factors in mind.

Having done the aforementioned, for me, the most important components here will be;

1) our opponents playing style

How have they been playing? Do you have any notes, reads or experience with them? How often will they fold?

2) board texture

How wet is it? Is it scary? Is it better for our range or their range?

3) our range Vs their range

This goes hand-in-hand with texture but we also want to be conscious of whether their line is congruent with our expectations for their range, if it isn't, that can be indicative/telling.

4) our table image

Have we had many bluffs tabled recently? Do we look like a nut pedlar instead? Whatever is the case, be aware of it and use it to your advantage.

4) position

As always, position gets a nod and, as always, we're stronger in position than out of position.

You've already received great responses with good advice, I was hardly left with anything to offer (besides for echoes), but hopefully through the responses here on your thread next time you'll feel a little more confident regarding how to evaluate whether it's a good or bad spot to double or triple barrel! :wink:

Kind Regards,
 
sharipov8090

sharipov8090

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I advise you to read books about bluffing and its versatility.How to bluff and be confident in your continuation will also help with frequent training in tournaments.Do not be afraid to be a fish for your opponent-extract knowledge from your own mistakes.
 
F

fundiver199

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Hi All!

So I am trying to wrap my head around when I should continue bluffing on the turn and river.
Let's say preflop I open raise in the cutoff with 89s. Let's say the flop comes 76K. I c-bet semi-bluff with the open-ended straight draw. Let's say the flop comes...i don't know, let's say a 2 comes. Or let's say an Ace comes. This is the sort of position that I get confused. If a card comes that is any other card other than 5 or 10 (completing my straight), what do I do? How would the 2 coming on the turn change my actions than if an Ace came on the turn? And why? Like I understand the semi-bluff bet on the flop. Past that...I'm completely lost, and so I basically just 50% of the time continue barreling and 50% of the time give up on the turn.

Thanks so much for any clarity here...

Mark

This is a really good question, and to be honest the turn and river are streets, where a lot of poker players probably feel a bit lost. Unless of course they have a nutted hand, because then life is usually pretty easy.

Taking your own example of having 89 on K76, then I would pretty much always barrel the turn, because you still have at least some equity and no showdown value, and usually people are going to fold some hands to a second barrel. Like maybe they called you on the flop with 65, but facing a big turn barrel they give up and let it go.

I would probably check back though, if the turn card completed a flushdraw, I did not have. The reason is, with 3 flushcards already on the board, two of your outs will bring a 1-liner to a flush, and you might be drawing dead already. And in general we want to avoid situations, where we put chips in the pot drawing dead. That should be pretty obvious.

I might also check back, if the turn came K76-K pairing top card, because quite often that will have made the opponent trips, especially if you dont have a K yourself making it more likely, he has one. And then he might check-raise you, which would really suck.

My general rule on the turn is to continue barreling with anything, that has equity, but give up with hands, that have not connected at all. I might C-bet K76 with almost any two cards (for a small size), but on K76-2 I wont fire again with a hand like say A5, unless it has a flushdraw.

On the river things are of course very black and white, since we either have the best hand, or we dont. With 9 high we probably dont, so that hand would be a good candidate to empty the clip and see, if our opponent is finally willing to fold.

But just because we dont have showdown value, we dont HAVE to always bluff. If we think, this particular opponent will just not fold, or if the river card is a complete brick, is it ok to just give up. For instance of K76-2-3 with no flushdraw bricking out, a lot of our opponents range, that gets to the river, will probably be KX, and KX probably still like that board a lot. Even 88-QQ might still like the board enough to call a last time, so in situations like this its ok to not have any bluffs.

An area, where a lot of people go wrong in micro and low stakes online poker, is they get way to caught up in advanced theory and perfect balance. But in these games you dont need to prove to someone, that you are able to trippel barrel on K76-2-3, because usually you have new opponents every session, and even if you see the same people again, they are not paying that much attention to, what you do. Especially not if you are an MTT player.

Another general rule for river play is to avoid bluffing with hands, that actually have showdown value. Lets say the board ran out Kh7h6s-2c-3d, and you were barreling with AhQh. Then you still beat all the other busted draws like 98, 85 or worse hearts, so you should check back and hope to win at showdown. IF you want to have bluffs, then 98 and ideally with no heart is a better candidate, because then your opponent might have a hand like Ah8h, which he will fold to a third barrel on the river. If you are basically only targeting busted draws, that beat your own busted draw, then a small river bet of 30-40% pot will get the job done.
 
S

Stickyfish

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Hi All!

So I am trying to wrap my head around when I should continue bluffing on the turn and river.
Let's say preflop I open raise in the cutoff with 89s. Let's say the flop comes 76K. I c-bet semi-bluff with the open-ended straight draw. Let's say the flop comes...i don't know, let's say a 2 comes. Or let's say an Ace comes. This is the sort of position that I get confused. If a card comes that is any other card other than 5 or 10 (completing my straight), what do I do? How would the 2 coming on the turn change my actions than if an Ace came on the turn? And why? Like I understand the semi-bluff bet on the flop. Past that...I'm completely lost, and so I basically just 50% of the time continue barreling and 50% of the time give up on the turn.

Thanks so much for any clarity here...

Mark
First and foremost if you want to bluff a hand you have to think about what type of player you are up against. If the player is capable of folding hands. Some are just maniac calling stations.
Then board texture matters.
If the board favours your range and gives you more nut advantage you probably should bet with almost anything on the flop.
 
Tracid

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One last thing I forgot to mention in my previous post:

Bet Sizing.

When we bluff we want to choose our sizing deliberately and think about what we are trying to represent.

We can't just jam arbitrarily thinking to ourselves 'that's gonna be too much for them to call'.

We need to think about what the hand we're trying to represent would bet.

If our bet sizing is akin to what a player would bet with the hand we're trying to represent- it has a much better chance of success.

Would the hand be trying to milk value, or would it be scared of redraws and try to price opponents out?

If we have a clear idea in our mind of the exact hand we're representing with our bluff, and choose a relevant bet sizing, this will make our bluff far more convincing, and more likely to succeed.

~EDIT:-

Here is a HH from my first tourney today which I think illustrates some of the concepts reasonably well:


pokerstars, $0.98 + $0.12 - Hold'em No Limit - 15/30 (4 ante) - 9 players
Replay this hand on CardsChat

Uta2910 (UTG): 2,996 (100 bb)
eslida (UTG+1): 3,182 (106 bb)
Nik-NIk75 (MP): 2,996 (100 bb)
emsi123 (MP+1): 2,996 (100 bb)
klevral91 (LP): 2,996 (100 bb)
Tr4cid (CO): 2,996 (100 bb)
debbie1982 (BU): 2,936 (98 bb)
skyguy6926 (SB): 2,906 (97 bb)
Anatol19251 (BB): 2,996 (100 bb)

Pre-Flop: (81) Hero (Tr4cid) is CO with 9 Q
1 fold, eslida (UTG+1) raises to 60, 3 players fold, Tr4cid (CO) calls 60, 2 players fold, Anatol19251 (BB) calls 30

Flop: (231) 8 J K (3 players)
Anatol19251 (BB) checks, eslida (UTG+1) bets 173, Tr4cid (CO) calls 173, Anatol19251 (BB) folds

Turn: (577) 4 (2 players)
eslida (UTG+1) bets 385, Tr4cid (CO) calls 385

River: (1,347) 3 (2 players)
eslida (UTG+1) checks, Tr4cid (CO) bets 673, eslida (UTG+1) folds

Total pot: 1,347
Tr4cid (CO) wins 1,347

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​

Notice the lines taken by hero & villain and how the villain's river check combined with the scare card club opens up an opportunity to steal the pot from a hand which was almost certainly beating queen high.
 
Last edited:
F

fundiver199

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Tracid has a good point, that we also need to think about, which hands we are representing for value, at least if our opponent is good enough to do basic hand reading. If we raise preflop and continue betting every street postflop, this is usually not so much of a deal, since we can always represent, that we have an overpair or top pair, or maybe we flopped something really big like a set. Especially on boards with high cards like an A or a K.

However if we are taking a more passive line like in Tracids hand, then we really need to consider, if our story makes sense. In Tracids hand its credible, that she would call preflop with a suited hand and call flop and turn with a flushdraw, and then bet it for value on the river. She also has Qc making it a little less likely, the opponent is trapping with a flush, so overall I think, this was a fine bluff.

It should be noticed though, that good players are not always checking with intention to check-fold in these situations. If I was Tracids opponent in that hand, I would check the river with a lot of strong non-flush hands like AA, AK and maybe even two pair and sets and then use those hands to snap off her river bluff.

In other situations though we cant really bluff the river, because our story would make absolutely no sense. Lets go back to the Kh7h6s-2c-3d board and say, we were defending our blinds with 9s8s and choose to check-call flop and check-call turn. We bricked out, and there is a bit less than a pot sized bet left, so if we want to bluff, our only option is to go for a donk jam.

But if we do so, what story are we really telling? That we called twice with 33 and rivered a set? Or that we defended pre with K3 and rivered two pair? If our opponent can hand read, he is not going to believe that, and when all the draws missed, we are going to get snapped off by any hand with showdown value.

So if we wanted to bluff in this situation, we should have started our bluff earlier by check-raising either the flop or the turn. In that way we could represent, that we had a hand like 77, 66 or 76s and get at least the weaker part of the opponents range to fold. And even better, when he call, we would still have some equity, so some percentage of the time we would get there and scoop the pot by winning at showdown.
 
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fundiver199

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I agree, that this is an example of a poorly executed bluff. The only positive thing is, it was very cheap. But because it was so cheap, good players will call extremely wide, and CO was also not telling a very credible story. If he had a K or better, he would surely have bet the turn, and he would also have bet larger on the river to get some value. So he is kind of saying, he has a J or 9 and wants to get very thin value? I would also have paid the 60 chips as UTG, and I think, UTG played his hand very well :)
 
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fundiver199

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Here is another example of a poorly executed bluff. When the opponent raise the turn after making his silly min-bet on the flop, he is not getting any better hands to fold, and he already beat my bluffs, if I have any. So this would have been a perfect spot for him to just call, try to realise his equity and play the river in position. I kind of played my hand face up by not C-betting the flop but leading the turn, and with such a low stack to pot ratio we should not try to make someone fold top pair, because its just not going to happen :)

CardsChat Poker Hands Converter
 
killing_random

killing_random

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Here is another example of a poorly executed bluff. When the opponent raise the turn after making his silly min-bet on the flop, he is not getting any better hands to fold, and he already beat my bluffs, if I have any. So this would have been a perfect spot for him to just call, try to realise his equity and play the river in position. I kind of played my hand face up by not C-betting the flop but leading the turn, and with such a low stack to pot ratio we should not try to make someone fold top pair, because its just not going to happen :)

CardsChat Poker Hands Converter

Is that play from PokerStars ES?
 
F

fundiver199

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I thought so because our examples looks the same except mine has 3.5$ buy-in and yours 3$

The international PokerStars site also has plenty of 3,5$ SnGs, but the KO SnGs have different buyins than the other variants.
 
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