The bluff in poker is one of the most used movements and strategies at the tables. The “Bluffs”, as they are known in English, have multiple movements and in the following article we will detail what a bluff is in poker.
The bluff in poker is an action, a movement, or simply a strategy that can be seen in the form of “call” or “raise” with the clear objective of deceiving the opposing players at the poker table.
The main objective of a bluff in poker is to persuade an opponent or several of them to withdraw from one hand even though you hold a worse hand than many of them. Bluffing is a basic movement, an integral aspect of the optimal strategy for any competitive poker game, both in poker tournaments and in real-money poker games. Use it in our poker rooms as well as for games like Texas Holdem, Omaha Poker, etc.
In the following article we will explain some movements when making a bluff in poker. This will answer the question of what is a bluff in poker?
Bluffing in Poker: The Semi-bluff
The semi-bluff is another essential movements when we talk about bluffing in poker and when playing Texas Hold’em. This can help you increase your profits and improve your long-term results in poker.
This movement can actually increase the amount of money you get through hands and projects that initially would not be winners. With this move can get essentially take control of the hand and show the other players at the table you have letters that really are not what they believe.
As in all the items we focus to give a first explanation of the semi-bluff on four basic points:
- What it is a semi-bluff ?: The semi-bluff is essentially a bet or raise with a project. Not considered a bluff “real” because you’d have a hand with good potential and could improve and be winning thanks to the community cards. Betting or get reraising give you two different ways to win. You can complete your project and get the best hand to win the pot or you can because hes leaving opponents hand.
- When do you use ?: As usual with most essential movements used in poker semi-bluff works best when in position because it is only truly effective when your fellow diners are likely to throw their letters.
- Where is it done ?: The semi-lantern can be used in all poker variants and formats, provided there is a project and several options to improve your hand, mostly with community cards.
- Why run ?: This movement combines the value of your cards and the possibility that these become “nuts” with the proceeds received each time your opponents drop out and you get the pot without playing hand. It also increases the time you step into action without wasting your money.
The semi-lantern is a movement that also gives more variety to your game and creates doubts in your rivals since they do not know if you bluff or play with cards.
How to make a semi-bluff?
Because many times your letters are projects with options to be completed, it is important to know when it is convenient to do it and when not to not hinder your options to earn money.
The most important point of the semi-lantern is that there is the option of winning after playing the hand and also that it is also possible to take the boat because all players have left.
Odds of winning the hand, refers to the part of the boat that you can take thanks to the strength of your cards. If you have a color project and there is $ 100 in the boat, taking into account that you will complete the project once in three times, the biggest bet you should make to get $ 100 is $ 35.
Odds of winning by default is the value you get when your opponents drop and win without complete your project color in this case.
This means that the more often take the pot get both, earn more money with your semi-bluffs.
The odds of the jackpot after playing your cards help get more money, the higher the percentage of times you complete your projects in less need occasions to get benefits that your opponents give up because you win the jackpot after winning the best hand more of occasions.
Knowing if the opponent will throw his cards and thus get many times take the pot without having to go all the way is difficult. There is no formula to guess, although there are two factors you can consider and that will help it.
Is your opponent aggressive or passive ?, often see bets?
The semi-bluff works especially when they are large the odds that your opponent throw your cards, so it is not recommended, especially because it is harder to give you results, when you’re playing with a player who tends to see the bets with two high cards or low pairs. If instead the player usually throw their cards if they are not really good, you are at the ideal situation for the semi-bluff.
Type of table you are and the image they have of you
Pay attention to all the features of the table and the hands are played, especially looking at the percentages have your opponents seeing the flop. The more common it is that your rivals, those who are just behind you, throw their cards the best results the semi-lantern will offer you since they will throw their cards without thinking twice.
If your opponents have seen your semi-bluff in the game preflop, several letters of the same color on the flop will help you believe you have good cards, such as two clubs: A ♣ 5 ♣ 2 ♦, but can also help complete projects of the other players. Think there is more or ace.
Observing the reaction of the opponent and given the letter to be displayed in turn must decide whether it is appropriate to continue performing the triple bluff. The idea is always to continue it improves a letter to those of the flop, or even worse than the highest but it is better than the second card of the flop is displayed.
Most opponents who have seen your first bet on the flop cards have pairs of socks or the highest pair of the table. Any high card can make your opponent vulnerable and make you think that with that pair you don’t have the best cards on the table.
Cards showing a couple at the table are, as a rule, bad for the second bet as it is possible that the opponent has a trio for accepting your bet on the flop.
After betting on the flop and on the turn, the third bet is really important to you. Remember the concepts we talked about on the flop and on the turn to decide whether to shoot the third bullet. Large cards are convenient as long as those that can complete projects are not so much.
Often opponents often see the bet on the flop with a medium or high torque, hoping to improve your hand to show a new card. If the turn offered the possibility of having a clear project and river offers the possibility of completing them, is the best time to shoot long range shotgun, making an even bigger bet.
Bluffing in Poker: Hunting Bluffs
Of course, when talking about the bluff in poker, it is also important to know when you are throwing a bluff. Hence, we also talk about the strategy of headhunters when playing your poker games.
- What it is: Its own name indicates it, the Lantern Hunter is a hand that is not very powerful, but that is enough to win the bet if the opponent is bluffing. It is a hand that does not have a high bet value nor to win your opponent if this bet with cards, but that is perfect to win against the lanterns of your rivals.
- When ?: Generally, people talk about Hunter of Lanterns referring to those hands in which the bet of an opponent on the river is seen with the belief that the other player has not completed his project or that his cards are not good .
- Where ?: This movement is usually found in games where more lanterns are usually made, as in Hold’em No Limit and Pot Limit Omaha, although the concepts learned are often used, less frequently, in other poker variants.
- Why ?: To be able to get money with hands that you would normally throw away. Take advantage of players who tend to throw lanterns and win with mediocre hands that you would discard if your rivals did not tend to bluff.
How to hunt a lantern?
The most important part you should keep in mind when making this movement of force is to understand when you have a Lantern Hunter in your hand and under what conditions it is wise to see the bet on the river.
As usually happens in poker, whether your decision is right or not depends largely on how much you know about your opponent. You must analyze their frequency of value bets and lanterns, in short, you must understand their behavior to take advantage of this.
In short, a Lantern Hunter is a hand that would always be behind any valuable play your opponent has, so you would only win that hand if the opponent has thrown a lantern, so it is essential and necessary to be able to locate players who bluff regularly.
Simply explained, the Lantern Hunter movement will never work against a player who does not bluff and bet without cards.
At a typical table where people play in a classical way and, apparently, following the correct guidelines, it is probably best to forget about Bluff Hunting and focus on optimizing profits when winning hands are received. On the contrary, if you are at a table where you can observe many tricks, aggressive players and where lanterns are common, you would lose a lot of money if you only saw their bets with winning plays.
Because good players understand that it is difficult to win money in poker only with winning hands, many times they will try to get benefits despite not being able to complete their project on the river thanks to continuing a bet of three bullets (or triple lantern) or even throwing a lantern directly on the river.
To successfully use a Lantern Hunter, you must have identified the players who tend to bluff more than normal and take advantage of the advantage offered by such knowledge of them by accepting bets with plays that you would throw on normal occasions.
In the right situation and against the right player, seeing a bet on the river with high As-Card can make you win a lot of money in the long term. In short, you should look for more aggressive players than usual, those who bet more than they should to be able to use a Lantern Hunter successfully.
The math of the Lantern Hunter
The easiest way to think mathematically when having a Lantern Hunter is in terms of boat odds and its value. As a general rule, players calculate the value of the hand by comparing the size of the pot and the odds of completing the project to take it.
In the case of having a Lantern Hunter in your hand, where you can only get the pot if the opponent is betting without a winning hand, you must substitute the probability of completing a project the frequency with which the opponent makes a lantern to see when It is worth seeing the bet.
We are going to see an example to understand better and be clearer about this aspect:
The player who is on the button in a $ 1 / $ 2 No Limit game comes up with $ 8. The big blind leave and you, being in big blind you see with A ♦ 3 ♦.
Boat = $ 17
The cards shown on the flop are 9 ♦ 8 ♠ 3 ♣ and after passing you see your bet of $ 10.
Boat after the flop = $ 37
You both pass on the turn, which shows a 2 ♥, while on the river, the card that appears is the 2 ♣. You pass and your opponent bets $ 20. Your cards only win incomplete projects, so if he has a partner or something better, you are lost then, should you see his bet?
To find out if it would be a correct long-term movement you should see the probabilities and compare with how often your opponent bluffs.
In this case you have to bet $ 20 to win $ 57 (the money that is already on the table before seeing the bet on the river), so the boat would pay you 2.85 to 1.
If you think that your opponent makes a lantern in half of the occasions, then you should see the bet since in the long term you would have benefits provided the boat offers a payment greater than 2 to 1.
Having an exact number of how often your opponent throws a bluff is impossible, so all you have to analyze are his tendencies on similar occasions.
If you have observed that you tend to bet on bluffing too much, you are in an ideal position to see your bet, if on the contrary you tend to play most of the time only if you have good cards, you should probably leave.
One of the most important skills in poker is the ability to analyze your opponent, taking into account, among other things, when he plays bluff and what bet value he has (with which cards he usually wager and with which ones to abandon).
The more real your analysis is, the more money you will get and the more times you will be able to make your lantern hunting hands good.