If there’s one thing we know about loose-aggressive players (aka maniacs), it’s that they love to get in there, battle, and throw their chips around. In other words, they love bluffing. They just can’t help themselves from staying in the action.
One of the best ways that we can profit off this imbalance is by inducing bluffs. Since our range is so much stronger than your average maniac, we want to make a hand then nudge them in the right direction.
We want to trap them. Basically, our goal is to appear weak, let them think that they smell blood in the water, and then crush them at showdown. We want to induce bluffs.
Once you’ve identified the maniac, don’t just turtle up and become a nit. Even the maniac won’t want to play hands with you if you fold everything but the nuts.
Instead, get in there and play back a little. Show them that you’re willing to call their bets and make raises. This creates a perception of you that is crucial to inducing bluffs.
Essentially, it tells them that you’re going to sometimes play weaker hands. Of course, we bluff to try to force stronger hands to fold, but, at the same time, nobody ever folds the nuts.
At the same time, you don’t want to be a calling station either. If they know that you never fold, then they’ll never bluff into you.
Show Signs of Weakness
Once you’ve got your overall frequencies figured out, it’s time to approach the problem in a specific hand. Start by showing signs of weakness.
This doesn’t mean that you should always call or check. In fact, you might even want to raise pre-flop. The key, however, is to use a small bet-sizing. Make the minimum bet, or just raise 2x to 2.5x.
Doing so tells a certain story. It says, “Hey, I have a hand, but not a very good one.” When a maniac is holding air, they’ll want to push you off that hand.
Whatever you do, don’t make big bets. If you blast them off the pot, then there’s no way you’re going to induce any bluffs unless they are the craziest of maniacs.