Top 3 Bluffing Spots You Might Be Missing
Poker is not a game for the faint of heart. Playing an “honest” game will only take you so far; you’re going to need to get away with some downright lies. If you want to be a big winner, you have to steal pots that don’t belong to you.
Picking your spot is one of the biggest determining factors of whether the bluff will be successful. Of course it’s important to think about the opponent you’re trying to bluff—after all, a calling station won’t ever fold, no matter how good your spot is—but beyond that timing is everything.
Don’t miss out on these opportunities.
#1: Turning a Pair Into a Bluff
Too many players go into auto-pilot and assume that their pair is only as good as its showdown value. However, when the pair has relatively low strength, such as on a connected board or when facing big bets, it’s just not possible to call down and realize that value.
Instead, we should look for the times when it’s profitable to turn the pair into a bluff. This is especially true when that pair is blocking our opponent’s strong hands. For instance, if the flop is 9JQ and we’re holding pocket tens, then our opponent probably doesn’t have a straight, but it’s certainly possible that they have a pair that’s better than ours.
This is a great spot to turn our tens into a bluff. Not only do we have the equity of a pair if we do get called, but we also have outs to a straight of our own.
#2: Using Low Equity Bluffs
It’s tempting to always look for spots where we have outs to a good draw so that we have some insurance against a call, but that means we won’t have enough bluffs in our range. Remember, if your chances of winning at showdown are super low, then the best way to improve your equity is with fold equity. Make that bet and put on some pressure!
#3: Small Bluffs On the River
You don’t always have to use a large bet size when making a bluff. Sometimes, it’s best to just target your opponent’s weaker hands that will fold to a bet of any size. Plus, small bluffs don’t need to work as often to be extremely profitable.
Most people also assume that a small bet on the river is a value bet that’s begging for a call. It’s a small amount that’s easy to call, right? So when people want their opponents to put a couple last chips into the pot, they’ll make a small river bet. Reverse this logic to confuse your opponents and get them to fold.