Assuming your hand has no showdown value, a river bluff for

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Bluffing

Assuming your hand has no showdown value, a river bluff for ? of the pot needs to fold out a better hand approximately 43% of the time to show a profit. Of course, itӳ impossible to know an opponentӳ exact calling range or frequency, but theoretically, if you knew that this bluff would succeed 50% of the time and you didnӴ make it, then you would be costing yourself money as surely as if you took it out of your pocket and gave it to your opponent in cash.

If your bluffs are rarely or never called, then you are undoubtedly missing profitable opportunities and leaving money on the table. Strange as it may seem, you want a ? pot bluff to be called about 1/3 of the time. Since you canӴ know your opponentӳ exact calling range, this is the closest you can get to confirmation that you are in fact bluffing at a good frequency.

In the example above, your opponent backed into top pair, top kicker- a much stronger holding than you would expect to see given the passive line that he took. From your perspective, it looked like he had a draw, possibly with a weak pair to go with it. And in fact that is what he had. He just had a few outs that you werenӴ counting on. You can imagine how many other hands he could have played similarly but folded on this river: 7-5, 7-6, 9-7, 9-8, 7-7, 8-8, A[spade] 7[spade], A[spade] T[spade], and maybe even A[spade] K[spade]. His lucky river catch notwithstanding, you made a profitable bluff and the river Q is functionally a Ңad beatҠfor you even though you were behind the entire time.






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