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Article: How to build a bluff?

Comment construire un bluff au poker ? - Metagame Poker

How to build a bluff?

Bluffing is a very important part of the game, because we cannot have the winning hand every time.

Very often, bluffing is done naturally, by intuition. But when we take a closer look at what we mean by “intuition”, we understand that it includes many fairly concrete elements. Understanding these elements will allow you to use them better, in order to build better bluffs.

  1. Our opponent's hand is weak

Very strong hands are quite rare in poker. Very often, we will face a relatively weak hand from our opponent. And often our hand will be even weaker. This is a privileged situation for bluffing because it will be much too complicated for our opponent to call with his weak hand. These will often be small pots won, but in the long term these pots will make the difference.

  1. The typology of our adversary

A primary concept in poker is determining which opponent we are facing. Our opponents can be aggressive, passive, clingy, suspicious, high rollers, etc. Depending on their typology, our opponent will react differently to our bluffs. Thus, you will have to avoid bluffing too often a sticky opponent, who will pay even with a weak hand. On the contrary, when facing an opponent who takes few risks, you will need to increase your bluffing frequency.

  1. The blockers of our hand

One of the first elements we can rely on to bluff is in our hand. In No Limit Holdem, imagine that we have an ace of hearts and a queen of clubs in hand, and that the board displays three heart cards. We haven't hit anything, but having the ace of hearts can allow us to bluff. By definition, this card we have is not in our opponent's deck, and in the case of our example, that means our opponent cannot have the best possible suit. If he can't have the best possible suit, he may think we have it and therefore fold if we are bluffing. But also, having the ace of hearts reassures us that he does not have the best possible hand, and therefore that our bluff is likely to pass.

  1. The potential for improvement in our hand

When all the cards have not been dealt, we can find ourselves in a situation where we have nothing, but depending on the cards on the turn and the river, our nothing could turn into a strong hand. Let's imagine that we have 6 and 7 of spades, and that the cards on the board are K 8 3 5 unsuitable. Here we only have height 7 (so nothing), but our hand has significant potential for improvement. Indeed, if a 9 or a 4 came to river, we would have the best possible combination on this board (straight max). If you bet turn knowing that you only have height 7, it will be a bluff. More precisely, when we bluff with a hand with potential for improvement, we say that we are semi-bluffing . This is a bluff that can pay off, because if our opponent has a pair of 8s for example, he will be able to fold with the best hand. And if our opponent calls with any hand and a 9 or 4 comes river, we will end up with the best hand.

  1. The pressure we can exert on our opponent

At certain times in the game, power struggles may arise between opponents based on their stacks. One of the most telling examples comes from poker tournaments, when there is only one player left to eliminate before all the remaining players receive a prize. For players who have a low stack, the pressure is at maximum since they can be the person eliminated at the bottom of the prizes. So, if you enter a move against a player who has a weaker stack than yours, you can easily bluff by relying on the pressure you exert on him.

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