The Semi-Bluff

A semi-bluff is when you open without a “hand made”, but when you have a chance to improve your hand. The classic “semi bluff” is second pair with a weak draft, or pairs the bottom with a fairly decent project. If your bluff leaves, you still have some chances of hitting cards that will make your hand a winner. If you are totally new to a bluff, then you could do worse than semi-bluff only ever at first.

If the bluff works, large you can wait and see what the next cards bring before deciding whether to continue the bluff or fold.

With these guidelines in mind, you can begin to take care for “good points” for bluffing. These include:

When you are in the mark, with only the blinds to act, however this is such a classic lighthouse the point that good players often “defend their blinds” against you.

When you missed a ladder project, but the table has at least three cards of the same suit. This is going to be “color adoption” – even if you missed your project, your opponent will think that you were actually going for the color project.

When you missed a color project, but the table shows connectors that would easily make a ladder. This is essentially the opposite of the above tactic – here you “adopt a ladder” when in fact you were expecting a color.

When you are first to act against pre-flop the grower, and flop low with “rags”. Opening out here puts pre-flop grower to the test – he may well have had a hand such as Ace King or Ace Queen who missed the flop.

It should be obvious that against more experienced players you need to find different places for a bluff. Beware of bluffing too often against poor players – often do not even know if beaten, so they will anyway!

If you are new to poker, bluff sparingly – you will make money playing only good hands and letting others think you are bluffing.


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