When should you bluff?

    • circoflax
      circoflax
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.02.2010 Posts: 413
      This situation happens a lot. One fish playing 50/5 or something like that limps, I have AK and raise to 4BB, everybody folds and the fish call OOP.

      Flop is something like 57T rainbow, I make a cbet of 2/3 pot, he calls OOP. Turn is a 2 and I check behind, noticing that he has WTSD 40%, so I assume he is most likely calling me with any pair he's hit. Now the river is a Q, so no flushes and no straights are complete. The pot is something like 20BB and he donks 4BB into it. Now it is very clear he is blocking me and he is affraid I may have hit that Q.

      The question is, how frequently should you bluff in a spot like this, and what is the threshhold of his WTSD to make me just give up. I've seen fish block like that and then call overbets with one pair, I've also seen folds. Suppose we have a decent sample on the fish, so the WTSD is relevant.

      I'm expecting answers like: "I'd raise to 20BB if his WTSD is lower than 30" or, "I'll just give up if his WTSD is higher than 45", or "I'd raise to 15BB if his WTSD is lower than 25".

      I'm really looking forward on your thoughts about this.
  • 22 replies
    • Meda1985
      Meda1985
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.01.2011 Posts: 233
      Like the question, will like the answer even more! :)
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      If someone rarely folds, why is your goal to try and bluff him in a spot where you usually don't raise lots of Qx for value if you have hit it and you can't rep strong hands either AND, most importantly, the fish has showdown value.

      The whole approach to the hand is wrong because you don't know why you bet the flop. You just make a cbet without thinking it through and making a plan.

      If you cbet as a bluff, you sure he folds a pair? If he doesn't, you have the best no pair hand. Is it for value? Then why not consider calling given the river odds?
    • circoflax
      circoflax
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.02.2010 Posts: 413
      With these passive fish I almost always bet the flop in position, because the may even call with overcards, all sorts of gutshots etc, and if it goes check-check to the river I win a bigger pot. In the case I hit, especially the river, I'll raise small that blocking bet and get paid a lot. That's assuming the hand goes the way I described it. And yes, I will raise the fish with TPTK
      if I hit the river and he block bets. I'll just make it small so he can call.

      Another reason why I bet the flop is that even the most passive fish will sometimes take a stab at it on the turn if you check behind the flop and I really hate giving up initiative like that.

      Calling the river with AK I think it's pretty -EV in that spot, I don't think I have showdown value when he bets that amount.

      If I'm OOP, I agree, trying to check down the hand to showdown I think is the best approach. Especially if he has AF something below 1, he won't bet it unless he's hit something decent.
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      Originally posted by circoflax
      Another reason why I bet the flop is that even the most passive fish will sometimes take a stab at it on the turn if you check behind the flop and I really hate giving up initiative like that.

      Calling the river with AK I think it's pretty -EV in that spot, I don't think I have showdown value when he bets that amount.

      If I'm OOP, I agree, trying to check down the hand to showdown I think is the best approach. Especially if he has AF something below 1, he won't bet it unless he's hit something decent.
      I said weak Qx that you have in your range, not TPTK. That's not a weak top pair. If you have Q4s do you raise river for value?

      You get 6:1 odds, you only have to beat some AJ, 89, 86, 64 from time to time to be good when you call there.

      I don't get why you are more inclined to play this hand passively OOP and want to be aggressive IP when it's way easier to bluffcatch IP. If you bet flop for value, turn is another value bet and check back river.
    • circoflax
      circoflax
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.02.2010 Posts: 413
      We are really getting away from the idea of the thread. Lets say I don't have AK, I have 6 high on that board on the river and the guy block bets like that. I wanna bluff him, but how often should I, given his WTSD?

      With AK however, if the guy has AF <= 1, i think you are NEVER good in that spot once he block bets. I'd more inclined to call an overbet from a guy with AF 4, than that small bet from the passive fish. About Q4s, ofc I wouldn't raise it, but I would rarely play it, fish or no fish. I would raise any decent Q however. And 2 barreling AK on that board I think isolates me against better good hands only. Once the fish calls the flop, if no scare cards come, I think he calls the turn too with anypair. If the Q is on the turn, I bet 3/4 pot and get him of most hands. The problem is the Q is on the river after I have checked behind the turn.
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      You flop a piece of the flop about 33% of the time. If someone goes to showdown more often than that what do you find out? How often should you bluff said person?
    • circoflax
      circoflax
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.02.2010 Posts: 413
      Originally posted by EmanuelC16
      You flop a piece of the flop about 33% of the time. If someone goes to showdown more often than that what do you find out? How often should you bluff said person?
      I know about the 33%, my whole life revolves around that :D
      So you are saying never bluff a guy with WTSD>33, he'll always call with any pair that he has flopped.

      But in my example, we have to take into consideration the "scarecard factor". Plus they don't only call with pairs... They may actually hit a decent hand once in a while. So WTSD=33 actually means top pair, overpairs, some middle pairs and all hands better than 1 pair. Now when the Q hits the river, his hand is most likely some mediocre pair, and I raise. That pushes him to find a call with the very bottom of his range.


      So I think the passive fish may be able to fold a flopped pair as long as he shows so much weakness and there is at least one scarecard. The question is, what do people say from their experience, when should you just give up saying: "There's no sense me raising POT, that fish is still gonna call me with any pair that he flopped".



      Example: From my experience, it's a bad idea to stick it in with less than middle set against a player who raises only 6% of flops.
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      Let's take it step by step.

      We raise AK for value against a complete calling station.

      We cbet a semi-coordinated flop for value.

      Turn is a blank and we pot control.

      River is a card that hit both our ranges about the same amount and he bets 1/5 pot.

      You now want to raise a showdown value hand, which we bet for value twice to make him fold a hand better than ours. By definition he doesn't fold any hand. See the inconsistency?

      At this point your choices given your assumptions are call to catch a busted straight draw or a worse A high spazz or fold.
    • MatejM47
      MatejM47
      Black
      Joined: 21.01.2010 Posts: 1,193
      Why are you so determined to bluff the fish who doesn't want to fold? Thats pure dumbness. If you pot it up on the river you need to make him fold 50% of the time. He wont fold a pair 1/2 the time. In that spot fold is probably best, call is ok and raising is just lighting money on fire.
    • circoflax
      circoflax
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.02.2010 Posts: 413
      Originally posted by MatejM47
      Why are you so determined to bluff the fish who doesn't want to fold? Thats pure dumbness. If you pot it up on the river you need to make him fold 50% of the time. He wont fold a pair 1/2 the time. In that spot fold is probably best, call is ok and raising is just lighting money on fire.
      I wanna raise because his hand is face up and want to take advantage of that info. I think it's very important to be able to exploit those spots. In my oppinion calling is the worst option, because he won't block bet without some kind of a pair, he will just check. He has AF<1, for crying out loud! Folding is ok because you never know with those fish, they may look you up with anything. And I think raising can be +EV against some guys, depending on their ability to sometimes fold. Now what better indicator is there other than WTSD?
    • Wriggers
      Wriggers
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.07.2009 Posts: 3,250
      So if his AF is less than 1 why do we think he is betting with a mediocre pair? From the looks of it it's either a bustd draw or a value hand that he's never folding to a raise. In both cases raising isn't the most +EV. Vs a busted draw it is +EV because we're ahead, but he's folding a worse hand so there's no advantage to that over calling. When we raise we isolate ourselves against all the hands that beat us that don't fold (You said yourself, he is a calling station and his AF is low, yet he's betting here with what?) and fold out worse hands.

      Imo a fish is much more likely to bet a busted draw than a mediocre pair that he'd fold to a raise.
    • circoflax
      circoflax
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.02.2010 Posts: 413
      Originally posted by Wriggers
      Imo a fish is much more likely to bet a busted draw than a mediocre pair that he'd fold to a raise.
      Alright, I respect your opinion. But if he decides to bluff with a busted draw - no SD value, wouldn't he make it bigger so I can easily fold? In my experience, fish bet amounts that reflect the strength of their hands.

      For example, many fish will donk small flop, turn and river with something like Q3 on a 2Q7T5 board. They will play JJ the same. I always try to pick up on this and try to push them of their hand if they are telling that story exactly. If they have a good hand they will most likely 3bet if I raise.
    • MatejM47
      MatejM47
      Black
      Joined: 21.01.2010 Posts: 1,193
      Originally posted by circoflax
      Originally posted by MatejM47
      Why are you so determined to bluff the fish who doesn't want to fold? Thats pure dumbness. If you pot it up on the river you need to make him fold 50% of the time. He wont fold a pair 1/2 the time. In that spot fold is probably best, call is ok and raising is just lighting money on fire.
      I wanna raise because his hand is face up and want to take advantage of that info. I think it's very important to be able to exploit those spots. In my oppinion calling is the worst option, because he won't block bet without some kind of a pair, he will just check. He has AF<1, for crying out loud! Folding is ok because you never know with those fish, they may look you up with anything. And I think raising can be +EV against some guys, depending on their ability to sometimes fold. Now what better indicator is there other than WTSD?
      Yes his hand is face up and you should exploit that, but how are you exploiting him by raising if his always going to call you with any better hand he does this with. Yeah his very likely blockbetting a weak pair but once you raise his going to talk himself into calling since he looks weak so you must be bluffing.

      You seem to love AF which is pretty much the most useless stat ever. You have to look at his river betting frequency. If you really want to use agression stat then use agression frequency not agro factor. That being sad calling really isnt as bad as you seem to think. There is like over a 200 combos of strait draws in his range on your example board that gets to the river this way and you only have to win 1 out of 6 times where he tries to make a dumb bluff like that with his J9o or 34s that has no hope of winning if he doesnt bet, but doesnt want to invest to much money on a bluff.

      Yes the wtsd stat is useful in determining how likely he is to call but the problem is that very few fish have WTSD under 30 and your best opponent to bluff in this way is someone with under 25 wtsd. Very very few fishes have wtsd low enough for you to even consider a bluff in this spot.

      Now even if you cannot exploit him by bluff raising you can turn this around and go super thin for value. In your previous post you say you only raise a ''good'' queen for value. This is not thin enough since his hand is so face up to be a Tx or very likely worse you have to exploit his stationary tendencies by raising super thin starting with at least AT maybe even KT for value and definitly any Qx.
    • Wriggers
      Wriggers
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.07.2009 Posts: 3,250
      Originally posted by circoflax
      Originally posted by Wriggers
      Imo a fish is much more likely to bet a busted draw than a mediocre pair that he'd fold to a raise.
      Alright, I respect your opinion. But if he decides to bluff with a busted draw - no SD value, wouldn't he make it bigger so I can easily fold? In my experience, fish bet amounts that reflect the strength of their hands.

      For example, many fish will donk small flop, turn and river with something like Q3 on a 2Q7T5 board. They will play JJ the same. I always try to pick up on this and try to push them of their hand if they are telling that story exactly. If they have a good hand they will most likely 3bet if I raise.
      Yes, therefore they don't want to risk too much with their bluffs.
    • circoflax
      circoflax
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.02.2010 Posts: 413
      Originally posted by Wriggers

      Yes, therefore they don't want to risk too much with their bluffs.
      Oh c'mon, that guy is not able to think "I gotta bet something cause I have no showdown value, but I'll make it small cause I don't have to bet much, because my opponent doesn't seem to have much either, as he checked behind on the turn, so he must have A high at best."

      He just thinks: "I have a bad hand so I'll bet small".

      But a guy with AF<1 has something 95% of the time when he bets the river. So if I have AK I think I'm behind most of the time if he bets anything.
    • Wriggers
      Wriggers
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.07.2009 Posts: 3,250
      No, his thought process won't be like that.But his thought process could easily be "I have a bluff so I don't want to bet big".

      Yes, he could very well have a weak showdown hand that beats us. But he's not folding it. Why do you think a fish is more likely to bet a mediocre pair than a busted draw? With mediocre hands fish want to check it down. But every fish knows that if he has a busted straight draw with 8 high the only way to win the pot is to bet.
    • Nardiss
      Nardiss
      Gold
      Joined: 19.03.2009 Posts: 31
      You should not blindly make play just by stats, Most Important factor here is his (fish) mood at that particular time. If for exmample he's stuck on the session or just lose some pots in a row, it is very likely that he will make call, and maybe if he''s winning and you see that he's trying to play safely (protecting his stack) last orbits you probably could make a profitable bluff here. In a live game it is way easier to feel this thing's, but if you play like 6tables online, it's a big chanse that you are not following game flow on every table enought accurately, and so a bluff raise could potecialyy be big -EV.
    • Fagin
      Fagin
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.05.2008 Posts: 544
      Instead of looking at AF and WTSD why not look at "Fold to river raise".

      Put that stat in your HUD so it is in front of you or better just 1 click away as you will use it less that other stats.

      Personally I would very rarely raise here except against a reasonable player whom I know is capable of folding at least top pair weak kicker. Why try to bluff a fish that will call often enough with a weak pair that your move will be -$EV?
    • gadget51
      gadget51
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      My thoughts are to raise bigger preflop if he is such a huge station, like at least 6bb. flop you are raising for value...pardon? Value against what range, you don't say really. If I cbet at all here it's very samll, villain wont notice any difference and call any draw, hit; guess; miracle; lottery; whatever anyway, so not point imo.

      Odss etc are not important in these cases unless you think villain will fold to a cbet a lot. He may float anything he has, thsn where are you unless you know he will float/fold turn the fk it just give it up who cares.

      Some ppl (emmanuelC16, wriggers, et al) have posted better worded replies than I, so I bow to their expertise.

      Regards,

      Mal.
    • 1
    • 2