[NL2-NL10] Turning a hand into a bluff

    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 7,401
      Simple question, really:

      What does it mean when people talk about "turning a hand into a bluff"?

      E.g. suppose I raise JJ from mp. I get called by BB and flop is: K :club: Q :spade: 9 :heart:

      BB donks into me for 1/3 potsize and I push all-in over the top.

      This is a situation where I think people would say 'I have turned my hand into a bluff'.

      And I'm not sure exactly what it means. Is it because I might be seen to be representing either the K or the Q, or what? More importantly, why do people use it in a negative way? What is wrong with making a semi-bluff in a situation where we might still have the best hand - e.g. if villain had a low pocket pair?

      I shall be eternally in the debt of he who can illuminate this for me :)

      TIA
  • 5 replies
    • mikelstwe
      mikelstwe
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.08.2008 Posts: 156
      I think it is when you raise with a strong hand in such a manner that only better hands would call you. Therefore you effectively turn your hand into trash as it becomes irrelevant what you raised with (you could just as well raised with trash).

      Here's an example:
      You're playing: $1/$2

      Effective stacks: $200

      Game: TAGish six-max

      Your hand: Ad Kd

      You raise to $9 from under the gun.

      It's folded to the small blind, who calls; the big blind folds. The small blind is a nitty TAG player.

      The flop: Ah 8d 7c

      SB checks and you bet $15; SB flat-calls.

      The turn: Td

      SB now bets $45.

      If you were to raise him here it wouldn't be considered a value bet as only better hands will call you. There if you raise your turning a strong hand into a bluff.

      I hope I explained that correctly.
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 7,401
      Thanks for this - interesting example.

      As a short stacker, we're meant to get our money in the middle when we have a made hand.

      With top pair, top kicker I think general advice would be to push over the top. And if we do so, I don't know that it really counts as a bluff, does it?

      With this particular opponent (if I understand you right) we maybe have to fear a hand like A,T which now has two pair, or - more likely - AA, since we raised UTG and so a good TAG would hardly flat call a shortstacker with AT.
      Clearly, if we think we are up against a better hand - like pocket rockets - we make a mistake whenever we raise and if that is the case then I understand why it makes sense to say 'we turn our hand into a bluff'. But when we're not sure what our opponent has (and even think they may themselves be bluffing or overplaying their hand), I think it's less clear.

      In this same situation, if villain was unknown, I'm sure it would be correct to push rather than merely call.

      edit: sorry - I see this is a BSS example. It's harder for me to relate as I don't normally play that, but I can more clearly understand that we make a big mistake by raising since we may well be up against a set or two pair etc. An SSS example of turning a hand into a bluff would really help to explain. Thanks again
    • mikelstwe
      mikelstwe
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.08.2008 Posts: 156
      As you correctly stated us shortstackers want to get our money in the middle with a made hand. So I don't think this will apply too often. Think its far more applicable to BSS imo.
    • burek2000
      burek2000
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.11.2007 Posts: 3,105
      Hey Tim64,

      Originally posted by Tim64
      Simple question, really:

      What does it mean when people talk about "turning a hand into a bluff"?

      E.g. suppose I raise JJ from mp. I get called by BB and flop is: K :club: Q :spade: 9 :heart:

      BB donks into me for 1/3 potsize and I push all-in over the top.

      This is a situation where I think people would say 'I have turned my hand into a bluff'.

      And I'm not sure exactly what it means. Is it because I might be seen to be representing either the K or the Q, or what? More importantly, why do people use it in a negative way? What is wrong with making a semi-bluff in a situation where we might still have the best hand - e.g. if villain had a low pocket pair?

      I shall be eternally in the debt of he who can illuminate this for me :)

      TIA
      I decided to quote your first post and explain on it...

      When we say that we turn our hand into bluff it means that we raise our hand with intention of making opponent fold his hand.

      For example, if we put opponent in your example on Qx, then we are way behind and we should raise and represent a KQ/AK in order to make our opponent fold his hand, this way we would turn our hand into bluff, but if you think opponent is more likely on 9x or gutshot draw, then we raise as well, but this time we make a value bet and don't turn our hand into bluff.

      I agree that turning hands into bluffs is more applicable with BSS, but sometimes you can also find yourself in such a situation when playing SSS, specially with increased stack.

      ...one thing I forgot, we say we turn our hand into bluff is meant when we have a weak/medium made hand, but we decide to represent a very strong hand. If we have trash and we bet, then that's a bluff, not a hand turned into bluff.

      I think that's it.

      Regards,
      burek2000
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 7,401
      well thanks - as always!