Bluff

  • A bluff is a bet or raise made with a hand to force the opponent to fold hands that are stronger.
    While valuebets have a positive expected value because they are called by weaker hands, bluffs get their positive expected value strictly from foldequity.

    A good bluff is always a bet or raise made with a holding that generates so much foldequity from the opponent that it shows a positive expected value.

    If the poker player wants to get called by worse hands with his valuebets, he strategically also has to bluff in order to force the opponent to account for those bluffs with calling exactly those worse made hands, the so called bluffcatchers.

    Bluffs are usually categorized in these sub groups:

    • Pure bluffs
    • Postoak Bluffs also called Semibluffs
    A good pure bluff is a hand that:
    • now and later during the hand loses to all of villains bluffcatchers and valuehands meaning it has close to zero value at showdown
    • blocks villain's calling and/or raising hand combinations
    • doesn't block villain's folding range


    A good semi bluff is a hand that:
    • is weak now but has the potential of improving to a strong valuehand for example drawing hands
    • blocks villain's calling and/or raising hand combinations
    • doesn't block villain's folding range

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