How is that bluffing thing working out for you?

"Bluffing is still one of those things that most new players in online poker get horribly wrong."
poker bluff

So your bluff didn’t work, and now you are faced with an all-in check raise from a rather tight player in that online poker game. You know what you have to do. Even though it’s against your natural instinct to back down, sometimes you just got to do it. A common situation is when you are the first to enter a pot and decide to raise it up because you have some paint cards. The big blind calls you and the both of you see a ragged flop. Normally, he’s going to check to you, the aggressor in a hand.

After a ragged flop.

If an adversary does check, this is a pretty standard play for you to make a continuation bet. Usually this means a good chunk of the pot, and usually the hand will stop right there. But what if it doesn’t? Sometimes your opponent will call your continuation bet. He is offering you position with his call, yet on a ragged low card flop, you have to always be aware these are precisely the hands your opponent may have called you with. Of course you don’t know that, as he might’ve called you with an ace king and have your queen ten suited dominated.

What matters is that he did call you. Now you can expect a few things from this call such as, he does have a really good hand whether that be from help from the flop or him slow playing you, it really doesn’t matter. He may also think you are a timid enough opponent, to be planning a bet or check raise on the turn or river. He could merely be playing on the supposition that this flop completely missed your high cards, and you cannot afford to make this pot grow with an ace high hand. He may also just be playing with a small pair, or draw.

Now, reckoning on your opponent’s profile, you may want to three bet him if he raises you, but that commonly means a really big pot in a very marginal situation. This is something that you truly must consider as to be a pricy situation long term. Simply put, if you don’t have the balls or the cards to bet out on the turn or river, then you may likely be reconciled to saying to yourself, “that’s all I’m going to put into this hand, I’ll have to check it down or give it up”.

Give up on the hand, before it’s too late!

Giving up on a hand, or folding to somebody who has turned the aggression around on you is one of the hardest plays to make in terms of managing your own weaknesses. This is simply because we are in conflict with a human inclination to protect oneself and struggle for survival. Folding a hand, is more intimately associated to feeling like a coward, not a scrapper.

In that sense, getting out of a hand rarely leaves you with a good feeling, but for players who understand that it is simply a strategic move and actually has nothing to do with your personality or character, will be able to walk away intact – at least emotionally. The strong, experienced players will be able to patiently wait for a better opportunity. Weaker players, on the other hand may have a axe to grind about having to fold, and may be leaning towards tilt after just a single hand.

So when you have to relinquish your hand because of re-raising behind you, just know that there will be better times to bluff in less costly scenarios.

Marty Smith

Marty Smith

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Indicator products reviewed and explained on this website. Normally I use iHoldem Indicator since I am on a Mac, but for PC users, Holdem Indicator is for cash games and Tournament Indicator is for online poker tournaments.

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