1-31-06 [poker] - 1

1-31-06 [poker]

I'll let you in on two nice bluffs that are almost 100% effective and easy. (these are both for heads up pots only, multiway pots I almost never bluff).

1. Bluff the 4-flush. Any time there's 4 to a suit on the board and your opponent hasn't really shown interest in the hand, you bet the pot. You're risking X to win X, so you need to win >= 50% of the time here. It's very hard for your opponent to call without a flush, and he has a flush much less than 50% of the time. He has the flush about 36% of the time here, so your EV is -1 + 0.64*2 = 0.28 (in units of pots).

2. Bluff the split pot. Any time you think it's very likely you're splitting the pot, you should bluff. Say the board is something like 7744J and you have an ace kicker. You think you're both playing sevens and fours with an ace. You should bet the pot. Against a mediocre opponent, don't do this too much, because he'll just think "we're splitting, I call", so it's not so +EV, and you lose value when he does have something like 55. Against a thinking opponent who understands pot odds, it's very hard for them to call this if it's believable that you might have a better hand. The reason is if they call and split, they only win half the pot, so they're risking X to win X/2. That means they have to be right 66.6% of the time for their call just to be break even. Of course the correlary to this is you need to bet out when not splitting.

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