Advantages Of Semi Bluffing In Poker

Mon, 27 Oct 2008 23:59

Advantages of Semi-bluffing in Poker

The benefits of semi bluffing in card games.


The concept behind the semi-bluff was first introduced by poker icon David Sklansky. The semi-bluff has two parts: the bluff and the actual worth of the hand. This means that when you semi-bluff, the pot could be acquired at once (that's the bluff) or much later, if your poker hand improves to a stronger set (that's the value). Combining these two elements makes semi-bluffing a formidable poker-playing tactic.

To semi-bluff is to bet with a good poker hand. The hand may not be the best combination as of the moment, but it has a slight edge and actually has chances of winning. A pure bluff refers to a straightforward bet done for a poor hand, while a semi-bluff refers to a move made by betting on your good-but-no-so-strong cards.

Benefits of doing a semi-bluff in poker

Doing a semi bluff in poker could give you several advantages:

# You get free cards. When you semi-bluff, you could get a free card. According to many poker experts, drawing sets must be played in the cheapest way possible. Coming from the last seat, it could be lucrative to just raise or bet. In the next round of betting, the competitors would ordinarily check on the raiser or bettor. You could then go for a free card if you think it is best to acquire one.

# Your competitors won't get free cards. When you give a free card, it could turn your strong hand into a weak combination. This especially applies to tables that look harmless, such as if the opponent holds an 8/9 and the flop delivers A/7/2. The hand may look worthless - but 10 cards could make a flush draw, and 16 cards could deliver a straight draw.

# You confuse your opponents. Semi-bluffing is effective in misleading your opponents. And once your opponents misread your cards, then chances are, their strategies against you won't be that effective. When executed properly and if luck is at your side, this poker technique can help you make some of your opponents fold even if they have stronger hands.

# You gather data. When you bet and an opponent raises you, it usually means that that opponent has a stronger hand. When your wager is a semi-bluff, you could just throw in the towel or fold, losing just one wager in the process. Calling or checking would not have given you this kind of information and you could have lost more money.

When to actually do a semi bluff

Semi-bluffing is most effective in no-limit games or during the last stages of a tourney. In the last stages of a poker tourney, the competition becomes tight -- of course, no one wants to get kicked out of the game just before the winner is declared. Semi-bluffing is indeed a profitable poker strategy because it can help you gain information about your opponents' cards, and it can help you make other players think twice about their own cards.