In this strategy series, CoinPoker’s Chief Community Manager and pro poker player Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier walks you through the basics of the game. Each No Mercy Monday comes with expert advice on how to play, and it all starts with starting hands.
Over the last couple of weeks, we took a look at some common and easy bluffs including “stealing the stealer”, “the squeeze play”, “taking advantage of a dry flop”, more common bluffing concepts, the semi-bluff, semi-bluffing scenarios , and their advantages.
We started an entirely new chapter last week about inducing a bluff, which we’ll continue to cover below.
Inducing a Bluff (Part 2)
As we saw last week, the opportunity to induce a bluff will mostly happen on the river when your opponent’s only chance of winning the hand is by trying to bluff at it.
Inducing a bluff in situations like these will often be your only chance at extracting more money out of your opponent. Otherwise, he is likely to fold to your bet.
This plan will primarily work when you are facing only one player, and this opportunity will arise when you are not the last player to act. Someone needs to be acting after you in order to try to bluff at you.
That reminds me of a quote from one of my mentor and famous poker player Gus “The Great Dane” Hansen. He often said that the beauty of poker is actually the absence of rules.
He is right.
You can do pretty much anything you want with your two cards, as long as you respect the ethics and don’t speak out of turn. However, as he said:
There is one rule for certain in poker: when you are last to act and you hold the nuts, you HAVE to bet. It doesn’t matter how much you bet, it may be a small bet or an oversize bet, but you HAVE to bet.”
You do not need the absolute nuts to induce a bluff. This play may get you richer in your poker career even if you use it while holding medium hands, as long as you believe that your opponent is weak and may try to grab the pot by bluffing.
Remember to ask yourself two questions in a case like this:
- Is there a hand that I am beating and that my opponent can call with?
If he can only call with hands that beat yours, there is no point of betting here when you are last to act. In these cases, it is best to check and try to win at the showdown.
- If my opponent decides to raise that bet, what will I do?
If you cannot call an eventual raise or if that raise will give you a headache, it may be wiser to check and try to win with at the showdown.
Join me twice a week in the Hubble Bubble tournaments to practice your skills and try to win my 5000 CHP bounty!
– Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier