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.
After covering starting hand strategy and position, we will continue to explore the fun concept of bluffing in poker. We started by looking at the story you are telling while playing a poker hand, and we are now going to continue going over some classic bluffs.
The Concept of Semi-Bluffing
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”, and more common bluffing concepts. This week we will continue by studying the semi-bluff.
The term “semi-bluff” means that you are actually bluffing, but at the same time, you are on a draw with multiple outs.”
Semi-bluffing is a crucial concept in poker and a very powerful weapon. The term “semi-bluff” means that you are actually bluffing, but at the same time, you are on a draw with multiple outs.
Basically, you are bluffing with outs.
For example, let’s say you hold J-10 of hearts, and the flop is 2-3-8 with two hearts. It is true that you hold nothing at the moment, but any heart would give you the flush, and any Jack or 10 might give you the winning hand.
Therefore, when your opponent bets into the pot in a circumstance like this, it represents a great opportunity for you to raise as a semi-bluff.
If you are certain that your opponent will call you, it may not be a good idea to bet or raise…”
However, be aware of the fact that there are also cases when it will not be a good time to give a shot at this play. If you are certain that your opponent will call you, it may not be a good idea to bet or raise, unless you are a big favorite with a monster draw. Otherwise, it directly kills the purpose and the momentum of the semi-bluff play.
Other times when it will not be a good time to semi-bluff will be when you are drawing at runner cards or at a gut-shot straight draw. Your chances here are so slim that this play would rather be called a simple bluff than a semi-bluff.
Stay tuned over the next weeks, as we will discover the best-case scenarios to use the semi-bluff weapon, and we will learn all about the advantages of this play.
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