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, and semi-bluffing scenarios.
Last week we went over two scenarios that represent great opportunities to semi-bluff. Let’s continue by looking at a third situation and examining the advantages of this powerful play before moving on to new topics.
A Third Semi-Bluffing Scenario and its Advantages
Another good time to semi-bluff will be when you hold either a nut flush draw, or an open-ended straight draw, or two big overcards to the flop.
If you hold A-K and the flop comes 4-5-9 rainbow, there is a good chance that hitting an Ace or a King will give you the winning hand. This is slightly more reckless than the previous scenarios, as you have a mere 6 outs for with a 24% chance of grabbing the pot if you see all cards on the board until the river.
Remember that every single one of these scenarios opens the door of a semi-bluffing opportunity.”
However, an open-ended straight draw will give you 8 outs and a 32% chance, and a flush draw will give you 9 outs with a 36% chance. As mentioned previously, we will study all calculations in a later chapter, but remember that every single one of these scenarios opens the door of a semi-bluffing opportunity.
Advantages of this Semi-Bluff
- You can win the pot without going further in the hand when your opponent folds.
- If your opponent decides to call, you still have a chance of hitting one of your outs and winning the pot.
- You will probably gain initiative with this move, meaning that your opponent will likely check on the next street. Therefore, you will be able to opt for a free card by checking back when you are last to act.
- This move might help you hide the fact that you are actually drawing, as a lot of times, players tend to only call when they are drawing instead of raising. Consequently, if you do make your hand and are still facing action, you might win more money, as your opponent will not place you on that draw in the first place.
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– Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier