Setting Up Good Bluffing Candidates
Getting to the river with hands that we are going to want to pull the trigger with starts early in the hand, we are going to want to look to take pots away when in position usually with some of our lowest equity hands that have cards that we can improve on the Turn, giving us more equity and another reason to look to bluff.
So let’s say we flat the Button with a suited connector and our opponent checks to us…
We have 65s and now have backdoor straight and flush possibilities with our opponents range being capped as they would want to bet and protect their strong hands here.
The reasons for bluffing this flop are simple, we can get some small pairs to fold and hands like K9s in hearts and diamonds for instance, plus a bunch of other holdings that might just be check giving up here.
Playing the Turn
We pick up a great card for us on the Turn, the 3 of clubs falls giving us a straight and flush draw… so what should we do?!
This is where decisions can be split, with some players using this as a huge pressure leaning point and betting big here to force folds from what is a capped range.
However, there is another school of thought here, we don’t want to get check-raised off our equity here with such a good draw.
So with that in mind, we can balance in this spot by having some strong hands that might check back in order to catch our opponent bluffing on the River too.
So we can make an argument for both lines here, I don’t mind mixing between bets and checks, in this instance, we go for the large bet, because this is the only bet that makes sense, we charge draws the maximum and have the most fold equity when we are bluffing ourselves.
Playing the River
The River bricks out with the 7 pairing on the end and both flush draws missing. So now the question is, do we pull the trigger?
So… What are the better draws that we can make fold with another bet?
We are not looking to fold out hands that include an Ace at this point, as they are nearly always looking us up here.
However there are plenty of draws and weaker hands that can make this fold when we fire triple barrels, so what do those hands look like?
KQ, QJ,KJ, in clubs and spades, KT, JT in spades… any Tx, J9 in clubs, plus KK, QQ or JJ that got sticky for a few streets.
Make a Read
If you think your opponent is fairly weak here and check calls a lot with draws, then you should lean towards betting. However if your opponent is more of a station type, then you might want to check back and give up some of the time here, however this might change your Turn play too.
It’s always a good idea to bluff with the bottom of your range, if we have a hand that can beat some of the draws in our opponents hand then we have less reason to bet.
With that in mind if we were bluffing with hands that block strong holdings like AK and AQ, then we will want to bluff big in this spot.