Bluff in Small Limit POKER


The large-limit player will say, probably with more than a touch of scorn, that a small limit makes bluff impossible and cuts the importance of psychology practically to zero. This overstates the case. It is true that in a small-limit online poker game it is, or should be, impossible to win a big pot by a bluff. If the limit is 5 chips and the pot reaches 40 chips, few poker players would make the mistake of failing to call a further 5-chip raise. The percentages over whel mingly favor a call in almost any circumstances. But in the small pots a bluff may well be worthwhile on occasions.

Plan your bluff in advance. Imagine a particular hand you would like to hold and imagine the most skillful way you could play that hand. Then, assuming that you hold the hand you wish to represent, bet throughout as if you held that hand. The most frequent bluff, by far, is also the most futile bluff. A player draws one card to a straight or flush possibility, fails to fill, and stubbornly bets anyway. This is a bad bluff for a liberal player. It is a good bluff only for a conservative player who almost never draws to a straight or flush possibility, and even that player must be careful not to bluff into a hand that may comprise two fairly addict to read about this or that type of player; what their habits are and how to detect them; but from a practical standpoint it is all bosh high pairs, because his one-card draw will usually be figured for a two-pair hand. He will get a call that is not simply suspicious but is quite valid.

A 5-chip bluff may stand to collect you 20 chips. Such a bluff need have only 1 chance in 4 of being successful to be an economic proposition. Of course you cannot estimate the chances of success with this degree of accuracy, but the point to remember is that the small limit player can afford to have several failures for each successful bluff, whereas the large-limit poker player, usually betting the size of the pot, must see more than half his bluffs succeed in order to show a direct profit.

The next most frequent bluff-and almost as futile for a good poker player is the one in which a poker player with a single pair fakes three-of-a-kind by raising before the draw, drawing two cards, and then betting. If it is a planned bluff, he may have a two card draw to a flush or straight rather than to a pair. Before considering this bluff, make sure that if you actually did hold three-of-a­ kind you would play in exactly the same way. A bluff must almost always be planned from the start of the hand. If it is based on a later impulse it is not apt to fool a good poker player, because he will find some inconsistency in the way the hand was played at the start.

You cannot pull off a super bluff in small-limit poker game, but the alert player can still find opportunities in the psychological field. He is helped by the fact that lengthy deliberation is not customary in this kind of poker game. A disinterested poker player will often surrender a small pot with very little thought.

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