Originally Posted by sean michael
another point/question. when i play my main tactic when i have a strong hand is to slow play initially, wait for someone else to move, and then follow there bets. or if this doesnt happen, to then make my own moves.
i do this because i assume its a safer tactic then bluffing etc, the problem is i seem to be more predictable now that people have picked out my betting trends.
anyway, question is, what tactics would you employ when bluffing, eg. cards down, amount in the pot etc.
because usually when i do bluff, i seem to under bet to late and end up getting tangled up in an unwanted show down, or betting to much, too early and picking up a relatively small pot.
Ok, you aren't that big of an amateur. Your 1st question shows that you have graduated past rank amateur and have reached the second stage. I was on that stage for a while myself, thinking I could slowplay all my big hands successfully and waiting to spring that giant trap. The problem is these occurrences are extremely rare, and when they do happen, chances are fastplaying would have produced the same results, maybe even better. I'll get to the bluffing in a second, but lets tackle that question first.
The KGB slowplay is a great move. I don't want to down the play totally, but that play has a time and situation to be used, but it is unfortunately overused. I, myself, don't recommend slowplaying that often. There are two major reasons why.
1. You risk letting a weaker hand or a draw hand catch you. There is nothing worse than flopping the nut straight, checking it down and have a back door flush take all your money on the end. Listen, its like this. By slowplaying, you gain no information on a hand, you also give no indications of strength. I can't tell you how many times I've slowplayed a hand, then had to lay it down because of a play made later on in the hand, only to find out I had the winning hand. Why did I lay it down? Because earlier in the hand I picked up no information, made it appear to my opponent that I was weak, and when I finally bet on the river, the bet made no sense. He sees this as a bluff (like he should) and comes over the top all in. Now i'm lost in the forrest. I can't risk my entire stack, knowing he could have caught up to me on the river.
2. You don't make as much money. You can check and check and check and not make a dime. Used to slowplay a set on the flop all the time. Now I barely do. And ya know what? I make tons more money and get sucked out less. Also the first bet people put into a pot many times is construed as a bluff and is subject to reraises. This is exactly what you want correct? REMEMBER :maximize wins.
The bluff is a beautiful thing when employed properly. Too bad most people use it up like a cheap whore. When I play a cash game I employ a bluff at most maybe once an hour. At times I have gone entire nights without bluffing and was the massive chip leader at the table. You want to pull off the bluff right? Well make the play make sense. (see example below) As far as the correct amount to bet? Ask yourself, What would I bet if I had the flush right now? A bluff bet should be a happy medium between betting too strongly and betting too little. (I prefer like half the pot) You essentially want to place a bet that looks like a value bet. A value bet is a bet that looks like it is crying for a call. The only problem is a bad player will do just that, not caring what you have.
I'm not saying 100% of the time you should employ this type of bluff but it works wonders especially against great players. Other types of bluffs to try are the blow off, a huge immediate all-in raise usually done preflop or on the flop against an aggressive player who likes to continuation bet on the flop.
The other type of bluff is what Doyle Brunsen calls the post oak bluff(don't know how he got the name) This is a very small bet into a huge pot designed to look like you are trying to make a little more money on a made hand. This is very very hard to use and almost never works, but when it does, it more than makes up for all your failures.
I don't like to give up ALL my secrets but this is a bluff play I use occasionally that works well. For this play to work, the flop must contain a pair, preferably low. (aces on board is a bad time to try this)
Lets say after a small raise prefop you call with ace jack off.
Flop (9H 9S KC)
Your opponent bets the pot representing a king.
You ponder the move and smooth call.
Your smooth call slows down your opponent and he bets the same as previous showing a little weakness.
You have two choices now the 2nd being more risky. You can raise now about the size of the pot and hope to take it down now or risk another card coming off and try the move on the river.
You smooth call again.
now your in business. A card that could a backdoor flush has fallen on the river. You have planted the seed in your opponent that you either have a 9 or a king. He sees this and checks. You bet big on the river (a little more than the pot) He contemplates and folds his king suspecting you had slowplayed the 9. You turn over your ace jack and he throws up. You have just pulled off a successful bluff because the play made sense.
As far as picking up a small pot early because you bet too much, don't sweat it! part of hold 'em is those monotonous seemingly meaningless little hands with small pots. Phil Ivey is considered the greatest player on earth because he is constantly going after those little unwanted pots. Would you rather win several small pots taking the blinds with aces, or lose a monster pot because you slowplayed those aces and got cracked?
"Aces either win you several small pots or lose you monster ones."
-Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson