There is an old saying that goes that you should never start out bluffing at a pot without fold equity and keep on bluffing at it. This doesn’t mean to say that you need equity to bluff at a pot because sometimes having zero equity if called is the right thing to do. An example could be if your opponent suddenly bets 30USD into a 100USD pot on the river having shown no previous strength in the hand.

Missed Draw and Bluffing

You have a missed flush draw and decide to make it 130USD to go with a bluff. You are risking 130 to win 130 and so your bluff only has to win half of the time to break even. If you have picked the right time and your opponents range is very wide then your strike rate will be at least as high as fifty per cent.

However this is a one off stab at the pot when your opponents range is wide and your involvement with the pot ends right here if you are called or re-raised. However let us say that our opponent bets 30USD into a 100USD pot on the flop and you make it 130USD with no showdown equity.

If your opponent even merely calls then making bigger and bigger bluffs is not only very risky it is also likely to bleed equity. In these situations you need to know when to back off and the answer comes in the betting line and especially in how many times your opponent has contributed money to the pot.

Are They Interested in the Pot

In a 3/bet pot then your opponent has put money into the pot twice but if the flop and turn were checked and they bet the river then their total involvement has been three bets. However if the pot has been 3/bet pre-flop and then your opponent calls and raises on the flop then they have placed money into the pot four times on two betting rounds.

To keep on firing when our opponents betting line is so strong is asking for trouble. This is where I would advise any player to simply use having zero equity to launch a one off stab at the pot and leave it at that. When your opponent places so much money into the pot by the flop stage then this is usually an indication that they are likely to want to play for stacks.