Let’s face it…..anyone can bluff. All you have to do to bluff is to bet or raise when your opponent bets or checks and it’s that simple. However the better players can recognise just when their opponents ranges are wide and contain many weak hands.
For example let us look at a situation where it has been raised UTG in a NL50 full ring game to 0.75 by a tight opponent. If it is then folded around to us on the button with pocket fives then 3/betting would be next to suicidal.
Clearly in this situation then our opponent will not fold because their range is so narrow. So by 3/betting then we have effectively turned our hand into a bluff. Also we could quite easily get 4/bet thus denying us our implied odds forcing us to fold.
No Need to be Aggressive
In this example then let us change our hand to 10c-8c and once again 3/betting would be crazy and in fact folding is probably the best play here. In general then a good player will look to attack wide ranges and not narrow ranges.
There are just too many situations where your opponent will not lay their hand down and this is especially the case at the lower stake levels. It is tough for a low stakes player to fold a hand like A-K on an A-10-4 board. You tend to beat low stakes players by value betting them and getting them to fold weak hands to pressure.
Attacking weakness is a hell of a lot easier than attacking strength. I have pulled down many bluffs even in multi-way pots with nothing. Let us look at the following example where it gets folded around to the cut-off that makes it 3bb to go and the button calls as does the small blind.
We have the 9d-7d in the big blind and are clearly getting good pot odds and implied odds to call. There are 10bb in the pot and so our immediate pot odds are 5/1 with implied odds on top. The flop comes Ad-10c-2c and the small blind checks and so do we.
What Does Our Opponent Have
It then gets checked around and now we have to assess what our opponents hold. Checking is simply a sign of weakness and only in the very extreme cases is someone slowplaying a big hand. The turn card is the 3c and the small blind checks again. Here we bet 9bb and the cut-off and button both call making a 39bb pot.
The river card is the 4d and we bet again for 36bb and both players fold. Now before you think that I have taken leave of my senses by betting two streets with almost zero equity then look at what your opponents could be holding. If they truly held a big hand then would they check the flop?
In the case of the small blind then they have checked two streets. A hand like a set would bet to start building the pot even if it was only a half pot bet and with the flush and straight draws lurking then checking gives out dangerous free cards.
So it is highly likely that our opponents have either missed totally or have some sort of mediocre/weak hand that they do not feel comfortable betting into so many opponents. The turn card does not alter the board at all and only makes a strong hand if someone holds pocket threes.