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How to Determine if Someone Else is Bluffing
This isn't about reading tells. This is about the situations where bluffing is plausible, and when other players will do it. You can generally look at the reasons YOU should bluff and apply them to other players. Of course, you also have to know the player, and evaluate it from there, but here are some ideas...
A. They are keeping the initiative despite a poor flop.
If they bet pre-flop from a poor position, and the flop is something like 4, 5, 5, they are probably just trying to keep momentum going and bluff their way out of this hand. They probably have genuinely zero drawing chances with overcards or maybe an overpair, but a re-raise could have them rethink that strategy. It might also give you a betting round or two to try and make YOUR hand.
B. Pot Odds are in their favor.
If everyone folds on the turn with a big pot, like when an obvious draw was missed, expect a bluff. It's almost certain that anyone will bluff against a big pot. With the pot odds the way they are, you probably want to stay in those hands also.
C. It's you and them.
The most common time to bluff is when you can pull it off. It's very easy to trick just one person. Use your skills at evaluating the previous rounds and the board to determine what they might have.
D. The flop doesn't have any draws.
Sometimes someone will bet in this case to eliminate the ability to acquire a draw, sometimes because they have a good hand. You really have to know the player.
E. They bet on the Flop, checked on the turn.
If there was a draw, and it didn't hit, they are probably just buying a free card. Bet back against them and take the initiative.
F. Bet on the flop, bet on the turn, checked on the river.
Same as before, but they bought another turn. Might as well bet back at them.
G. They bet and tell you to "save your money".
I don't like this. You've essentially established rules for when your opponent bluffs. You said that these are some ideas, but you need to give more than one angle to each one. These scenarios can in fact be true, but cannot be taken as absolute.
A. If the flop is 4-5-5 (assuming rainbow since you didn't specify), it depends what you are holding (which you didn't say). Just because it's a rag-cards flop doesn't mean that your opponent doesn't have you. And if in fact they do have just ace-high, betting back at them with that flop probably won't make them reconsider the value of their hand. And personally, I don't agree with betting knowing that you're down and most likely in need of one of a potential 6 cards to hit. Just tell us what you're holding and it makes this deeper. Not knowing what we hold kind of makes this impossible to dissect.
B. The Turn doesn't make people get out if they're chasing draws and it's a huge pot. True, it may cause a few to get out of the hand.
C. Agreed, use your player notes and hand history to evaluate their play.
D. That's a little too broad. You have to know the player, so I guess you're right with that part. Just because there are no draws doesn't mean anything. Not all hands are based on looking to hit a draw. Now if it was protecting against a draw, that's different. But protecting against a rainbow, non-connecting flop is weird. It depends on the numerical value of the cards on the board as to what your opponent has.
E. Ok, they bet and you call. They have a set and hope you have top pair. They check you the turn in hopes of getting a bet out of you. If you bet and they simply call, then check the river, what do you think they have? Slowplaying and bluffing may look the same at times, but establishing a flop bet and a turn check as a bluff is a little foolish.
F. Basically just read my evaluation of your "E".
G. Go watch the WSOP Main Event, Andrew Black and Aaron Kanter. Black flops a set and tells Kanter that he(Black) has the best hand. That's basically saying, "Save your money, I own you." Yet, Black had a set against Kanter's top pair. Kanter made the fold, so I guess he never bought into the theory of talk means bluff. I do take interest in what, I believe it was Mike Caro said, in that "A genuine smile means a genuine hand." Talk can be sincere in order to make you think.
That's the beauty of bluffing. Especially when you're down to just a few players (either at the table or in the hand), bluffing is the great equalizer. It's almost as important to represent having certain cards as to have them. The key is how much to bluff, when to bluff, and how much to bet when bluffing.
I think more importantly, though, there can't really be any "rules" to bluffing. Bluffing requires making your opponent believe something that isn't true, and if there was an optimal bluff or a way of detecting them then no one would ever do it. Instead, it's dynamic, it's all about building a specific rapport with the other players and then double-crossing said rapport to your advantage (start tight but then steal blinds, play loose and get caught bluffing to get action when you get cards, etc).
Learning to detect when your opponent is bluffing might be one of the best and most difficult skills to learn in all of poker? You can do it either using tells or understanding the story of the hand, but still... tough going.
i could say anything like..
someone bluffing would double the pot....wrong.... or someone allways bluffs to win...wrong with gaming fairness and odds, its hard to catch a bluffer because half tyhe time u may think they are bluffing and they arent..... they dont have too . they are gonna win once in a while regardless.....
Besides being a hastily thrown together post I'd say that after winning a pot against someone bluffing them becomes harder because they want their money back and will play a lot of hands with you in hopes of getting back to even or making a profit.
foskin is wright.
It depends on your position and your stacks.
If you wanna find out if a player is bluffing you first have to be sure on your hand and go all the way with him.
Bluffers use especcialy bids equals to the table pot.
If you call them they will surely back off a little and make a bid no more than the other one.
Just a opinion.
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