Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Proper Bluffing Frequency

I suddenly had a thought while playing No Limit online a few days ago. Is it worth it to run naked bluffs when playing low limits?

I don't do it very often. I make frequent semi bluffs with straight and flush draws, but rarely do I raise someone with air.

You bluff for two reasons. 1) To win the pot and 2) To build a bluffing image so you get paid off with your good hands.

I was playing a weird session where every bluff I ran was called or raised. I would lose a little here and there until half my buy in was gone. Then I would pick up Aces or Kings and manage to get it all in preflop or on the flop and double back up to even. It was hard to tell if I was getting the action because of my bluffing, but that is what it felt like.

The problem with bluffing online is that the only one who notices that you bluffed is the player who is in the pot with you. Even then, they may not see the hand if you are set up on auto muck. They have to go through the effort of looking up the hand history. The other players at the table probably are not even paying attention. They either have 4 other tables open or they are watching internet porn in another window.

I think once you get to the higher limits, you run into the same players more often and it may make sense from a meta strategy sense. At the limits I play at, I'm lucky if I run into a player I have notes on, once every three or four sessions.

My favorite move is when some donkey runs a crazy bluff at the table and loses all their money. Then instead of reloading and using their well established goof ball image against us, they run away from the table like a dog that just got caught shitting on the rug. It makes absolutely no sense.

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