Improve Your Winning Odds: Theory Behind Semi-bluffing

The semi-bluff is one of the most powerful weapons in the poker player’s arsenal. In poker, you want to do whatever you can to tilt the odds in your favour, and the semi-bluff is a great way to do just that. Understanding the theory of the semi-bluff is vital to successful poker play.

Of course, before you can incorporate the semi-bluff into your game you must know how to calculate odds. Luckily, there are great online poker pot odds calculator programs that can do the math for you. Download odds poker software and learn the basics, then move on to the finer details of a winning strategy – like semi-bluffing.

The Theory of the Semi-Bluff

The theory of the semi bluff is that if you bet when drawing to the best hand, you increase your chances to win and the amount you may win. If you hold four cards to the nut flush and simply check, you may miss your flush and have to fold to a bet on the next card, or you may make your flush and get no action because your hand is obvious. On the other hand, if you bet, your opponents may fold, giving you the pot without you having to make the best hand, or they may call, allowing you to win a bigger pot if you do hit on the next card, or possibly getting to see the last card for free if you miss on the turn.

When to Semi-Bluff

You should semi-bluff if there is some chance of your opponent folding, and if you have a good chance to improve to the best hand if you do not. If you mix up your play successfully, opponents will not know whether your bet represents a made hand that does not want other hands to draw to beat you, or represents a draw.

When Not to Semi-Bluff

You should not semi-bluff if there is no chance that your opponent will fold. If you know you will get called and think you can try to hit your hand cheaply if you do not bet, it is probably not the time to semi-bluff. You should also be wary of semi-bluffing without the best draw. A online free poker software would be the best mode to practice. If you are drawing to the nine high flush, you could be crushed if you semi-bluff into an opponent drawing to the ace high flush. Similarly if the board is paired, you will never get someone off flopped trips, and they may have a full house which has you drawing dead already.


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