Sports & Games

Detecting and Executing the Bluff

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 14:31 min

A successful bluff requires more than a good poker face. Learn how to use board texture, capped ranges, and blockers to identify an opponent’s bluff and make your own bluffs believable.

Daniel Negreanu
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So bluffing, when you're trying to, you know, bluff a hand through, it's similar to telling a story or a lie. And the facts have to add up. So for example, you know, you come home to your wife and, you know, you tell her, you know, you had a really hard day at work. It's 5:30, but you're wearing golf shoes and, you know, you've got a tan on one hand and not the other because you're wearing a golf glove. She may look at those clues and say, hard day of work, huh? Looks like you might have been golfing. So that relates to poker in a real, substantial way, because we talked about a range of hands that a player can and can't have. So if the range of hands you get to a certain situation doesn't include the hand that you're trying to represent, well then the facts don't add up. So you're trying to pretend, for example, in a situation, that I've got pocket aces. Well, let me see, though. It was raised, two people called, and you just called the button pocket aces? It's not very credible, because everyone knows you are way more likely, if you would have had aces, to reraise before the flop. So when a bluff happens on the river, if you're going to make one that's credible, it's important to look back at what happened before that and make sure that all the facts line up to something that is credible enough to say, yeah, I guess you could have aces in this spot. When you're ever in absolute territory, in situations where the player can say, you know what, he's representing this hand but he can never have it because he would have raised before the flop, you put yourself in a situation where that bluff is never going to work. [MUSIC PLAYS] It's also very important to be adaptable. So you had a plan when you made your continuation bet, and your plan was, you were going to, like, double barrel and triple barrel. Well sometimes, your opponent throws a wrench in that plan by raising you. Sometimes your opponents, you know, give off a physical tell where it looks like he really likes that card. Often the board runs out in such a way where it no longer seems feasible to tell the story that you've been telling. So for example, if it comes, you know, jack nine six, with two spades, and you about to flop, and the turn was the four of spades, and you bet the turn, and the river is the three of spades. Well, you're representing one specific card right now after betting, and it's just the ace of spades. If the ace of spades isn't something your opponent thinks you have, well then your story is just not going to work. So that might be a case-- and I'm not saying it always is-- it might be a case where you're not going to be able to credibly represent what you think you were representing before that point. What is double barreling and triple barreling? OK, so we've talked about what a c-bet is, and that's the continuation bet after the flop, OK? So often, what happens is, you know, you get called and you're on the turn, OK. You have a decision whet...

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Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I have found many leaks to work on...and am improving daily...Thank you Daniel

Intensive info from beginner on up to intermediate and advanced tactics.

I haven't played Hold'em in several years and the game has evolved significantly since I last played. Just the idea of ranges will help me get back in the game. Overall, excellent advice on just about every aspect of the game. Can't wait to get out and practice. Thanks.

learned a lot thanks! I would like to know more on as an beginner/intermediate how to improve. obviously I don't have anything level 4 like u call it and I go to the poker table in the casino quite often but im not sensing any big improvements. sometimes I lose sometimes I win I would say about 50/50



"does this player in his range have the correct distribution of value bets vs bluffs?" What does this have to do with making sure his story adds up?


2:17 I don't understand why you would only be representing the ace of spades if you bet on the river. He didn't describe pre-flop action in that example, and I just don't get it. I mean you could still represent that stronger flush with a bet on the river, with a K or Q one would still bet right? You wouldn't just not bet because you think they might have the A or K of spades. I really don't understand why that's the only card you can represent in that situation

Adnan D.

in capped ranges, the opponent could easily be drawing on a flush. that wasn't mentioned

A fellow student

In the homework for this chapter it recommends watching a twitch player to determine their range. Anyone recommend a good twitch poker player?

Hubert S.

these are great lessons, but for players with some experience, even as amateurs. The ranges are great, and the tactics are solid, but to advance for a new starter who play as a hobby. Crawl, walk, run. I'm gonna revisit these lesson for the entire year and try to pick one or two things I wanna work on and then make is stick. This is a lot of content and concepts to grasp, but worth it.


I'm a newer 2-5 player. A lot of the concepts Daniel discusses are too complex for the opponents I play against. I think the concepts are great, but at more advanced levels. Anyone share that thought?

A fellow student

I agree with most of the posts on here. Daniel is the best at what he does but he goes quickly and we could use more visuals. I would also want a quick tip for each module that I can learn and use quickly.

Erin A.

Ok, I almost understood none of that lol - I will finish the whole course, and maybe it will come to me. But even so, more visual examples would be nice.

john F.

Really if you have one card in your hand you are blocking 25 percent of him having it. Isn't that what playing small aces is about. They guy may have abigger ace . You are not blocking squat.

Ilias R.

do you have an ''easy'' way to count the combos that the opponent value bets VS bluffs?? It doesnt sound easy to do when live (or online)