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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.

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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.

Love Negreanu and his teachings, for basics to more complex start here, THEN go to Phils Iveys teachings

Perfect class for someone familar with the game but no real experience playing against good players or regulars. I think I have a good foundation to build upon after taking this class.

great teacher and knowledge base. a true honor :)

Excellent! I am an amateur whose been playing for 10 years and being taken on walkthrough of Daniel's poker brain is very enlightening.


Comments

Maximilian S.

Hey everyone! So excited and happy to be here with all of you. I literally had my first live poker tournament on Friday and believe it or not I won it. To be honest, I started checking two days prior to the tournament whether flop or street was higher and watched for two days straight videos from Daniel on youtube and learned about all that stuff with positioning etc. Really cool! Since I played some major bluffs in that tournament without being caught I got a question for the community and even Daniel, if he is reading those comments: I stumbled on the following video (pretty cool): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBZ4t6ty64k Go to Minute 10 and watch how Veksler and Wellenbach are playing against each other at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 2019 Final Table: On the river comes the third heart which makes a flush possible for either player. The aggressive player with the overpaid and J as kicker checks, after high betting every round. Would you in Wellenbach's position go for the big bluff and go all-in? As far as I have learned things here the card range of Wellenbach is pretty high. However, the JHs of Veksler works like a blocker, reducing the likelihood of a flush. I honestly think, even though or maybe especially because its a tournament and final table, that Wellenbach would have won the pot with an all-in. What are your thoughts guys? I thinks that's an interesting scenario!

Morris

Hi poker world, I would like to download the videos for offline viewing is there a way I can do that?

Miles

Very useful. Would be good to have further explanation of how the bet-to-pot ratio should be compared to the value-to-bluff ratio - hopefully this is coming up later.

Noah

"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?

Noah

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.

KB

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.