Between Bluff and Value Bet: The Semi-Bluff

In most cases, there are actually three situations at the poker table: Either you assume that you are in front and bet for value. Or you are relatively sure that you are behind, but do not give up your hand and try to bluff. The third variant is: You play a semi bluff. introduces the topic “Semibluff” and explains why this style of play is such a powerful but complex weapon in poker.

Definition of Semi-Bluff

With a semi bluff, the player knows that he is behind. But he still has outs with which he could get the best hand. The semi bluff belongs to the bets as well as the value bet or bluff bet. A semi bluff is therefore a bet with a relatively weak hand, which could turn out to be the best hand if the cards are still outstanding.

Example of a Classic Semi-Bluff

If you missed the flop with a strong hand but had a flush draw or straight draw, for example, you should represent that hand. You should play the hand as if you already have the strongest hand, although you still need a card for it. With this style of play, other players may go out of hand and you steal the pot before the showdown occurs.

A classic semi-bluff would be, for example, if you bid on the following flop with Ad-Ks: 5d-Qd-6d. In order to represent the already complete flush here, one should offer ¾ of the pot, for example.

A semi-bluff is similarly suitable for so-called “scare flops”, for example where 8-year-olds lie. For example, if you hold a pair of 10 yourself, this flop offers a good semi-bluff chance. If you bid relatively high again, then primarily because of the double pair that you hold. But the high bet also represents the third jack. With this semi bluff there is of course a risk that someone will really have the third jack. In that case he would probably raise and then you should fold. In the long run, however, this semi bluff can also be very successful.

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