Poker strategy to try at home: The five-bet bluff

One of the sexiest moves in poker – use it with caution!

Five-bet bluff: A pre op bluff made after a four-bet.

Five bet bluffing is about as sexy as it gets in poker. You won’t see a lot of this in tournaments, but it’s increasingly common in aggressive cash games online. The first requirement is a deep-stacked game where players have more than 100 big blinds. This will either be in the early stages of a good structured tournament or a deep-stacked cash game.

This is not a frequently used move as it’s essentially a very high-risk bluff. It’s a response to increasing aggression where players will often three-bet light from the blinds in response to a raise from the small blind or button.

You are looking for an opponent who has seen you make a light three-bet from the blinds. You also need your opponent to be an aggressive player who has made a number of three and four bets pre op and who is good enough to fold a marginal hand. the move is fraught with danger, but when it comes off it’s one of the best feelings in poker. Your opponent is not four-betting you for value, he is trying to get you to fold what he assumes is a marginal or weak hand. in return you are getting him to fold his marginal hand as he doesn’t want to get it all in with 10-J. Just make sure you don’t price him in.

The set-up

  • An aggressive opponent
  • An opponent who is capable of bluffing
  • A player who has seen you three-bet light
  • A stack of more than 100 big blinds
  • An Ace or a king in our hand

In action

  • When you are in the big blind an aggressive player raises from the button or the small blind
  • You three-bet and the player responds by four- betting you to an amount less than 50% of his stack
  • You ve-bet an amount that means the player has to move all-in or fold
  • Your hand is somewhat irrelevant, but holding an Ace or a king makes it less likely your opponent holds A-A or K-K

Five-bet bluff on the biggest stage of them all

Martin Staszko makes a five-bet bluff in the biggest tournament of his life at the WSOP Main Event

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