Once you reach a certain level in poker, solid play won’t be enough to win – you need to add some Hollywood bluffs in there too. See if you have the skills with this month’s tricky quiz…
Q1. Big squeeze
Players 6 Blinds $0.25/$0.50 Your stack $50 Your hand A♥-2♣
It’s folded to you on the button and you raise to $1.25 with A♥-2♣. The small blind calls and the big blind – who is known for squeezing a lot – raises to $4. What should you do?
c) Four-bet to $10
d) Both a) and c) are fine
Q2. Blind mans bluff
Players 6 Blinds $0.50/$1 Your stack $100 Your hand A♣-6♠
The cutoff raises to $3 and an aggressive player three-bets on the button to $9. The small blind folds and you have A♣-6♠ in the big blind. What should you do?
c) Cold four-bet
Q3. Moody river
Players 9 Blinds $0.50/$1 Your stack $100 Your hand J♣-9♣
The cut-off raises to $3 and you call on the button. The flop is A♣-4♣-8♥. The cut-off bets $4.50, you call and the turn is 7♠. The cut-off bets $10 and you call again with your flush and straight draws. The river is 4♦. The cut-off checks. What should you do?
a) Give up and check behind
b) Bluff by betting $10
c) Bluff by betting $30
d) Move all-in as a bluff
Q4. Head to head
Players 2 Blinds $1/$2 Your stack $200 Your hand 8♣-8♦
You’re in an aggressive heads-up cash game and have the momentum. Your opponent is desperate to get his money back quickly. After a raise to $6 you three-bet to $20 with 8♣-8♦. Your opponent now four-bets to $44. What should you do?
c) Five-bet to $78
d) Move all-in
Q5. Turn it up
Players 9 Blinds 1,000/2,000/a200 Your stack 54,000 Your hand Q♣-T♣
There are two tables left in a $50 online MTT. The chip leader raises from mid-position to 4,500 and you are the only caller in the BB. The flop is 6♣-7♣-K♠. You check-raise a 5k bet to 13,000. The chip leader calls. The turn is 9♦. What should you do?
c) Bet 18,000
d) Move all-in
1 d) Both a) and c) are fine. A-2 is a standard raise on the button and, once the SB calls, it is a great spot for the aggressive BB to squeeze with a very wide range as it’s unlikely you or the SB has a strong hand. In predictable bluffing spots you must play back with a decent frequency or you will be run over. Folding is also a good, safe play – so long as you don’t fold every time.
2 c) Cold four-bet to $24. Cold four-bet bluffing is a great move to add to your arsenal, so long as you use it in the right spots. This is a perfect situation because the button could have a wide range and merely be playing position.
3 a) Give up and check behind. It’s important to know when to avoid bluffing in bad spots. Calling the flop and turn here is fine with draws and, when the cut-off checks the river, he will mostly just have top pair. However, the 4 on the river pairs the board making it much more likely our opponent is planning to induce a bluff by check-calling almost any bet size.
4 d) Move all-in. Hand values are significantly changed when there are just two of you playing, and especially so when the game is playing aggressively and one player may be tilting. The main reason for three-betting a hand such as 8-8 is so that you can then shove over a four-bet (which will often be light).
5 d) Move all-in. The pot size on the turn is 36,800 and you have 36,300 left in your stack. It’s a perfect amount to shove the turn with your major draw. If your opponent has a hand like A-K or A-Q it’s a horrible situation to be in and he may well fold.
0-1 Pants on fire
You are to bluffing what Phil Hellmuth is to modesty
2-4 Some you win…
You’re learning the art of deception but still have a long way to go
5 Liar liar
Forget Jamie Gold – you might just be the best bluffer around. No bluff.