NL Cash Games: Bluffing
Here are a couple of ways to successfully incorporate more bluffing strategy into your game. While shoving all-in on the river is the more obvious ploy which, unless executed sensibly, will see your money disappear, there are more subtle methods, too.
Exploiting Late Position Thieves
Button raising (as well as aggression in the cut-off) has become such a popular play nowadays that habitually surrendering the blinds is simply passing up on opportunities to exploit what is often just a pre-flop steal attempt. Obviously you must observe the play closely (as always), but be prepared when in the blinds to 3-bet light against those players who are stealing in these late positions. Given that most players ordinarily raise in late position with a considerably wider range, your post-flop continuation bet should be enough to take the pot. Note that the very reason this works is your willingness to assume the role of aggressor when out of position, so it is important not to make a habit of this play. The trick is to do it enough so that, when used properly, picking up pots uncontested in this way has the potentially lucrative benefit of seeing your hands being paid off when you later 3-bet light in the same circumstances with big hands against increasingly non-believing and frustrated opponents.
Check-raising against Serial Continuation-bets
This is another out of position bluff aimed at punishing those players who invariably follow up a pre-flop raise with a continuation bet. Again the danger is that your strategy becomes as predictable as the play you are trying to exploit. But once again, by picking up pots (this time including your opponent’s post-flop c-bet) with this out of position check-raise bluff (when the flop looks like it missed your opponent), you are more likely to have your monster hands paid off. And with this in mind, whenever you subsequently check it is by no means an indication that you don’t have a strong hand, which in turn makes the opposition‘s decision making more awkward.
Good luck at the tables!