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Old 01-07-2019, 04:02 PM   #1
Howard2018
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Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

Hi all,

I feel like I understand the argument that you should use your worst hands for bluffing, but I'm not sure I exactly rock when it comes to putting this idea into practice at the table. I'll detail the hand below, and as always, feedback is welcome. Also, sometimes when a play works out we tend to give ourselves a little too much credit, and vice versa we tend to be too hard on ourselves....all that said, I'm pretty sure I played this hand poorly

1/2 NL Live

Dealt 88 in late position. Villain is quiet older guy who I've never played with. Pretty laid back table, a lot of preflop limping without much action, modest post flop betting, a lot of chatting. Flop comes out A 5 6 rainbow and it gets checked. Turn card is 9. Villain checks to me and I bet $30, he thinks for a moment and calls. Everyone else is out. River card is off suit deuce, Villain checks and I bet $60.....he takes a long moment and makes the call. He shows A/8....He had what I put him on (weak to moderate Ace) but I couldn't push him off the Ace.

I paid attention to him after that, he seemed to limp into a lot of pots, made a lot of calls, seemed to win a fair share of showdowns and was up around $200 by the time I left.

Anyway, in the moment I felt like I could induce a fold, but now I'm thinking this is the type of hand I should be looking to bet less and try to get more showdown value with? I hate the idea of never betting these types of hands though -- best play here probably to check back on river and hope 88 is good and save myself 60 bucks?

I will add here (edit) that a few minutes before this hand I had slow played KK and won a nice pot head's up against QQ -- I smooth called preflop, on the flop, check back the turn, and then led out for $50 on river when it was checked to me, so I'm thinking Villain was recalling that hand he saw me play a few minutes before? He seemed like a pretty decent player, took his time during hands....
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:00 PM   #2
Garick
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Re: Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

1) What was PF action?
2) Turn stab was fine. When LLSNL Vs call turn bets on a dry board (especially ace-high), don't barrel river except for value. LLSNL Vs hate to fold any TP. Most of us in this forum have heard things like "damn, you got me beat. I call." more times than we can count. Plan to have them beat when they do that.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:15 PM   #3
Howard2018
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Re: Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garick View Post
1) What was PF action?
2) Turn stab was fine. When LLSNL Vs call turn bets on a dry board (especially ace-high), don't barrel river except for value. LLSNL Vs hate to fold any TP. Most of us in this forum have heard things like "damn, you got me beat. I call." more times than we can count. Plan to have them beat when they do that.
This was a couple days ago (I like to try and note the larger pots that I play, just getting around to it now as I'm planning on playing tomorrow), I don't even remember how many were in the hand, just that my $30 was around pot size, so I'm thinking probably a raise and couple PF calls...*****y reason I remember the cards on the board was the GS draw that came in on turn which was one of the motivators for my betting out

100% agree with your analysis, no telling how many chips I have bled away over the past year by trying to push opponents off better hands
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:31 PM   #4
krilleater
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Re: Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard2018 View Post
I will add here (edit) that a few minutes before this hand I had slow played KK and won a nice pot head's up against QQ -- I smooth called preflop, on the flop, check back the turn, and then led out for $50 on river when it was checked to me, so I'm thinking Villain was recalling that hand he saw me play a few minutes before? He seemed like a pretty decent player, took his time during hands....
Sounds a lot more like min-value from KK v. QQ than a "nice pot" via a slow play.

Also, I'm very surprised that 88 is one of your "worst hands" here. I'd have way more hands with worse SDV OTR (a few 7-high, lots of 6s). Why turn decent SDV into a (likely failing) bluff?
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:31 PM   #5
CallMeVernon
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Re: Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard2018 View Post
Anyway, in the moment I felt like I could induce a fold, but now I'm thinking this is the type of hand I should be looking to bet less and try to get more showdown value with? I hate the idea of never betting these types of hands though -- best play here probably to check back on river and hope 88 is good and save myself 60 bucks?
In addition to what Garick said about a bluff not working, the concept you mentioned in your OP definitely applies here.

When Villain calls $30 on the turn, I think there could easily be some hands that 88 can beat. For example, you have a pair and a gutshot, and it's possible that sometimes Villain could have the same. Meaning, I expect Villain might at least sometimes call with hands like 77/86/76/75.

Since you beat all those hands on the river, this hand makes for a better check-back hand than if you couldn't beat those hands. And if you will have worse hands in your range, you'd prefer to bluff with those hands than with 88. That's because when you bet and Villain folds the above range on the river, you don't make any extra profit with 88 but you would if you had something like 44.

But the primary concern is Garick's point that you probably don't have a profitable bluff with either hand.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:37 PM   #6
m0mmy
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Re: Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

As far as bluffing with your "worst" hands go. You need to choose hands with more playability. Hands that are suited and connected. Pocket pairs like 88 have none of these qualities. And should be used mainly for valuebetting. I would even argue that 88 are at the top of your range not the bottom. After all 88 have better equity than AKs. The reason AKs is perceved as stronger is because of its playabilty. Its a lot easier to tell when you have the best hand or not woth AKs. And the times you dont you have a much better chance of that changing by hitting your straight or flush. What im trying to say is bluf with hands at the bottom of your range that also have playability like 45s T8s maybe throw some wheel aces in there like A2s-A5s.
As far as the hand goes. It doesnt make sense to me to check back the flop and then bet the turn the flop A and the turn 9 are both bad for your hand so if your gonna bluff at the pot you should do it on the flop because the A is good for your range. Once you check back flop your range is capped so all the hands that are beat by an A like 9x can more easily call the turn. So bet flop or check flop and turn.

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Old 01-07-2019, 05:40 PM   #7
Howard2018
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Re: Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by krilleater View Post
Sounds a lot more like min-value from KK v. QQ than a "nice pot" via a slow play.

Also, I'm very surprised that 88 is one of your "worst hands" here. I'd have way more hands with worse SDV OTR (a few 7-high, lots of 6s). Why turn decent SDV into a (likely failing) bluff?
Agreed, this particular Villain would have never folded QQ preflop (he raised $12), and when 3 under cards fell on the flop and he led out for $17, I am pretty sure he would have shoved to a raise

he bought in for table minimum ($100), so I missed out on maybe $20 to $30 of his stack....but this is a player who's preflop raising range is pretty wide and he will C-Bet most of the time and I never really felt it was a KK vs QQ type of hand -- although it was funny how quick he checked on the turn, he knew I was up to something
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:42 PM   #8
m0mmy
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Re: Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

Didnt notice the turned straight draw. In that case the bet is not that bad.

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Old 01-07-2019, 05:43 PM   #9
Submerged
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Re: Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

Also, 88 blocks many of the drawing hands that villain would be calling a turn bet with. This makes it even more likely that he has a value hand. I am trying to move from being a mainly $1/3 player to a more permanent $2/5 player and these are the types of things I am looking at as well. Hands with an 8 are not the best candidates for a bluff on this board (I am not saying I know what is though). At $1/2, $1/3 I agree with other poster to just take our very mediocre sd value.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:47 PM   #10
Howard2018
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Re: Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by krilleater View Post
Sounds a lot more like min-value from KK v. QQ than a "nice pot" via a slow play.

Also, I'm very surprised that 88 is one of your "worst hands" here. I'd have way more hands with worse SDV OTR (a few 7-high, lots of 6s). Why turn decent SDV into a (likely failing) bluff?
Good point, it makes me think that recently (probably the last 6 months) I have tightened up to a point that I rarely make it to SD with a lot of the hand types you mentioned, and when I do I'm quick to throw them away or check

When I started playing I was playing a LAG style, but there wasn't much rhyme or reason to it and I had some pretty wild swings, so I started playing much tighter.....

Really good point you bring up, I'm having a hard time remembering last time I went to showdown with a missed draw and tried to take it down -- I still utilize the semi-bluff on drawing hands, but it seems like recent history, I'm "bluffing" with the 88 type hands I explained and as far as the 67 type hands that you mentioned, I am giving them up without a fight

Thanks
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:57 PM   #11
Garick
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Re: Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

Remember, that even though you want to have a 7-high type hand when you do bluff, that doesn't mean you should bluff every time you have 7-high. Bluffing in $1/2 is something to be used very sparingly and only on the right board with the right Vs and the right action so far.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:01 PM   #12
Howard2018
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Re: Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garick View Post
Remember, that even though you want to have a 7-high type hand when you do bluff, that doesn't mean you should bluff every time you have 7-high. Bluffing in $1/2 is something to be used very sparingly and only on the right board with the right Vs and the right action so far.
hahahaa, I started out like that (thanks Doyle Brunson) and it worked for awhile, but I think what I ran into was there was no real strategy behind my play, just bet and raise and hope everybody folds, and I'm sure some of the more observant players caught on

Some very good insight in the responses!
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:09 PM   #13
jtm1208
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Re: Bluffing With Your Worst Hands

I agree with others on 88 not being at the bottom end of your range here. A bottom of the range hand here could include something like T8/T7, which includes a draw to the nuts on the turn and blockers to the nuts after bricking the river.

88 has too much showdown value to be considered a bottom of range type hand on this run out. He could have a hand like 67,68,57,58 which would probably call a turn as they have a gut shot, but folding to a river bet. He could also have a lot of middling strength Aces which aren't comfortable betting, but probably aren't folding to bets either.

If you really want to turn this hand into a bottom range bluff candidate, shoving or 2x'ing pot will do that, not betting $60 into $90-$110.

You also have to think about the story you are trying to sell. It seems you have raised PF, then checked the Flop when an Ace comes. When you do that, you're hand is basically face up that you don't have an Ace and you don't have a hand like 78,89,97 as the PFR. Makes it a lot easier for V to call a turn bet, and then a river bet when Heads Up.

Adding those two factors together (middling strength hand, unconvincing story) This does not seem like a good candidate to bluff on.
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