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Old 06-28-2018, 02:31 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 1
Spotting a Check-Raise Bluff

New to the forums, play mostly small stakes home games and maybe 10 times a year $1/$2 live at the casino.

I have a specific hand we can run through, but I'm hoping for some advice on how to recognize when someone is making a move on your c-bet on the flop.

Hero (100 bb)
V (100 bb)

Sat down for one rotation and noticed that the V likes to pick on most signs of weakness. Definitely opens/calls wide preflop. My totally subjective opinion of him was that he thought he was one of the smarter players at the table.

V limps early position in $1/$3 game. Action is folded to me with AK. Hero raises to $15. Folded to V, who calls.

Flop 256 rainbow. Pot should be around $34

V checks.
Hero continues with $17 bet.
V raises to $50.
Action to Hero...

*In this situation and similar situations, when, if at all, is it +EV to re-raise here. What are you looking for in opponent play style before making a move? How deep do we have to be? Any live tells we are looking for?


Last edited by bponder; 06-28-2018 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 06-28-2018, 02:57 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 284
Re: Spotting a Check-Raise Bluff

With only one orbit of hand history, you should be playing a default, ABC style that exploits what you know about the player pool in general. The problem with this, is that a really good player who doesn't know you can assume you're playing ABC and exploit you.

You could go to level 2 and try to counter this, but without any history, you don't really know if that's what he's doing. And if you're wrong, you'll own yourself.

I think in this hand you were just clicking buttons and got lucky. I believe the right play is to fold to the check/raise. Just make a mental note about "suspicious check/raises" work that into your evolving read on this player.
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:07 PM   #3
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Re: Spotting a Check-Raise Bluff

I think the title is misleading. V could have had a small PP and put you on a big Ace. In this case V may have been right and the check raise wasn't the bluff, the bet raise was the bluff. After your raise V decided you had a bigger pair instead of a big Ace and folded. I don't come over the top of a check raise often enough to have a formula for this. I'd imagine I would strongly consider the V and their style / range /reads as well as how my line / range matches the board.
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:41 PM   #4
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Re: Spotting a Check-Raise Bluff

At low stakes at a casino if you just folded AK on the flop when you bet and get raised you would be pretty close to optimal play. There are situations to call (deeper stacks and some sort of draw) and situations to raise (sometimes against spewy villains) but they are the rare exceptions.

Take another look at the example you give. Your flop reraise will get villains to fold a fair portion of the time but you are putting $150 into a pot that is only $100, it has to work more then half the time just to break even.
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Old 06-29-2018, 03:05 AM   #5
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Re: Spotting a Check-Raise Bluff

I mean you cant just spot a bluff like it's some kind of tell, it's all based upon how your opponent sees the game and what he thinks are good spots to bluff at. Typically speaking bad players make asinine bluffs in spots that dont make sense to bluff. Like the flop is 256r and they x/r as if they have the nuts and they want you to fold. Basically you can *try* to put yourself in their shoes but sometimes it works against you because their entire thought process on the game is backwards. This is why fish often turn their hands into bluffs without realizing it, like check-raising allin with KJo on a KT8r flop or something (happened a few months ago, nitty old man was DUMBFOUNDED when he got called by a better hand, like what are the odds someone has him beat when he goes allin right?!)

Last edited by javi; 06-29-2018 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 06-29-2018, 03:14 AM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Re: Spotting a Check-Raise Bluff

just think about your range. If you got raised, continue with the better parts of your range and fold the weaker ones, its not like you need to win every pot you opened.
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Old 06-29-2018, 03:29 AM   #7
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Re: Spotting a Check-Raise Bluff

Otf, i'd either range bet 33% pot or just go with a check. Board doesnt hit our range too hard, but the board is pretty discoordinated so can go either way.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:32 PM   #8
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Re: Spotting a Check-Raise Bluff

Check flop, check/call turn, evaluate river.

Your move is going to be very painful when he has a strong hand, 2p, sets.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:42 AM   #9
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Re: Spotting a Check-Raise Bluff

One mantra that gets spread around here a lot is "They aren't playing back at you." You simply aren't getting x/r bluffed on the flop all that often at 1/2. If you folded every 1-pair or worse hand to every flop x/r ever you will probably come out ahead. Sure, sometimes they have a strong equity draw, but that's often outweighed by 2p+ hands. These are often slightly ahead/way behind spots, and I fold to a lot of these. Your average low stakes player doesn't bluff at the GTO frequency, so if you just folded all your bluff catcher hands readless, you'll be better off for it.

Against bluffy players sometimes you just have to pick a hand and call down with it, but this is not that hand. You probably folded him off of a mid-pair like 77-TT here, as some people do spazz out with weaker overpairs. He may not have actually been bluffing, but put you on AA or a set. Without a strong read, I fold to these check raises.
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:39 AM   #10
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 51
Re: Spotting a Check-Raise Bluff

I agree with the person who stressed you’ve only seen one orbit. Try not to bias your play too much from that small sample size. You’re thinking about exploiting an opponent you see as overly aggressive by 3-betting flop but if your read is wrong you’re going to be exploiting yourself. Maybe wait a few more orbits to increase the confidence of your read before making an exploitive play like this.

Also, you didn’t say your exact position and raising strategy, but if you play a standard $1/$2 raising range, you are at a major range disadvantage. This flop is great for his range and terrible for yours. He can have all the sets, two pair and straight and you most likely have none of these on your preflop raising range (34s, 56s, 22, 55, 66). Additionally, he can have 33, 44, 45s for pair plus draw. You’re ahead of 78s and maybe a loose semi-bluff with like A3s/A4s, but it’s getting hard to find many more preflop limp bluff candidates for him. He can also have like 77 or 88 and just think you’re over-cbetting.

If you think about what portion of his range you can bluff, it obviously depends just how many bluffs he has. Let’s say he has all the semi-bluffs and all the paired hands I mentioned. I think obviously he folds all the A3s/A4s, maybe 77-88 too, but I don’t think he folds much else because you’re not that deep. He’s already in for $65 and only has $135 behind. So he’s gotta call $135 to win $265 so getting basically 2 to 1 odds. Therefore, he can correctly call with all his pair plus draw hands (9 outs if behind, 35% equity), 78s can call correctly if also has backdoor flush draw and obviously sets and two pair are snapping you off. So by my count, the A3s/A4s/77/88 folds are 18 combos and sets, 56s, 34s, 45s and 78s are 22 combos. Therefore, your bluff works 45% of the time and you’re bluffing $170 to win $130 when he folds so you need him to fold like well over 55% of the time if you had no equity when he calls. You only have sig equity against 7 of his 22 combos (45s (~20% equity, $12) and 78s (48% equity, $40)) which reduces your $170 -EV loss when he calls to about $118. The math says you’re getting a slightly bad price on your bluff (about -$6 EV) and I agree it’s not the right price. If he ever decides to look you up here with 77/88 it starts getting much worse or those edge cases where he slowplayed a monster pre are also obviously horrendous.

If you truly believe your read on this villain of being overly aggressive, you should be c-betting this flop less often with your whole preflop raising range and playing more hands as a check-call to induce bluffs. I still think given the limited time at the table the c-bet was fine but then you have to give it up with this hand when raised. Don’t feel bad, if he is overbluffing these spots you can look him up in future hands with your overpaired hands.

Last edited by deeeznutz; 06-30-2018 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:55 AM   #11
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 20
Re: Spotting a Check-Raise Bluff

check call turn imo
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