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Old 06-07-2021, 03:52 PM   #1
bret189
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Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

I was playing at a friendly 2/5 table the other day, everyone seemed to be having a good time, the straddle was on every hand, sometimes up to $25. I’m a pretty quiet guy and wasn’t getting many playable hands, and one guy (the most talkative and the person I bluff) pointed how how “loud” I was and I apologized for getting out of control and everyone chuckled. This same guy even was very happy when he came back to the table and saw me get it all in thinking I won with trips (the other guy had a better set). Then things changed. Fast.

I won’t bore you with the details, but I bluffed raised the turn with just a small flush draw. He tanked and folded and I showed my hand to let the table know that despite my low VPIP I don’t just play the nuts.

He went berserk. He said he was going to target me every hand and would never stop coming after me. He said that he showed respect to me by folding and I showed him up and embarrassed him by showing my bluff. He went on like this for probably 20 minutes. He even took the seat to the left of me when the seat opened. I had a strict time I had to leave so I played about two orbits after he sat next to me and I left.

The thing is, this wasn’t some random guy who shows up and doesn’t know poker. This guy is a reg and I think he plays for a living. Everyone in the room seems to know and like him.

Is there some unwritten rule that showing a bluff is poor etiquette? I’d never slow roll someone, so I’m not totally aloof but the fact that no one at the table seemed to have a problem with his reaction had me questioning whether what I did was considered bad form.
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:09 PM   #2
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

You embarrassed the most talkative guy at the table.
What did you expect? Did you think it would shut him up?
You did it to tilt him and get him playing at you... right? Mission accomplished.
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:20 PM   #3
bret189
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

I didn't do it to tilt him, I did it to let the table know I wasn't as tight as my image portrayed so I could get some action when I eventually made a hand.
The way the game had been going I thought he'd say nice bet and move on and continue yakking it up with everyone at the table.

Are you saying this is a normal reaction? I've never seen it before, although I'm not a reg with 1000+ hours/year.
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:31 PM   #4
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

When you show a bluff its very likely going to upset the person you bluffed. They are going to feel taunted, shown up, and embarrassed.

Your reason for doing it - to get people to call you because you typically underbluff, may be a good one. But you aren't going to be making friends this way.

Thing is you are probably better off not doing it and just learn to overbluff. If nobody ever thinks you are bluffing then you are probably not bluffing enough. Now though you may have made yourself a target.

It might be a good idea to apologize to him and explain why you did it - not to humiliate him but to get other people to call you down more frequently. Who knows, he might buy it (though now he knows you bluff...)

When I make a bluff and somebody at the table says "show the bluff its good for the game" I will always make sure the guy I just beat wants to see the hand. If not, I won't show it. When I am on the other end of it I always want to see the bluff. I'm used to being embarrassed and I want to see how my opponents play.
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:36 PM   #5
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

There's no "rule" that says don't show your bluff. That said if a co-worker came by and showed everyone at work a mistake that you made, how would you feel?

It is generally not a good idea to show bluffs. Just take the money and move on. Leave them guessing. Now if you're looking to put someone on tilt, it is great strategy to do so.
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:47 PM   #6
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

He's a clown
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:57 PM   #7
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

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Originally Posted by bret189 View Post
I didn't do it to tilt him, I did it to let the table know I wasn't as tight as my image portrayed so I could get some action when I eventually made a hand.
You do this by gradually increasing your bluffs until you are called.
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Old 06-07-2021, 05:03 PM   #8
checkraisdraw
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

Neither. Showing the bluff is dumb because it gives your opponent info they shouldn’t have.
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Old 06-07-2021, 05:08 PM   #9
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

I did say that if I violated an unwritten rule and upset him, that I'm sorry, but he couldn't have cared less.

I love to know when I've made a mistake. How else will I get better? I get that not everyone has this mentality, but you'd think someone who plays poker for a living would ALWAYS want to see what they're opponent had.

I'll note that I should be careful about showing bluffs, but it's going to be hard to lay off when I've been card dead and I know I won't get action.
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Old 06-07-2021, 05:09 PM   #10
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

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This guy is a reg and I think he plays for a living.
I can almost guarantee you he's not playing for a living - just your standard phish/reg.
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Old 06-07-2021, 05:25 PM   #11
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

It's funny because assuming he folded a pretty strong hand to a small raise, that would either imply he doesn't understand how odds work, or he thinks you're incapable of bluffing. I would guess it's more of the first, but I'm sure it isn't in his head, so in his mind he openly disrespected you then threw a temper tantrum when you proved him wrong lol.

I follow your logic in questioning the etiquette because he's a reg and the other regs seemed to agree, but in my experience, the majority of regs even the winners tend to have this kind of silly mind set
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Old 06-07-2021, 06:13 PM   #12
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

Showing a bluff is a bit of a needle, but it isn't a breach of etiquette. The person may take it good naturedly, or may, because they are mad at themselves for folding, get testy with you.

There is a guy I play with that I still hold it against him that he bluffed me off a decent pot in the late stages off a MTT, 8 years ago (and he knows the hand I am talking about too) and showed me. (and by hold it against him, I laughed and admitted he got me, but I was going to get him back)

My declaration of a blood feud with him whenever we get sat at the table together is good shtick and usually keeps the table light hearted and fun.
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Old 06-07-2021, 06:47 PM   #13
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

It's fine, just say you didn't realize he was so insecure or something and move on.
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Old 06-07-2021, 07:00 PM   #14
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

Showing bluffs is one of the things that I want to see others do before I do it myself in a new game.
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Old 06-07-2021, 07:22 PM   #15
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

Showing bluffs is mostly fine. If it upsets someone, just politely apologize and move on. It's part of the game and supposed to make it more fun.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:11 PM   #16
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

This guy is an *******.

He needled you for being too quiet? Then he expressed pleasure when you lost a hand to a bigger one? **** this guy, and **** him for making you feel bad for showing a bluff.

When someone shows me a bluff, I tap the table and say nice hand. That's the proper response.

I agree that showing the bluff might not be the best strategically, but he's the one that was out of line.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:13 PM   #17
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

I would not apologize to this clown.

He's the one doing something bad for the game. Berating other players is just horrible.
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Old 06-07-2021, 09:38 PM   #18
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

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Originally Posted by Carl_Spackler View Post
I would not apologize to this clown.

He's the one doing something bad for the game. Berating other players is just horrible.
In my experience, a "Pro" berating a player much like OP appears to be, is good for the game. Despite what OP says about not being a "nit" I would be shocked if he wasn't one, using a tight image to semi-bluff the turn and feeling the need to show it for image doesn't sound to me like the player I want to play against. Him moving too his left and targeting him, was probably trying to achieve exactly what happened, OP leaving the game.

I have no issues with people berating nits too leave the game, They're not good for the game, neither pro's, nor recreational players like playing against someone who only plays 10% of hands. I'm sorry to offer a different opinion than everyone else here, but I'm being honest.

Now would I be the one to berate OP at a table? Nope. But I sure as hell would be happy if someone else at the table did and made him leave. Any player doing one single bluff (and semi-bluff at that) to try and prove they're not a nit.... Isn't an action player.

On a side note not relating to your situation OP, showing a bluff is always going too annoy people, no one likes being bluffed. In future, if you're trying to tilt someone, show the bluff... If you're trying to pretend you're not a nit, show the bluff... But don't pretend like it's not for one of the two reasons, and since it is for one of those two reasons, just as bad as etiquette as the other player you're complaining about.
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Old 06-07-2021, 09:45 PM   #19
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

It’s a public casino. Berating a nit is not the way to go. People are entitled to play their own hands however they like.
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Old 06-07-2021, 10:18 PM   #20
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

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In my experience, a "Pro" berating a player much like OP appears to be, is good for the game. Despite what OP says about not being a "nit" I would be shocked if he wasn't one, using a tight image to semi-bluff the turn and feeling the need to show it for image doesn't sound to me like the player I want to play against. Him moving too his left and targeting him, was probably trying to achieve exactly what happened, OP leaving the game.

I have no issues with people berating nits too leave the game, They're not good for the game, neither pro's, nor recreational players like playing against someone who only plays 10% of hands. I'm sorry to offer a different opinion than everyone else here, but I'm being honest.

Now would I be the one to berate OP at a table? Nope. But I sure as hell would be happy if someone else at the table did and made him leave. Any player doing one single bluff (and semi-bluff at that) to try and prove they're not a nit.... Isn't an action player.

On a side note not relating to your situation OP, showing a bluff is always going too annoy people, no one likes being bluffed. In future, if you're trying to tilt someone, show the bluff... If you're trying to pretend you're not a nit, show the bluff... But don't pretend like it's not for one of the two reasons, and since it is for one of those two reasons, just as bad as etiquette as the other player you're complaining about.
I didn't mean that game in particular. I meant poker as a whole, long term. Friendly is better imo. Say a new player is watching from the rail, and sees this go down. Will they be more likely to play, or less?

All that said, my days of playing a ton of poker are behind me, so you might be correct. I stand by the fact that the guy is a jerk, no matter what is motivation is.
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Old 06-07-2021, 10:20 PM   #21
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

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Originally Posted by Mocktail View Post
In my experience, a "Pro" berating a player much like OP appears to be, is good for the game. Despite what OP says about not being a "nit" I would be shocked if he wasn't one, using a tight image to semi-bluff the turn and feeling the need to show it for image doesn't sound to me like the player I want to play against. Him moving too his left and targeting him, was probably trying to achieve exactly what happened, OP leaving the game.

I have no issues with people berating nits too leave the game, They're not good for the game, neither pro's, nor recreational players like playing against someone who only plays 10% of hands. I'm sorry to offer a different opinion than everyone else here, but I'm being honest.

Now would I be the one to berate OP at a table? Nope. But I sure as hell would be happy if someone else at the table did and made him leave. Any player doing one single bluff (and semi-bluff at that) to try and prove they're not a nit.... Isn't an action player.

On a side note not relating to your situation OP, showing a bluff is always going too annoy people, no one likes being bluffed. In future, if you're trying to tilt someone, show the bluff... If you're trying to pretend you're not a nit, show the bluff... But don't pretend like it's not for one of the two reasons, and since it is for one of those two reasons, just as bad as etiquette as the other player you're complaining about.
This is an insanely hot take lol. Let's start with the easiest part, there is no universe where showing the bluff is equally bad etiquette as berating someone. I personally don't do it because people who berate other players are generally bad and tilting players that I want to keep around, but if someone's berating you and you call the floor they ask them to stop and eventually will 86 them if it continues. If you call the floor because someone showed the bluff they're not going to understand why you called them, they're not even similar things.

Next, do you think this person differentiates between who he berates based on what's good for the game? His behavior has shown him to be an insecure cry baby who doesn't understand the game. He is very likely reacting like this to any player who upsets him or coolers him, including the whales. How do you think a potentially loose rec/beginner is going to respond to watching someone get berated by a reg? They're going to be much less likely to want to hang out and lose their money in that game.

Further, what's too nitty to be good for the game? Half the nits at live 1/2 are limp calling 5BB raises and folding 50%+ of their range on most flops....I'm more than happy to print money of a couple of those at my table.

Even if there was a benefit, it just wouldn't offset the downside of being a jerk. If you're table is to tight, move. If there are too many nits in your room, your game isn't good and you aren't going to scream it better,

It also just irks me, 95% of the people act like that in the casino do so because they're surrounded by security, cameras, and people who are at least somewhat incentivized to not get banned from the place. Keep it a buck lol
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Old 06-07-2021, 10:32 PM   #22
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

I opened 9s7s from mid-late position, so not wildly out of control, but not exactly a nit either. Am I an action player, absolutely not. But if I get J3o for an hour, I will fold every hand for an hour. Call me a nit if you want, but I don't think playing somewhat proper ranges and folding constantly when constant garbage is dealt to me makes me bad for the game, just interested in attempting to maximize my win rate. Bad for your game? Perhaps, because I'm not going to spew with my Q2o just because I haven't had a good hand in a while.

I actually did tell the player "I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were so sensitive." and his response was "I'M NOT SENSITIVE!". My general response was to chuckle in disbelief at how upset he was over something so small when everyone including him had been so jovial for so long.
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Old 06-07-2021, 10:45 PM   #23
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

Quote:
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"I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were so sensitive."
Needling him some more.
Why don't you just tell him he plays like a little girl?
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Old 06-07-2021, 10:59 PM   #24
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

tell him hes hotdog water
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Old 06-07-2021, 11:20 PM   #25
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Re: Is showing a bluff poor etiquette or good for game?

In some line-ups it can be friendly. Predominately at home games with friends. You just have to know when the vibe is right. Among a group of strangers I would be hesitant to show a bluff because your intent will be presumed to tilt V or inform V they’ve made a bad fold.

I’d be less hesitant to show a bluff to someone who was winning big that night, but would never do it to someone losing. (Seems like kicking them when they’re down.) Likewise never to someone who tanked before folding. (Salt in the wound.) So I guess it depends on the situation. But generally in a live casino environment it’s poor etiquette.
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