The Semi-Bluff - Poker Strategy Power Moves

Published on 28 September 2015 by Pokerlistings 2466

There are very few moves in poker that are as powerful as the semi-bluff. It's the one play that lets you bluff an opponent while still giving you some other ways to win in case he/she doesn't fold. The idea is that you bet with a hand that's decent but not great. Usually a hand with some drawing potential. You're OK with taking down the hand right then and there if your opponent folds. On the other hand if your opponent calls you might still be able to hit a powerful hand. If this happens you're in a good position to win a potentially bigger pot because your opponent might be putting you on a straight-up bluff by this point. It's very easy to conceal your hand when you're semi-bluffing. If the worst happens and you miss your outs than you can still fold without it being too much of an issue.

There are situations in poker where the right move at the right time can make a world of difference to your bottom line. Today we break down one of the best moves, the semi bluff. Semi-bluffing refers to betting or raising with a draw. You don't have a made hand yet but by taking an aggressive line, you can take down the pot even when when you miss that straight or flush.
Imagine you've called a raise in position with suited connectors and flopped a flush draw. The original raiser makes a continuation bet and you're faced with the decision to fold, call or raise.
Sure, you could just call, cross your fingers and hope to hit your draw, but when the circumstances are right, raising with your draw is a really powerful move. Semi-bluffing works so well because of three main reasons: #1 – Semi-bluffing gives you two ways to win the pot. Your opponent might just fold, or you could hit your draw and win the pot by making the best hand. #2 – Semi-bluffing balances your raising range because you won't only be raising when you have a big made hand. #3 – When you semi-bluff and do hit your draw you'll win an even bigger pot because you chose to raise instead of just call. A lot of beginners just call with their draws and if they don't hit they just give up. Semi-bluffing is all about giving yourself more ways to win the pot.
In our example from before, your opponent is going to be continuation betting with a really wide range of hands which means when you raise with a flush draw, a lot of the time he's just going to fold and you can take down the pot without having to hit your draw.
And when he does call, you've got tons of outs to make the best hand and win a big pot at showdown. The all-in poker guide.