Stack size considerations when bluffing

It's very important to notice the stack sizes of your opponents when considering CBET bluffingA few articles ago I talke...

Posted Mar 30, 2015

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Bart Hanson

Bart Hanson

Owner and Lead Pro

It's very important to notice the stack sizes of your opponents when considering CBET bluffing

A few articles ago I talked about how important it is to notice the number of players in a hand when you are considering bluffing at the pot on the flop after being the preflop raiser. In fact number of players in the hand is probably the MOST important factor when considering cbet bluffing. However, there is one other variable that can actually trump number of players—noticing your opponents’ stack size.

You see, when we make a cbet bluff and we get called we have other ways we can win the hand. We can bluff people out of the pot later on using scare cards or we can actually realize our equity and make the best hand. However, when you are up against an extreme short stack, say someone that has less than one or two pot sized bets left most of those ways of winning the pot are taken away if he decides to either fold or move all-in. In fact, I have even not continuation bet bluffed headsup against certain short stacks because I felt that I would get priced in to calling with two over cards.

Usually where people miss out on this variable, however, is in multiway pots and not being zoned in to everything that is going on at the table. It is very easy to notice the two opponents that may be deeper in a hand, say over 100bbs, but hard to recognize that one of your other opponents is extremely short. Especially if you are called on the flop a lot of times people that have started with under 50bbs will have less than two pot sized bets left on the turn and will make their decision to go with it there.

So when you are playing against short stacks and can only really play the first two streets your frequency of continuation bet bluffing should go down and conversely your frequency of value betting should increase due to the wide nature of a shorty “getting it in” with you.

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