Saturday, November 21, 2009

Analyzing NLHE:TAP Concept 38

From No Limit Hold 'em: Theory and Practice by David Sklansky and Ed Miller.

Concept No. 38: Be more apt to semi-bluff when your draw isn't to the nuts than when it is.

Yes. This was discussed indirectly in my analysis of Concept 34. The key point there was "the higher implied odds your draw has, the less attractive semibluffing with it becomes."A draw to the nuts has much better implied odds when it hits than does a non-nut draw, which makes checking or calling with it a more attractive option relative to semibluffing.

Put another way, semibluffing will often win the hand immediately when your opponent folds. This is the ideal result regardless of whether your draw is to the nuts, but it's more beneficial if your draw has meager implied odds. Nut draws usually have strong implied odds, so they are commonly worth just calling with.

As an aside, when semibluffing with a non-nut draw, I try to bet enough to make better draws consider folding. For example, if I have 8h7h and the flop is Ah6h5c, I will make sure to offer my opponent significantly worse than 2-to-1 odds. This way, someone with a better flush draw will have to consider folding, because if I have a pair of aces or better, calling would be incorrect for him.

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