Inducing River Bluffs — Pot Limit Omaha


Sometimes the best way to win a big pot from your opponent when you know you have the best hand is to check to him in the hope that he will bet, rather than bet the hand yourself.  This is definitely the case when you have reached the river and you put your opponent on a busted draw.  Since he doesn’t have a hand to call your river bet, your best play is to check to him, and hope your display of weakness induces him to bluff.  I played a hand online today in $1-2 PLO that illustrates this concept.

Poker Game: $1-2 Pot Limit Omaha, 6 max

Hand Converter by the Pokerhand.org community

BOWMAN71 (SB): $245.60
TYLER12TIG (BB): $403.55
HERO (UTG): $457.35
JVCKMC (UTG+1): $110.55
I_RAZE (CO): $163.30
IAGO08 (Button): $369.70
Dealt to: HERO

HERO raises to $7

JVCKMC calls $7
(1 folds)
IAGO08 calls $7
(2 folds)
Flop:($24) (3 Players)

HERO bets $20

JVCKMC calls $20
IAGO08 calls $20

Turn: ($84) (3 Players)

HERO bets $84

(1 folds)
IAGO08 calls $84

River: ($252) (2 Players)

HERO checks

IAGO08 bets $188
HERO calls $188

IAGO08 Showed

HERO Showed

HERO wins $624.50

Preflop, I have a decent but not great hand to open UTG.  My flush draws are both non-nut, and I only have two cards to a straight.  So on most flops where I don’t flop a set of queens I’m going to want to play a small pot.  Or so I thought.

The flop is again decent but not great for my hand.  I have an overpair and a gutshot draw.  However, a large part of my opponents’ pre-flop calling range is likely to hit a J9 flop pretty hard.  I decide to take a stab at picking up the pot, but proceed very cautiously. I would probably throw my hand away if raised in this spot. Both of my opponents just call, though.

The turn is a very safe card. It is at this point that my plan changed radically. I am pretty sure that JVCKMC, playing a short stack, would have raised all-in on the flop with any hand that had me beat. That means he has a draw.  I am also sure that IAGO is drawing, as he would have raised any hand that had me beat on the flop, trying to get me to fold and play all-in against the short stack. I decide to “jam” the turn, betting full pot.  My hope is to pick up the pot right there, or force one player to fold and play heads-up against a drawing hand. Because the betting on the flop swelled the pot, I am able to make a big turn bet (for these stakes). The short stack folds, and the deep stack on the button calls.  I would have preferred the reverse, given my tenuous hand, but I am still pretty sure I have the best hand.

[It should be noted here that the only possible draw on the flop is a straight draw, and that I have three very significant “blockers” to that draw with my two queens and one king. This aids me greatly in reaching my decision.]

The Jack pairs on the river. In other circumstances, the pairing of the top flop card might spell danger for my overpair. But in this hand, I feel it is a pretty safe card. IAGO called my turn bet very quickly, solidifying my feeling that he had a big draw. If he had top pair on the turn, he probably would have taken more time to think about his action. So I have put him on a busted straight draw, and probably a wrap draw, since he felt able to call such a big turn bet. Which means that he could only have a Jack if it happened to be his spare side card.

The Jack is also a nice card in that it gives him something to represent against my likely holding when I check. It is probable that he thinks at this point that I have exactly what I do have, an overpair. And he might feel that the Jack is a “scare card” that can make me fold if he bets.

Knowing that if my read is correct, I cannot win any money by betting, I check, hoping to induce a bluff.

And that’s what happens. He makes a big bet, and I call with what is normally a pretty weak hand in Omaha, and win a nice pot.

Categories : Inducing bluffs

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