There are a few cool spots to bluff rasie when you flatted. Monotone and rainbow boards come to mind specifically.
Let’s say you have 66 (with or without the spade) You call an EP open from a TAG, the flop is T54sss or KQ5sss either one is fine. He cbets (which btw his cbetting range here is any PP with a spade, sets, flushes, any As, any King, most queens, most Js, and probably some random stuff like AJo 87dd). Given this range and little/no history between you guys, how much of his range can really stand a raise on this board? Even something like AQs is like racing/dead vs all of your value raises. Just simply put, most of this range cannot continue to a raise, so raising is far superior to calling or folding. Also it develops an image so that you will eventually stack AA or something big.
Another cool spot to bluff raise is something like K98r or AJ8r with JT or T9, just simply because he is going to have 1pair at best, most of the time and if he decides to call we redraw etc. You don’t even need a draw here honestly, just turn 22 into a bluff raise, it makes you tough to play against and will frequently take down the pot, because from the opposite standpoint, how thrilled are you if you have AK/AQ and someone raises this spot?
The last spot I want to talk about is in multi way pot situations. Think of these situations like postflop squeezes.
Say UTG/MP opens, CO calls, we call OTB with 65ss, ATss or 55. The flop is J84r (with the spade). PFR cbets, CO calls, your optimal play here is to raise, all of our hands have outs (although 55 far less than the other two) if called, and it just looks super strong. This play looks like you have a set (its very tough to represent a set postflop when bluffing, this is like the one spot. Also, it works great to c/r this situation with like an overcard and BDFD or something just because it looks that strong). So say PFR cbets 10BB’s into 13BB’s, CO calls, I’d probably make it 40BB’s (also do this with sets, this is called balancing your range) and obviously fold to a shove. If the CO overcalls he has a set or he is REALLY bad, either way check the turn if you miss/pickup a draw.
If the PFR calls, only bet if you hit a gin card like 9s for AT, or the 3s for 56 (and obviously the 7). Bet sizing for the turn is all about what you think of your opponent, if he thinks that half remaining stack sizes looks insanely strong, bet that, otherwise shove. (FWIW you do not need huge draws to make this sort of play, so long as for the most part your range is polarized between monsters and bluffs its a good play, given a clean image. This means the board is NOT two tone)
There aren’t that many good spots to value raise the flop unless you’re balancing your range like I talked about in example three above, however there are a few specifically:
You have 88 or AA (you flatted utg’s open with AA hoping a squeeze monkey will 3bet) and the flop is 833 (two tone or rainbow, doesn’t matter). This is an awesome spot to raise the pfr because its understood he has a pretty solid range and that its tough for you to have much of anything. I’m never surprised when I see TT goto the felt or AK 3b bluff. If he 3bets just shove and get it in there, calling gives him too many opportunities to get away from it and too few to improve and payoff. FWIW this is a horrible bluff raise spot without history of you stacking him with like AA after flatting.
The second spot is if you flop 2pr+ on a drawy board so you have like 98 or 88 on K98ss, definitely raise and try to go with it.
The last spot is just like when the board is A32 or A22 or something and you flatted AK (fwiw this is much better when the board is paired, you definitely want to play it fast and try and get it in on the flop when he thinks you are bluffing (because seriously, besides quads/sets what could you have on these boards?)
I’m really excited to right this portion of the book because I’ve never seen a post that discusses the importance of taking down unraised pots or the methodology behind doing so.
You should generally be very stabby at unraised pots (which implies you are from the blinds and OOP) because in the situations I am going to describe it is going to look like you have a moderately to very strong hand and intend to play it fast by leading out OOP vs your opponents range that will be weak in relation to the board
This is the most common and significant scenario to take down unraised pots. Say the board is 522r, J73r, T52r, T33r, 239r, Q72r, K84r, 884r, etc etc you want to stab at these boards all the time.
Let’s first focus on the paired boards and let’s use 933r as our example. If you are the SB or you are the BB and the SB checks to you, bet pot with your entire range (given some read about someone limping AA or SB c/cing this spot). It is going to look like you have a 9 at least and generally people will just go away because they know that you can have a three, and we know that our opponents very seldom will. Also don’t forget to lead your trips here. Also be cautious. Once called just give up when you have air.
The paired board thing is pretty simple, let’s now go into the world of J73r. You basically want to lead these when you have bottom pair and a BDFD, middle/top pair, gutshots, Kx or Ax BDFD. Something like A5s is really optimal because you have 2 BDSD, a BDFD and an over. So long as you have a piece of the board you can just pot it (when I saw pot it I mean just bet pot so people don’t fool around with you). Once called I double barrel every turn where I improve and c/f all the gutters and stuff that missed. Obviously I keep betting 2pr, TP, etc.
Also the hands I talked about above where you have all these crazy redraws, if the SB leads and I have one of these hands I normally just pot raise him because
- ● looks super strong
- ● He will probably be hard struck to continue because the board is so dry, and lastly
- ● If he does call hes probably going to put in too much money with a marginal hand, or he has a big h and himself, so if we connect we stand to win a big pot.
In general you are going to need a pretty strong draw/pair/etc to lead these types of spots. So lets say we have J9dd on KT7dd, just pot the flop, if you get called in one spot pot the turn, in two spots, probably bet like 75% of pot or so, but definitely keep leading. The heavy boards kind of play themselves, but its not a spot we really bluff ever. You should basically be doubling your entire range unless a bad card comes, like the flush hits or a 4 straight comes. Definitely double barrel all draws pending a really bad card. Also say you have like 98o on T73, and the turn is a T or 7. i’d probably just bet again because even though it sucks for our hand it looks super strong and will probably yield more folds than it should.