Poker players are no strangers to bluffing, as that is one of the most powerful tools every player has when playing poker online.
There is a certain amount of appeal to misleading your opponents and making them believe you have the winning hand - even when you don't. But even though full-on bluffing can be quite lucrative, it can be a risky move.
The semi-bluff, however, is a safer tactic that you can use to increase your chances of winning a substantial amount of money as you play. So what is the semi-bluff? And how can you use it to your advantage?
All You Need to Know About Semi-bluffs
Semi-bluffs, per definition, are bluffs you make when your hand has the potential to become the best hand by the river. Unlike the pure bluff, where you depend on your ability to deceive your opponents to win, the semi-bluff is not as risky of an option.
In that case, your hand is not as horrible as it could be, and there is still a chance of winning even if you don't bluff. But if you do decide to bluff in this case, you have two ways to win: either your opponent folds or your cards will actually prove to be the best hand out there.
To use the semi-bluff to your advantage, you need to make sure the other players at the table can’t figure out your game-plan. If you manage to keep them on their toes, by changing your strategy from time to time, they won’t be able to determine whether you have a spectacular set of cards or not.
By confusing the other players, you will be able to win a bigger pot, even if your hand is quite weak.
When to Use the Semi-bluff
The best time to use this strategy is when you have big cards in your hand. When those cards are in your possession, you already weaken your opponent’s hand by taking away his chance to use the same cards in his favour.
You should also use semi-bluffs when you play against weak or tight players, as they are more likely to fold when facing a tough call.
Try to figure out what kind of hands your opponents might have, and if their card range is wide, your fold equity raises right away, and you will be able to bluff your way out of the situation much easier.
If possible, you should also look at the flop before making a decision regarding semi-bluffing. If the board is not in your favour, and your opponent might have better chances of creating a winning hand – and he knows it – don’t waste your money, and try bluffing at another time.
Semi-bluffs are a safer variation of bluffing since you don't rely on the worst cards in the deck to pull you through and bring you closer to the win. Try to use this tactic to your advantage, and you might win big the next time you play!