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Semi Bluffing in 6 max Texas Holdem

Key points
  • If you have a hand you would call with then generally bet out with

    Reasons to semi bluff:
  • Win the pot with a single bet
  • Your game is less readable
  • May result in free card on next betting round
  • Semi bluff more against tight players
  • More likely to win when a scare card comes

    When not to semi bluff:
  • Likely to get raised or check raised.
  • Against loose players who will not fold.

    Semi bluffing is betting with a hand that is not likely to be the best hand at the moment but has a good chance of improving to the best hand with more cards to come. For example overcards or draws.
    In 6 max gaining the intiative and keeping the intiative are important. If you have a hand that you would call a bet with then you should pretty much be betting with it the vast majority of the time, aiming to win the pot right then. Check calling and giving too many free cards is a losing strategy in these games.
    In full ring games you will be semi bluffing less purely because against more players in the pot your bet is less likely to win the pot with that single bet. In 6 max however semi bluffing is important as you are much more likely to win the pot, especially when the pot is 2 or 3 handed.
    When its been checked to you are on the button and you have for example a straight draw, you now have the choice whether to take a free card or semi bluff. Bet out if its likely you will win the pot if its 2 or 3 handed, however, bear in mind that a player may be intending to check raise you, in which case take the free card. This is more likely to happen if you were the preflop raiser and some players auto check to you expecting you to bet out after they have shown weakness by checking.
    Notice the value of semi bluffing comes from having your opponents folding. If your playing players who simply dont fold then semi bluffing is less effective. So obviously you wouldn't want to be betting out if its likely you will get raised.
    If you do not semi bluffing it makes you play much easier to read as other players will know you are only betting when you have a made hand, maybe good pair or better. Also by checking your draws, your constantly indicating weakness and other players will be taking the pots every time you miss your draw, and when you do hit your draws the pots will be smaller.
    If your semi bluffing in late position and you get callers, then you still have the possible advantage they will check to you on the turn and you get the choice of a free card on the more expensive street. If you make your hand on the river, you may well get a bettor into you reading your turn weakness and you will hopefully get the option to raise.
    Another advantage to semi bluffing is when a scare card comes, if this increases your chance of winning the pot then you should be betting out.

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