I’ve written it many times. “Esther Bluff” was created many years ago by my granddaughter when she was a teenager. I thought it was a good idea to teach him to play Texas Hold’em. As it turns out, poker isn’t the cup of tea. He has other interests in life.
But when I taught him the game, something funny happened. After a while, when we were playing hands, he beat me with our hands. Then, suddenly crossed my mind. I haven’t taught him bluff strategy yet, but he learned it himself.
Indeed, on some hands, when he raised my bet so confidently that I was sure he had a big hand. It was the expression on her face, and the movements of her body and head as she sat down and bent forward to make a huge rise. I am sure without a doubt: I just know my hand is the second best KaptenPoker visit.
But he made one big mistake: He did it so often that I became suspicious. A few hands later, I decided to call him lift when he returned to do so with the same motions and actions. Sure enough, I guessed right: He was trying to bully me. Her mistakes were so frequent that she aroused my suspicions. Maybe I’m really lucky.
Without realizing it, my granddaughter has created and taught me “Esther Bluff” – a tactic that is essential for successful bluffing. It’s no wonder my bluff now manages over 80 percent of the time, even though I think 40 percent is the break-even point for bluffing in a low / mid limit game.
I believe that Esther Bluff is essential to bluffing success – and, therefore, in the fight for you to come home victorious as often as possible. And, I’ll add, Esther Bluff’s tactics can help you even when you don’t expect to drive all of your opponents.
For example, what if you started with a big pocket pair, say two aces in the hole. You are in the middle position; apart from the two blinds, one opponent had summoned the Big Blind to keep seeing failure.
Probability theory tells us that your AA will be underdog if three or more of the “foes” remain in hand while you don’t catch a set on the flop (odds are about 8 to 1 against you). So here’s a good chance to force some of them to pull their cards out – using Esther Bluff.
We call this “field thinning.” Of course, it also comes in handy when you’re holding hands made before the flop. Pre-flop, the only hand made are AA, KK, QQ; I didn’t put JJ in the hole.
But don’t do it when you are late. Most of the time, an opponent who has already paid to see the flop will not fold at that point. The pot is too big, and they only need to call the minimum bet to see three cards on the flop – which shows they’re over 70 percent of their last hand.
Another exception is when you held premium drawing cards (AK, AQ, AJ, and KQ) before the flop. It is not the time to run out. Wait and see if failure raises your hand. For example, starting with an offsuit AK, you can expect to match one of your two hole cards about one in three times. If that is the case, then it makes more sense to lift it above the failure to dilute the fields, giving your top mate a better chance of making it to the river.
As if those two examples weren’t enough, the Esther Bluff tactic has one more – less obvious – benefit: Your opponent will quickly observe how your chip rack has grown. Intuitively, many of them will hesitate to play against you as you raise. Now bluff you have a greater chance of being successful. Try it, you will like it.