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The odds against a bluff succeeding increase exponentially as you add additional opponents to the equation. The more opponents, the more someone is likely to call “.to keep you honest.”


Suppose you were facing a single opponent and thought that your bluff would succeed one-third of the time. Those aren’t bad odds, particularly when the money in the pot exceeds the odds against a successful bluff. Suppose the pot contains $90 and the price of a bet is $30. If this situation were to repeat itself and your estimate of successfully bluffing was accurate, you would bet $30 twice and lose, but you’d win $90 the third time. In the long run, this is an opportunity with a positive expected value.


But what happens if you add a third player to the mix? Once again, you figure that your chances of successfully bluffing the additional player are one chance in three. The presence of a third player will, of course, increase the size of the pot. Let’s assume that the pot now contains $130.


Although the size of the pot has increased arithmetically, the chances against your bluff succeeding have grown geometrically. In fact, your chances of a bluff that will succeed one-third of the time against each opponent have decreased to one-ninth of the time when you consider both opponents together.


There’s no magic here. We’re simply multiplying fractions. One-third multiplied by one-third is one-ninth. While the size of the pot increased, it has by no means increased to a point where it offsets the very long odds against successfully Togel bluffing two opponents.




Bluffs work best against a small number of opponents. The fewer the better. Three is almost always too many, and even running a bluff through two players is difficult.


There is one exception, however. Assume that there are no more cards to come. If you are first to act and are facing two opponents, you canbluff if you think that the last player to act was on a draw and missed his hand.


Suppose you are playing hold’em and there were two suited cards on the flop. If the third opponent simply called on the flop and the turn, chances are he might have had a blush draw that never materialized. If that’s the case, he is very likely to release his hand against a bet on the river, even if he suspects that you’re bluffing. When all is said and done, he might not even be able to beat a bluff.


But the player in the middle has a lot to worry about. If you bet not only does he have to worry about whether you have a real hand, he also needs to concern himself with the player to his left. Even if the player in the middle has a marginal hand ¾ the kind he’d call you with if the two of you were heads-up ¾ he might release it. After all, he has two concerns: Your hand might be stronger than his, and the third player might also have a better hand.


When your opponent in the middle is a good player ¾ good enough to release a marginal hand rather than stubbornly call “.to keep you honest” ¾ you might use the implied threat of the third adversary to force the man in the middle to shed his holding.


Ten tips that will help you become a better bluffer follow. All were culled from this four-part series. And after that you can read about one last big-time bluff. It’s one I was fortunate enough to watch unfold in person, from the press row at the 1997 World Series of Poker.