Texas Hold'em No Limit Advanced

Bluffing on the River

6,833 Views 3 Comments on 14/10/13

Bluffing on the River - You've got to tell a story!

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Bluffing on the River - The gut check part of poker!

How much of a superstar poker player are we? Many weaker players will put a river bluff down to simply outplaying their opponent. However, this is an incorrect and ego filled approach to the game that we should not use.

We don’t want to be the player holding our breath praying the villain folds!

Take the Clear Approach to River Bluffs

Let's take a clear approach to this play. We need to tell a story with all of our betting that results in our opponent believing us.

Example 1

  • So we have been stubborn with JJ on a 10k48 board. The river then comes 9...a real scare card which could give our opponent the flush! 
  • When our opponent checks we can turn our hand in to a bluff as we are sure we are up against a better hand such as AA and AK. 
  • Our hand now makes sense to our opponent and he will often fold - We could easily have a flush or even a straight. We makae it hard for a better 1-Pair type hand or even a set to call us.

Example 2

  • Another example: We have 3bet AQos preflop. Flop: K92r, We bet and get called, turn 5, we again bet and get called, River 8. 
  • No we go all in. Why you ask? We are representing a super strong hand such as Aces, Kings, AK and maybe KQ. We can do this as we have been called down all the way (villain has not represented a huge hand preflop by flatting our raise), our line makes complete sense and if we was the villain with a hand such as 10 10 we would find the fold here a huge percentage of the time.

For players out there who are not thinking it through - You should always stop and ensure that your story tells a story. Clear and concise reasoning is what is key to bluffing on the river.

Final note:

It feels even better to bluff a river when you have logically thought through the process. No more need to hold your breath, smile, sit back, relax and scoop the pot when they fold!


Jon PokerVIP

10 years and over 10 million hands of cash game poker Jon-PokerVIP brings a wealth of experience to team VIP. If he isn't winning 150k a month prop hands challenges  then he will be probably posting in our forum, streaming on twitch or making coaching con ... Read More


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Kashclickson 11/8/14

So if the river is not a scarecard, maybe it depends more on our recent table image as to our likelihood of getting folds ? For me , at the lower micros, on the second example with K on the board and mt cbet gets called, I am pretty much alwa ys shutting down, as they are rarely folding.


moj_hmon 22/2/16

I am 100% agree with you.


Jon-PokerVIPon 3/12/13

Gutcheck time as a famous commentator might say. So true! Very tough to pull the trigger sometimes but if you have a plan and its profitable then you just gotta do it! Pulled any sick river bluffs off recently?

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