The simple definition of a bluff catcher is a hand which beats all of your opponent’s bluffs but loses to all of your opponent’s value hands.
But what’s not simple is recognising this in-game. Sometimes you’ll accept a pricey first-class ticket to value town, while other times you’ll fold the winner believing you’re behind when actually your opponent is betting for value with a worse hand than yours.
Ideally, you want to be able to suss out those bluffs and make comfortable calls, as well as comfortable folds if you think there are no bluffs to catch.
But when does your hand switch from strong to a mere bluff catcher?
That’s one thing PokerStars School can help you with this week.
- Hand Reading for Beginners – Is My Hand a Bluff Catcher?
- Finding Unplanned Bluffs
- Grand Tour with OP Poker Nick on PokerStars Twitch
Hand Reading for Beginners – Is My Hand a Bluff Catcher?
“Understanding when your opponent is likely to be bluffing too frequently is a critical skill to develop early on in your career,” writes PokerStars School professor Pete Clarke. “Similarly, learning to recognise spots where the population is going to find it difficult to show up with enough bluffs to make you indifferent is equally crucial.
“Before we get to that though, our focus must be on learning to recognise when our hand counts as merely a bluff catcher and when it can win against hands other than bluffs.”
Finding Unplanned Bluffs
When Clarke’s fellow professor Dave Roemer was watching a Twitch streamer recently, he noticed an interesting spot.
The streamer was so focused on hitting their inside straight that they completely missed a great bluffing opportunity.
We all like to make plans in hands (“I’m going to bet, bet, shove this” or “If the river’s a brick I’m going to have to bet big”) but being able to think on the fly and notice the bluff spots which present themselves to you will drastically help your game.
Grand Tour with OP Poker Nick on PokerStars Twitch
PokerStars Grand Tour continues to grow in popularity, and there’s no one better to help you improve your game than PokerStars Ambassador and Grand Tour specialist Nick Walsh from OP-Poker.
He was back this week with another Twitch session. Tune in below.
More from PokerStars School:
- 4 bad reasons for playing a poker session
- What to do when the river ruins everything
- 4 bad reasons for checking your hand
- 3 common poker study pitfalls to avoid
- How to apply and avoid pressure when deep stacked
- When should you call for a chop?
- Inside the mind of a pro: How to exploit transparency
- The 3 steps to pulling off a big fold
- 4 online poker reads you can make on your opponents
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