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I was hoping for some advice on choosing the right combos to bluff with on a monotone flop. I guess the basic question is do I always need a matching suit card in my hand?

I had the this hand recently at 0.02/0.05 3b pot, blind v blind. I basically figured that in this spot, how many flushes does V have that he has 3b pre. I know it’s blind vs blind so ranges wider and I have no blockers but it’s only NL5 so I thought KJ, JT and maybe KT/T9. He can’t have 98 or 87 and don’t think he’s 3b pre with 76dd or less so he’s only got 3/4 combos max. Obviously he has the range advantage and has sets, 2 pair and Ax hands, but I can have basically all the diamond combos in my calling range, so it seemed like a good spot (although in hindsight I think my raise should be bigger). Plus I've also got outs to the straight which I thought was relevant.

But, would I be better off with a pocket pair with a diamond? Or hand Hand like KdJc?

When V x/c on the flop, I figure making a pair on the turn doesn't really change anything, even though I now have some SDV, I figure I'm never winning.

I'd love some thoughts on what would be the best hands to bluff in this and/or similar spots (or if it's just a bad idea in general). Thanks:

UTG - UTG ($5.12)
MP - MP ($5.44)
CO - CO ($8.22)
BTN - BTN ($6.92)
SB - Hero ($6.09)
BB - BB ($14.90)

Preflop: ($0.07, 6 players) Hero is SB with T♠ J♠
4 folds,
Hero raises to $0.15,
BB raises to $0.45,
Hero calls $0.30

Flop: A♦️ 8♦Q♦ ($0.90)
Hero checks,
BB bets $0.47,
Hero raises to $1.20,
BB calls $0.73

Turn: J♥ ($3.30)
Hero bets $4.44 (all-in)

Oct. 4, 2021 | 5:16 p.m.

Thanks Both, I really appreciate the input.

Raoul, I think J7, I'm always folding PF (don't feel confident enough to play a hand like that yet),JT, and T7s I do often flat yes (or fold vs UTG). I would certainly open both from the BU, and flat a 3bet with JTs IP (folding everything else vs 3bet). Guessing this is a mistake?

Nov. 26, 2020 | 4:49 p.m.

Thanks Raoul,
In my mind I was repping the 8/9, a set (7s and maybe 10s - which I don't always 3bet, but do mostly) or two pair: JT T7, and if I did have 8/9, this is exactly how I would have played the hand (although in fairness probably without the River shove). Do you think it would be more effective to raise straight from the flop (assuming I've still flatted PF)? Or do I just need to go away and think some more about the best spots to bluff?

For what it's worth, if the river hadn't given V 2 pair I'm guessing he would have folded, but maybe I'm just being naive?

Nov. 26, 2020 | 1:59 p.m.

Thanks Maco, so do you think I should only be bluffing where i've got outs to a stronger hand? I thought this was a good spot as I unblock the missed flush, but block the straights?

Am i just thinking about this in the wrong way? (still very much a beginner so sorry if this should be obvious).

Nov. 26, 2020 | 12:45 p.m.

I'm trying to incorporate some more bluffs into my game, but still working on finding the best spots. In the past I would pick a random spot, but now I"m trying to consider blockers much more. Mainly playing NL5/10. I would love any thought's on how I approached this spot:

NL10 6max.Zoom
Villain MP ($14.53) - I have no reads
Hero BU ($11.17) Ac9c

UTG Folds
Villain raises to $0.30
CO Folds
Hero calls.
SB folds
BB folds

Pot: $0.75

7s Jh 10s

Villain Bets $0.52
Hero Calls:
I was thinking here that continuing is fine, as I've got the gutshot, plus an overcard, and backdoor nut straight, and I was already thinking about turning the hand into a bluff as I block 8/9 and don't block the flush draw.

I'm assuming Villains range is mainly Top pair, two pair, overpairs, Ax/Kx Spades, AK plus he has all the sets, although I think it's plausible that I still have all the sets in my range (although JJ maybe a push). I can't discount junk also given some of the population, although his c-bet is a little on the large side to have air.

Pot $1.79

Turn: 3c

Villain bets: $1.25
Hero Raises: $3.12
Villain calls
I figure the 3 is basically a brick. Villains bet sizing makes me think he's polarised so his range hasn't changed much in my mind from above. I was hoping for a fold here so when he calls I figure he most likely has a set, TP, Two pair or the flush draw. I was also thinking the raise sets me up for a River jam.

Pot $8.03

River: Qh
Villain: Checks
Hero: Bets $7.23 and is all in
Villain tanks, then calls with Jd Qs.

Villain wins with two pair.

So I figure the cards I didn't want on the River were a K or Q or a Spade, so when the Q lands I'm slightly unsure what to do. I figure I do block AK, although I did have that in Vs range on the flop, and still block the 8/9. He could be checking to induce the bluff given that I raised on the turn, but could also be giving up on a busted flush draw. If I check behind there's no way I'm winning, so I jam... and lose.

Any input on my approach/thinking would be great, and/or if I should have done anything different on any street... or if I'm just unlucky to run into two pair on the River.


Nov. 26, 2020 | 9:58 a.m.

Hey BF, I"m also following the FTGU course and like you don't have much of a network so would be up for swapping ideas. It sounds like I"m more of a rec than you though, I generally single table NL5/10 occasionally NL20 in the evenings, but hoping to move up in stakes. Happy to chat if helpful?

Nov. 26, 2020 | 8:58 a.m.

So that's already a variable you might not have considered for value:bluff ratio, your sizing.

It definitely isn't. Thanks so much for the insights—you've given me loads to think about and work on.

Nov. 4, 2020 | 9:04 a.m.

Thanks lIlCitanul for the detailed reply. I really appreciate it. I'd been thinking about the bluffs more in terms of what I guess are semi bluffs (so them having some chance to make a strong hand), and less in terms of blockers/removal effect, so this is a bit of a lightbulb moment—thank you.

In terms of your question

Why do we need 28 bluff combo's for 28 value combo's?

My thinking was that value bets and bluffs need to be balanced so we're not bluffing too little or too much, or the range isn't weighted too much in one direction.

I noted that in Peter's example he has 34 Value combos, and 36 bluff combos (he doesn't explicitly state them needing to be balanced), but I'm definitely keen to know if I've misunderstood, or misapplied that concept.

Thanks again!

Nov. 3, 2020 | 11:25 p.m.

Post | BatOutOfHell posted in Courses Forum: EP 17 50/50 Strategy

Hi all.

I'm hoping for some help understanding how to create my continuation ranges based on the 50/50 defence strategy against Villains 3bet.

I understand the principle of folding the bottom 50% of my range, and then splitting the top 50% into 4bet value, Call and 4bet Bluff (and that I'd want the same number of combos of 4bet value and 4 bet bluff).

What I'm less clear on is how to assign a specific hand into each category. In the Video, Pete uses the CO opening range as an example:

But how has he decided for example that K9s is a bluff, but 87s is a call? Or that 98s is a call and KJo is a fold?

I'm trying to split the other opening ranges from the supplied charts up in a similar way, but I'm unsure how to decide where to draw the lines. For example the highjack opening range contains 242 combos, So I need to fold around 121. If my Value 4bet is AA, KK, AK, That's 28 Combos, So I need 28 4bet bluff combos. How do I pick the right ones? Is A7s, a better bluff candidate that 76s? Is KTs a better call that 99.

I'm assuming it's based on the EV of the starting hand? I use Poker Cruncher mac for range work, but it doesn't seem to calculate EV. This is the closest thing I've found online: but it doesn't allow for position–at least I don't think so (and the link at the bottom of the article to EV for positions is incomplete).

Sorry if that's overly long-winded. Hoping for some pointers. Thanks!

Nov. 3, 2020 | 9:57 a.m.

Thanks for the input. I figured someone mostly likely held a K, and I've seen many donk shoves at this level with TP. I had Qh Qd (which I should have stated). Does the Qh change things in terms of being a blocker to say KQhh, or are you thinking more in terms of backdoor F potential—or just something else?

With the shove, is it best to shove only with either a bluff or the nuts? I appreciate here I took a bit of a 'hit-and-hope' approach.

Thanks for the advice.

Sept. 25, 2020 | 12:21 p.m.

Hoping someone can help me understand if this was the right or wrong call (and any input on my thinking). I'm still very much a beginner and I put this back into Snowie and PokerCruncher but felt I got slightly different answers (or maybe just didn't understand the equity correctly).

This is a 0.02/0.05 6max Snap NLHE
I have no reads

I'm UTG with QQ ($4.37)
SB ($2.55)
BB ($4.68)

I raise 3x and it folds to the SB and BB who both call. ($0.45 pot)

Flop: Kd Jh 3h

SB Bets 0.30
BB Calls 0.30

So I wasn't really sure what to do here—especially being multiway with a donk lead from the SB—as I've only really got 2 outs.
My call is 0.30 into 1.05 so just better that 3:1 pot odds.

I figure it unlikely either V holds AA or KK as no 3bet. JJ and 33 definitely possible as are two pair + Straight/flushdraws. Plus at this level I don't rule out people betting/calling with pocket 4s or something else equally random.

I plugged it into PokerCruncher giving both villains a range of 33, TT, JJ, ATs/os+, KJs+ K9os+ Q9s+ J8s+ T9os+ T9s+ A2-A9hh, and K2-KThh, (sorry if that's a bit hard to follow—basically everything that gave a F/S draw, sets, the two pair combos, and single pair with a broadway kicker). I didn't include any bluffs or backdoor draws

The equity came out basically tied. Is that good enough to continue in this spot multiway?

I obviously didn't know the equity at the time, but with the pot odds felt I was probably in good enough shape for a call, most likely having to fold if I didn't improve and faced bets on the turn. So I did call.

Snowie however said a clear fold which I wan't expecting.

Turn: Qs

SB bets 0.67
BB calls 0.67

Again, I was still a bit unsure as what to do. I didn't think it was a slam dunk with a bet and call in front of me. People love playing broadways at this level so AT a real possibility, but I figure pretty much everything else I'm ahead of. I was definitely fearful of someone making their draw on the river (possibly rookie error) so I decide to shove for $3.92 (pot $6.61)

SB Folds
BB Calls

River: 3c (happy days)

BB shows 82hh for busted F draw

Final pot $9.86

So did I just get lucky? Should I have folded the Flop? Should I have held my nerve with the shove? Was the turn just a call? Why would Snowie say fold if equity is even?

This one fried my brain a bit. Any input into my approach and thinking is appreciated.


Sept. 25, 2020 | 9:59 a.m.

Thanks Raoul, I appreciate the feedback. Glad to hear it was the right call. And thanks for the clarification of effective stacks, The SB was indeed larger at $1.00.
I'm loving all the content here. Keep up the good work!

Sept. 23, 2020 | 6:01 p.m.

Hi everyone. My first post—be kind! ;)

I'm currently following the From The Ground Up course and have been dedicating a lot more time to improving my game in the last few months. But there's still a long way to go. I feel like I'm often making bad calls. I'm hoping for some thoughts/input on my decision making process on the following hand.

I'm playing a $0.01/0.02 6-max Snap NLHE
I think I'm right in saying effective stacks for the hand are $0.51 (I have $2.00)
I have no reads.

I'm in the big blind with Kd Qd

Action folds to the button who limp opens.
SB raises 5x to $0.10
I call (I did consider a 3bet but have no reads and still have button to act behind, plus I think I've been 3betting too liberally so trying to reign it in).
Button calls.
Pot: $0.30

Flop comes: Jh Tc 5s

SB checks.
I decide to take lead and bet half pot. (I figure I have good equity here with open ended straight draw and two overcards. I'm also thinking this is a good hand to turn into a bluff if I don't improve.)
Button raises $0.41 and is all in.
SB Folds
Pot: $0.86

So I'd love to know what anyone thinks of my thought process here:

Given the button limped I'm not putting Villain on pocket Jacks or Tens. Maybe pocket fives?
It's doubtful (although possible) villain has an overpair again due to his limp so I exclude QQ+
Villain may have trips, but more likely 2 pair or top pair. In hindsight he could have a strong draw (AK/AQ, but I do block those hands) or backdoor flush.

So I figure I've got 14 outs. 4xA 4x9 to make my straight and (assuming I'm against top pair) 3xK and 3xQ could be good also.

I calculate my odds of hitting my hand is 14 outs x4 (over turn and river), so I've got a 56% chance to improve.
It's $0.26 for me to call and pot is $0.86, so I round down (for ease) to 3:1 pot odds: 33% so a clear call.

Or alternatively I need 25% equity to call, and when I ran it through poker cruncher giving Villain a range limited to sets, 2pair, straight draws, overpairs, and any broadway card with a jack or ten and I had 38% equity (obviously I din't know the equity at the time, just the pot odds vs draw).

So I called.
Villain Turned over Jc9c

The board ran out 7c 5c to give Villain the flush, but I'm not concerned with the outcome of the hand, just if I made the right decision to call or not based on the situation.

Is my thinking right? Did I over-count my outs (given V could have held two pair), so catching a K or Q might not have been enough, but even 8 outs would have been a close call in my mind.

I hope I've explained that in a clear way. Any thoughts are really appreciated. Thanks all.

Sept. 23, 2020 | 5:09 p.m.

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