Optimum Bluffing Frequency

What is the right bluffing frequency? It is a frequency that makes it impossible for your opponents to know whether to call or fold. Mathematically, optimal bluffing strategy is to bluff in such a way that the chances against your bluffing are identical to the pot odds your opponent is getting. Thus, if, as in the example just given, an opponent is getting 6-to-l from the pot, the chances against your bluffing should be 6-to-l. Then that opponent would break even on the last bet by calling every time and also by folding every time. If he called, he would lose $20 six times and win $120 once; if he folded, he would win nothing and lose nothing. Regardless of what your opponent does, you average winning an extra $100 every seven hands. However, mathematically optimal bluffing strategy isn't necessarily the best strategy. It is much better if you are able to judge when to try a bluff and when not to in order to show a bigger overall profit.

To make sure we agree on what is meant by a bluff, we will define it as a bet or a raise with a hand which you do not think is the best hand. Bluffing can be separated into a couple of different categories. There is bluffing when there are more cards to come and when there are no more cards to come. Secondly, within each of these categories, there is intuitive bluffing, which is the subject of this chapter, and mathematical bluffing, which will be discussed in the next chapter.

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