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Pot odds in that instance were less than 11 /2-to-l, but I knew I could get away with the bluff about 60 percent of the time. So it was a profitable play. Nevertheless, while you should usually restrict your early-round bluffs to semi-bluffs, there is still nothing to prevent you from trying a pure bluff if you feel there’s a good chance of getting away with it.


If you think your chances of getting away with it are greater than the pot odds you are getting, then you should go ahead and try it. You may recall in the chapter on ante structure we mentioned playing in a game where certain players played too tight for the ante. There was $10 in antes, and if these players were the only ones in the pot, I knew I could bet $7 with absolutely nothing and have a good chance of stealing that $10.


However, a semi-bluff has three ways of winning. It may win because your opponent folds immediately, and it may also win either because you catch a scare card that causes your opponent to fold on a later round or because you make the best hand. There is bluffing when there are more cards to come and when there are no more cards to come.