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Bluffing, Then Value Betting, Then Bluff Catching

Bluffing, Then Value Betting, Then Bluff Catching
  • One hand, three situations: @JonathanLittle bluffs, then value bets, then calls with a bluff catcher.

  • After a loose open, @JonathanLittle negotiates changing circumstances street by postflop street.

Today's hand is an interesting one which involves me bluffing, then value betting, then ultimately being left with a bluff catcher on the end. Ultimately as the postflop streets progress this single hand illustrates how to play several different types of hands and situations.

Things begin with a somewhat loose open by me from the "lojack" (one seat before the hijack). The blinds were 800/1,600 with a 200 ante, and with {Q-Diamonds}{J-Hearts} I raised to 3,800. The stacks were deep — I started with about 140,000, and my only caller was a younger player on the button with about 90,000 to begin.

The flop came {A-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}{8-Clubs}, giving me a very marginal draw. As I discuss in the video below, after comparing my likely preflop raising range and my opponent's likely preflop calling range, I continued with a bet of 4,000 (about 40 percent pot). My opponent called the c-bet, forcing me to think further about how doing so narrowed his range further.

The turn brought the {J-Spades}, and with my marginal made hand (and marginal draw) I had to decide between checking or betting small and I went for the latter, betting 6,000 (about one-third pot). The button called again.

With the pot up close to 32,000, the {5-Hearts} river completed the board and after I checked my opponent bet. See how things ultimately played out and hear my thinking on each street:

In the end this hand saw me bluffing, then value betting, then calling on the river with a bluff catcher. Poker is easy sometimes!

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,700,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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