Why don't more players table their bluffs?

MichaelBMichaelB Red Chipper Posts: 211 ✭✭✭
You know the situation. You've just put a bluff out on the river and have been called. Your opponent (and the table) are waiting for you to show your hand...

So why do so many players just muck here?

The bluff has no doubt cost you money, so why not get some future value out of that investment?

Isn't advertising your line more profitable in the long run? For instance, if you 3bet A3 and barrelled off for whatever reason, don't you want the table to know that information rather than muck and let them think you just whiffed AK?

Am I wrong? Is it more profitable long term to hide what you bluffed with when possible?


  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,656 -
    edited February 2019
    Why do you suppose the bluff costs money? In the modern game I suspect the bulk of profit is generated by bluffs.

    From general principles, in a partial information game revealing info when you don't have to is a mistake. That said, if you've been called when bluffing, it's probably worth tabling your hand with confidence in case your opponent folds the winner. Sometimes you'll even be good.
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  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,867 -
    Because people are amazingly bad at showdown mechanics in poker:


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  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,359 ✭✭✭✭
    Furthermore, ALWAYS table your bluffs !

    - Sometimes you still can win !
    Either because you play too aggro and V called you waaaaay too light (even for a merged range), or because... Villain makes a bad tabling move / card reading and muck himself (lol, but happened to / against me few times).

    - You want to see what V called you with.
    You put a lot of aggro dead money. By tabling your force V to reveal his hand, and see how light V decided to continue all the way down (and use this info for future hands)
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,656 -
    Right, when I think it is a mistake is if you bluff and V folds. Bad idea to show then.
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  • Jordan PowerJordan Power Red Chipper Posts: 530 ✭✭✭
    I always table my bluffs. I've never had anyone muck the winning hand, but you've been called, showdown. Those are the rules. I hate card funerals.

    I think a lot of people are just embarrassed by their bluffs when they don't work.

    Think of the general reaction when a missed draw is turned into a bluff when it works and when it does not.

    When called: "Good call, you're good." *sheepishly mucks*

    When not called: "Phew, got THAT ONE over." *Tables hand like a jerk*

    Plus it also just slows the game down to have these discussions about tabling your hand. "If you've got a pair, you're good." -Yeah I have a pair. "Okay you're good." -Well muck then. "Well show your pair." Goodness gracious.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,308 ✭✭✭✭✭
    A good live player is like a circus master and knows when to show and when it is pointless. Trying to to sum it up here with a binary guideline would be futile.

    However, I'm sure some hack writing for pennies at a poker news site has already come up with three lol rules for us.
  • Steve MSteve M Red Chipper Posts: 47 ✭✭
    Wow, this is literally something that I just recently began thinking about more critically thanks in part to something I came across from following Jonathan Little (still relatively new round these parts so apologies if he is frowned upon) but he made a similar point to table your bluffs confidently with the idea being you'll be able to use that image later on to maximize value. I think that may have been at the heart of your question @MichaelB

    It was an interesting idea that I have started to use when I play. I was mostly a "You got it" or 'King high" type of fellow when my bluffs would get called & would wait for the winning hand to be shown before mucking.

    The conclusion I drew from thinking about the point above is that if I choose to bluff at a pot holding key blockers or I choose to bluff knowing I have full range advantage & it doesn't work out, I should still show my bluff because...

    A. A bad player isn't going to realize the more 'advanced' parts of what I did with the bluff (nut flush blocker, etc.) & is just going to think I'm a maniac or

    B. A solid, regular will see the more 'advanced' parts of what I did & realize I'm not a fish & that I'm someone to be concerned with & hopefully avoid.

    Full disclosure, I just became a regular, winning $1-$2 player within the last 12 months or so, so take this with a grain of salt at higher limits but I'm always looking for little things like this to give me an edge, no matter how small. For example, I never talk strategy at the table, I agree with everything the fish say when they talk strategy, I'm always friendly & engaging to the fish, new players, always tell them 'nice hand' no matter how bad it was, etc. This may be a topic already covered or for another time, but I'd be curious of other 'non standard' bits of advice the higher-ups have in regards to live poker.
  • MichaelBMichaelB Red Chipper Posts: 211 ✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Right, when I think it is a mistake is if you bluff and V folds. Bad idea to show then.

    Right, I'd wouldn't do that unless there was a very compelling reason to do so.
  • MichaelBMichaelB Red Chipper Posts: 211 ✭✭✭
    @Steve M, yes, that pretty much sums up what I was getting at. And I agree with everything else you expanded on. I'm noticing that more people understand more about blockers and other such things, so it's always good to know who those players are, and if tabling your hand will spark a conversation about it, I'm more than happy to soak all that information up.

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