No Deposit Poker

The Art Of Bluffing In Poker

Hustler Casino Live gave us a dream of a bluff recently with Bill Klein bluffing Brian Kim to land a sizeable pot on their high stakes stream.

In most games or sports, if you are in the strongest position at the end of the game, then you will win, there are very few sports where the person who has scored the most, or who is in the best position, doesn’t automatically win.

However, one such game where that is very much the case is poker.

And that is down to the artform that is bluffing; the skill a player possesses in making another player believe that they have a better hand than they actually do, making their opponent fold a winning hand to give the hero the win despite holding the weaker hand.

However, while anyone can bluff in a game of poker, and it is perfectly within the rules to do so, it is not the availability of the bluff, but more the plausibility of the bluff convincing other opponents that makes it so effective.

And on the Hustler Casino Live stream the other day, we saw a perfect example of how to use the bluff to land a win.

Bill Klein’s Superb Bluff Against Brian Kim On Hustler Casino Live

The full hand is shown below for you to enjoy in its full glory and for those of you who are not fully conversant with poker, I’ve given you a brief recap of what happened below the video.

In the hand above, Brian Kim lands pocket kings, while Bill Klein holds AK off suit. Kim raises from the blg blind and Bill calls the bet, leaving them the only two players in the hand to see the flop.

  • Flop

At this point, Bill is hoping to hit ace or king on the flop to improve his hand and he probably has envisaged that Brian Kim is holding at least a middling, if not high value pair.

The flop of 10♣ 5♥ 4♥ does not improve the position of either player in terms of their hand value, but in terms of their chances of victory, Bill Klein is now very much the weaker player as with just two cards left to be shown, he has just a 16% chance of winning the hand against Kim’s two kings.

Acting first, Bill checked and then watched Kim make a relatively small 4 x Big Blind raise of $1,600. If Kim made a mistake in this hand, it was at this point here as a larger raise may well have tempted Klein to fold.

  • Turn

With a large stack beside him, the part-time poker player Klein called, allowing him to see the turn card which produced the 5♦.

It is at this point that Klein probably knew his chances of winning the hand were very slim indeed, so the only way he was likely to achieve that was to pretend that he had either a pair of tens, a pair of fives, or a pair of fours in his hand.

Even so, Klein still checked his hand, and Bill then made a bet of $4,000, 10x the big blind, which Klein called once again allowing both players to see the river.

  • River

That card was the 5♠ and now Bill knew that his only chance of success here was to make a bluff at it, which is why when that third five in the flop came out, Bill represented his bet as if he held a strong hand, by making an initial bet of $13,000.

However, the size of that bet is key. Had Bill Klein made a much larger bet, Brian Kim may well have just folded assuming Klein had hit Quads. That bet, which was the first part of Klein’s bluff, made Kim believe that Klein had a strong hand, but one not as likely to be as strong as his pocket kings.

As such, Kim then made a $50,000 raise, feeling (entirely correctly) that he held the strongest hand of the two remaining in the game.

Bill Klein was now faced with the option of either folding, and admitting that his bluff had been called, or he could double-down on the bluff by re-raising, indicating clearly to Brian Kim that Bill did indeed hold that elusive fourth five in his pocket cards.

That is precisely what Klein did, re-raising to a huge $127,000 which after Brian Kim had thought about things for a good few minutes, made Kim fold the winning hand and allowed Bill to pick up a big win at the expense of his opponent.

That is the mechanics of how the hand went, but in truth, there is so much more beyond what you can see in the video that makes this bluff work on so many levels.

How Did Bill Klein Manage To Land The Bluff Against Brian Kim?

You may think Bill Klein’s bluff paid off against Brian Kim because of the way he played the hand, but in truth, there is far more gone into this bluff than what you can see on the video.

One influential factor in the hand being a success is the reputation Bill Klein has earned through his play at the tables.

The part-time player and wealthy businessman is known as a player who plays a small range of hands and plays very tight. He is a player not known to take risks, especially with large amounts of money and you can be 100% certain that Brian Kim was well aware of this at the table.

A second key factor is the relative stack size of each player at the table and how comfortable they are playing for higher stakes. Bill Klein is known as a player who brings a lot of capital with him to the poker table, certainly more than Brian Kim and Klein knew that there would come a point where Kim, with markedly fewer chips to play with, would become uncomfortable putting them into the pot unless he was holding the nuts.

Those two pieces of information are crucial in dissecting the hand, as if you look at this from Brian’s point of view, it becomes very easy to understand why he folded the winning hand.

On the face of it, you have a player who already paid the big blind, limping in to see the flop and they did likewise to see the river and turn for relatively small amounts of money. That suggests that they have at least something of a hand, if not the King/King held by Mr Kim.

However, in that final round of betting, when Klein opens up, Kim re-raises and then Klein three-bets with a much bigger raise is so disconcerting for Kim.

Kim clearly believes his $50,000 bet is a bluff-catcher, so when the very tight Klein three-bets for $127,000, it not only represents Klein as having that fourth five, but also makes Kim very uncomfortable about calling that bet as he knows he doesn’t have the capital in chips available to him that Klein has.

Klein has wrested control of the hand from Kim, representing the nuts, while putting in so much money into the pot that it makes the shorter-stacked player reticent to call because he knows it will likely cost him the vast majority of his remaining chips.

In that situation, Kim had no real option but to fold and it was the correct call for him based on the information he had – which is why Klein’s bluff was so impressive as it provided Kim with the right information at the right time to allow the bluff to work like a dream.

It is that combination of your reputation, your play in the hand and how you represent your cards in the betting which is the real art behind making a great bluff play.

Achieving it as Bill Klein did here, is another matter, especially against the best players in the world!

Remember, you can try out your bluffing skills at the online tables of bet365 Poker, which offers a great selection of poker games to try, as well as a great value starter offer available through the latest bet365 bonus code.

Ian John

Working my way though the UK's top online poker sites (and some of the ones near the bottom as well) to bring you a first-hand take on the absolute best choices for online poker players from the UK.

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