A rare but powerful skill in becoming a winning poker player is learning how to get your opponents to bluff when you have a strong hand. This advanced concept is known as inducing bluffs postflop. Mastering it will enable you to maximize value from your big hands. In the modern era, where everybody is aggressive, inducing bluffs can be a great way to increase your win rate. In this article, we’ll explain how and when to use this powerful poker strategy.
What does Inducing Bluffs Postflop Mean?
Inducing bluffs simply means taking actions that are likely to trigger an aggressive bluff from your opponent when you have a strong hand. For example, on the flop or turn, you can check or pretend weakness in spots your opponent is likely to interpret as you missing. This encourages them to make a bluff with their weak holdings, allowing you to call or raise and win a big pot.
When to Induce Bluffs
The best scenarios to induce bluffs postflop are when:
- You have a strong made hand like top pair or better.
- Your opponent is capable of bluffing aggressively.
- The board texture connects well with your opponent’s range.
- Your passive action suggests you missed the board.
Against calling stations who rarely bluff, inducing is ineffective. But when facing savvy players who apply pressure, inducing bluffs can lead to massive pots, especially as you move up stakes where players are increasingly aggressive.
They also work well against overly aggressive casino type players, thrill seekers who play games like blackjack or Fortune Tiger slots. These players just love bluffing and being aggressive so setting traps is an excellent way to counter their playing style.
How to Induce Bluffs Postflop
There are a few key ways you can induce bluffs after the flop:
Check – Checking down strong hands can lure your opponent into making a bet when you want to give the impression the board missed your range.
Call – Just flat calling instead of raising monsters sets up induce spots on later streets. Flat calls often give the perception of wider ranges so opponents are more inclined to barrel off.
Small Bet Sizing – Underbetting the pot instead of betting large looks like you don’t have much.
Act Weak – Sighing, tanking, or other acting can strengthen the perception you have a marginal holding at best.
Redirect Aggression – Calling down 3-bets pre can spark concealed postflop bluffs.
Counterintuitive Lines – Leading small into the raiser’s uncapped range elicits bluffs regularly. A donk bet is often conveyed as weakness so throw them in from time to time to induce bluffs.
Of course, balance is imperative, so make sure you don’t always just check/call strong hands. Mix in aggression to keep opponents guessing.
Executing the Induce Postflop
Once you’ve set up an induce scenario, here are a few ways to maximize value when your opponent takes the bait:
- Slowplay – If you check/call flop, let them barrel turn and bomb river.
- Check-Raise – Spring a tactical check-raise on river when your opponent fires again.
- Float and Bluff – Call flopplanning to bluff turn before calling their bluff on river.
- Donk Bet – Lead out before your opponent can continue bluffing.
By mastering the art of inducing bluffs postflop, you’ll be able to play monster hands deceptively while leveraging your opponent’s aggression against them. This advanced play forces your opponents to make costly mistakes from playing too actively against your trapping.
- Inducing bluffs means drawing aggressive actions from opponents when you have a strong hand.
- Do it against opponents who bluff frequently when you connect strongly.
- Check/calling or acting weak suggests you missed the board.
- Slowplaying, check-raising and leading out are ways to maximize value.
- Balance your monster hands between aggression and deception.
Next time you flop the nuts but your opponent likely connected with the board, consider checking and calling down instead of betting big right away. You might be surprised by the creative bluffs you can induce postflop. If you’re interested in improving your bluffing game, take a look at the course I created.