The semi-bluff looks more natural when you have a straight draw or a flush draw but this method can be used successfully when you form a low pair. For instance, the community cards are Ace of diamonds, 10 of clubs and 5 of hearts, you feel that your opponent is not very confident and you raise with a hand of 6 of hearts and 5 of spades. Your opponent even with a pocket pair or an Ace will be forced to make a difficult decision. In this situation it is very possible that he’ll fold. But if he doesn’t, you still have your outs.
Limited games (and not only) transform with the course of time. At the moment the game with many opponents has practically disappeared and the game itself became much tighter and much more aggressive. More and more poker games are played one – on – one and in this case the use of bluffing and semi bluffing in Limit games becomes increasingly important. If you don’t use semi – bluffing, you’ll find yourself in a very unpleasant situation: first, if you are going to play check – call with the community cards and bet on the river without improving your hand, in most cases you will be forced to call by an aggressive opponent. Second, you will become easily read, your bets or raises will mean a pocket hand and your opponent can take the right decision very easy. Why is semi–bluff that important?
Just for a moment put yourself in your opponent’s place. If he knows that you raise only when you have a strong hand, in most cases it will be much easier for him to take the right decision. The opponent will fold with exception of the cases when he has higher hand. But in case your hand is less predictable i.e. you have a pocket pair or you use semi–bluffing, you’ll achieve one of the main goals in poker. In fact, you push your opponent to make a mistake. In some cases he’ll fold better hand, in other cases he’ll be more willing to fold your strong hand. Exactly this is one of the main advantages of the aggressive play – your strong hand in most cases is paid off.