post oak bluff

Texas Holdem Betting Strategies » Post Oak Bluff

The Post Oak bluff in Texas Holdem is named after one of the cheapest trees in the oak family that can be bought in Texas. With the Post Oak bluff, you attempt to draw in your opponent and make him believe that you have a very powerful hand that, of course, you do not have. But, you do this by not placing the bluffing bet until the River.

The Post Oak bluff works by your making what is a suspiciously small bet or raise. Ironically, the Post Oak bluff only works on experienced Texas Holdem players. Inexperienced players either won't take the hint or will be overcome with the desire to see your cards. But experienced players will think they are spotting something: that you have placed your small bet--typically it's 1/10th of the pot, but some players will go in with as much as 1/3rd of the pot--in order to lure them into calling so that you can get more money out of your incredible hand.

The reason that you wait til the final betting round to use the Post Oak bluff is that this bluff relies on selling a great story. You have to use your experienced opponents' knowledge of the game against them, and to do that to them you have to conjure up quite an illusory story. The story is, basically, that you have had a decent, drawing hand throughout the betting rounds--and now, upon reaching the River, you finally got the incredible hand that you were going for! It probably goes without saying that nothing of the sort has happened. Your hand might not be rubbish, it might be playable, but it's nowhere close to being the straight flush or whatever it is you are bluffing that you have.

So, the whole time, you should have a drawing hand--so you want to stay in and so those at the table who might be good at calculating probabilities will have reason to believe your story later on, if they are still in at that time. Depending on what you have and what the flop and turn bring, you might check or call throughout the betting rounds. But you have to make this whole story a reasonable one. Your pattern of betting, checking and raising up to the river has to be one suggestive of cautious optimism which then become high confidence. In fact, it might even better if you don't really decide to do the Post Oak bluff until you do NOT get on the river what you truly were hoping to get with your drawing hand.

You are now going to attempt to make your opponent fold and give you the pot--especially if you suspect that he might have a very good hand for real. You are using reverse psychology on him. You are making him out-think himself. He is to read your relatively small bet like this: "he wants me to stay in and give him more of my money because he has a hand that he knows is too good to get beaten, so I will fold." But the reality is you made the small bet to bluff him--you don't have an unbeatable hand at all! And, by staying in all the way through the River, you have won the money of those who stayed in until the end or until after the flop.

So to do the Post Oak bluff right, you have to pay close attention to what has been turned up on the table so that you have a realistic fiction to sell.

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