What Are The Correct River Bluff Mechanics 24 May

In today's article, we will discuss choosing the correct bluffs on the river, which hands and which sizing to use, and how often to bluff on the river.

How do bluffs even make money in theory?

We often hear that bluffs only balance our value and that we can get calls, which is true.
But in specific scenarios with the correct hands and textures, bluffs do make money.

Ways bluffs make money:

  • Blockers bring more folds
  • When the opponent has a weaker range than us
  • Avoiding re-exploitation

Good blockers

  • Unblockers (if we hold a card/hand that should be part of the opponent's folding range)
  • Straight, flush, full house blockers
  • Blocking of previous draws at X/X (check/check) lines
  • Blocking key blockers

Bad blockers

  • Blocking floats from previous streets
  • Blocking weak bluff-catchers

Blockers we prefer

  • When the board is bricked, we prefer unblockers
  • When the board hits, we prefer blockers
  • We can't always choose

In theory and practice, frequencies are more critical than blockers. When bluffing, we should consider what they would do in that situation with our value.
Also, what are our remaining bluffs? Because we will need more bluffs, we must use those with bad blockers.
Range advantage

  • Includes a higher frequency of value bets
  • We have to use SDV(Showdown value) for bluffing


  • Range > Blockers
  • Blocking nuts = Big sizing
  • Unblockers/blockers of weak calls = small sizing
  • When we have to bluff with bad blockers, the less bad the blockers are, the bigger sizing we use

Overfold opponent MDF (minimal defense frequency), even in theory
SDV is more important than blocker for river bluffs
Rules for range advantage

  • Calling ranges generate more range advantage than betting ranges
  • The more significant the call, the more significant the range advantage
  • Runouts change equity and change advantage


  1. Don't underestimate unblockers
  2. Range is more important than a blocker
  3. Range advantage brings more folds, bluff more
  4. Lines and textures create an Advantage in the range
  5. Mimic your value sizings with bluffs