Explanation of Semi-bluff

Aside from the final betting round where bluffs are always pure bluffs, it’s very common for bluffs to more accurately be described as semi-bluffs.

A semi-bluff is a bluff made with pot-equity, while holding a draw for example. While the player making the semi-bluff hopes to elicit folds, he still has a shot at improving to the winning hand if called.

Example of Semi Bluff used in a sentence -> (Hold’em) We flopped the flush draw and fired two streets on a semi-bluff.

How to Use Semi-bluff as Part of Your Poker Strategy 

Semi-bluffing always increases our expectation (expected value) over pure-bluffing in the same spot. As a general guide, it doesn’t typically make sense to pure-bluff on the earlier streets unless we have a specific read that our opponent is folding too much. It’s rarely, if ever, necessary to bluff without equity on the earlier streets. Aside from on the river, our absolute worst hands should typically be discarded rather than turned into bluffs. 

For an example of how our semi-bluff expectation can be estimated with the use of expected value formulas or tree building software, see the glossary entry under Expected Value.

See Also 

Expected Value, Bluff, Expectation, Equity, River