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The Stand-Pat Bluff

For some of you this will be an obvious move but for the newbies to the game, perhaps a play worth considering, especially if the cards aren’t running kindly and you have a tight image at the table. The examples below are pulled from a private members Limit 5 Card Draw game held by the Alternate Poker Forum.

Example 1
The first example shows the importance of position and keeping track of your opponents draw. A relatively simple move when made at the right time. Sorry i didn’t get the hand history for this one but i remember it pretty well. We were 5 or 6 left, blinds at 100/200 – the 3 players involved were all with comfortable stacks :

 I was last to act and in front of me muratore and BlackTyson had both flat called the big blind. I made a standard x3 the blind raise with pocket aces.

 muratore folds and BlackTyson calls.

 On the draw BlackTyson took 2 cards which made me feel that she could well have been slow playing trips knowing i was very likely to raise. Of course she could also have had a pair with a big kicker but i decided to assume she was playing something bigger.

 Naturally the normal play would be to draw 3 cards to my aces but after seeing her draw, i decided to change my mind, show strength and “Stand Pat” as unless she got very lucky with a full house or quads, she would find a pot sized bet impossible to call.

 This is indeed what happened, she checked into me (no doubt assuming i had a made hand), i made a pot sized bet and forced the fold.

 This is a very good play in position, if you feel you may be behind on the draw but should not be over-used.

Example 2
BlackTyson herself made a similar “Stand-Pat Bluff” play out of position in a hand where 3 of us had all flat called the big blind. Again, she drew no cards in second position and after Player 1 had checked, made a calculated bet at the pot and took it down whilst showing us the hand (she had absolutely nothing). This was a good play but should be considered fairly high risk and only contemplated when your image has been tight as Blacktyson’s had indeed been at the time.

Example 3
I did manage to grab one hand history of a “Stand-Pat Bluff” out of position once you have isolated an opponent. In this hand, i make a small raise when the blinds are high to try and make it look like i wanted a call. I have pre-determined to “Stand Pat” with the knowledge that a Big Stack is more likely to feel i have something with this bet rather than trying to take it down pre-flop. Again, a risky play but in 5 Card Draw, these will be essential, especially if you are somewhat card dead and/or short handed at the time :

 Hand # 2020573852 starting – 2008-05-22 00:39:20
 My-Local-Poker Quick Draw League[1732711]:Table 1 [Multi Table 5 Card Draw] (300.00|600.00 PL – MTT) Real Money

Missiehen sitting in seat 1 with 11630.00
UniquePoison sitting in seat 3 with 2580.00
harry77 sitting in seat 4 with 4390.00
Missiehen ante’d – 300.00
UniquePoison ante’d – 300.00
harry77 ante’d – 300.00

 Dealing hole cards to harry77:

 Dealing cards to harry77: 2h, 9c, Qc, 3h, Qs
harry77 bet – 600.00
Missiehen called – 600.00
UniquePoison folded
harry77 exchanged 0 cards
Missiehen exchanged 3 cards
harry77 bet – 1200.00
Missiehen folded
harry77 mucks:
harry77 wins 3300.00 from the main pot

Summary :
Whilst the second two examples are pre-determined bluffs, the first example is a favorite move of mine as it involves position, speed of thought and keeping a close eye on your opponents draw. In a sense it is almost one of the safest bluffs you can try in this game as you are doing it playing against your opponents odds of hitting his/her hand – in other words, gambling less on what they might be holding but more on what you are 95% sure they are not holding.

With all of these hands, you need to be ready to adjust depending on your opponents play. What you are looking for is players that are flat calling you and drawing at least one card. If a player re-raises pre-flop or also “Stands Pat” on the draw then more caution is advisable.

None of these bluffs should be over used in any tournament but when the blinds are high and your short handed, this will be a very useful play in your arsenal. I have no idea if “Stand Pat Bluff” is an official term, let’s just call it a harry-ism for now.

The Stand Pat Bluff was written by Marc (harry_lime) Alexander.

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