When to Bluff at Scare Cards in Texas Hold'em
One way you can use the board to your advantage comes in being able to properly play scare cards. Let’s take a deeper look.
What are Scare Cards?
Scare cards are exactly what they sound like: cards that put the fear into your opponent that you just hit a better hand.
For example if the flop falls with three hearts, a fourth heart on the turn or river would be a scare card.
Your opponent only needs one heart to make his or her hand. The same is true if there are three straight cards on the flop, such as 6-7-8, and a nine hits the turn or river.
Scare cards do not have to complete a draw. If the board pairs an ace, king, queen, or jack, that can be a scare card.
If your opponent raises pre-flop and you put him on a hand such as A-K, an ace or king hitting the board can be a scare card.
How to Use Scare Cards
Scare cards in Hold'em are great opportunities for you to bluff. If a fourth heart hits the board and you get a check from your opponent, this would be a great time for you to bluff at the board. The same is true when that fourth straight card hits or when the board pairs.
A key to playing scare cards is being able to properly put your opponent on a hand range. If you're sure they raised or are betting with a made hand such as a big pair, you can use scare cards to steal a big pot away.
If you are going to use scare cards, make sure that your opponent is able to understand what is going on and if they are capable of making the fold.
Your play should also make sense for your style of play. If you are viewed as a loose cannon, then betting a scare card will likely look like a bluff.
However, if you are a person that plays fairly snug, they might give you credit for the flush when the board comes up with four hearts.
Also, be sure that you have a good read on your opponent. There is nothing worse than trying to play a scare card only to be betting into the immortal nuts.
Using scare cards as a bluff is just another tool that you can add to your game to pick up more pots. The more tools you have, the better “equipped” you will be to win more pots.
Good luck to you at the tables!