Just to clarify something: I am talking about Online heads-up. (I believe in real life this trick is not used that frequently).

In online heads-up tournaments, you barely know how your opponent plays, so when your opponent makes his first All-in, is a tough decision.

Lets suppose this scenario happens and you decide to fold, then the opponent shows his cards and shows trash (not even a pair).

Because he showed us the bluff, one could easily get angry and call a second All-in in the future with middle pairs or similar.

So my questions is:

How usual is it that he modified his play and will only do the same trick again with the nuts?

Note: This trick is different than the How to deal with people who randomly go all-in?

  • The tags all-in and bluff don't exist, please help
    – ajax333221
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 19:14
  • I don't think all-in and bluff really make sense as tags for the site. Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 19:59
  • Ordinarily there is a Bayesian way to think about this, but with the psychological dynamic (Villain knows he showed a bluff) there isn't going to be a non-speculative answer to this question without further play to figure out your opponent. More relevantly, when you see a similar move, the range of hands Villain can credibly have (and thus represent) depend on the previous action and the board.
    – Loc Nguyen
    Commented Jul 15, 2012 at 10:12

2 Answers 2


What type of player do you think he is? Is he smart enough to show you one play, perhaps to put you on tilt or set you up for a future move, and then make that move? In the end, it's one piece of information that you use to make your decision. I'd still go through the usual hand/position analysis, and make my decision that way.


I play my hand.

I look at what is on the board and figure out the hands that could beat me. Then I try and figure out if my opponents bets could make sense with those hands. If so I give him credit.

Then I decide if it is worth the risk with the hand I have that my opponent may have played his hand like a genius(Phil would pronouce that idiot). If so then I call.

Generally I can afford to lay down a few hands to table newcomers to get the feel for them. Not to mention the more they get away with it the willing idiots are to try it again. I can get those chips back eventually. Probably sooner than later. In the event that he is good well then I will learn that in time too.


How would you know how likely he is? You have only seen him make the move 2x. There are stupid people who throw away their money at almost all levels. And there are those who know how to play at all levels. When I have a new player involved that I do not have a read I play my hand and generally give credit for being a decent player. I find that patience rewards my play... that doesn't mean I never go on tilt or make rash calls. Just that when I play patiently I tend to win more.

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