An example appears to be betting when you have only four of straight or flush (with more cards coming), meaning that you can't (yet) beat say, a pair.

Is this a "value" bet of some sort (perhaps depending on the number players)? Is this mainly a bluff? Or could there be some "strategic" reason for making such a move, perhaps for future hands?

  • Search this site, and poker.stackexchange.com for "pot odds" and "implied odds". Also, "semi-bluff"
    – Mawg
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 8:36

3 Answers 3


It can be a bluff or it can be a calculation. If you have QJ and the board shows 10 9 3 then you have 2 overcards to the board and an open ended straight draw. If you have 4 cards to a flush you are probably favored nearly 2 to 1 to an over pair even.

If you sense weakness in your opponent you might be able to scare them off of a hand like two 5's, that while leading as it stands, could be behind if you even have a 10 or 9.

Your opponent could also have a single ace or of the suit that has 2 on the board you do not want that over card pair or another card towards his flush to come. So you can bet to scare him off now.

Generally betting the come you really want to take the hand down right there. But you do not want to commit yourself to playing a hand out if the next card doesnt come in your favor.

  • 1
    Congrats on your first answer. An upvote for you.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 19:33
  • QJo, on a rainbow 10 9 3 board against any random hand, is 60% to win. If your opponent is holding either a 10 or 9, you are ~45% to win.
    – RobW
    Commented Oct 19, 2011 at 20:44
  • NOTE: Pot odds (including implied odds) is a very good thing to consider when deciding to bet or not. Commented Oct 20, 2011 at 15:58

Betting with a drawing hand is a significant and strategic bet.

Also known as semi-bluffing, you both disguise the hand you have, as well as place your opponent(s) into a position of determining if they will continue.

While holding a 56off, and weak or no action in front of you, a board of Jc 4d 3s offers an ideal semi-bluff opportunity. A bet or raise here could force any pair less than jacks to fold. J 10 or worse may pause, and possibly not commit any more money to the pot because of your bet, giving you a chance to draw out on 4th and 5th street if you decide not to commit any more money to the pot. Your semi-bluff will possibly place him into a calling mode, rather than a betting mode, leaving you in the drivers seat.

As far as odds go, you are behind in this J 10o scenario - you'll win only ~ 34% of the time if it comes to a showdown - but, aggressive betting on 4th and 5th street, can get someone to fold, even with the best hand.

In Chad's straight only scenario, with the turn coming, you are a little better than a coin flip to win in a showdown at the river.


It is only a value bet if you have a made hand, you think you are ahead, and you want a call. Some times you will over bet to make it look fishy to get a call.

If you have outs (especially outs to the nuts) you might bet for:

  • build pot equity
  • fold equity
  • disguise your hand
  • pot control

Bet out (first to enter the pot) a 1/2 pot bet is ironically also for pot control. Say you don't hit the turn they are more likely to check the turn if you had bet the flop. If they don't hit you will likely get 2 cards. If they hit they will bet and you better know where you are.

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