The concept of inducing involves making a bet or a raise that attempts to get your opponent to make an aggressive play that he otherwise would not. Expert players will size bets or raises in order to make their opponents “spazz” out when they know that they have the best hand. I have seen players, however, make the mistake of trying to induce with a draw; a hand that actually doesn’t have any showdown value unless they hit.
Let us take a look at an example of a hand I saw go down last week at the Bicycle Casino. With $1100 effective stacks a player in the hijack raised to $35 and the big blind, a player that defends wide and is aggressive, made the call. The board ran out 4♥ 6♥ 9♦. The player in the big blind checked and the hijack continuation bet to $45. The big blind thought for a while and made it $130. The hijack, then, almost as a reflex made it $300. The big blind went in the tank for several minutes before pushing all-in for $765 more. The hijack instantly called. The board ran out 4♣ 2♠ and both players waited and shook their heads. Finally the big blind sheepishly turned over K♣ J♠ for king high. The hijack froze and finally mucked his had showing 7♥ 5♥.
Now, it is a pretty rare to see no pair no draw win an all in pot when the money goes in after the flop. But it was pretty obvious that the big blind thought the hijack was bluffing him with the small reraise over the top of the check raise and induced him to rebluff. However, this type of thing is exactly what you don’t want to have happen if you hold 5♥ 7♥. It is an absolute disaster when semi-bluffing to make your hand look weak and induce action from another weak hand that would otherwise fold to normal betting.
A better play for the hijack would have been to either three-bet the check raise larger—basically committing himself or, if deeper, to just call the check raise and raise the turn. The second option is a bit more dangerous and I would only suggest doing it if you have experience manipulating pots with deeper stacks.
The point here is that you want to take the line that gives you the best chance of winning the pot without showdown if you are driving a draw. Getting fancy with the way that you play a hand can sometimes blow up in your face—like it did for the guy with seven hi.