Sometimes you have a made hand with showdown value, but there's a good chance your opponent has a better hand, and the pot is sufficiently big that you'd be content just to take it down and not have to flip 'em upright on the felt. If the turn or river cooperates, you can turn your made hand into a bluff. Here's a simple example from today's session
The villain was a very positionally aware player. He was also a strong level-2 thinking player a bit on the LAggy side. I've got a thousand or so hands on him, with lots of notes that indicate he's super solid. He can lay down made hands, but probably will require multiple barrels to make this happen. His 3bet % is10%, which is on the high side.
Merge, $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 5 Players
MP: $60.62 (121.2 bb)
Hero (CO): $56.68 (113.4 bb)
BTN: $53.07 (106.1 bb)
SB: $50 (100 bb)
BB: $50 (100 bb)
Preflop: Hero is CO with 2♠A♠
MP folds, Hero raises to $1.50, 2 folds, BB raises to $4.75, Hero calls $3.25
Villain's 3bet from the blind made me pause. On the one hand, he has a high 3b% number, so he could be doing this with a wide range, and my A2s has some equity against this range. On the other hand, however, he's very aware of position, so his hand range has to be a bit narrowed here. I think my cold call preflop was close, but probably a mistake overall. That said, I think this player actually would see my call as strength, so it's not super crazy for me to overcall, especially given that I'd have position.
Flop: ($9.75) 2♦9♦Q♥
BB bets $6.50, Hero calls $6.50
The board is very wet here, and normally I'd be giving up, but I think this player is putting me on a strong hand. I also still have equity with my bottom pair and over card. I'm basically floating here, half-expecting him to check/fold a blank turn card.
Turn: ($22.75) A♦
BB bets $9, Hero raises to $45.43 and is all-in, BB folds
The ace helps me, but it may also help him too. It very well could be helping him more than me, in fact. In other words, he could easily have me beat here.... ah, but on the other hand, the flush just came in, and I can represent it here. His bet size was pretty small, too, which feels like a blocking bet to me; e.g., he could have two pair or better here, but is wary of the flush and wants to slow things down. My shove here only works against a solid L2 player who is actively putting me on a range. This is exactly that type of player, and he can only call here with the topmost part of his range, which is a small fraction of his overall range.
All-in for now....