How to bluff in poker
Some players are able to successfully use this strategy at the right time to maximize their profit. This is more of an art than a science.
Deception is the most well know concept in poker, but not used as often as most of us think. Anyway, excluding bluffing from your poker strategy is a very bad idea that will make a poker game uninteresting. If we never make a bluff, we become too predictable and the chances of profit are greatly reduced.
In a game of Texas Holdem, it is a good idea to attempt bluffs when you are sure you cannot win the pot or when trying to take the pot before all cards are dealt. In a poker game with money involved, it is possible to calculate whether a "bluff" has positive expected value or not. In this regard, we must compare the possibility of success of the bluff with the size of the bet and the pot. Therefore, a critical success factor is the ability to predict whether the opponents will fold.
To decide whether it is the right time to bluff, we must consider a few things:
The types of opponents. Do not bluff less experienced opponents, as they may call with anything. This is the most common error. We must ensure that the opponent is a player experienced enough that he knows to fold his hand.
The number of opponents. The general rule is not to bluff three or more players, especially in fixed limit holdem. The bluff is more likely to succeed against just one opponent. Not just because he is one and there is only one player to make fold, but also because the pot is smaller and not large enough to become too desired.
Your table image. A bluff will have more chance of success if we give our opponents the impression that we are a straightforward ABC type player. If they know that you successfully bluffed once, the next time they will not fold their hand. However, the reverse psychology can sometimes work, because in the case of strong players, they might think that you will play deceptively and not bluff again.
Your ability to read your opponents. If you understand the game well and can prevent your opponents to have a good game, the chances of bluffing successfully increase. This ability is probably the most difficult to master, but certainly the most important.
The pot. Your opponents are likely to call you when the pot is large, because it increases the size of their potential profit. Instead, if your deception succeeds in a big pot game, the reward might be greater.
The stacks. Playing in a deep stacks game or a short stacks situation is different, including in tournaments. Not just that the risks are different, can you risk your entire stack on a bluff, but the perception of risk by your opponents is different too. Will they be more cautious calling your bets in a deep stacks tournament?
Position. If you are in late position, you'll have more information about the hand strength of your opponents and thus more likely to make a good bluff.
In conclusion, it is imperative to consider all these factors in your decision to bluff or not. Start practicing these bluffing tips the next time you log at your favorite online poker room.
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