Tips On Bluffing In Poker
Who Should I Bluff?
You should only bluff opponents who will fold. Bluffing opponents who rarely fold is
not a winning strategy. In general, you should not bluff beginner/novice players,
maniacs, or calling stations. Novice players are less likely to fold because they don't
know any better. If they have a decent hand they call, they do not even consider what you are
holding. Maniacs are players that are constantly bluffing,betting and calling with no regard for
their own hand. These types of players bluff so much themselves they always suspect
that their opponents are bluffing too and are more likely to call your bluff. You are better
off to trap (let them bluff into you when you have a strong hand) the maniacs rather than
trying to bluff them. As for calling stations, well they will probably call your bluff.
It is the tight players (or rocks) that you want to bluff. If an opponent is playing tight he will
be less likely to put a lot of his chips into the middle unless he has a really strong hand.
When Should I Bluff?
You should bluff when you feel your opponent will fold to your bet or raise.
Here are some tips that will ensure that your opponents will fold to your bluffs more frequently:
Make sure your bluff tells a believable story. If you both check the turn and a blank comes out
on the river then it doesn't make a lot of sense to bluff. However if your opponent check/calls
your turn bet and a blank comes on the river there is a much better chance your bluff will work.
You have shown strength by betting the turn and your opponent has shown weakness by check
calling the turn so a river bluff in this scenario will be much more successful.
As a general rule, you will be more successful bluffing if your last action was
strong (bet or raise) and your opponent's last action was weak (check or call).
When Should I Not Bluff?
The more players there are in a pot the harder it is for your bluff to work.
Try to make sure that the majority of your bluffs are against only 1 or 2 opponents.
If you get caught bluffing a few times or even if you have been bluffing a lot you should
limit the amount of your bluffs. In this scenario you have a loose image and your bluffs
will be less successful. Change gears, play tight for awhile and build a tighter image before
you start bluffing again. This will keep your opponents off balance and guessing.
What is Semi-Bluffing?
A semi-bluff is when you make a bet or raise on the flop or turn with a drawing hand such
as a straight draw or flush draw. This can be a great strategy because it gives you two ways to
win the pot. You can either win it right away with your semi-bluff or if you do get called there
is always the chance of hitting your draw and winning the pot that way.
Can Getting Caught Bluffing Be Profitable?
If your opponents don't think you bluff then it will make it more difficult for you to get paid
off with your big hands. If you do get caught bluffing (preferably in small pots) it puts doubt into
your opponents head and will increase your chances of winning bigger pots later in the game.
So if you find that everyone is always folding to your large bets you may want to consider bluffing
a bit more or even getting caught bluffing in a small pot to increase your chances of winning a
big pot later on.
Summary for Bluffing in Poker
Try to bluff tight players - not novices,maniacs, or calling stations.
Make sure your bluff tells a believable story.
It's always better if your last play was strong and your opponent's last play was weak.
Don't bluff as often when there are multiple players in the pot.
Don't bluff too much or your bluffs will become less effective.
Even when you do get caught bluffing at least it is helping your image.
Remember to use semi-bluffing in your game. Don't just call every time you have a draw.