How to Bluff in Poker
How to Bluff in Poker
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HOW TO BLUFF IN POKER

how to bluff in poker

When You See No Other Way To The Pot, You Go For Bluffing!

You must have heard that ‘everything is fair in love and war’? Yes, it is exactly the case with poker battles as well. Poker is not just a game, it is considered to be a war, where well-planned strategies, a good action plan, and of course the conspiracies at times are involved to win against your opponents. It is fair to be unfair in poker as your prime goal is to win the pot either by hook or by crook. No one in poker will question you for being untrue to your opponents about your hands until and unless they challenge you at the showdown. Yes, this is how the game format is.

The game of poker revolves around making the best hand out of the dealt cards, but depending solely on the dealt cards to grab the pot is a bit difficult, as many a times, a player is not dealt a good hand, so, in that case, the option to fold, check, and bluff are available to that player. It is him/her who has to decide whether to take the risk by bluffing or to fold the hand and let go of the pot. To make the decision, a player undergoes many considerations and mind-drilling arguments with oneself. Let’s understand the nitty-gritty of bluffing in poker.

WHAT IS BLUFFING IN POKER?

what is bluffing in poker

Bluffing in poker refers to the skill of getting your opponents to fold by giving them a false perception of having a strong hand with you. Bluffing is done to mislead your opponents by betting or raising with a weak hand and forcing them to believe you possess a winning hand. However, sometimes players bluff with an idea to make a profitable bet and maximize the profit when they have good hands with them. So, the overall idea of bluffing in poker is a risky shot.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF BLUFF IN POKER

different types of bluff in poker

1. Continuation Bet Bluff

This is a type of bet bluff in which you bet continuously without connecting with the flop to make your opponents fold their hands. It helps you eliminate your competitors on the flop round. This kind of bet bluff is good to go with:

  • Ace High or King High Cards
  • Two High and One Low Cards
  • One High and Two Low Cards

2. Semi-Bluff

This is a type of bluff that is based on the hope of improving your current weak hand. This is typically when you are waiting for Flush draws and Straight draws to get you into the game. Then your strategy is to semi-bluff where you are not bluffing completely but strategically with caution.

3. Opportunistic Bluff

As the name suggests, this kind of bluff is when you find an opportunity at the table to bluff as no other player has invested any chip or has shown any interest in the pot, which may indicate them of not having a strong hand, then you can try your luck by bluffing and tricking them.

4. Stone-Cold Bluff or Zero Equity Bluff

Zero equity or stone-cold bluff is way too risky in poker as in this kind of bluff a player has no or zero chances to improve the held hand and depends completely on fold equity to show any profit.

WHEN TO BLUFF IN POKER?

when to bluff in poker

Knowing when to bluff in poker is the key characteristic of a good poker player. A timed bluff can do wonders to your game, even if you hold a weak hand. Learning the art of bluffing in poker is a gradual process that requires your time and consistency in playing the game. The more you play poker online, the more you will get familiar with bluffing techniques and other scenarios in poker games.

There are certain factors that play a vital role in deciding whether to bluff or not. They guide you all along your way in the poker game and will help you know when to bluff in poker. Let’s understand those factors:

1. Your Opponents

How well you read your opponents in poker can help you fetch the pot money. Though it is not easy to read anybody’s mind like that, observing their pattern and style of playing, and what actions they take at the table can definitely help you get good results in the long run. Your strategy depends majorly on your opponents’ gameplay pattern. If you are longing for bluffing in a poker game, it is easy to bluff against a player who plays tighter hands and is likely to fold. Whereas, playing against a player who calls you on your bluff may prove to be a bad beat for you. So, reading your opponents’ strategy is always beneficial for you.

2. Betting Size

When taking a risk of bluffing, why not take a bigger one? This is the most obvious question that crops up in your mind when you move ahead in the direction of bluffing. Betting as a part of bluff takes into consideration the size of the bet that gives you the maximum profit. If you have already decided to bluff then raising the bet amount would lead to a maximum number of folds than a smaller betting size. However, on the contrary, if you have some adamant opponents who do not like to fold may challenge you till the end of the game, and betting a higher amount against them could cost you an outflow of a good chips stack. So, decide your betting size as per the value of the hands you hold, even if you are bluffing in poker.

3. Number of Bets to be Placed

Placing a bluff bet is as technical as landing an aircraft at the port where you need to consider a lot of factors before actually placing a bluff bet at the table, and one of them is ‘how many bets you should place to make your opponents kneel down in front of you'. So, in order to judge the right number of bets, you should look at your opponents’ tendencies which can help you decide on the same. For example, a single bet sometimes may not force your opponents to believe in your deception and fold at the same time, which means you need to keep on setting the trap till the time they are fully into it. So, this judgment of how many bets to be placed is important for you as with each bet you are risking your money in the game.

4. Strength of Your Hands

It is a fact that bluffing is more successful with a strong hand, and the player bluffs with more confidence and less anxiety of being caught while bluffing with a good range of hands. It is undoubtedly believed that your strength at the table is decided by your hands and not your chips’ stack. So, while you play cash games online, always bluff with a strong hand. It will make the game more exciting. In case you wish to take a risk with a low hand, then be prepared to face the consequences if you get caught by your opponents.

5. Your Image at the Table

Adopting the same technique or strategy of playing poker can make you a well predictable player in the eyes of your opponents. This may let them form a particular image of yours in their mind. Changing your path suddenly will help you bluff in that case as your opponents will perceive you the way you used to play and they will get deceived by your changed strategy easily and your work is done.

6. Your Betting History

If you have been a bluff master since the start of the poker play, then you must follow your betting history for various hands in poker. This is important as your opponents may be intelligent enough to remember each step of your poker story and can catch your bluff. So, keep your betting history for the hands in mind to set the trap and bluff smartly.

HOW TO BLUFF IN POKER?

how to bluff in poker

Bluffing is a strategy that can help you grab the slipping pot and must be incorporated into your play. To reach first to the finish line, you need to have a strong hand but the chances of being dealt a strong hand are less, so, depending solely on the hand strength is not fair in poker. You need to develop certain bluffing skills that can enhance your game and get you the pot money as many times as you play. Here are some tips that can help you become a poker pro player.

1. Use of Balanced Strategies

A balance is always important in whatever you do. Here, in poker as well, the use of balanced strategies is always rewarded. A mix of strategies makes you an unpredictable player at the table, which is very profitable.

2. Make the Most of Your Opponent’s Tendencies

Your strategies are based upon your opponents' behavior and actions at the table. When to bluff and how successful the bluff will be answered by observing and reading your opponents’ tendencies. Identify those tendencies and hit the hammer at the right time to fix the nail. 

3. Re-evaluating Your Hands at Every Street

The actions that you take on different streets need your re-evaluation before that. If you did a bluff ‘raise’ at the flop with your hands, it does not mean that you need to bluff at the turn round as well. This can be assessed by re-evaluating your hands at every street as with each passing street the chance of getting a hand better maybe there.

4. Reading Your Opponents Hands

In poker, you not only evaluate your hand strength, but you also need to have a check on what hands your opponents are holding with them. If you learn the skill of hand reading in poker, then you can easily know when to bluff in poker and assess your chances of success each time you bluff.

5. Consistent Bet Sizes

Changing your bet sizes at every street on the poker bluff may prove to be harmful to your poker game. Maintaining consistency and placing the right-size bets is very important in poker as the chances of being caught are reduced when you do not fluctuate the amount much. 

6. Hit the Flop Hard

While placing your bluff, if you have already raised on the pre-flop, then raising at the flop again will help you show your consistent strength in the game. This is the main betting round, where you get a good idea about your opponents, and bluffing on this round with a good bet size will help your opponents fold.

7. Bluffing with Late Positions

To be at a late position is always beneficial in poker. With late positions, you have more chances of having a successful bluff than in earlier positions. When you are the last one to act and your opponents have checked you, then it is a clear indication of having a weak hand and you can bet at the same time to grab the pot.

8. Stealing the Blinds

Stealing the blinds is one successful strategy that makes your opponents fold often before the flop. You only need the right types of players (weak and tight) in the blinds to make your bluff successful.

Bluffing is an art in poker that can be mastered with regular practice. At Acehigh, you can learn how to bluff in poker and win the pot. We have reduced the gap between learning and playing poker online by providing you a platform that helps you learn and play poker games simultaneously with the best online poker guide. To see how people bluff, start playing now by hitting the 'Play Now' button on the screen.