Bluffing In Poker
Monday, 15. February 2010

Bluffing is a tricky thing in poker. If you never bluff at all, more experienced players will easily be able to guess whether your hand is good or not - anytime you raise because you have a great hand, other players will know you have a great hand and will fold, leaving you with a minimal pot. On the other hand, if you bluff all the time, then other players will always call your bluff, certain that their cards may beat your hand. Of course, that will make your bluffing all but worthless in a poker game. Deciding when to bluff and how to bluff well is an important trick to learn if you play poker. Luckily, a few simple hints can ensure that you bluff to win in poker:

•Do bluff only when you have a hand that is reasonable. Many poker beginners bluff even when they have no hand at all, and this is extremely risky, because odds are good that someone may meet your bet and stay in the game to see your cards - that is the risk of bluffing. You should bluff only when you have a hand that is decent but not likely to be the best at the table. You want to convince other players to give up their chances but still have a chance of winning if someone else stays in the game to the showdown.

•Don’t bluff too often or too rarely. Only you can decide how often you should bluff in poker, but in general you should bluff at least once every several games to keep fellow players guessing - especially if you play in the same weekly poker group.

•Do bluff in the right games. Low-limit and fixed-limit poker games make it very inexpensive to call someone’s bet. To see your cards, a player only has to pay a small amount, which means that more players are likely to call you on your bluff. On the other hand, if you only play low-limit fixed limit games, you may still want to bluff from time to time, especially with better hands, just to master the art of bluffing. Just make sure you don’t lose too much money doing so.

•Don’t bluff with very new or inexperienced players. New players may not understand the concept of bluffing and may call your cards anyway. Plus, new players often have an overinflated sense of the strength of their own cards, making them more likely to call a bet, no matter how weak their own hands.

•Do watch out for tells when you bluff. Every poker player knows the opponent who always scratches their nose when bluffing or gives some other clue of their cards and hand. Avoid having this become you. Watch your body language carefully to make sure that you are not sabotaging your bluffing opportunities.

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