Poker Bluffing Tips

Bluffing is a concept that is associated with poker and people who never played this game are convinced that poker can’t do without bluffing. In fact, the concept of bluffing is greatly overrated by the media. Yes, it is an important strategy of the game, and yes professional poker players are good at bluffing. But it is not the Holy Grail of Poker! At least, not for everyone. Still, winning a large pot that other player should have won brings a great feeling of excitement to the bluffer. If you feel that bluffing strategy is something you should try, this article containing a handful of bluffing tips is for you…

How often should you bluff?

If you ask someone new to poker what the main aspect of poker is, they will probably tell you that bluffing other players is the key to winning the game. They are wrong! One can win poker games without ever using the bluffing strategy. Many novices bluff too often, which leaves them with losses over the long run.

What is the aim of any poker game? To win money, as simple as that. Thus, if you decided to refrain from using bluff in your play, you could still have a chance to win the pot. Let’s use a simple math. If you are playing at a table for six players, they all have an equal chance on getting winning or losing cards. If we use simple math calculations, each player should get the best hand one in every six hands. Hence, if this were always true, no player would lose, and no player would win in the long run.

In practice, if one player managed to win the pot when their opponents held better hand than their opponents got from them when they held the best hand, that player would be winning more money than their opponents. Play your cards better than others no matter how good your hand is and you will have a chance of ending up a winner.
Never enter a hand with the intention to bluff. Use bluffing only when you have no doubts that you can win the pot based on the information you got from observing your opponents playing up to this point.

Other advantages of bluffing
As your poker playing experience grows, you will have a better understanding of the bluffing art. You will know when to bluff and when not to bluff. And learn that winning the bet isn’t the only advantage of bluffing.

Pretending you are a loose player
If you make unsuccessful attempts to bluff against other players several hands in a row, they won’t take you seriously next time when you bet into them. They will grow bolder and dare to overplay their unremarkable hands when you bet and suffer an utter defeat when you do hold an exceptional hand.

Putting your opponents on tilt

No one likes to be tricked out of their money. If your bluffing was successful, your opponent can become dispirited and play worse because all their thoughts would be about getting their money back. Such technique is called "playing on tilt". One word of warning though: you shouldn’t do this too often as other players would decide to teach you a good lesson and will be out to get you, which could give the game a tricky twist and you can find yourself in a spot of trouble.

Poker bluffing tips

What is the right time to bluff
The answer is as clear as ABC, but it's probably not quite the answer you wanted to get...

It stands to reason that you should bluff when your intuition or observation skills whatever tells you that your opponent will fold.
It takes a lot of practice to gain the skill of detecting when your opponent is going to fold, and the more you play poker, the better this skill will become.

There can be no fixed rules for bluffing, as hands are unpredictable. The best strategy would be to learn how to spot moments when a bluff is likely to be reasonable based on the information you have got by the playing styles of your opponents.

Situations favorable for bluffing

If you are in last position, you have the advantage as you can make more successful bluffs. If you are to make the final move, and all other players have checked to you, it means that they don’t have good hands. This is the right moment for betting and winning the pot.
When you raise pre-flop and then missed the flop, you still have the chance to win the pot. Simply make a continuation bet, and your opponent wouldn’t call provided they don’t hold top kicker or mediocre pair.

Bluffing is acceptable if your opponent doesn’t have a big stack. It is highly unlikely they would call a raise except on the condition that they have hit the flop hard.

If you are on a draw, you can try a semi-bluff. You have a hope that the pot can be taken down by you, but if one of your opponents calls you can still win provided your next cards make your hand better.

Poker bluffing evaluation

With this knowledge, you should still remember that you can win money without bluffing, especially if you are a novice player. It is much more reasonable to play your good hands well instead of trying to make other players fold when you have a vague idea about their intentions.

As you gain more poker experience, you can improve your game and try new playing techniques in different situations and spot the moments when bluffing is a must. In addition, you shouldn’t forget that bluff is more advantageous for what it does for the future, rather than what it does for the current situation. Now you will be winning a small pot, but in two hours’ time you could deceive other players out of a great sum of money because they were sure you didn’t have the best hand when you bet.