Poker Play and Good Bluffing Strategy
Playing poker has never been more popular than it is today, and more and more players are discovering the excitement, and profit opportunities of this great card game. Every professional poker player understands the importance of establishing a good bluffing strategy, and every poker player, no matter what their level of play, should strive to come up with a good bluffing strategy.
While bluffing is a powerful strategy, it is one that should be used sparingly. Beginning poker players love to bluff, and their bluffs are often easy to spot and easy to call. As players learn, their bluffing generally becomes less and less, and they learn when to use bluffing, and when to resist the urge to bluff.
7 Rules to Bluffing
- Only attempt a bluff if all of the cards have been dealt and you have a very weak hand. Never overdo the bluff, keep it low and cool. Hold on to your bet in the event that you make it to a showdown.
- Don’t try to outdo a veteran or an expert player. Focus on potentially good outcomes and better opponents. Zoom in on one opponent at a time and don’t try to take on the table.
- Never bluff just to say you bluffed. Seriously, this is a lame game attempt and it will always bite you in your backside. While many macho players think it is a sign of a strong player and some players do it just to flex a little muscle. Only bluff if you really have something to flex.
- Be aware of how many players you'll have to bluff your way through. This goes back to the old idiom - “don’t bite off more than you can chew. One good bite or bluff goes a long way and is better used on one opponent than a whole table.
- Leave a hopeless hand well enough alone. In other words, don’t waste your energy bluffing on a bad card. Consider semi-bluffing or realizing that there may be better cards to come or better hands to hold. Never bluff a hopeless hand when there are more cards to come.
- Focus on easy players. It is easier to bluff easy weak players than to try to take down a hard core pro. Use your bluff wisely.
- Maintain a good image. Seriously that last thing you want to do is to get a reputation for being impulsive, loose or even too aggressive. The best approach is to remain under the radar for as long as you can and use your bluff strategies wisely.
Knowing when to bluff is a vital part of playing poker, and there are some situations that simply call out for a bluff, including:
- When playing in a game with few players. The fewer people in the game, the more effective a bluffing strategy will be. After all, it is easy to fool a handful of people than a greater number. When playing against more experienced players, however, keep in mind that these experienced players may be better at spotting a bluff.
- When playing against tight players. Tight players will continue to bid only if they have a good hand, and they will generally fold quickly when they hold a weak hand. If you bluff early in the game and other players are still calling your bets they probably really do have a good hand. This can be a signal to stop bluffing.
- When the last card is dealt on the river. You can bluff when the last card is dealt on the river, since the players who actually have a bad hand will fold, so the remaining players will have a better chance of improving his or her hand. If the player gets this far without bluffing they probably are holding at least an Ace or a low pair. In this case the bluffing will actually be more of a semi-bluff.
- When you are the last player and all the other players have checked. If the other players all have checked, this means that they are likely holding weak hands. It is important to be aware that you may force a player to make a bid, but some players will probably fold. It may take a persistent bluff, and you may need to bet and raise a couple of times, because the bluff is a common strategy and other players will expect it to be used.
- If you place a bet early on but did not get the cards and if the other players see you are still betting, they will think you have found the cards you need. This strategy is a fairly risky one, and it is important to have a good feel for the table before trying it.
- If the other players are afraid of you and if you have recently won a pot or won a number of hands, the other players will know that you are a good player, and they will respect your play. These players will be more likely to fold if they think you have something, and bluffing may be particularly effective in cases like this.
- When the cards in the flop are of low value. Many players may fold when they see a bad flop. If the flop has three rainbow cards, like a two, a five and an eight it is likely that none of the players are holding a good hand. In this situation you should try to bluff, but still pay attention to the other two cards. If these cards are also of low value, you should continue with the bluffing strategy