How to Bluff in Poker: A Beginner’s Guide
Your eyes meet across the table. Your opponent raises their bet. Money is thrown down, big money. It’s a bold move. Are they bluffing? Do they have a poker tell? It’s a familiar scene. Unfortunately, that’s a pretty inaccurate one. In fact, the best poker players rarely bluff. In truth, there is simply too much at stake and bluffing is an easy way to run down your bankroll.
Since there are so many misconceptions surrounding the art of bluffing, there are many players who don’t really understand how to do it properly. When used in small doses, however, it can be extremely beneficial for your game. We teach you how to bluff in poker – you’ll have a poker face worthy of Lady Gaga in no time!
What exactly is meant by bluffing?
First, let’s explore the basics. What does it really mean to bluff? Basically, bluffing is like any form of deception that you practice during a poker game, from making a weak hand seem strong, to making a strong hand seem weak.
Generally, there are three types of scams:
• Icy Scams/ Total Scams: These are the types of scams that most people are familiar with. This is when you have no chance at all to win the hand if you can’t convince your opponent to fold. You need a really good poker face to succeed in this
• Quick Scams: The most common type of scam. When no one is particularly invested in the pot, and the probability is high that most players will fold when a significant bet comes in. Then a quick scam can help you sweep up a small to medium sized pot.
• Semi-scams: A semi-scam is pretty much a scam where you have a chance to win if you get sighted. The best poker bluffs tend to be semi-bluffs.
How to bluff in poker
It seems simple doesn’t it? It’s not. Experienced poker players are familiar with every type of scam there is. Here are some poker tips to help you improve your bluffing:
Refine the right image of you at the table. How people perceive you at the table plays a big role in how successful your scam strategy is. If you play a tight and aggressive game, your scam is much more credible. If, on the other hand, you look at every opportunity, and get into lots of hands, people are much less likely to believe your scams. Making sure that your scam is reasonable in the context of your past ventures is a sure way to convince people of its validity, so they eye the scam.
Bluff from a strong position at the table. The best poker bluffs come from a good position at the table. The ability to see how people react through the round is a great way to determine if a scam is a smart move.
Bluff at the right time. There are good moments and bad moments to bluff. In general, bluffing early in the game is a bad move, as there is still so much that will happen in the round. A post-flop scam where you sit in a late position can be an excellent time to bluff, especially if there is relatively little going on on the table.
Make suitably big scam bets. If you’re just starting to learn how to bluff in poker, this is an important tip to get to. You should try to bet just enough to convince your opponents to fold. The question is, how much is just right? The main thing to keep in mind is the size of the pot. If you bet too low, your opponent will call the scam just to see what you have, but if you bet a high amount, you risk a lot for comparatively little.
Assess your opponents correctly. If a player raises alongside you, it is important that you have the opportunity to assess the strength of their hand. If the player was an original raiser from the flop, they might be the real thing, but if they’ve just check-raised, their hand might not be very strong.
Understand when you should give up. If you have a stubborn player staying with you, you may have to accept that you will have to give up. You might be tempted to put in one last gigantic bet to convince them to fold, but it will rarely achieve the desired effect. It remains only to realize that you were unlucky this time, and learn from the experience.
How to see if someone is bluffing in poker
Try to find their poker tell. Body language experts would say to keep an eye out for physical cues a player gives off. Whether they’re playing with the chips more than usual, doing something with their hands, or simply doing something unusual – a poker tell can be absolutely anything. During the game, make sure you notice the physical mannerisms of the other people around the table. It can pay off handsomely in the long run!
Take note of the time your opponent takes to bet. This is especially relevant for online poker, where you can’t see any physical poker tells. If your opponent takes an unusually long time to see or raise, it may be because they have difficulty deciding what they want to do, which in itself is an indication of a scam. But you need to be careful. They might also run a ‘Hollywood’ – dramatizing their game to bring some extra insight into their opponent’s hands.
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