Bluffing is an essential part of playing poker, allowing you to make winning hands out of not-so-great cards. There is certainly an art to making a successful bluff, and it is important that you understand the in-and-outs of this strategy before you attempt it at the table. Below are some tips from the experts at OnlinePokerAmerica.com to help you bluff with the best of them.
Be Aware of Your Image
How other players perceive you is the key to becoming a successful bluffer. If you have a loose image (for example, playing every hand and bluffing fairly often), then your reputation may work against you when you’re trying to bluff. On the other hand, being a tight player (for example, not playing very many hands), then your bluffs are more likely to be effective.
Pay attention to how other players talk to you and about you, so you can determine what type of image you have at the table. This will let you know how likely you are to get away with bluffs.
Stick to Your Story
A successful bluff is when you can convince another player that you have a certain pair of cards from the outset. To make this possible, you have to have a story that makes sense, and you must tell this story through the size of your bets.
From the moment you make a pre-flop bet, you are representing a particular range, and you should carry on with bets that are demonstrative of these cards throughout the various stages of betting. To suddenly change your betting to seem as though you have a much stronger or weaker hand will put the other players on to your scent, and they will be much more critical of your behaviour to determine whether you’re bluffing or not.
Be Selective with Your Hands
When you learn to bluff, it might be tempting to show off your new skills often. However, you should always be selective when it comes to choosing which hands to bluff and ensure that you save bluffing for situations when you have the best chance of winning. If you’re caught to be bluffing with 7-2 off-suit, then players will perceive you as loose and you won’t be able get as many bluffs through.
You should also save bluffing for hands with just one or two other players. Bluffing against a group can be quite difficult, as you’re trying to convince several others that you have a different hand to the one you’re actually holding.
Only Bluff Against Experienced Players
You don’t want to bluff against inexperienced players, as they don’t truly understand the game of poker yet. These are players that are likely to call when they have mediocre hands, which could throw your entire bluff off kilter.
Only experienced players will be paying attention to the strength of their hand and trying to determine the strength of yours. These are the players that you should be able to fool if you go for a smart, well-executed bluff.