Poker will never be Poker without Bluff, the ultimate art of deception.
Have you ever tasted that feeling when you know your opponent should have won the pot, but you took it with your bluff?
Media & Players alike have loved bluffing in Poker, televising/watching big bluffs put on players, and taking down huge pots in multi-million dollar cash games have been a favorite.
Have you ever wondered how these players pull something this big?
Pull off ‘Tom Dwan’ level bluffs with these tips:
When to Bluff & How Often
Ask any new poker player what they think are the fundamentals of playing No-Limit Texas Hold ’em Poker? The majority of them would describe it as how bluffing is the key to winning the game. This is far from the truth. It’s possible to beat poker games without bluffing a single hand (although it’s not recommended)
Many new players bluff far too often, which leads them to have losses in the longer run.
The aim of Poker is to win hands & capture stacks, as simple as that. So if you never bluff, you could still be profitable. For instance, if you are playing with six other players, each player has an equal probability of getting good or bad cards. According to the basic math, each player should win one hand out of every six hands, therefore if all players were of the same standard, no one would lose in the long run, and nobody would win either.
However, if one player can get more value from their opponents when they had the winning hand than their opponents had won from that one player, that player would be winning more from their opponents in the longer run. It just reasons that if you play better than other players, you’ll end up a winner.
Tip: Never enter a hand with an intention to bluff. It would be best if you only bluffed when you’re confident that you can win the pot based on how your opponents have been playing that hand.
Do players lose when they try to bluff?
The straight answer is no, not necessarily. An experienced player knows the right spots to pick and take down a few pots that others might have taken down, adding more to their stack. It’s not easy for a beginner or even average player to pick the right places to bluff. It takes a hell of a lot of experience of your opponents’ situations and knowledge to know when the bluff will work.
Tip: If you’re not sure if a bluff will work, it’s better not to bluff.
How can Bluffing help you on a table?
As you start playing more and more games, you’ll have a greater understanding of when and how you can pull off a bluff. After all, there are more advantages to bluffing than just winning the pot.
The Loose Player
If you continuously try to pull bluffs on your opponents, they’ll try to spot your bluffs and catch you when you bet on them with the worst hands because of your table image. They’ll start overplaying their mediocre hands when you bet and pay you off when you have a strong hand.
Players generally don’t like losing their stack. If you bluff on them and show them your hole cards they might just lose it. This is generally referred to as ‘Playing on Tilt.’ However, it would be best if you didn’t do this very often as they might get a read of your ranges, eventually your game.
As you can now see, bluffing has its benefits. The most important of them is giving yourself a loose player image on the table, as you potentially can take stacks off your opponents as they will never believe you have a more substantial hand than them.
Tips & Tricks
The ‘When’ of Bluff
The answer is basic and straightforward, but it’s not something you were hoping for
Bluff when you think your opponents will fold.
Knowing when to bluff can only come through playing more games; the more you play, the better you become. Reading our poker blogs will also help you understand the game better.
There are no such rules for bluffing in NLH, as every hand is different. The best you can do is to identify situations to bluff, know your opponents and their ranges.
Last to Act
If you’re in a late position, you hold the ability to make more successful bluffs than others. If you’re making a continuation bet, your opponent is less likely to call unless they hit a top or a mid pair at the least.
Small Stack Players
If your opponent has a small stack, they’re doubtful to call or raise unless they’ve hit the flop hard. Although you need to be careful, as it’s infrequent for a short stack to call into bets, they’ll either fold or go all-in. Again, this is something that comes with practice, and you’ll start to notice when your opponents are more likely to fold than go all-in based on their stack size.
You can start semi-bluffing if you have a drawing hand like an open-ended straight or a flush draw. You hope to take the pot down then, but even if your opponent calls, you have a good chance of making a firm hand. If you get raised, it’s time to let go of the hand and fold, unless you’re getting the right pot odds to call.
It’s vital to Remember
That you don’t need to bluff to win at Poker, especially if you’re new to the game. It’s better to play on platforms like MPL, which are RNG certified and provide secure gameplay.