Bluffing is a method that is usually linked with poker. It is very useful and it can bring you wins even when you are not so lucky with the cards. However using bluffs is not something that should be done randomly and when you feel like that. It should be done carefully and only against serious players with serious stakes. Think about it. Why wouldn’t someone check your cards if the stakes are low? If it is a small amount that is in play other players might call just out of curiosity. Always remember that the main reason for bluffing is to force the other players to fold.
Almost every serious poker player is familiar with the A-K play after the flop. It is a strategy where you raise the pot although you didn’t get anything useful. This is a pure example of simple but yet profitable bluff. But in order to be good at bluffing you need to consider few factors that will help you win – Image, Stack, Position, Opponents and Reading.
When we talk about image, if you are a kind of player that rises and calls too often then bluffing might not be the right strategy for you. The opponents will “read” you and instead of folding they will follow you until the end. That’s why you need to play calm and appear that you are very cautious, so every player on the table will think that you only play safe and that you don’t bluff at all. If you want to create this kind of image then don’t start with the bluffs from the beginning of the game. Let the game develop and create your image steadily.
Another factor that needs to be considered while bluffing is the stack. You can’t bluff with small stacks; the stack needs to be big enough so that you can have space to bluff. We will give you a short example – if the pot is high and your opponent has 1/3 of the stack left then it is not a good moment for bluffing. It is most likely that he will call whatever amount of money you raise.
Position on the table is also very important when it comes to bluffing. So, whenever you try to make a good bluff check your position on the table. The most important thing is your position compared to the one of the dealer and after that the position compared to other potentially dangerous players. With the help of your position you can see how players react and see if they are weak or strong and calm.
Bluff against opponents that look smart. They are very cautious and wait for their cards to come. They often play safe and fold. That’s the type of opponent that you are looking for.
If you think that you have read your opponent take advantage of that. If you think that he has a pair of Jacks or Queens and there is an Ace on the table then make a bluff. He is scared of that card and you can act like that card was all you were looking for. If you can’t read him then stop the bluff because there is no point of bluffing.
Don’t place all your hopes on bluffing but using it occasionally can help you a lot!