- Are you tired of losing money at the poker table?
- The ultimate guide for bluffing your way to riches
Bluffing is a widely renowned tactic in the poker universe. Even those who barely know anything about poker recognises the bluff tactic.
It can be difficult to master, but with this guide, you’ll be the champion of the poker table (and every other domain that calls for bluffing) in no time at all.
Firstly, it’s important to know what to avoid whilst bluffing other players. Perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice when it comes to the art of deception is to be conscious of how many people you’re trying to bluff.
If you’re playing against one of two people then your chances of bluffing your way to success could be considerably higher, but if you’re sitting with a table full of players then it’s much more likely that one of them will have a strong hand, and will call your bluff.
Bluffy the Poker Slayer
Another important thing to remember when bluffing is to try and veer away from bluffing people who are much better or much worse at poker than you are.
This is because a seasoned poker professional will be able to call you out on your bluff because they will be more skilled and experienced hand readers.
On the flip side, if you’re bluffing a total novice then, once again, your bluff is more than likely to be called out because they might not know when or how to fold.
In general, you’re probably going to have a better chance of bluffing your way to success if the other people you’re playing with have suggested they have a weak hand after they’ve checked, opposed to bluffing after the other players have placed their bets.
Fake it ‘til you make it
The key thing to remember when you’re attempting to bluff your way to success is that you’re trying to imply that you have a strong hand that’s going to help you win the game.
WATCH: Doug Polk talks through some crazy poker bluffs
The more you imply that you have a very strong hand, such as a straight/three of a kind/ flush, the more likely it will be that your opponents will fold with a medium strength hand, leaving you to take home the gold.
By turning up the heat at the table and putting more pressure on the other players, you’re increasing the chances of them folding, even if they themselves have quite a good hand.
Perhaps the best time to bluff is once all the cards are on the table. This is a great time to practice your bluffing skills, but it’s also important that you remember not to overdo it, as this could lead to you becoming predictable, which in turn heightens the risk of losing money.
It’s very important that your bluffs are believable; sometimes it can be valuable to let your bluffs be called in order to make your bluffing tactics seem more legitimate.
The best players to target with bluffing is perhaps players with a medium sized stack of chips. Medium stacks are the perfect target for bluffing because there’s a higher chance that these individuals will play more conservatively and will appear less desperate to win whilst they’re playing. This means that it’s more likely that they will fold when you’re bluffing. Avoid bluffing people with smaller stacks of chips, as they will be attempting to get more money by betting strong amounts, and perhaps even going all in.
Play it cool
Bluffing when the stakes are high works well when you have a middle or better stack, as there will be more pressure on those with smaller stacks as they will be playing catch-up with the rest of the players.
In times like this when people are trying to catch up, it can be easy to call out other players on their bluff, thus making it look like you’re not bluffing and increasing your chances of winning.
The final trick in bluffing your way to success comes down to your persona whilst you’re playing; whether that be through the means of a stone cold, unchanging poker face, or a fun and playful personality, it’s important that you keep up appearances.
Successful bluffing all boils down to making sure that nobody knows that you’re bluffing. It’s also important to remember that if you get into a showdown situation where you have to show your cards, you should fold before this happens if you have a weak hand to protect your bluffing persona – and your wallet.
READ: Our guide to poker that goes beyond just bluffing.
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