Bluffing in poker is when you bet or raise with the purpose of just making the rest of players to fold a better hand than yours, which would make you win the pot in the process. It is, then, the act of deception where you try to make you hand less weaker than it really is.
Bluffing is a poker element you need to incorporate to your poker game, especially if you want to become a solid player. Even if it’s true that you can bluff at any time during the game, the best strategy if you want to learn how to bluff in poker is to wait for the most opportune time, which means whenever you thing the rest of players will fold most often. In this post, we’ll try to give you the 4 clues you need to master to decide when it’s worthy or not to bluff.
4 clues if you want to learn how to bluff in poker
Ultimately, your opponents will be the ones who determine whether your bluff is successful or not by folding or calling. There are different types of poker players and you need to pick those players it would be safer to bluff against.
Strength of your hand
First we want to talk about semi-bluffs, those bluffs you can make when a hand is combined to improve as the hand develops. These are bluffs with a way to win even when they don’t necessarily win outright as a bluff. These kind of bluffs are better than a pure bluff (when your hand has no chance of success unless the other player folds).
Our recommendation to bluff is to bet the least amount necessary to get your opponent to fold. Some people use to think that this means they should bet more in order to make the rest of players to fold, but this is rarely true.
Another thing you need to take into account about how to bluff in poker is the position you are in relative to the remaining players. That way, you will be able to see how the player reacts before you decide if you bluff or not. If he checks, presume he is weak and bet. But if you are the first to bet or check, you will lose the advantage of watching his reaction to the board.
How to bluff in poker and win
It is not a secret that in order to bluff and be successful you will need to be an aggressive player. Of course, we are not talking about blind aggressiveness, but a carefully selected one only in this cases:
♦ The lesser players in a hand, the more likely you should bluff.
♠ Making your image not look overly aggressive, especially if you have been bluffing previously.
♥ Looking for poker tells in your opponents and hiding your own poker tells. Hand-reading the rest of the players is the key to acknowledge the strength of their hands, which will help you to decide if your bluff will succeed.
♣ Attack the weakness of your opponents, but don’t do it mindlessly.
How to spot a poker bluff?
To understand how to bluff in poker is also important to learn how to spot a poker bluff. We have already said that it will be an easier game for you if you get an idea of the strength of their hands. Poker tells are important for you to understand so you can determine if a player is strong or weak. Here are some common bluffs to look out for:
♦ Stiff or relaxed postures can tell if someone has a strong hand or if he’s just bluffing.
♠ Eye movements are quite important and the reason why many players wear sunglasses while playing. Check out pupil dilation, if the player is looking at the flop non-stop or even if he’s looking away.
♥ How they bet is also important: the number of chips they use, if they do some grandiose gesture when betting…