A “bluff” manipulates the opponent’s thoughts and strategies by expressing your false motives and causing him to fold his good cards. If you have a strong hand, you are limping to make your opponent believe that you have an inferior hand, so he will invest more money into the pot. You play aggressively when you play with an average hand to get them to bet better cards.
Bluffing is a technique that sounds easy, but its successful execution depends on observation, timing, and proper planning. Since you must give the impression that you have a great hand to encourage your opponent to act in the way you want and change your decision, it is crucial to develop a game plan. You can also win potts with junk hands, but you must carefully choose the cards and your opponents before taking the risk.
Here are some valuable tips that can help you achieve a successful bluff on the gaming table:
Choose the Right Opponents
It is important to know what type of opponent you are playing before you make your move. You must observe the opponents’ body language and betting patterns to assess their abilities and experience and to determine the strength of their hand cards. A calling station (a player who always calls) usually never folds his cards. A beginner will call your bluff without paying any attention to your previous records, scope of use, etc., even for a microsecond. A passive player who regularly complies with aggressive bets is the perfect choice to make a bluff. Bluff only if you play against a maximum of 2 players. Bluffing against more than 2 players increases the likelihood that someone will have a hand good enough to call your bet.
Create a table image
Your table image will help you to perform a bluff. If you’re a tight-lipped player who plays very selective hands, your bluff on the table will be respected. But if you are a casual player who tends to play every single hand, the opponents will call your bet without a single thought. Since a tight player fits very often, the chances of making a successful bluff against him are very high. You can try to bluff him, but if he calls or raises again, it is better to fold your cards if you do not have a strong hand. The bluff just does not work against loose players as they come into the pot with shitty hands.
Play the position
Position plays an important role in contributing to the success of your bluff. If you are the last to act, you can make better decisions by watching the behavior of your opponents. Your decision to bluff should always be based on the information you have about your opponents and their hand strength. You can also semi-bluff at the tables according to the situation (bets with an incomplete hand with the expectation that this will improve in the coming rounds).
Convincing opponents that you have a better hand than them is no easy task. That’s why it’s important to learn the art of bluffing if you want to become a successful poker player.