Bluffing is an art. It’s a set of techniques used at the poker table to manipulate opponents’ decisions. Betting or raising with mediocre hands to make opponents believe that you hold a strong hand and fold their better hands is called bluffing.
If you are a conservative player who never bluffes and plays predictably (you only enter the pot with a strong hand), the opponents quickly fold their marginal hands without contributing much to the pot. If a player bluffs too often, the opponents will no longer take their bets seriously and call or raise without hesitation. For this reason, it is important to follow a mixed strategy that suits the current situation.
There are different types of bluffs that a player can perform at the gaming table. The decision to make a bluff must be based on the number of opponents, their gameplay (skills, experience, betting patterns, game tendencies), position, stack size, table image, etc. Frequently used and profitable form of bluff on the poker continuation bet.
What is a Continuation Bet?
If a player raises preflop and continues in the rounds (flop, turn, and river), the bet is called a continuation bet. If he calls the blinds, raises the pre-flop and the opponent checks, he bets again to give the impression that he has a better hand than his opponent. Even if the flop does not help to improve the hand, the player fakes strength so that the opponent folds his cards.
Factors to consider before making a continuation bet:
1- It is better to use the continuation bet only in a heads-up game. One or two players can bluff, but if you play against multiple players, chances are your bluff will ultimately be unsuccessful. If your “before the flop” bet is called by many players, it’s an indication that someone is holding a better hand than you.
2- You can not determine which cards your opponent actually holds. If the card consists of high cards (k, Q, J) and your opponent calls your bet, you must deduce which card helped him to create the hand and how long he might stay in the game. If you can not find a clear answer, do not stop.
3- The insert should not be too low or too high. If the stakes are low, the opponent may consider him as an invitation and think about trying with an average hand. If you bet too high, you risk more money than necessary, eg. Put Rs. 1800 in Rs. 1000 pot rather than a relatively small bet of Rs. 900.
4- Choose the opponent to bluff by carefully checking his skill and style of play. Avoid a continuation bet against calling stations. The opponents who rarely fold their hands can call your bet with any type of hand and steal the pot. Continue as little as possible on continuation bet to determine the strength of your cards by watching your game and calling, raising, or checking your bets without a single thought.
5- Being in position helps, as you can see the actions of all your opponents before you make your move. You can fold your cards before you enter the pot, if you have a bad hand and the situation is not suitable for a bluff.
It’s not easy to fool an experienced opponent in poker. But it is also not possible to always have the best cards. It often happens that your strong hand that puts you in the pot gets worse on the river. In this situation, you can use this Bluff strategy to attack your opponent with aggression to deter him and take the pot.