There is an old poker adage that if you can’t beat them then bluff them. Bluffing may come as a second nature to a seasoned pro, it doesn’t come naturally always to others. For many real money poker players, bluffing means taking unnecessary risks, but this shouldn’t be the case. The reality is bluffing is a necessary part of poker. If you are to take chips off the weaker players and exploit tight playing styles and not to mention warding off aggressive players from the own stack – you need to add bluff to the game. So here are 4 pockets of wisdom to help you become a better bluffer.
Avoid Bluffing Against Novices
The novice players are impulsive, often they call in situations where more experienced players would pass. Their erratic and unreasoned moves make bluffing extremely difficult as beginners will often than not be willing to call off large chunks of the stack with mediocre hands. They will also be prone to overvaluing hands and making loose calls. Sometimes it can work to your advantage against calling stations by extracting value when you think they are floating the flop or chasing a draw, the pro players would advise avoiding bluffing against the players who fold rarely or don’t know what they are doing.
Pick Moments Carefully
The key to good bluff is timing. Pick the moments carefully by establishing who is playing loose or tight, passive or aggressive and then tailor bluffs to particular players. Bluffing against a loose aggressive player could be futile. While an occasional pre-flop raise in late position against a tight player can be an effective way to steal blinds. So don’t go overboard.
Bluff in Position
A player who has sat down at the table knows the importance of position. It is the weapon of choice for may seasoned bluffers as it allows to make more informed decision based on the actions of opponents. For example, if you are playing against two opponents who checked flop and turn on scary board, you may want to use this opportunity to put in a raise and steal the pot. If you sat on the button and the action checks round to you, you could put in raise against small and big blinds to steal the chips. It is a common strategy to use around the bubble when the players start to tighten up in an effort to make money. Don’t do this often as the SB and BB will become wise to what you are doing and play back at you. You should consider throwing away your hand.
Consider the Table Image
If you have been playing lots of pots, pushing people off hands and putting in raises then you should consider the table image carefully. You may want to avoid over-bluffing as others will take advantage of the loose style and trap you when they have a premium holding.
On the other hand, you have a developed tight table image and avoided playing many pots, you can use this to your advantage by representing a strong hand when you are weak. So consider the table image and play real money poker online game and see how others perceive you will help to make bluffs at the right time and against the right players.