Telling lies is something we’re conditioned to see as a bad thing. We’re taught from a young age that the truth is always the best way forward. But that isn’t strictly true when it comes to playing a good game of poker.
Unfortunately, one of the only ways to be a good poker player is to master the art of bluffing. Or at least take advantage of the threat that you might be bluffing at any given time.
When you play poker, you’re not just playing the game, you’re playing the other players. Reading other people and guessing their next move is imperative when playing a good game of poker.
When you’re playing games of poker, it’s as much about how you play the cards as it is about the cards you’ve been dealt. It is possible to still play a bad hand well.
When you’re playing poker, you’re playing the players as well as the game. Well, this is just as much true for you too. You have to consider how you look to your other players if you’re going to have a successful bluff.
Consider what other players will think when you make certain moves. Take note of who seems most observant and what it is about you that they could be observing. If you seem like someone who is making conscious decisionsand only betting when they have good cards, your bluffs are more likely to be believable.
However, if you look like the type of player who just throws bets around and makes decisions that aren’t well thought out, you’re less likely to be believed.
Most people play poker to let loose and have a good time. This means that there tends to be some kind of alcohol flowing when a game is being played. Of course, having a fun time playing poker is top priority.
However, if you’re looking to improve your game and improve your chances of winning, you might want to keep the beers to a minimum. Alcohol is great at impairing our judgement and making us think that we’re being smarter or more subtle than we actually are. Therefore, keeping the drinks to a reasonable level is going to be beneficial for your game.
When it comes to choosing who to bluff on the table, you’ve got to choose wisely. Bluffing works best when you pick one or two players to bluff against. It’s a lot more difficult to bluff against the whole table as there is too much to consider.
But how do you choose who you’re bluffing against? You want a player that’s good enough at the game that they’re not just going to call or fold. You want someone who is going to take the bait but not guess that it’s you who’s bluffing.
Equally as important, you want someone who is still in the game enough to want to take a risk. If you’ve got a player who’s already on the up and isn’t looking pretty comfortable, they might not be the one to choose. They are going to be too cautious and will want to ensure that they go home with the stack that they’ve already accumulated.
You could have a good enough player to bluff against but if they’re easily distracted or having too many drinks to play well, they’re not going to be the best choice either. You’ve got to ensure your chosen player is good enough to take your bluff, not doing so well that they’re going to be cautious and not someone who is going to be distracted.
Take all of these things into consideration and you’ve got yourself the perfect player to bluff against.
Arguably the most important thing to consider before you bluff is where you are in the game. If you’re doing well in the game already and have a good chancethat you’re going to end the game with some moneyin the pot, you might consider not bluffing and just riding out the game.
However, if it’s still early in the game and you think it’s worth putting a bluff in to secure some cash, then it’s good to go for it.
If you’re looking to be cautious with your bluff, you can always use a semi bluff rather than a full bluff. This is when the hand you have has a chance of improvement or a chance to get their opponent to fold.
Bluffing in poker can be a difficult phenomenon to get your headaround in the beginning. But with some practice and the right hand, you can bluff your way to success.