Understanding bluffing & why it needs to be perfected

Bluffing is something that the majority of poker players and non-poker players think that they understand well. And while some might know the basis of what it means to bluff (an act of deception that’s made to make a weak hand appear stronger than it is), what many don’t know is that bluffing is an art that needs to be perfected.

You can’t just walk into a casino and think that bluffing at a poker table is going to make you a lot of money. Making the art of bluffing work for you is going to take a lot more thought and work than that.

Picking your spots

If you don’t know how to pick your spots correctly, you’ll never be able to pull off a bluff, regardless of how many tips and tricks you read on APNET.COM Casino. When it comes to bluffing, there are six specifics that you’ll need to take into account, and they are:

1.       Your table image

2.       Your opponent(s)

3.       Your position

4.       The betting history of the hand

5.       Bet sizing

6.       The strength of your hand

Table Image

This element will be a huge deciding factor in how well your bluffs play out. How your opponents perceive you as a player – whether they see you as tight or loose – will ultimately determine how likely they are to call your bets.

Your Opponent(s)

At the end of the day it’s your opponents who control whether your bluff is successful or not. The key to pulling off an effective bluff is to play against the right player(s). The fewer number of players you bluff against, the less likely you are to be called so always keep that in mind.

Positioning

This refers to the position that you’re in with respect to the remaining player or players that are left in the hand. Ideally, you’d like to see how everyone else at the table acts before you make a bluffing move which means that being in a late position is the best case scenario.

Betting History

You should view each hand as a narrative, and betting patterns should be the main component of that narrative. Your bets should fit in with other bets that you’ve placed to be really believed by your opponents.

Bet Sizes

You should always be conscious of bet sizes when playing no limit hold’em. In doing so, your aim should be to bet the least amount that you think is necessary to make your opponent(s) fold their hand(s). And while some might think that the higher the amount they bet, the more likely it is that someone will fold, this isn’t always true.

Instead of just throwing away chips and over-betting, think of a threshold beyond which you think your opponent(s) will not call. The aim is to get as close to this number as possible to ensure that your bluff is successful.

Strength of your hand

Making a bet knowing that your hand has zero chance of winning is out and out bluffing, and you’ll need to seriously consider all of the above if you want to win the hand without having to show them cards. Having a hand that could improve as the hand plays out (let’s say you have a flush or straight draw) is more like a semi-bluff and should you hit some cards, there’s a chance you’ll win if the hand plays out to the river.

With all of that said; there’s definitely a time and a place to bluff, and you’ll have to take the above points into account if you’re to be successful at it. 

- This article was written by guest writer Preston Fabear

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