Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Poker – how and when to bluff

Bluffing is one of the hardest but most important and fundamental aspects of poker. If you don’t ever bluff in poker then there is no way you will be a successful poker player,you can learn much about this in a poker school. Having said this, it’s also important to remember that bluffing requires you to have sense, timing and guts otherwise you won’t pull the bluff off. When you are caught bluffing, it can be frightening or embarrassing, but when you get away with it, it can be exciting and rewarding. When you play in a poker tournament or for fun with the same group of people regularly, you may start to spot patterns in their behaviour when they are bluffing or have a good hand. This behaviour is called a ‘tell'. A ‘tell’ is when you do something without even realising that you are doing it, and it gives away to the people you are playing against what your hand is. Some one may always go very quiet when they have a strong hand, or talk a lot when they are bluffing.They might always jiggle one leg or poke their tongue out slightly when they are bluffing, and in this way you can learn a lot about their strategy and how they play.When you
play poker online, tells become much less of an issue as you are not face to face with your opponents, so you can’t use this method to gauge their actions.At the same time of course, they can’t use it to gauge yours either, so the score is evened. How and when should you bluff? – This is a good question, and the only real answer to it is that you should only bluff when you feel that the other players will fold. After all the idea if you bluff at the times when most people will bluff you are less likely to gain from it than you will if you bluff at other times instead. For example, most people will bluff when there is a big pot to be won. While bluffing in these situations might sometimes be the appropriate thing to do, they are usually not. Bluffing is a deception; you are trying to look like you have something when you don’t. So try bluffing on a smaller pot for example and you may find yourself coming out on top. Having said all this, if you constantly bluff under the same circumstances then you will find yourself in the situation where people will start to learn your pattern, so it’s important to not be too regular in how and when you bluff. Maybe think about bluffing in situations where other players wouldn’t think of doing so, bluff from an early position, don’t take extra cards, or bluff when you have drawn 3 cards and not when you’ve drawn 1. It’s in these unusual situations that people will think there’s no possible way you could be bluffing and may fold giving you the win.

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