Tips on Bluffing in Poker

Bluffing is like sleeping with your neighbor. You know it’s wrong but it sure is fun. Getting caught is even worse but it is bound to happen. Poker is the only game where deception is a positive. I can’t say the same for your love life.

Bluffing is extremely important in poker and even more in No Limit poker. If you are playing advanced players then you are going to need to learn how to bluff properly.  You should note that when playing a weaker player bluffing is much less important.

Basics of Bluffing

Making sure that the pot is worth bluffing at is a key point. Bluffing your stack away on a small pot is not fun, so don’t do it because it’s not worth it. Don’t be mistaken, it is ok to bluff and pick up small pots but if you find yourself risking all your chips for small pots then you need to reevaluate.

Who Bluffs Alot?

Believe it or not US poker players have always seemed more apt (is that a word?) to bluff and call bluffs.  I notice that players from the UK and Europe always seemed like tighter players.

Getting Caught is Good

Why would getting caught bluffing be a good thing? If your opponent doesn’t think you bluff then you will never get paid off with your big hands. Your opponent will know that when you bet big you have a hand. This is a terrible thing.

When you advertise your bluffs it puts doubt into your players mind. Putting doubt in your opponents mind will force them into tough decisions during big pots. Getting paid off with your big hands is what poker is all about. If you find that everyone always folds when you bet big with a good hand, try advertising your bluffs every once in awhile.


A semi bluff is when you make your stand at a pot with a drawing hand or a marginal hand. Semi bluffs are common during flush draws or straight draws. The semi bluff will give you a chance to pick up the pot right then and there. If you get caught you always have odds to catch the best hand. Semi-bluffing is very powerful and mastering this skill is what will make you a fierce and feared competitor.

Most poker pros like to re-raise with flush draws which puts their competitor in a tough decision. Put yourself in your opponent’s shoes. He’s thinking, “Damn, he could have me beat right now. Even if I don’t have him beat if he has that flush draw he’ll probably suck out on me anyway. I’m just going to fold because even if he doesn’t have me beat he’ll river me.”

When Not to Bluff….

When you’re up against a weak player
Bluffing weak players is a no, no. You want to play text book strategy when playing the newbie at the table. Bluffing a sucker will make you start talking to yourself and will only piss you off. They will just call you because they don’t know any better.

When too many players are in the pot

Bluffing against a lot of callers is obviously a bad thing. It’s like jumping into an ant hill. You’re bound to get bit. With a lot of callers the chances just went up exponentially that someone will have a hand whether it is a draw or an actual good hand.  You’re much better off bluffing in short handed poker games.

When you’ve been bluffing a lot

Your opponent is bound to take a stand against you sometime. If you’ve been stealing pots left and right you’re going to piss some people off. They’ll get annoyed and start calling you with crap. Again, use this as a positive. Start over betting you big hands and you will surely get callers. They will call you out of pure frustration. If you attempt to continually bluff you’re probably going to start getting called a lot.

When the flop is scaryYou really don’t want to bluff into a really dangerous pot. Players don’t like to lay down big pairs especially after a raise pre flop. If you raised preflop and the flop comes with face cards you generally shouldn’t bluff. If they have a piece of the flop you are likely to get called.

Use Your Table Image to Bluff

If you are known as a tight player then its time to break out of your shell and start bluffing. If your opponents think you never bluff then why the hell not use it as your strength. Start bluffing and stealing small pots. They’ll never expect it. Heck you can even get players to lay down monsters if they think you are a tight player. Being known as a tight player can be a great thing especially towards the end of poker tournaments. Go ahead and use your tight image to take down the large lucrative blinds.

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