Tips to Better Bluffing
ten tips will help you become a better bluffer. All were culled
from the four-part series on bluffing.
is tricky business. You never know for sure if you'll be called,
or if you'll be able to steal a pot out from under your opponent's
nose. The next time you're inclined to perform larceny at
the poker table, keep these ten tips in mind.
Be aware of how many players you'll have to bluff your way
through. While one or even two players can be bluffed, unless
you really have strong reasons to believe you'll succeed,
just don't think about trying to bluff more than two opponents.
A bluff doesn't have to work to make it the correct decision.
After all, you're usually just risking one bet to win an entire
pot full of bets. Bluffing only has to work some of the time
to be the right choice. And even when you're caught, a bluff
can be successful if it causes opponents to call when you
are betting a strong hand.
Avoid bluffing players who are either experts or brain dead.
Instead, aim your bluffs at good opponents. Poor players will
usually call "…to keep you honest," while experts are more
likely to see through your chicanery.
Some players will bluff just to "advertise." There's no need
to do that. Bluff if you believe you have a reasonable chance
to succeed. You'll get plenty of advertising value because
some of your bluffs will be picked off regardless of how well
you assess your chances for success.
5 Never bluff a hopeless hand when there are more cards
to come. Instead, think about semibluffing, which allows
you to win the pot two ways: Your opponents may fold, or you
might hit your draw.
If all of your opponents check on the previous betting round,
it's a good opportunity to bluff. It's even better if they've
all checked on an expensive betting round. But you chances
are diminished if the newly exposed cards appear to have helped
one of your opponents.
Bluffs that seem to represent specific hands, such as a flush
or a straight, have a much better chance to succeed than bets
that appear to come out of the blue.
It's much easier to bluff players who have shown weakness
by checking, than to bluff those who have shown strength by
betting on the preceding round.
If you play the kinds of starting hands recommended in Hold'Em
Excellence and MORE Hold'em
Excellence, you'll have a tight, aggressive image. This
kind of image has a much better chance of running a successful
bluff than a player with a loose image. If you are seen as
selective, tight, and aggressive, your opponents will not
suspect a bluff when you bet. When you have a license to steal,
10 When all the cards are out, you can attempt a bluff
if you have nothing. But if you have enough to beat a draw,
save that additional bet and try to win in a showdown.
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