If you’re intent on mastering the art of poker games, then there’s no doubt about it – you need to master the art of bluffing. Although by no means a tactic you should employ with every hand, learning to bluff is an essential part of the game. Today we provide our top five tips for bluffing like the pros. Look out Las Vegas – here you come!
1 –Choosing who to bluff against
Each and every poker player has a slightly different playing style. This means it’s important to observe your opponents in order to establish who you have the best chance of bluffing against. As a general rule, you have more chance of a successful bluff if you do it head to head, rather than hoping to bluff the whole table. Where possible, study your opponents playing history prior to your game so you can familiarise themselves with how they’ve played in the past, and therefore how they’re likely to play on game day.
2 – Consider your image
Just as you’ll be researching your opponent, your opponent will be researching you. How you present yourself plays a huge part in whether or not you’ll be successful in the art of bluffing. For example, if you have a reputation for being a tight player, your bets are more likely to be believed than if you’re known for being a bit of a loose cannon. Consider how others are likely to perceive you and bluff accordingly.
3 –The history of the hand
When bluffing, you need to make sure that how you bluff fits in with the how the game has been going so far. It needs to feel natural. Any play that’s out of character enough to raise an eyebrow is likely to be called out.
4 – Your position on the table
Before you decide to bluff, you need to think about your position around the table. Late positions are more advantageous for this, as they allow you to see how your opponent is reacting to the board. As a general rule, if your opponent checks, you can go ahead and presume he’s worried and bet. Having to bet or check first makes it a little trickier to bluff. This is of course a general rule – there’s a chance you could be playing against someone who knows you’re more likely to bluff if you’re in a late position around the table. That’s the beauty of the bluff – you never really know!
5 – Limit your bluffs
Although bluffing is an essential part of poker, you shouldn’t come to rely on it. If you want to be a successful player, you need to learn how to play without bluffing. What you need to learn to identify is when to bluff. You should be capable of winning without this tactic.