Poker is a game of skill unlike other casino games; blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and slot machines, where you are playing the house, in poker you are playing against other people. With the factor or human error present, the skilled poker player can exploit narrow edges in the game and thus make a profit in the long term. One of the poker professional’s tools in his arsenal is the art of the poker bluff.
In simple terms, the poker bluff is to pretend that the hand you have is better than what you are holding. The player bluffing will then put more money/chips into the bet in the hope that it will make the other player lay down what they have.
Poker bluff – Successful Bluffing
The complexities of the game of poker and the art of bluffing are far too deep for the scope of this article but in short, a skilled player will bluff based upon information gathered from the situation and the reputations of both, himself and the players involved in the hand.
If you are a conservative player and generally only play strong hands like AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, AK, AQ aggressively, then your opponents at the table will soon equate you to this style of play. Therefore, occasionally you will be able to play a weak hand as if you had a bigger one – a bluff, and your opponents are more likely to fold because they have you down as a player who does not take many risks.
A more complex style of the poker bluff is a style brought upon by the emergence of online poker. This style of loose aggressive play centres upon getting involved in many hands pre-flop and betting and raising from all sorts of positions. This is bluffing because the opponents at the table don’t know when the player is strong or weak, pre-flop, because he simply bets so many hands. Equally, when the flop is dealt, it is difficult to tell if this loose aggressive player has now made a great hand out of a bad starting hand.
Poker bluff – Reading Bluffs made on you
If you are playing live at a casino or in a home game, you might be able to discover a poker bluff by engaging your opponent in conversation during the hand or studying their body language throughout the game to see how they react. How do they sit when they had a strong hand? Can you remember what body movements they made when they got caught bluffing?
Online it is a lot more difficult to tell when a player is bluffing, and you probably shouldn’t rely on it as a tool. You can possibly study the timing of a player – how quickly he bets when strong, and if he takes his time when a little weaker and thinking about the situation.
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