It is a widely known fact about poker that if you cannot bluff players off better hands, you’re not playing the game right. Or at least you won’t be making enough money without bluffing.
There is no problem in playing tight. But your poker opponents must know that you’re capable of bluffing now and again otherwise your game becomes almost too predictable and easy to play against. Let’s go through some tips that will help you when it comes to bluffing in poker. You cannot be the best bluffer overnight, but reading and applying different tips can help you improve your game!
It’s Not Always About The Money
When you sit down to play poker, you shouldn’t be thinking in terms of real-world money. The chips you have in front of you are just big blinds, and you should see them as such. This will take time getting used to but once you do, it’ll help you become better at bluffing. You will not be able to pull off good bluffs unless you keep associating every bet with something you could buy with that money instead! It’ll make you hesitant and you must be confident when you’re bluffing. Otherwise, it’ll be easier for experienced players to realise what you’re doing and completely outplay you.
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Learn How To Tell A Story
You cannot simply bluff whenever you want. Your bluff needs to make sense. Any decent player will be able to call you out if your bluff does not make sense. Think about what you’re trying to represent before going through with the bluff. Weaker players do not understand this concept of poker properly and will fold to your bets. Sometimes you’ll tell a perfect story and still get picked off. This doesn’t mean that you’re bad at bluffing. Some players just hate folding. While your bluffs won’t work all the time, if you pick your poker spots carefully, you can add a lot of poker chips in your stack by pulling the trigger.
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Your Body Language Says A Lot More About You
Exclusively important for Live Poker, body language is also very important when you’re making moves. Physical tells are very important in a live poker game and experienced poker players will pick you off. There’s not much you can do once your hands start shaking and breathing becomes heavy. You’ll have to deal with this with experience. One way is to keep a fixed posture when playing an important hand. Of course, you have to do this when you’re not bluffing as well. Simply find a certain posture that you’re comfortable with and stick with it every time you get involved in a significant pot. While this won’t get rid of all tells, it will certainly make it much more difficult for your poker opponents to pick off any solid reads.
Learn How To Pick The Best Spots
When you’re bluffing, you need to have something to go your way. It could be a favorable situation or an opponent who’s not likely to call off a big raise. You must be experienced and good enough to find spots like these. There’s not really a definite way of doing this but we can provide you with some basic poker guidelines.
- Don’t bluff calling stations – they don’t fold enough.
- Avoid bluffing players who are tilting.
- Always be on the lookout for scare cards: over-cards, cards completing obvious draws, etc.
- Bluff more against shorter stacks – they don’t have enough chips to speculate.
- At the same time, avoid super-short stacks. They might be too committed.
There aren’t going to be many hands where you can spot all of the above, but making an educated bluff is better than simply punting in your chips!
Do Not Bluff In Multiway Pots
You won’t find a lot of pro poker players winning big pots against multiple opponents by bluffing. With multiple players involved in the pot, it becomes increasingly difficult to pull off a successful bluff. You can always try to steal if nobody else has shown interest yet, but once you get a call or two, it’s time to slow down and take a small hit rather than trying to make something out of a nothing hand forcibly. Becoming a good bluffer is an important part of poker. It is one of the must have skills in the game of poker. You must be able to win hands when you don’t have to “best hand”!
Hopefully these tips will help you improve your poker game and take down some big pots along the way!