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A Beginner’s Guide to Bluffing in Poker

Note: This guide is for BEGINNERS and runs through basic strategies. You will need to adjust when playing against stronger opponents.

Truths About Poker

Poker is widely enjoyed by many who play in poker bars, casinos, well-known poker houses and online. Poker is a game that requires a ton of experience to be able to master it. Through experience you learn the strategies you need to beat your opponents. You will learn how to read people and their reactions and be able to use it against them.

The game will also teach you how to control your emotions and be calm during tough and tricky situations. Another skill you need to have is knowing how to bluff. Yes, bluffing is an essential part of the game and this article will teach you how to use the art of bluffing the correct way.

Bluffing in Poker

Bluffing in poker is a necessary skill to have if you want to be successful playing it. Learning how to use it effectively is a weapon that you can always use against your opponents.

Many people that are not really familiar with the game says that if you know how to bluff then you can play poker. That is not true although it makes sense. You need to know how to bluff effectively, that is to know when to use it and whom to use it against. Anyone can bluff but great poker players know how to use it to their advantage. I said earlier that poker will teach you how to read people and their reactions, this is an essential ability to have to be able to bluff successfully.

Bluffing in poker does not always work. It can be very dangerous and hurt your chip stack or bankroll. Using a bluff the wrong way can cause you lose a lot of money. Always take note that your opponents also know how to bluff and play the game.

I say bluffing is easy but knowing when to bluff and to use it against is key. When you are new in a poker community, you have an advantage because they have no idea how you play. But you too will have no knowledge of their game.

See to it that you get a good feel of the game as well as your opponents before engaging yourself to the game. Observe how they play. Study their body movements and facial reactions in different situations. If you are able to do this, you may have the upper hand against them.

When to bluff

Knowing when to bluff is crucial. If you bluffed and bet at the wrong time it will really cost you the game and your money. Here are some of the situations which can be a good time to use a bluff.

On the button
After the flop the last to act is the person positioned as the dealer or has the dealer button. The dealer button is at the right side of the small blind player and has the privilege to act last. If following the flop, the players all checked, it means their cards may not be set or are still waiting for something. It is another perfect situation to take advantage and ultimately win the pot.

If you raised before the flop
If you raised before the flop and continues to bet after the flop it will give them the impression that you already holding a strong hand. Unless your opponent has something like top pair, they are unlikely to call your bet. Eventually they will have to fold leaving you to collect the pot.

Against small stacks
A player with a small stack is just waiting for a strong hand, and until that they will play really tight. Aggressively betting against them is a good idea. They will either fold or make a move. They will not risk their money unless they already have a good hand pre-flop or hit the flop hard. So if a player with a small stack bets and raises, more often than not they really have a strong hand.

After playing consecutive strong hands
If you played consecutive strong hands, regardless of whether you won the pot or not, this will give them the impression that you play with strong hands. It will make them re-evaluate their decisions if you raise the pot. In this case you have the upper hand on your opponent, bluffing will be a good option here. Just be careful and use your other poker skills to claim the pot.

When on a draw
A ‘semi-bluff’ is the term used when a player bets while waiting for a card to complete a straight or a flush or other strong hand. After a flop where you only need a card, and you think your opponent is in the same situation as you, then use the semi-bluff tactic. By raising the pot it will add more pressure to your opponent and let them think you already have your cards set. Your opponent might give up and fold leaving the pot to you.

When not to bluff

It is also important to know when not to bluff in poker. The worst time you should bluff is when other players expect you to do so. If you have a reputation of bluffing in certain situations, then your opponents are expecting that you will do the same thing over and over again. If you are caught bluffing very recently, you should wait for a good hand to play with and let them believe that you are a straight player.

Bluffing against a lot of players is not a good idea, you might just want to play it cool when most or all the players are playing. Odds are you will encounter a good hand along the way.

Another situation considered bad for bluffing is when you are on a tilt. An amateur player most likely will never know that he is on a tilt but an experienced and a good poker player will. After losing a big hand or a series of hands will cause you to play on a tilt. And you will make more wrong decisions than before. Learn how to avoid tilt by using this guide on managing tilt at the poker table.

Nowadays, you don’t have to go far to be able to play poker, particularly due to online poker. Play to master your general poker skills. To master the art of bluffing in poker is an extra Ace up your sleeve. Just remember to use it wisely and timely.

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