To master the art of playing poker, you have to acquire a certain skill-set. Apart from learning how to observe and analyse your opponent’s behaviour, you should also become an expert at bluffing.
If you follow poker news closely, you might have come across a few stories that depict an unlikely scenario: a player with a terrible hand, competing against some of the toughest players out there, managed to buy the pot and trick the rest of the players.
Pro poker players like Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan managed to reach stardom status thanks to their ability to deceive everyone else sitting at the table. Do you think you will be able to do that when faced with professional poker players? And what about when you play poker online?
If you want to improve your bluffing skills, stay tuned!
Bluffing Tips and Instructions
Whether you play online poker at a live casino or you attend a real tournament, being able to bluff can help you win, and win big.
First of all, you need to understand that the art of bluffing is connected to two things:
- Your timing
- The kind of player your opponent is
Knowing when to bluff is as important as understanding the value of your hand. If you bluff on rare occasions, players won’t fall into your trap. They will assume you have a made hand and fold, robbing you of the chance to increase your wins.
However, if you bluff too often, you will lose all credibility. That’s why you should test the waters on occasion and learn how often you should bluff when facing other players.
Another thing that you should take into account is the person you're facing. If the other players at the poker table are unflappable and you can’t rattle them, your bluff probably will go to waste, so save yourself the trouble.
Play a few hands, evaluate the situation, and if you think you will be able to bluff your way to a big win, use one of the following techniques:
- Create an image of a constant bluffer – Allow the other players at the table to catch you in a bluff a few times. Once you achieve that, every time you raise the bet, the other players will stop folding as they won’t believe you have a solid hand anymore.
Once their tactic changes, so should yours: stop bluffing and surprise your competitors with a good hand. To keep up with appearances, keep raising from time to time, so as not to tip the others off about your change in strategy.
- Use your tells to your advantage – Everyone has a tell when playing poker, even if you do it online. Some players hesitate for a long while before raising, while others jump the gun too quickly, showing their insecurity. You learn how to read those tells, but now you need to understand how to own them.
At the beginning of the game, make sure that the other players are aware of your tell - make it impossible for them to miss it. Once your opponents see you as a weak player, you can move in for the kill. Let your tell show even when you have a solid hand, and the other players won’t know what hit them.
- Continue betting on the flop – Do you want to rattle everyone at the table? Make it look like you have an unbeatable hand after the flop is revealed. Raise the bet once, twice, and even thrice, and since most players won’t have what they need to win, they will probably fold. But be careful and don’t use this technique too often, as good players will pick up on it pretty fast.
If you take these tips to heart and you practice enough, you will be able to get that much closer to becoming a world famous poker player!