In poker, a bluff is when you raise or make a bet to try to make the opponents fold a better hand than you, which helps you in getting the pot by default. Though the players can make a bluff whenever they want during the game, the smart players wait to bluff at opportune times. In simple words, the best players are the ones who bluff when there is a greater probability of their opponents to fold. It is a great strategy to use when you play online poker for money.
The art of bluffing in poker
Being smart about bluffing is a major poker skill that can help you make the most of your EV (expected value) and profit majorly. So, the aim of this particular guide is to help you make the most of your bluffing opportunities when you play online poker for money.
Bluffing needs you to be aggressive as a player. It’s good to be an aggressive player because they’re usually the ones who end up winning the game. After all, such players either get the best hand at the showdown, or the opponents fold to their bet and they get the pot easily.
Given below are the five tips that you need to remember to enhance the success rate of the bluffs you give during an intense round of poker.
Be a pro at hand-reading the opponents
Online poker for money will only be profitable when you can measure the strength of the hands of your opponents to figure out if a bluff will work or not. You need to develop and train yourself in hand-reading skills gradually over time. Start by gauzing the pre-flop tendencies of the opponents by taking a close look at their calling and opening. Use this information you gather to get a starting hand range for the opponents as per their position.
Re-choose your good bluff hands for each street
Simply because you ended up bluff-raising the turn does not mean that you should keep going on with all the bluffs that you possibly can throw in. There is a thing called over-bluffing, and you should try to avoid it. The key is to assess every street twice to understand the hands in the specific range that would be best suited for you to bluff. Afterward, finalize those opponents based on the number of value hands within your range and your bet sizing.
Do not keep attacking the weakness constantly
When the opposition checks back the flop or shows any kind of weakness, it does not get you the default reason for attacking the following street with any cards. This might make you over-bluff, and eventually lose your money in the long run. Online poker for money means that this tendency of the opponent has to be countered, more so when they try to check back with weak holdings. However, this does not mean that you should definitely donk bet the next street with the hands that are in your range.
Start exploitative but become balanced
Though it is always a good idea to know the way to play a fundamentally strong and sound poker strategy, keep in mind there are situations that might go otherwise. In the games with smaller stakes, you are mostly going to get more overall value by just attacking those exploitable tendencies of the opponents. Balanced strategies would not have much place here.
Select the bluffing bet sizes
While bluffing, it is crucial to consider the amount you will bet with the value hands remaining in the same situation. After all, you would not want to go with different bet sizes as the value bets for your bluffs. There would be many such competent players who would easily pick up on this strategy of yours, and in the end, you’ll end up getting exploited.
The bottom line
Bluffing is a crucial aspect of the poker game for all players. When done in the right manner, it can help you win more money within a short time. Moreover, it can turn you into a highly strong contender to play with because your opponents will have to keep guessing whether you truly have what is needed or are simply air-balling it.