If you talk to any non-poker player about bluffing in poker then they will tend to exaggerate. The idea of making poker literature and Hollywood is more important than ever. Don’t get me wrong, poker bluffing certainly has its uses and no more so in that no-limit hold’em where one can bet well timed and will take down the pot.
But novice poker players and non poker players fail to understand that true expertise in poker is balanced by many individual concepts of which bluffing just happens to be one of them. Areas like table selection, bankroll management, using position, good value betting, understanding the maths and any other factor that makes poker bluffing a good poker player situs casino.
However it is important that you bluff in poker and bluff well. The bottom line is that if nobody bluffed in poker then every single player would be dependent on their card strength to win a pot. This would essentially make a no-limit hold’em nothing more than a card holding contest where the player with the best hand won the pot.
Most of the time, however, players will not have a decent hand or at least they can take any heat. The easiest part is when you have the actual betting or raising chips; an absolute beginner can do that. The hard part is choosing the right moments to bluff and also the right players.
We will have a look at a couple of examples of the bluffing of the art in both good and bad timing. This first example has us playing a $ 2- $ 4 no-limit game and the cut-off raises to $ 14 and the button calls. Both these players have got $ 500 stacks. The small blind folds and we have the 8s-6s in the big blinds. Here’s a good spot to raise the bluff. The original raiser is a cut-off from a very wide range of possibilities.
The caller on the button knows this and has the advantage of using a speculative hand to try and use their position to flip after their advantage. Position is a huge weapon in poker and the button is trying to outplay the flop after the cut-off. If they had a real hand then they would definitely have three bet. So here is a three-bet by the big blind based on a weak call by the button and the wide raising range
Poker is a powerful hand that does not matter for the cut-off or the button that some of the game’s incomplete information can. But we are using probability and our opponent’s actions to guide our bluff. We are also using our opponents stack sizes so well that the original raiser had a very short stack then the likelihood that they would shove all-in is too big and this nullifies the play.
Let us look at another example of poker bluffing in action only this time, the bluff is badly timed. The UTG player raises $ 14 in our NL400 game and the UTG + 1 three bets to $ 50. This is the same 8s-6s to $ 200 with the UTG player folds but the three bettor shoves all-in and we lose $ 200 with the re-raise. There was a huge difference here. The original raise did not come from the cut-off but rather from the UTG position and the players who were so strong they rang this open.
Despite knowing this, the player has a very powerful hand that still re-raised their left. This situation was bad poker and we should have simply folded. Here’s another example of a successful bluff we’ll move on to. You are in the big blind again and it is the folded round to the button who open raises $ 14 in our NL400 game.
This player has opened up every time it has been folded. We re-raise the big blind for $ 55 and the button calls. The flop is J-7-4 and we bet three quarters of the pot on the flop and they fold. This is the example in our cards that you may not have mentioned. That was deliberate because in this instance we didn’t even look at them. We just launched a bluffing attempt based on a play pattern on the button and then just flopped on a bet with it.
Another key concept that this brings to me is bluffing and that is the commitment of one. Quite often poker bluffing over many streets. As you move up the levels, then single-street bluffing will be less effective because your lower-level opponents will call for lower-level levels at the players. An example may be something like this; We raise form the cut-off with the 9s-8s and are called the button.
The flop comes with 10d-3d-2s and we make a continuation bet into the pot that gets called. The turn card comes with the 7h giving us nothing but a straight draw and our opponent who actually called us the A-7 poker.