Guide to bluffing
Unlike the semi-bluff, the classic bluff is a completely worthless hand that is played as if it were a strong hand. As a beginner, you should be careful with this, because once you fly on it, any experienced player will use this in the next few hands against you.
Important in a bluff, therefore, first and foremost, that it is consistently pulled! Beginners make the most common mistakes by making only a small bet if they have hit nothing on the board so as not to lose too much money. However, for a bluff to be effective, the stakes should be set so high that it is credible that you have a strong hand. For example, players who hold a flush draw, for example, are more likely to drop out of the hand.
Choose the right bet for a bluff
The correct wager should therefore always be at least between a half and a three-quarters pot. But if you are called and your hand has not improved, you should say goodbye to the hand. Players with a lot of experience will follow the first bluff on the turn in this case, but a second inexperienced players should avoid investing more money.
And there are just beginners who bluff too often, thinking that it’s one of the biggest factors in poker. Less is more here, and above all, one should first be able to assess his opponents and always get a view of the situation in order to assess whether a bluff is appropriate, which can also work.
When should you bluff?
The following situations are just a rule of thumb for when a bluff is appropriate. In poker, you will repeatedly find yourself in situations that can not be predicted and that require a spontaneous decision.
For a few active opponents:
Obviously, the fewer active players there are, the better chances you will have of successfully completing your bluff. A bluff with more than two active players often borders on an impossibility. Even two active players can already be too much.
If you are last on the train:
If you are last, this is a wonderful way to bluff. For example, having your active opponents checked in front of you is a good indication that they hold a weak hand. You will be able to use this with a high bet and thus ideally be able to drive the opponents out of the pot.
If you have prefloped:
If you did not hit the flop after the raise, you still have the chance to win the pot unchallenged with a continuation bet. However, be prepared to accept your losses and fold yourself if an opponent calls you.
Against small stacks:
If your opponent has a small stack, he probably will not call your raise, unless he has a made-hand on the flop. However, be wary again, as players with small stacks of, say, five to ten blinds will seldom call but usually either fold or go all in.
For a draw:
If you do not have a made hand, but only a draw, such as B. have a flush draw, and bluff, this is called semi bluff. Ideally you will win the pot unchallenged, but even if someone calls, you still have a good chance of winning the pot with a nut hand. If you are reraised, it depends on the pot odds, whether it is worthwhile to remain in the hand.
You know that certain: The opponent pushes at once a huge bet in the middle and then calls them malicious call. If he really has such a strong hand, you have no chance of winning, but for some reason you do not believe him. As soon as you put your chips in the middle, the opponent angrily shakes his head and hisses “This is your pot” and throws his cards away.
To expose such a big bluff is a great experience and some players are almost addicted to this feeling. But there is a big danger: if the opponent has a strong hand, they do not fold, but talk about it being a bluff. They persuade themselves almost to a call, although the occasional bluff reveals but far more often leads to high losses. For the opponent, these players are a dream because they run into every premium hand-seeing eye.
DO NOT rely on your feeling!
That should not happen to you and so you need to learn to recognize bluffs. You do not have to just call or fold for feeling or wait for an opponent who does not have his facial features under control! Most common bluffs can be detected with simple logic. You simply have to balance the opposing bets and the hands that could be played that way. If there are some possible hands for which the opponent’s style of play makes sense, then he probably has one of those leaves in his hand, and it’s not a bluff.
But if he alludes to a hand that makes good bets on flop and turn, but not on the river, the last bet may be a bluff. This is especially the case when the flop has made some draws possible and has not hit any of them until the river. In such a case, the number of strong hands possible is small, while those of weak hands are large, so there is a high probability that your opponent does not have a good hand!
Examples of the analysis of poker bluffs
For clarification, two examples in which one’s own hand does not matter, but it can be assumed that one beats a buff.
In the first hand, you and your opponent play at $ 1 / $ 2 blinds and each have $ 200. Your opponent raises to $ 8, and you and another player call, folding the small blind. On the flop comes 10 8 Q. You check, the opponent puts $ 20 into the pot with $ at the moment25, you call, the third player gets out. On the turn, the 5th comes in. You check, the opponent places $ 30 in the $ 65 pot. After your call comes on the River 6, you check back and your opponent bets $ 55 into the $ 125 pot.
Your opponent has bet before the flop, then on the flop against two players and on turn and river as well. On the flop the bet was almost the pot size, on the turn half the pot. On the river it was even less than half the pot size. After the river, no flush is possible, but two strights through the cards 4, 7, 9, J. All in all, the board is not very scary and should be beaten by a strong hand like AA, two pairs or a treble ,
You can tell from the opponent’s placement behavior that he wants to be paid out with a finished hand. He did not bet much on the turn nor on the river, most likely not to knock you out of hand. Which hands do you play with? Very likely only with one hand like AQ or stronger. The opponent can have QQ-AA and he could have gotten a set or two pairs on the flop or turn. Even J9 is played by some very aggressive players like that, after all he had a straight draw on the flop. Since all of these hands explain their opponent’s style of play, they most likely have one of them. Therefore, you should fold before you run into a strong hand and lose a lot of money.
In another case, you raised a previously limping player by raising to $ 15, another called. The small blind has dropped out, so $ 33 is in the pot. On the flop comes 4 8 7, you bet $ 22, the opponent calls. On the turn comes the 10, you and your opponent check. On the river the 2 is revealed, after your check the opponent bets $ 70 at a pot of $ 77.
With which hand does your opponent put so much on the river? Usually, such a high bet means he holds at least two pairs. In addition your opponent would play such a high bet with 10-8, with each set as well as with a straight, thus J-9, 9-6 or 6-5.
In this case, the check on the turn makes no sense. All sorts of strong hands were already done on the turn and must be defended against the two possible flush draws on the table. In addition, two pairs or a set would probably lose if J, 9, 6 or 5 came, as these cards could complete a road. One can therefore assume that the vast majority of players with one of the above hands on the turn not check, but would bet.
Your opponent represents a hand on the river with which he would most likely have bet on the turn, so there is a contradiction in his actions. In addition, it is quite possible that your opponent has a weak hand, for example, because his flush draw has burst or he holds AJ. In any case, his previous placement behavior matches the hand he represents on the river. Therefore, he is much more likely to try a bluff with a weak hand.
Of course there is no guarantee for this. They may call the bet and their opponent has completed a two-of-a-kind deal on the river. Another time, her opponent played unfocused on the turn and checked with a street. But if you think the opponent likes to bluff you should take the opportunity the second hand offers.
Try to internalize this logical approach as described in the examples above, and you’ll get a good feel for opposing poker bluffs in the medium to long term.