It is one of the most spectacular plays, and seeing it in a live competition still makes your hair stand on end. A bluff has a special meaning for many because it is the height of performance and intelligence. Poker relies heavily on the player’s ability to play a role, and if the opponent buys into it, the bluff can go well.
But bluffing is not something that should be attempted just like that, and you also have to have a certain level to get it right.
If you are still a poker novice and want to know what a bluff is and what it takes to do it properly, read on: we are going to give you a series of guidelines for you to take into account before you bluff on your own.
Bluff in poker: how to do it right
Broadly speaking, these tips will help you to face a bluff with possibilities when you are going to carry it out:
- Number of players. Bluffs work best when there are few players at the table. Ideally, you should ideally have at most two players at the table. Bluffing at a table full of players means you have to bluff more people, and you’re more likely to get caught.
- Keep an eye on the size of the pot. If you bluff when the pot is extremely large, you’ll soon realize that you’ve put yourself in an awkward situation all by yourself. Playing a sizable pot on a bluff is not the best of ideas, and to do so you’d have to be a pro with the guts to try it.
- Better with average cards. If you bluff with bad cards, your bluff will quickly flounder. You will be easy to discover. On the other hand, with average cards your opponents will be faced with the dilemma of deciding whether your cards are as good as you want them to believe or not. Medium cards allow you to play with ambiguity, which is a luxury for a bluff.
- Always make it IP. For a bluff to be successful, you must be the last to speak. Otherwise, you run the risk that the next to bluff will raise the bet or counter your bluff. Don’t expose yourself to that.
- Beware of “on fire” players. Trying to bluff with a maniac or a player who is on a hot streak and keeps raising is impossible, so discard it.
- If you get caught, don’t try it again. The thing about getting caught bluffing is that it affects not only the round you bluffed in, but also subsequent rounds. When a player is caught bluffing, he must allow some time for the bluff to appear natural. After being caught, everyone will be on alert for your moves and it will be impossible to get it right.
Bluffs in online poker: do they work better than in live poker?
Mistakenly, there is a tendency to associate that, in online poker, a bluff is easier to make than in a live poker game. And although logic says that this is so, we should not underestimate the tells, nor the amount of information that we are giving to our opponents with our game and our reactions, just because we are playing through a screen and not face to face.
When bluffing in a live poker game, the tells, their reading and the reactions to each move, play or possibility are read by the rest of the participants. But this is also an advantage for those who want to bluff: in poker, tells can be used to give wrong information to the opponents, misleading them.
This does not happen in online poker, because the tells are opaquer and the opponents will try to catch us by the way we play. And the way we play will always be in line with our initial hand, and that cannot be camouflaged.
A bluff has a meaning in online poker identical to live poker, but certain things change. In online poker, as it is executed in the distance, it is more complicated to determine what are the real options that exist to get it right, so we can say that it is even more risky than doing it in a live game. Anyway, bluffs in poker are reserved for very experienced players, so you should give up trying one if you don’t have the necessary level.
Answering the question: no, a bluff is not better just because you play online poker. It’s all about the level of the player, and only a mid to high level player has what it takes to execute a bluff with a minimum chance of success.
In poker, a bluff works well at certain times, when the player has absolute control of his tells, when he does not use it often so as not to lose its effect and when the game lends itself to it. Bluffing for the sake of bluffing does not work well and, in addition, there are moments in the game when a bluff is not the best thing to do. It is important to be clear about this so as not to go bluffing madly, which is a terrible idea.