Everyone knows that bluffing is an important factor in online poker and live poker for that matter to. The problem lies with players who either bluff to often as seen by beginners or those who donít initiate it properly. This article is a basic summary of tips on how to bluff and when you should avoid doing so. These are just general practises as a reference guide for beginners.
In many cases you will need to take into consideration the stakes you will be playing or the blinds in a tournament before attempting to bluff. Players who are playing 25/50 blinds are less willing to fold a hand than when a tournament is in 200/400 or above. If itís not going to cost them much of their stack to call, they will not fold.
Whatís Your Table Image
This is very important because a player who has a loose image will lose more hands to making bluffs than one who has a tight image. If you have been caught bluffing earlier in the game or worse multiple times, it really doesnít matter who youíre playing they will call you. The best players to pull off a bluff successfully are those who have given their opponents the belief that they only play winning hands.
Is the table tight, loose or somewhere in between?
Since there are so many different playing styles, you really need to be careful who you are trying to bluff. A loose player for example is less likely to fold than the tight player who only plays with the nuts. While a passive player who check calls the river usually signals they are unsure of their hand and will in most cases fold if pushed. This goes for the chip stack at the table. In a tournament where the blinds will no longer inflict damage trying to bully someone around who has 4 x the amount of chips than yourself will be pointless. Even if you push all your chips in the pot, your stack will not hurt theirs by calling and losing. It will do some damage to the shortstack.
If youíre in late position and the hand has either been folded to you or the majority of the players have folded you can quickly take down some nice blinds with a raise since the odds that your opponents all have weak hands themselves or they would have put in a raise. If youíre in early position you want to refrain from attempting this because you have not had the chance to see how the other players at the table will react to their cards. A raise from you in EP could result in a re-raise with an end result of folding because you had a poor hand as well as losing the chips you trying to bluff with.
These are only a few basic pointers to help get you started. Remember the least amount of players involved in the hand the better your success rate. You want everyone to fold and if the too many call your raise you start to give the right odds for players after you to also call...not to mention you will more than likely run into some good starting hands.