The Beginner’s Guide To Bluffing Like You’re Not A Beginner

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When should you bluff in poker? There are so many different answers to this question, based on so many different things.

And sometimes, especially as a beginner, it can seem either deceptively simple or frustratingly complicated.

We’re here to make it all a little more simple. With this straightforward guide, you’ll soon understand when you should bluff in poker. And when not bluffing (or even pulling out of a bluff) makes way more sense to your game plan.

Bluffing: a definition

When your actions don’t match the cards you have, you’re bluffing. Typically speaking, this is when you have weak hands, but you’re acting like they’re stronger than they are in order to scare people away from the pot.

But at the same time, you want to maximize your pay out. And make your pattern of behavior, including your bet sizes and frequency, believable. It’s a tricky line to tread.

Is bluffing all about body language?

A lot of people who are just starting out in poker think that bluffing is all about disguising tells, making your face go blank and watching what you say. That’s what all the cheesiest poker movies try to tell us. And to some extent it is.

But in poker, the way you play and your playing style speaks volumes. And that’s what we’d suggest you focus on.

Can you bluff online?

Absolutely. If you play online, bluffing is not at all about body language, but it’s about how you play your hands. That makes it an ideal place for beginners to practice bluffs.

If you’re looking for somewhere to test out our theories, we’d recommend bet365. They’ve got lots of cash games and tournaments at low stake levels and tournament fees, plus if you sign up now you can use this bet365 bonus code.

Should you bluff in a big casino?

Absolutely. There’s a time and a place for it, sure. But bluffing in a live setting can be thrilling (and can be good for your stack), as long as you do it smartly. So on your next poker vacation, you can for sure try out these moves. But definitely play a few hands online first to get your head around what’s involved.

When should you bluff in poker?

The short answer to this is rarely. But in a targeted way. We’d recommend sitting back for the first half dozen to dozen hands to see how the games play out before you even try to attempt a bluff.

Get to know how your fellow players act and play when they have strong, weak or middling hands.

For beginners especially, it can be good to wait until you’re in a late position on the table before you bluff. That way you can see what other players are doing first before you make your move.

The easiest type of bluff is to simply steal blinds by making a mid-sized raise pre-flop, when a lot of others are folding or limping in unenthusiastically (especially if those are loose players).

And if you suspect someone has a mid-way decent hand, you can reel them in and start playing like you’ve got an amazing hand by the turn. Keep them betting all along, maximize your value and then blow them out of the water at the last available chance.

Is there a way to never lose when you bluff in poker?

Put simply, no. There’s no way to prevent someone from calling your bluff and forcing you into a showdown. It’s embassing when that happens, but it’s bound to at some point.

Use pot odds to determine if your bluff is even worth it.

When should you not bluff in poker?

The short answer is, often! The more you bluff, the bigger you chances of getting caught out. When you get caught out, players can cotton on to your bluffing methods and it makes it harder to use them in the future.

So do yourself a favor and do it rarely and do it well. The pre-meditated bluff always makes more sense to your game. And even if you’ve been bluffing really well but you’re 99% sure your opponent has a brilliant hand and will play out to the bitter end, don’t be afraid to fold.

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