How to bluff? Bluffing is a poker playing move that’s most easily made when you have a good hand and want others to think you’ve got a great hand. It can also be made when you’re confident you don’t have a very good hand and want to make others believe you want them to fold. If you’ve been bluffing successfully and now you are being typecast as a bluffer, it is time to do a little training to make you stop.
Firstly, please understand that bluffing is really just a tactic of acting. It is not a set move. You can’t just say “I raise with my pocket jacks against AJ” and then sit back and wait for other players to bet. It’s just a way of acting to make other think you’re doing better than you really are.
“Sports betting is the only game in town where it is possible to spot the leaks and mistakes in another party’s game.” – AfaPoker author David Sklansky
There are different types of players. There are the amateurs, who lose a lot of money and go on tilt, and then there are the professionals, who make a lot of money but have all the leaks yah. The pros tend to either transparently lie or ignore the game around them and carelessly speculate wildly about hands they could have, cards they should have, and players they should avoid and such. The pros often sit impatiently and lose all sense of reason. Think about it – it’s so easy to say “I raise with my pocket jacks against pocket fives” but what if you’re waiting for aces up? What if you’re waiting for two tens instead? Don’t bother betting, you’ll probably lose anyway.
When playing, it’s better to raise with all hands, particularly when you’re waiting for cards. At this time several things can happen including threes, fours, flushes and straight rushes. It’s much less likely for a pair of aces to be dealt than two two’s or three’s unless you’re in a huge pot or have nothing and the flop is extremely misleading.
Poker is a game of statistics. The likelihood of something hitting the flop is always lower than the likelihood of it happening twice. Statistically you have a better hand than you have a better hand if you are waiting for two cards of the same suit and there are three cards of the opposite suit still to come. Statistically you have a slightly better hand than you have a better hand if there are two cards of the same rank and one other randomly selected card.
Wait a minute – I’ve got aces!
Being dealt two aces is great – except when other players are holding four, five or even six. With two aces you will lose a lot of small pots, since your opponents will call you with two high cards, but they won’t be prepared to call you with anything. However, if you’re holding four cards of the same suit you’ll win all the small pots, two of the larger ones and maybe even the whole thing.
But what if you’re holding two tens instead? You’ll be able to secure the smaller pots, two thirds of the larger ones, and maybe even the whole thing – provided nobody else has made a raise.
This of course depends on what your opponents are holding. Many opponents, for example, will raise with any suited cards. If you have two tens and there are two cards of the same suit on the board someone might call you with a threepenny pair. However, if ten people have called with you, two of them could have five of the same suit as well, and there will probably be no more than two or three of that suit in the deck.
However you want to play, the more people that play, the more likely it is that someone will have a better hand than you. Statistically you have about a 50% chance of winning a hand, and a 60% chance of losing a hand. With three people in the hand the likelihood of you winning increases dramatically. You can also use statistics to back up your conclusion that you are probably beaten. One thing to consider is if you think there are more ten people in the hand, then you are less likely to come up against a good hand, even if you don’t think it’s a good hand.
If you’re really good you can play practically any hand. You’re not likely to beat out better players, so middle suited connectors are good hands to play. The more people in the hand, the less of a chance it has for securing the pot. If you’re really good and you think there are ten people in the hand, you’re in a pretty good position to win one of the top pots.