Poker appeals to many different players. Obviously, there is a reasonable degree of skill and judgment, and of course the ability to bluff which really attracts recreational players. This is one of the main appeals for them and a reason why people want to play.
It has also been glamourized in films and of course the television coverage of some significant poker events which include celebrity players and everyone ones to show off pulling a big bluff. Today, whichcasino.com looks at the bluff in detail and explains why it is more than just the look on your face.
At the end of the day, the success of your bluff is not only down to you but also to your opponents. If you do not have much of the hand, the only way to win is to make them fold. If that happens, you won, but if he doesn’t believe you and calls, then you obviously lose even more. So what is it that an experienced opponent will be looking for to make their decision?
Determining your table image
The first question is have they played against you before. As soon as you have played a few hands your opponent is going to be building a picture of you and learning how you play. No bluff is seen as an isolated event unless of course, this is the first match you have shared.
Other than that, he will be looking at your overall playing style and whether your bluff fits the narrative you have so far created. If you are flagged as a tight player, you will be able to run more bluffs with a higher success rate compared to someone who is recognized to be a “wild card”.
You do not want to be seen as someone who throws chips carelessly as people are likely to call you down very easily and make your bluffs way less profitable in the long-run. Obviously, when this happens, you will get paid with your good hands more often, which is great news. Thus, make sure to be aware of your table image and take advantage of this information.
Using bet sizing to your advantage
If you are going to bluff you also want to watch your bet size, the idea is to bet just enough to cause the other player to fold, and no more. But just how you establish that figure is quite tricky without going into advanced stuff like counting your value and bluff combos and ratios. (you can find more about this in upswing poker lab review)
This is where you need to be using your image and learning what your opponents are representing with their play. If their range is full of weak bluff-catchers, going for the big bet is the right play and when they have a polarized range full of air and nuts, the small sizing will do the job. In this spot, your opponent will end up folding his air hands no matter how much you bet and continuing only with his made hands, so by betting small, you save money when he has a hand and still gets the same amount of folds.
Choose the right hands for a bluff is also very important. In this regards, blockers are one of the most important things to consider.
We will not go into details analyzing his concept, because you can find a lot of information in my full article about using blockers, but the main idea is to choose the hands, which blocks nuts and other strong holdings to increase the success of this play.
New players should certainly start by not trying to do too many things at once and leave the fancy bluff for later. You should be entirely familiar with all poker hand combinations, opening ranges, positions and general strategy. Only then should you attempt to build bluffing into your own play and hopefully get results straight away.