When to Bluff

January 2nd, 2008 by admin

To bluff is to bet or raise with an inferior hand, i.e. a hand that is not likely to beat the other poker hands at the table. It’s done by a player with the hope that the other players will think that he/she has a dominant hand, and fold their own hand out of fear (the bluffing player then wins the pot).

Bluffing is an important part of poker, but not everybody understands how and when it’s best to bluff. While there’s no hard and fast rule that one must bluff at a certain time or even a certain amount, there are certain times and situations in which it might be in your best interest to bluff. Typically, bluffs only work against certain people and/or in certain situations.

It is important that you don’t bluff too frequently or infrequently. If a player bluffs too frequently, other players can observe and note it as a ‘tell’, and ’snap-off’ these bluffs by calling or re-raising. If a player bluffs too infrequently, this too can be observed and noted as a ‘tell’. Occasional bluffing is a good cover not just for the hands that a player is bluffing with, but also for those legitimate strong hands that opponents may think he/she may be bluffing with.

Here’s your poker secret for the day: David Sklansky, in his book ‘The Theory of Poker’, states that, “Mathematically, the optimal bluffing strategy is to bluff in such a way that the chances against your bluffing are identical to the pot odds your opponent is getting.”

Category: Bluffing |

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