Bluffing in Poker – Part 2In the first part of our series on bluffing we covered what bluffing is and how to use it to your advantage when playing online.
The Limit to Bluffing: Bluffing works best in No Limit scenarios, because you can go all the way with it – go All-In- bet the farm and scare the bejeezus out of your opponents. In Limit games, however, the highest you can bet or raise is the limit. When the ceiling is a finite number, your fellow players are a lot more likely to call it just to see how the hand plays out. Therefore, bluffing is not as powerful a tool in limit games. This website would tell you that.
Get Caught: A particularly stellar bluffing strategy is to let yourself get caught doing it, even at the expense of losing a pot to do so. The reason? Because once you’ve established yourself in your opponent's eyes as someone who bluffs, people will call your outrageous bets more often, giving you a greater chance of pulling down enormous pots when you do get dealt the Nuts.
Representing the Flop: This is a particular type of bluff, distinct from the “Stone Cold Bluff” occupying the bulk of this article. “Representing the Flop” is pretending that whatever cards you needed to have the Nuts just came up on the flop. Many players are keen to this trick, though, so watch out when you use it. You might find someone else trying the same racket at the same time as you, in which case you may want to back off. In some instances, that other player may actually have gotten the Nuts on the flop, and here you’re just faking it. It’s a trick to be aware of, but not to abuse. Get a read on the other players at the table and note your position in order to decide if now is the right time to represent the flop, because sometimes it’s the perfect time.
Beating a Bluff: Lastly in this intro to bluffing is one final word of advice on how to act when you believe your opponent is trying to bluff you. Look at your cards. Can you win the hand? If so, play on. If not, let him have it. Don’t call someone just because you think they’re bluffing. Only stay in a hand you think you can win.
One way to learn more about how and when players bluff is to watch them very closely when you are not playing. In fact, some of the best jobs to do this is to work as a Vegas Poker Dealer Salary. When you become a poker table hire, you get to watch all the action without having to take any of the risk.
To bluff is to try to convince your fellow players that you have the Nuts (or at least a fantastic and probably unbeatable hand) when really the cards you’re holding are garbage. The objective of bluffing is almost always the same – to get the other player to fold. (There is an exception, elucidated further below) at Casinoslots South Africa.
Bluffing successfully requires a great deal of calm, poise, cunning, and acting ability. It is an inextricable part of the game of poker, a necessary skill without which you’ll never earn or amount to much in the game. Without bluffing, poker really would be solely about the cards and you could
therefore play every hand open (with your hole cards showing).
Bluffing Online requires a craftier use of a much smaller set of tools than poker players in live, land-based settings have at their disposal for bluffing. Online your bluffs will come mostly in the form of your bets. Therefore, an online bluff cannot be a half-hearted bluff. An online bluff has to be large enough to look like it would hurt badly to lose. In fact, the gutsiest online bluff is going All-In. Just be sure you use it wisely – because (rebuy tourneys notwithstanding) you only get one chance to be wrong about that.
To Slow-Play is to try and trick your opponent into thinking you have a weak hand and are playing it poorly, making you ripe for the taking. Essentially you’re playing weak in order to get your opponent to throw more chips into the pot in the hopes of wrangling more of yours away from you before they supposedly move in for the kill. Little do they know, however, that you’re holding the Nuts – the prime time to Slow Play – and will be the one dining on a pound of their flesh this time around.
A form of slow playing is the Check Raise, when you Check the right to bet first in a round to entice your opponents to detect weakness in you and therefore bet just enough, they expect, to get you to fold out the pot. Often this is done in the first round of betting as a method to “steal the blinds”. However, when the beat comes back around to you, you don’t fold – as they had hoped for – and you don’t merely call their bet – but you raise it. Now your opponent is on to you. They know what you’re up to, and all they have to decide is if you’re Check-Raising them because you truly have a killer hand or if your Check-Raise is itself an elaborate bluff.
Bluffing is a great strategy to use at online poker rooms as the physical aspect of bluffing is eliminated.
The statistics displayed in the lobby of online poker rooms helps you to determine the best table to sit down at. This may not sound like much, but it’s actually your first line of defense in your ongoing objective of making your bankroll grow. Therefore as a fundamental part of your poker strategy should be a careful and intelligent determination as to which table to join. Without a doubt, your odds of winning will improve by sitting down at the right table.
First take a look at your bankroll and compare it with those of the players at the table you’re considering joining. You don’t want to sit down at a table with the smallest bankroll. You’d rather have close to the largest, an amount that allows you to take the power position when you have it and attack weakness when you sense it.
Next take a look at how many players are sitting in at the table as compared with the number of seats at the table. The more short-handed the table (meaning the fewer players there are as compared to the total seats) the greater your overall odds are of winning any given hand. The pots may be smaller, sure, but you’ll likely win more of them.
Beyond that, there are 3 statistics most commonly posted for each table in an online poker lobby:
• Flop Percentages/Players-per-Flop: This details how often players stay in to see the flop. Experienced poker players will often fold frequently before the flop, only staying in to see it if they have a great starting hand or are planning a big bluff. Therefore, a table with high flop percentages implies loose players who are prone to place, call, and raise outrageous bets. You can take advantage of these players by playing the cards (even so far as giving greater weight to lesser hands – like 2 pair and 3 of a kinds) and not letting yourself be bluffed out of following through with a half decent hand. Low flop percentages, by contrast, imply tight players who are loathe to call any bets but those they think they can win. Take advantage of these players by stealing lots of blinds, bluffing often, and whittling down their chips stacks one fold at a time.
• Hands-per-Hour: Lots of hands per hour can be read two ways – either it implies tight players who are folding out of most hands before the showdown or it implies fast-moving, quick-acting players who play more by instinct than analysis. Observe a few rounds of the action to decide which is the case before sitting down, and you’ll know how best to play to win.
• Average Pot: Large average pots equate to heavy betting, lots of raising, lots of calling. These pots are vastly more rewarding, but also harder to win. Lots of bluffing tends to go on at tables with high average pots. In these cases, choose which hands to play very carefully. Plan to leave most hands before they get too costly and plan to earn your fortune winning fewer larger pots. To compete against tighter, more conservative players, less prone to bluff and therefore more vulnerable to it, sit down at a table with a low average pot and then just plan to win lots of pots.
All the poker strategy in the world isn’t worth a dime if it’s inadequately used. To win at poker you need to start out doing everything you can to put the odds in your favor, and that includes knowing something about the types of people you’re playing against and how best to beat them.