Bluff is probably the most famous strategy in poker. Even someone who has never played a card game knows this concept. However, do not over use it. Indeed, a player who bluffs all the time will soon be discovered and inevitably lose. But, a player who never bluffs will always be weaker than a player who bluffs occasionally.
Total bluff and semi-bluff
There are two forms of bluffing. Total bluff means you bet money to make opponents believe that you have a strong hand and scare your opponent while your hand is very weak and you cannot improve it. Instead, we speak of semi-bluff when you bet money while your hand is not strong but it can still be improved with a draw in your favor.
Some rules to follow
Bluff is a poker tactic but you should not use it too often. Indeed, at one time, you will inevitably be discovered. You will no longer be taken seriously and you will certainly lose.
For your bluff to be effective, you must behave as usual.
All the players continually monitor you during a game. If you do something unusual, they surely will notice, which could convince them that you’re bluffing.
Finally, it is recommended to bluff only when the pot is attractive enough. As you take risks, they must be calculated. Therefore, you should bluff when it’s worth it.
When to bluff?
Before the flop, if no player has raised and few players are left, you can steal the blinds if you are the last one to speak. Indeed, the other players of the pot will challenge you only if they have better hands.
During the flop, total bluff is not really recommended. Indeed, other players may even challenge you to see the next cards.
However, during river, total bluff is recommended than semi-bluff. With a bad game, it is impossible for you to win without raising. In addition, if after your raise you are over-raised, you will fold peacefully. However with an average hand, you can win the pot without betting. If you raise when you have a good hand, you may lose. Against an over-raise, you will be tempted to bet, which can make you lose lots of money.
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