Bluffing In Texas Holdem Poker

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The Importance of Bluffing

Without bluffing poker would be a boring game.

The best hand would win every time and the chips will flow back and forwards from player to player evenly in the long run.

Bluffing adds the element of decepsion that makes poker unique, exciting, sometimes frustrating and a very beatable game.

Types Of Bluffs

Bluffing comes in several forms and the reasons for bluffing depends on the cards you hold, what you think your opponents hold and what you think your opponent thinks you may be holding.

Betting or Raising with a Garbage Hand

This is the classic bluff. You have a week hand but you bet it strongly, representing that you have a strong hand. The idea here is to get an opponent to lay down a better hand and pick up the pot uncontested right now.

The opposite of this tactic is slow-playing. Acting week when you have a very powerful hand to try and lure your opponent into a trap later in the hand..

Making A Semi-Bluff

Semi-bluffing is making a bet with a hand which probably isn’t the best hand right now but even if an opponent calls, your hand has several “outs”, like a straight or flush draw.

A semi-bluff gives you two ways to win. They may believe your bluff and fold, or you can catch the cards necessary to win at the showdown.

Bluffing In Texas Holdem Poker

Bluffing Tips

1. Strive for a tight, aggressive table image.

If your opponents see you as a solid player who usually has a strong hand they are much more likely to lay down their hand when you make a move at the pot.

2. Some of your bluffs will get called and that’s OK.

Not all of your bluffs need to work to make it the correct play especially in limit Holdem where it’s only costing you one bet. Getting caught occasionally is actually good for you since now your opponents are more likely to call your bets when you have a powerful hand because they suspect you may be bluffing.

3. Bluff more on scary boards.

Others are more likely to believe your bluffs when there are straight or flush possibilities on the board.

4. Don’t try to bluff poor players.

Very poor players are probably not paying much attention to how the hand is playing out and may even call just out of curiosity! Aim your bluffs at good players who are capable of releasing a hand they feel may be second best.

5. When opponents show weakness.

Bluff more often when opponents have shown weakness by checking in previous betting rounds.

Bluffing is much more of a powerful strategy in no-limit Holdem where you control the size of your bets than in limit games where the amount you can bet is fixed.

Restrict your bluffing in low limit, limit Holdem to a minimum and play your hands in a tight, aggressive and straight forward manner.