Unlike the semi-bluff, the classic bluff is a completely worthless hand that is played as if it were a strong hand. As a beginner, you should be careful with it, because once you fly on it, any experienced player will use this in the next few hands against you.
It is important for a bluff, therefore, in the first place, that it is consistently pulled! Beginners make the most common mistakes by making only a small bet if they have hit nothing on the board so as not to lose too much money. However, for a bluff to be effective, the stakes should be set so high that it is credible that you have a strong hand. For example, players who hold a flush draw, for example, are more likely to drop out of the hand.
When should one bluff?
The following situations are just a rule of thumb for when a bluff is appropriate. In poker you will often find yourself in situations that can not be predicted and that require a spontaneous decision.
For a few active opponents:
Obviously, the less active players there are, the better chances you’ll have of successfully completing your bluff. A bluff on more than two active players often borders on an impossibility. Even two active players can already be too much.
If you are last on the train:
If you are the last to sit in a good position, this is a great way to bluff. For example, having your active opponents checked in front of you is a good indication that they hold a weak hand. You will be able to use this with a high bet and thus ideally be able to drive the opponents out of the pot.
If you have raised preflop:
If you have not hit anything on the flop after the raise, you still have the chance to win the pot unchallenged with a continuation bet. However, be prepared to accept your losses and fold yourself if an opponent calls you.
Against opponents with few chips:
If your opponent has a small stack, he probably will not call your raise, unless he has a very good hand after the flop. However, be wary again, as players with small stacks of, say, five to ten blinds will seldom call, but usually either fold or go all in.
For a draw:
If you do not have a made hand, just a draw, such as As a flush draw, have and bluff, this is called semi bluff. Ideally you win the pot unchallenged, but even if someone calls, you still have a good chance of winning the pot with a nut hand. If you are re-raised, it depends on the pot odds, whether it is worthwhile to remain in the hand.
Choose the right bet for a bluff
The correct wager should therefore always be at least between a half and a three-quarters pot. But if you are called and your hand has not improved, you should say goodbye to the hand. Players with a lot of experience will follow the first bluff on the turn in this case, but a second inexperienced players should avoid investing more money.
And there are beginners who bluff too often, thinking that it’s one of the biggest factors in poker. Less is more here, and above all, one should first be able to assess his opponents and always get a view of the situation in order to assess whether a bluff is appropriate, which can also work.
You know the determined: The opponent pushes at once a huge bet in the middle and then calls them malicious call. If he really has such a strong hand, you have no chance of winning, but for some reason you do not believe him. As soon as you put your chips in the middle, the opponent angrily shakes his head and hisses “This is your pot” and throws his cards away.
To expose such a big bluff is a great experience and some players are almost addicted to this feeling. However, this carries a great danger: if the opponent has a strong hand, they do not fold, but talk to themselves that it is a bluff. They persuade themselves almost to a call that sometimes reveals a bluff but much more often leads to high losses. For the opponent, these players are a dream because they run into every premium hand-seeing eye.
DO NOT rely on your feeling!
This should not happen to you and so you need to learn to spot bluffs. You do not have to just call or fold for feeling or wait for an opponent who does not have his facial features under control! Most common bluffs can be detected with simple logic. You simply have to balance the opposing bets and the hands that could be played that way. If there are some possible hands for which the opponent’s style of play makes sense, then he probably also has one of those hands in his hand and it’s not a bluff.
But if he alludes to a hand that makes good bets on flop and turn, but does not work on the river, the last bet may be a bluff. This is especially the case if the flop made some draws possible and did not hit any of them until the river. In such a case, the number of possible strong hands is small, while those of weak hands are large, so that a high level of power is required.
Conclusion: Try to internalize this logical approach as described in the examples below, and you’ll get a good feel for opposing poker bluffs in the medium to long term.