Category Archives: Bluffing

Poker Strategy: Hand Strength vs Bluffing

Poker Hand Strength vs Bluffing

Poker Strategy: Poker Hand Strength vs Bluffing

Your poker hand strength and the bluff… why is it important? There are some poker players who never, ever bluff. There aren’t a lot of players like that, because bluffing is necessary to keep other players on their guard. But once you figure out that one of those players is at your table, they are easy to beat. If they put down money once the cards are all out, you should fold — unless you have a hand that you think is ironclad. In that case, you should raise, because if they just have an average hand, they will then hold.

Other people like to bluff all the time. Once you identify this sort of player, you must keep calling if you have a decent hand at all. It’s true that habitual bluffers are going to find good hands now and then, but they still bluff far too often, and you can still take advantage of that tendency. Calling against this type of player will help you win real cash over time as opposed to folding because you will catch them in their bluffs.

So how do you find the right mix in your own game?

There are different situations and variables, especially when playing online poker. The key is to keep others guessing. If you bluff some of the time, then you’re a better player than those who never bluff and those who bluff pretty much all the time. Better players are able to keep their opponents from guessing whether a bluff is at hand or not. If you have to guess, of course you’re going to be wrong sometimes. That’s why it’s called gambling, remember?

The key comes with the “tell.” This is a gesture that a player has that reveals when he either has something good or doesn’t have anything at all. All but the most elite players have a tell of some sort; it just comes as a visceral response when you see your hand. If you can identify (and then eliminate or even reduce) your own tell, you will have a lot more success at the table, because people won’t be able to tell what you are doing.

A lot of people bluff way too often when they are in a low-limit games or when they play at the free poker tables. Why? Because when you have nothing on the line or when are playing with fixed limits, you just have to make one more bet to see a player’s hand. The pots are usually sizable enough, at least in comparison to the size of a wager, to make the call the right choice.

However, in other situations, just the threat of a bluff can be crucial. Good players — those who bluff just the right amount of the time and in the right circumstances — also have the threat working for them. You don’t know whether this opponent has a solid hand or is simply acting like he does. You want to become that type of opponent. There is no set of hard and fast rules that will help you figure out what that balance is. The only good strategy is to play, read your opponents and their tells. Once you have found it, though, you will feel it — and you’ll see the results when your wins pile up.

 

Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash. Good luck!

Successful poker bluff

Tips for a Successful Poker Bluff

It is just about impossible to overstate the important of the right bluff in poker games. In very basic terms, a bluff happens when you put up a false move (and a false face) on what you have in your hand. You’re trying to get your opponents to respond in a particular way. To be a good bluffer, you need to understand the basics of the game you’re playing (Let’s say Texas Hold’em) and spend some time sharpening your reading skills. You have to be able to read the thoughts of the players around you so that you can put together an optimal plan for the win. You also have to know what types of players are at the table with you and have built the right sort of image for yourself at the table so that the bluff will work. Here are some tips to help you succeed when the time is right for a bluff.

Be selective with your hands (No matter if you play free online poker or real money poker).

If you’re going to have legitimacy with your bluff, you can’t play every hand. You should keep your bluff ready for the times when it gives you the highest chances of winning. This keeps some people from developing skill with the bluff because they simply don’t want to fold – because they just want to be part of the action. They will lose a lot of money. If you develop a reputation for folding unless you have a quality hand, they will start folding when you bet.

Don’t try to bluff a bunch of people at the same time.

When you have more than two opponents, bluffing will almost never work successfully. You’ll never be able to scare more than two people off the pot. Why? Because there is a higher probability that someone else at the table has a solid hand. And then you will be exposed.

Do not bluff against rookies.

Rookies are new to the game and want to play every hand to its resolution. No matter how strong (or weak) their hands may be, they will keep calling and keep going to the end. So if you have a pair of 3s, that rookie could just have a pair of 4s and play all the way to the end – and end up beating you. They do this because they still don’t understand how poker works. There are ways that you can take advantage of this, but bluffing isn’t one of them.

Act like you have the winning hand.

If you are making a bluff, you should always act like the person who has the winning hand – and be cognizant of the pot odds. Players are less likely to fold if the pot is bigger, because they have some more to gain by staying in. If the pot is already small, people are more likely to fold and wait for the next hand which could have more money. So if the pot is large, don’t bluff. Remember – you can only bluff so many times before people see it coming.

Break your own trend.

If you are regularly betting according to the same philosophy, mix it up now and then by throwing in a bluff. The bluff should not be your primary strategy – or method. However, every now and then it makes sense to throw in a bluff. Your opponents will not be expecting it, and it will force them to alter their perception you. If they are confused about your intentions, this could make it easier for you to pick up pots further into the game.

Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables and get all the practice you need before making the transition to legal online poker sites.

Value Betting vs. Bluffing

Poker 101: Value Betting vs. Bluffing

A lot of times you’ll see players who are new to no-limit online poker have one simple reason for making bets and raises: it has something to do with confidence that they had the best hand at the table.

Quite often this will work, particularly when you’re playing against low-skill players. There are all kinds of reasons to call if you’re a poor player with a lousy hand. This means that if you believe that you have the best hand, if you bet and raise, you are likely to succeed. However, if you’re playing against highly skilled players, raising with the best hand isn’t always the best idea, even more if you’re playing real money poker. To understand this, let’s take a look at an example.

Let’s say you’re in a legal online poker site and that you’re playing against an aggressive, tight opponent who makes a button raise. You have the King of Hearts and the Queen of Diamonds, and you three-bet him. He folds, and you carry away the pot.

But why did you three-bet with a KQ? You probably thought you had the best hand the majority of the time. That particular opponent had been stealing about a third of the time, which means that he’s doing it with some trash in his hand from time to time. You figured him for a decent player, which means that he folds a lot of the time. But why would you raise to get him to fold with a hand that was already worse than yours? If it’s worse, wouldn’t you want him to add more to the pot before leaving?

If you know that your hand is better, you want to keep the opponent in there with you instead of intimidating him away. The idea is to put the right bed to put the opponent there to call and follow his draw with faulty odds, rather than throwing the whole stack in and knocking him away.

After all, if you’re holding a KQ, and you look at his steal range (about 33%), you’ll realize that KQ will win about 52 percent of the time. So you were holding a favorite hand, but you weren’t holding a dominant favorite. The reason is that the range your opponent was stealing on includes hands with an Ace. Even a pocket pair is already ahead of you. So you were ahead of that range, but not by much. In fact, many possible hands for him were still ahead of you. So what should you do now?

Also, what else might he do against a three-bet? In the example, he folded. So in a way, that three-bet was really a bluff instead of a value bet. You were trying to get him to fold, in reality, when he might well have had a better hand that what you did. That’s a great result if you can get it – but you can’t consider it a value bet.

So what is the difference between a value bet and a bluff? A bluff is a bet that you make to get people who would probably beat you at call to fold without seeing your cards. A value bet is a calculation that you make on the basis of what you have – and what others likely have – to get the best outcome mathematically. There is some overlap, but if you’re not in a strong position, you use that bluff to get clear of danger.

Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables and get all the practice you need before making the transition to legal online poker sites.