Bluff is one of the most widely prevalent poker strategies and also a very strong one indeed. It can be really difficult to recognize a bluff but there are few hacks stronger by which you can catch a bluff in a jiffy. Firstly you have to understand, under what circumstances can a player execute a bluff effectively.

People tend to bluff in the following cases-

  1. When they have weaker hands
  2. When they are loose players
  3. Players bluff when the pot is small, etc.

Watching out for such situations at the felt might save you from this bluff trap. People usually don’t bluff when they have a strong hand. The reason is simple- when bluffed, the opponents usually fold to avoid losing money. It means the pot size decreases, giving you lesser profit on your win.

Loose players are sort of reckless. It gets difficult to judge what is the strength of their cards. Thus judging them by their bets is not wise. To recognize such players, you need to play with them for quite a few days to understand their trend.

Tight players are those who do not like taking risks. Thus a tight player hardly plays a bluff and when he plays, he is sure of his opponent’s cards. Tight players are quite easily recognizable. Just with a few games, you can easily identify one even if you are not a very strong observant.

Also, always trust your gut feeling. If your intuition suggests you of an upcoming bluff, never ignore it. And if you feel that you can go on with the flow by not losing much, you can take some risk too.

So When Should You Opt For A Bluff?

The Call Value: While bluffing in poker, you should first and foremost think about the value when making a call. To calculate the odds: 150 / (150+150+300) which is 0.25, in other words, the minimum percentage of times you need to win is 0.25*100 = 25%. If your best hand – say a pair of 9s – is more than 25% of the time, then you can make a profitable call. This calculation will tell you about the odds, i.e how many times you need to win the hand in order for your call to be productive.

Weak Hand: Bluffing is more beneficial when you have weaker hands because in such cases you aim to get your opponent folded. In case of stronger hands, it is beneficial to keep your opponents going so that the pot increases in value so that at the end, you win more.

Your Image: Players who regularly use this strategy of bluffing loose the credibility of the action. Also, trying to bluff all the time, can reduce the effectivity of the action because opponents then never put their guards down before you. Concluding this topic, Bluffing is indeed a valuable strategy to master but making it a habit can have its consequences.

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