Sometimes in poker, you have a great hand. Sometimes you don’t. But not having the best hand does not automatically make you a loser. If you are able to convince other players that your hand is better than it really is, you may be able to bluff your way to victory. If you can master the art of bluffing, you will have a valuable tool that can help you increase your winnings. Here are some pointers for bluffing successfully.
o Bluff when the board indicates that someone could “possibly” have a good hand. For example, if three cards of the same suit are on the board, someone could be holding the fourth card, giving them a flush. If you bet like you are that someone, you might convince the other players that you are. If you can do that, the other players will fold, and you will win the poker hand.
o If it is apparent that another player is looking for a reason to fold, put down a bet that is large enough to give them the reason they are looking for.
o Pay attention to the betting habits of other players. A novice player may bluff too often. An experienced player may be tougher to figure out, but that is the player that really needs to be watched closely.
o Wait before you bluff. If players ahead of you are folding, checking or calling, you have a better idea of what hands they may have then if you attempt to bluff early.
o Don’t bluff loose tables unless all of the loose players have already folded. In general, though, loose players tend to play more hands and stay with weaker hands. Bluffing works best at tight tables where players are more likely to fold.
o Use caution when bluffing if you are playing with weak or inexperienced players. These players may not pay attention to your bluff and won’t notice that you are acting like you have a strong hand. They may stay in simply because they don’t notice what you are doing.