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The art of bluffing

Without the bluff, poker would not be poker

Bluffing is a part of the game strategy that even non-poker players think they understand. One of the key poker rules is not to let others understand if your hand is good or not. So, make bets as if you really have the best cards.

Bluffing is the next topic our online poker course will cover.

The concept of bluffing

Although bluffing is most often associated with poker, people use similar tactics in other games as well. This is a situation when a player acts so that the opponents will misjudge his actions. You can observe such behavior can in many other games.

Types of bluffs

Semi-Bluff. Good bluff is hard to detect. In fact, semi-bluff is not detected easily that's why it's most common. The player holds good cards and behaves as if having the nuts, but in reality, he still lacks outs he plans to get in the following streets.
Reverse bluff involves making your opponent think that you are bluffing when in fact you hold the best hand at the table. Let's consider the following example: you have a pair of kings, and the flop came AK7 rainbow. Your assumption is that your opp has collected a pair of aces or even two pairs - aces and kings. At the moment you’ve got a set which is a stronger combination. If you make your rival believe that you are bluffing, you will earn more chips.
A trap - is a special kind of bluff. It assumes acting in such a way as to convince an opponent of having a weak hand. For example, a player with a set on the flop makes a cbet and on the next street (the turn) checks, as if holding bad cards. Thus, he's luring his rival into a trap to create a larger pot. As a rule, the opponent can bet on the turn, and you'll just match his bet. The situation may repeat on the river, and then you should raise and "squeeze out" your opp as many chips as possible. Just make sure that your set is a truly winning combination.

Don’t bluff against calling stations. Players who rarely raise and call too much. As the saying goes, it’s easier to bluff a good player than a bad player, so save your bluff for someone else. After all, if he’s too bad to analyze your bets, then he’s too dumb to fold no matter what you do.

One famous player once said, “When I first started playing Hold'em, I played much better as I didn’t know what to do. It was hard to bluff. Actually, I was bluffing, but then I didn't know that was a bluff. There were cases when I made bets having zero odds to win, but managed to scare away more experienced players so they would fold. I mostly hoped for a miracle". Sometimes the lack of knowledge is key to a successful bluff. Pulling off a bluff is easier when you don't know what else you can do.

Yet, don’t get obsessed with bluffing. Remember that poker is more than just a bluff. Novice players often fall into the trap of bluffing far too much. Later in this course, we will explain how to properly combine bluff with a regular game. Remember that success comes from experience.

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