wants to bluff. Just think of all those times you've watched a movie
where everyone's playing poker and the cool guy with the cigar in
his teeth lays down those horrible cards everyone else just folded
to. Isn't that great? Well, the thing is, it usually doesn't work
that way. Bluffing can be very effective, but only at certain times,
and at other times it can get you INTO trouble instead of out of
it. So if you aren't Paul Newman, read on.
The best times to bluff are few, but if you do them
right, and at the right time, you should be okay.
When a lot of the other players have already folded
and there's only a few people left in the hand is a good time to
try, mainly because it's easier to fool two people than five or
six. The problem is that this is a pretty obvious trick, so they
probably know what you're up to. When you're playing against tight
players start your bluff early, in the pre-flop or flop, and you
might scare them off. Tight players usually fold to begin with,
though, so don't expect to win any huge pots off of them. And if
they DON'T run away, then maybe YOU should because they've probably
got a monster hand. If you bet big in the pre-flop and didn't pull
what you'd hoped to, just remember: the other players don't know
you didn't get the cards you were hoping for, so you might get a
couple of them here. And if you've just won a big hand through obviously
good play, play your next hand the same way and they might assume
you've got another monster and fold. Don't use these tricks too
often, though, or your opponents will end up spotting them a mile
Never bluff just for the sake of bluffing because that's
when it's bound to backfire on you. Don't bother bluffing if you've
just been caught in a bluff, when there are a lot of players at
the poker table, or if you've been losing a lot of hands and they're
expecting you to.
Now, these ARE pretty common bluffs: most players worth
their salt already know all about these, and they may even be using
the same tricks against you, so be careful and keep your eyes open.
You should always make sure you know the players you're up against,
know what they will and won't fold to, know what traps they'll fall
for, things like that.
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