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Poker Bluffing: When and How to Bluff

Bluffing is a strategy in the game of poker and this is where a player bets or raises with a hand that is classified as not the best. The frequency as well as the size of the bluff will automatically determine its profitability to the player using it.

Types of Bluffs

  1. Pure Poker Bluffs
  2. A pure poker bluff is also referred to as a stone cold bluff and this is in the situation a player makes a bet or raises bet with a poker hand that is classified as inferior which has a very minimal chance to improve. In this case the player will believe that they can only win the pot if all the other competitors have folded. All bluff pot odds are usually the ratio of the bluff size to the pot. Pure bluffs have positive expectations usually the profitability ultimately and this is due to the chance of being called by a competitor is lower than that the bluff’s pot odds.

  3. Semi Poker Bluffs
  4. In this strategy a player bluffs in games that have many betting rounds where they bluff on 1 round with a less valued or drawing hand that has a chance of improving in the later rounds. Players who make this bluff are able to win a pot in 2 different ways namely when all the other players fold or through catching a card used in improving the players hand. In several cases players may be drawing but with the odds strong then they will be favored so as to win that specific hand and this bluff will not be classified as a semi bluff.

Bluffing Circumstances

There are specific circumstances that bluffs are more effective compared to others. A bluff will have a high expectation if the chance of call is much decreased. These circumstances will include:

  • If fewer opponents whose bluffing is a must.
  • If the bluff will provide less favorable odds of the pot to the other players for a call.
  • If a scare card comes and thereby increases the superior hands number which the player is presumed to have.
  • If the betting pattern of the player in that specific hand is consistent with the higher hand that the player is representing with that bluff.
  • If the other players betting patterns suggest that they may be having a marginal hand which is vulnerable to greater numbers of probable superior hands.
  • If the other players betting patterns are suggesting that they may be having drawing hands then a bluff is capable of providing unfavorable odds of the pot to the other players to chase a draw.
  • If the other players are not committed irrationally to the pot.
  • If the other players pay attention sufficiently and are skilled at the same time.