Knowing When to Bluff

When money and prestige are at stake, it sometimes takes a little strategy to nail a victory – strategy that will not allow you to leave a table – a poker table.

Just like what a typical player bitten by the poker bug would say, poker is a game that only takes minutes to learn but a lifetime to master. This is so because it really takes impeccable bluffing skills to pull off a good game. A lot of things are factored in for one to be considered a really good bluffer and body language only comes second to timing.

It is true that the best chances to bluff are only a few but if you’re good at knowing the exact timing to bluff, you could just outsmart the majority playing on table.

One of the best time to bluff is during the pre-flop. Mind you though, although professional poker players do it, they don’t do it all the time. Try to “thin slice” the players on the table first. If you’ve noticed them to be tight in their game, doing the bluff at the start of the game might just scare them off. Again, if it works, do it only sparingly.

Another good opportunity to bluff is during the flop. There is a great possibility that you might pull this off especially if you have previously made the other people in the table believe on what you wanted them to believe during the pre-flop.

Now, aside from considering the timing, it is best to always use bluff simultaneously with thin slicing.

You’ve noticed that I have mentioned thin-slice more than once in this article, but what does it actually mean and how can a poker player use it?

Briefly, thin-slicing is the art of making quick decisions with only very little information. Just like in the case of poker. People on the table would do their best not to show too much expression that could easily give away the cards that they have. Once you’re able to thin-slice accurately, that would give you a more reliable indication to bluff or not to bluff.

Another good time to try to bluff is when majority of the players have already folded in the game. The reason for using this opportunity is simple – it is easier to fool a couple of players than majority or everyone on the table.

Overall, while these bluffing techniques have helped a lot of poker players survive in the table, doing it all throughout will not help you win the game. If you have not factored in the right timing and applied any thin-slicing, there is a great chance that bluffing will not work in your favor. Bluffing for the sake of bluffing is never a good way to go other wise it going to backfire at you.

And, oh, don’t attempt to bluff if you have already been caught doing it.