In poker, as in life, you can’t always show what you’re thinking. The barbershop is an excellent place to observe aversive behavior and become a student of human character. Those individuals unhappy with their haircuts will show false contentment to the barber in order to avoid an awkward moment. When the stakes are high in a poker game, it’s especially important to bluff your heart out. Whether you play with the boys in the man cave, a tricked out casino, or an online forum, you have to know how to bluff.
The Tell Tattletale
Everyone has a tell. Your buddy has one and you do too. All of your opponents betray themselves; you’re looking for theirs and they’re looking for yours. To bluff successfully, you have to recognize your own tell. Play with someone you trust and ask them for hints about the things you do when you have a hot hand or a losing bet. You also want to discover how you behave when you’re bluffing.
Maybe you’re planning to down load online poker US games and play over the Internet. Your tell is still important because they’re not all physical. If you get overzealous when you’re bluffing, you might bet so high that even faceless opponents recognize your behavioral patterns. If you don’t know your own tells, you cannot properly bluff.
The Bluff Hierarchy
You also need to understand the different bluffs. Most players agree that there are two kinds: the half-bluff, or the semi, and the whole-bluff, or the pure. A half-bluff occurs when you have a moderately good hand but feel like it will improve further in the game. If you’re playing Hold ‘Em, for instance, you’re confident that the flop will ultimately improve your hand.
When you engage in a pure bluff, you have a horrible hand. It’s awful and you know it’s awful, nothing will make it any better, but you stay in the game anyway. You are either very brave or very skilled and, to win, you’ll have to have a lot of luck or a perfect bluff. See? The whole-bluff is why it’s so important to recognize your own tells.
The Fine Art of Timing
There are good and bad times to bluff, of course. When should you bluff? Although it all depends on your hand, confidence, and skill, only do it if your position is late; never do it as the first bettor. The cards you show have to look strong as well, and your poker face should look flawless. Ideally, you should only face one of your opponents and you have to recognize everyone’s tells. Otherwise, abandon the bluff.
Bluffing successfully takes practice and skill. The more you play, the better you bluff, and the more you ultimately win.