Remember all the times you lied your way through and got away with almost everything? And by doing that you mastered the art of keeping a straight face all the way. Well you’re in luck, that skill might just help you win at poker, that and a bunch of other things ofcourse!
PS: This is just a basic guide to get you started and is not a sure shot way to teach you or help you win at poker. Bluffing requires a lot of practice to master and we recommend you start on with playing chips before you start betting with the big ol’ greens.
Now, let’s start with the basics:
1. In Poker, you play the player and not just the cards.
This is something you must have heard a lot. For the uninitiated, in poker each player has a tell, by which you can analyse as to when that player is bluffing and how strong of a hand he may be holding. This can be known by facial expressions, body language, the manner in which they wager chips and so on. Basically, to play your player you got to know them, and can’t just rely on the cards. But by no means should you discard (pun intended) the kind of hand you got. Both of them go hand in hand. See what I did there?
2. Poker face
Apart from being Lady Gaga’s song, this forms a very crucial part of bluffing. Poker face in common poker parlance means maintaining a straight face throughout the game so as to not let your opponents know what kind of hand you have through your facial expressions. Maintaining a poker face is difficult and even your eyes can spill the beans as to how good your hand is. You may even wear a cap or shades to cover your eyes and prevent giving a ‘tell’ to your opponents.
3. Don’t be a blaster
If you’ve been playing a lot of poker online and blasting through the hands by going all-in, well stop. Save yourself the regret of losing all the money by going all in without thinking, because you’ll be losing actual money instead of virtual and may even become the laughing stock in your poker circle. Keep impulsive action to yourself think twice before going big. Even though you may get away with it at times, this is surely not the way to bluff and someone will call your bluff some or the other time. However, this trick may even work in your favour. If you continuously run bluffs, your opponents will be enticed to call it and will raise even on mediocre hands and you can win the pot big if you’ve got the right cards.
4. Bluff when your opponents are running low
When you’re opponent are running low and you have a way higher chip stack, that’s may be the right time to strike the hammer. In a one on one showdown with your opponent, in his head he is running the risk of losing all his chips and will try to play safe. Use this to your advantage and strategically raise each rounds and you may win the pot.
5. Reverse psychology
Sometimes you must bluff to show that you have crappy cards even if in reality you don’t. This counter-intuitive practise may work and reap real benefits. Let’s say after the flop you have hit a flush, instead of going big go subtle and raise the minimum bet and keep raising the minimum bet till the final round. This reverse psychology trick may keep the players interested till the last round and you might end up with an even bigger pot.
Remember, each player has a different playing style and each player is to be treated in a different manner. Players will question you on the table, sweet talk you and even trash talk at times. Stay on you guard and whatever you do, do it with confidence and play the right hands, and well, bluff on the ones that aren’t.