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Bluffing is a tool of great importance to big-bet poker players. Being able to bet the size of the pot means a lot of bets go uncalled. Good judgment about whether to run a bluff will result in winning plenty of money. What are some indications that a successful bluff can be launched?

               This sounds trite, but it is important to realize that the purpose of a bluff is to win the pot. Some players think the main purpose of a bluffing is to set up situations to make money by getting your good hands paid off. Bluffs will have the fringe benefit of helping you make money on strong hands, but this should be treated only as a by product of bluffing. Players who are too conscious of the advertising value a bluff tend to overwork this play. Launch a bluff when you think it will be successful, and let the advertising take care of itself
               The less often you bluff, the more successful your bluffs will be. Opponents do watch how you play, and a tight image means fewer calls. It is up to each player to find the amount of bluffing that works best for his style of play poker school.This desirable bluffing ratio will vary from session to session. If you’re holding good hands and winning a lot of pots by uncalled bets, the opponents may well think you are running bluffs. Be careful about bluffing when your exceptionally good cards already make it look like you’re trying to run over the game. And for heaven’s sake, don’t show those hands unless forced to by a call.

                Some people are harder to bluff than others. Weak players tend to call more. A player having a losing session is more apt to talk himself into a call than a winner would be. People who are wealthy tend to put money into other pot more often than average people. Particularly prone to calling are players who have a lot of cash, such as bookmakers, bar owners, and drug dealers. It pays to think about who you are bluffing.
                Sometimes the cards you hold indicate that a bluff will have a better than usual chance of success

. Here are a few examples:
(1) At Omaha, there are three of suit on board creating a possible flush, and you hold the lone ace of that suit.
(2) At hold’em, the board is K-9-8-6-3, and hold pocket sevens, the key card needed for the straight.
(3) At lowball draw, you pick up 3-3-3-2-2, five low cards that others will need.
(4) At seven-card stud, you have a deuce showing, and an ace and king of that suit in the hole. A player in late position with an ace showing raises your forced lowcard bet.


                Position plays an important role in bluffing strategy. If the other online poker players all check to you, sometimes it pays to take them at their word. After all, the odds favor them being weak, rather than slipping a good hand to you. Poker hands enough to be planning a check-raise are not that easy to come by.

                Big-bet poker differs greatly from limit poker in the frequency with which players initially check, and then call or raise when someone in late position bets. Big-bet players back in much less often. In a no-limit hold’em or pot-limit Omaha game you should be picking up three way pots with a bet at least half the time when the opponents check. And if you check in first position and the field checks behind you, think about picking up the pot with a bet on the next round if the new boardcard looks innocuous, You must not let money sit in the pot to rot.              

                A bluff that represents a specific holding has a better chance of success than money that simply says, “I like my hand.” When that third card to a flush hits on the board at hold’em, a bet says, “I have a flush.” You don’t figure to get called unless the opponent has a flush himself, or can hit either a bigger flush or a full house on the next card. At Omaha poker, if the board pairs, a player who is drawing to a straight or flush will lose interest in the pot. This good time to make a small bet and find out what you’re up against.

                An important principle in bluffing is that a relatively small amount of money threatens the opponent with a large loss it you have the hand you are representing. If you bet a thousand dollars all-in, this does not apply nearly as much pressure when there is still several thousand dollars left that the opponent may need to put into the pot to see the hand through. This is one reason why top big-bet players prefer to buy in for a goodly sum of money.

                When you bluff, let the bet itself do the work of scaring your opponent out of the pot. Do not try to bet in a confident manner. Do not say anything. Don not try to stare down the opposition. These extra flourishes are liable to produce the opposite result to the one you desire. If you have chosen the right opponent and situation for a bluff, he is quite likely to fold. Don’t give him an excuse to make a long call.

               Don’t be afraid to bluff when you first take up big-bet poker. Experiment a little bit to see want you can get away with. At any form of poker, you should not be playing a lot of texas hands. This will give you the image of a tight player. This image will give your bluffs a good chance of success, so make it work for you.


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