“You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time,” said the first President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Maybe the president liked to play poker!
The reason we’re reminding you of Lincoln’s famous quote is because in Lesson 4, we’re going to continue looking at one of the things that makes poker such a unique game: the great art of bluffing. We touched on bluffing briefly in our previous lesson but now we’re ready to step it up a bit with some “do’s” and “don’ts” for the poker beginner.
Bluffing is so common in poker that many players consider it more important than the actual deal! Just look at some of the legends who have famously won with hands that look more like feet, and you’ll see how important bluffing is! But first, some guidelines for you to keep in mind:
DO bluff when the pot is big. You don’t need as big a chance of winning as when the pot is smaller.
DO bluff against good players. They will appreciate the opportunity to joust whereas bad players will simply call you, since it’s in their mentality to be impatient. They just want to see the next card.
DO bluff when an opponent is not bluffing. This happens when the pot is huge and the other player knows it will only take one card to beat him. He’s unlikely to be bluffing if he was the first to bet in a game with five or more players and expects to be called.
DON’T bluff when there is only one opponent and a small pot. If you check and he bets, there is a greater average chance that he himself is bluffing.
DON’T bluff when you’ve recently been caught bluffing. You’ve already been labeled as a poor bluffer, so don’t make things worse! Let your opponents forget that hand and start rebuilding a reputation as a straight player. You’ll get another chance soon.
DON’T bluff against lots of players. Chances are that someone has something that they will stick with. From an odds perspective, bluffing in this kind of situation is never worth it.
That’s all for now. Utilize the rest of our site to sweeten your game!