Poker is a game that does not require intelligence alone, but skill as well. Even when the cards are not in your favor, getting by and even winning in poker is possible as long as you know one of the oldest tricks in the book – bluffing. Bluffing may be an old trick, but it can be used successfully if you know how to bluff properly.
- Keep your poker face and be cool. Bluffing your opponents at the poker table requires you to keep as low a profile as possible. Never be too obviously confident or downhearted, and just keep your cool. One of the strategies used in poker is to read the opponent’s face, and by keeping your poker face, you are blocking your opponents from reading your expression. Without clues as to whether you are gaining the upper hand or losing, the opponent will be unable to make confident moves.
- Be a keen observer. When you are playing poker, it is equally important for you to consider your opponent’s playing patterns. One thing that must be considered is when an opponent often bets too quickly. these quick moves can be attempts to make you believe that the opponent has a strong card when in fact he does not. This is usually known as the shock tactic. On the other hand, if you encounter players who check quickly after the next river, turn or flop, they may also be bluffing for you to bet against them.
- Use the ‘exasperation bluff’. This is a kind of bluffing where you will mutter or whisper something in exasperation after you get a call, even though you have a good set of cards. This will give your opponents the impression that you do not have a very well guarded set of cards which should make your opponents more lenient in their moves. Be sure to seize the opportunity once the players have let their guard down.
- Know the best time to bluff. Timing is of the essence when it comes to playing poker. For example, one of the best times to bluff is before or during the flop. This will discourage other opponents who have weak cards in their hands and who are usually too timid to make any bold and daring moves in the game.
- Do not bluff all the time. Although bluffing can be very useful as a strategy in poker, keep in mind that the best way to win the game is by playing your moves right. Use bluffing only as complement to your moves. Be sure not to bluff through the entire game, however, since doing so repeatedly will only make you predictable during the game.
A game of cards may depend somewhat on chance, but there are plenty of strategies that you can use to beat the odds and gain an upper hand even when your cards do not cooperate. Bluffing is one of the tools that you can use for this. Coupled with wise bets, you can play a game without losing money.