Beginners' Poker - What is Bluffing?

It is important for beginner poker players to understand what bluffing is, and to learn to use it as an essential part of their poker strategy.

What is Bluffing?

Bluffing is when a poker player plays a hand as if they have a very good hand, but in reality, they may not even have a low pair in their hand. Bluffing can also be done in the opposite way, in that players who do have a really good hand can pretend that they have a much weaker hand. Bluffing is used as a strategy to win the betting for the round.

Good bluffing is an art in which one poker player makes the other poker players believe that they have a good hand, when in fact they do not. Bluffing is often necessary in poker games, and players should work on their bluffing skills as part of their strategy. There is no science to bluffing, however, it is possible to learn to read other players after watching them for some time.

Three Types of Bluffing in Poker

There is the stone cold bluff, where the players has absolutely nothing in their hand, yet they continue to bet and raise bets in order to convince other players that they have an excellent hand in the hopes that other players will eventually fold their hands.

There is the semi-bluff, in which the player will bet on a hand that could have a chance to win, although the bets are placed as if the hand were much better than it actually is. Even if the player does not win on the bluff, they may still have a chance at winning if their hand beats the hands of the other players.

Finally, there is a bluff that is the exact opposite of the stone cold bluff. This is when players act as if their hand is weak, while it is actually a good hand, as explained above.

Why Do Poker Players Bluff?

There are a number of reasons that poker players will bluff in a poker game. Sometimes players will bluff because there are very few people that are in for a round, and they may have a chance of bluffing their way to a win. Players who had hoped for a good play on the flop based on their face down cards, and nothing came up, may decide to bluff instead of folding. Players who are playing against conservative players may find it easy to win by bluffing since they conservative players will most likely fold before they do. If the bluffer is usually a known conservative player, they are likely to win on a bluff. It is best to bluff only when you feel that you will win more money by doing so.

Warnings to Bluffers

Bluffers can stand to lose a lot of money, and should remember that bluffing is always a risk. Bluffers should be careful not to get into the habit of bluffing all the time since they can lose money and other players may not take them seriously. Players should be careful not to be caught out in a bluff by other aggressive players. Be careful not to place bets that you cannot afford and are too high when bluffing.