Play Poker 247

Playing Poker and Bluffing

Basic Strategies for Playing the Bluff

It is important for any poker player to know how to bluff and when to bluff. Some players bluff too much and some players don’t bluff enough. It is a vital part of your poker game because if you are not ever bluffing then you are missing out on a lot of correct poker plays that should be made. As long as you are careful and thoughtful about when you are bluffing it will normally work out.

Continuation Betting

When you raise preflop and bet the flop unimproved it is called a continuation bet. You are continuing the aggression that you had preflop by betting again on a flop you think your opponent was likely to miss on. This is the most standard bluff seen and every poker player should have this line in their arsenal.

Knowing what kind of boards to continuation bet on is very important to the aggressor. If you are just continuation betting at any flop possible then you will probably lose money in the long run because there are a lot of flops that poker players love to continue on. Not only that, but when players see you betting at every flop they will soon realize that you are full of it and start punishing you for bluffing.

You want to bet at flops that it is more than likely your opponent has no connection with. A flop with one high card and two low cards would be a great flop to continuation bet on. The perfect flop to continuation bet would be K22. It is far from likely that your opponent holds a 2 because they called your raise and if they don’t have a K then they are forced to fold because they think that you have one.

Boards that you don’t want to bet on are boards with middle cards. The more draw heavy the board the more likely it is your opponent has some sort of connection to the hand. A lot of the weak poker players that you will preferably be playing most pots with love to chase their draws and try to beat their opponent by hitting a big poker hand. You might be able to win money by continuing the bluff this hand down, but since you were just continuation betting it is best to give up if you get called.

Double Barreling

The double barrel is another good bluff line to take. If you raise preflop and miss then you will continuation bet a dry flop. When players call you down you will normally have to give up beyond that. When a good card for you comes on the turn it leaves a little more room to look like you have improved.

You only want to double barrel in a spot where it looks like you have obviously improved your hand. If you raise preflop with pocket 5s and then continuation bet a board of T24 you will get called by a variety of hands. 7s plus will call you and a T will call you. When a card like a Q, K, or A comes on the turn this is a golden opportunity to make yet another bet unimproved because since you raised preflop your opponent will normally think that you have over cards. Since the over card hit on the turn and you bet it only makes sense to your opponent that you have made a better pair than they have and they will fold.

You don’t want to over exhaust this line. If players see you doing it all of the time then it will make it less effective the next time you attempt it because they won’t believe you. You want to throw it in as much as you can when it is applicable, but you still want to do little enough that it seems as though you have legitimately made a hand.

Buying the River

River bluffs are just as important as any other bluff in poker. There aren’t too many times that you are going to bluff the river. This is far fewer times than you will be using either of the other two lines above. This is because a lot of players are passive. Their main concern is to get to showdown after the river so that they can see if their hand has won. Being at the river makes it only one call away for these players to achieve their goal and to see if they have won. That is why you need to watch out for bluffing passive players on the river.

The best situation to bluff on the river is when you have a tell on your opponent and are sure that they were on a draw that missed. They have called your continuation bet with their draw, missed on the turn and river and are now done with the hand. All that is left for you to do is to make a reasonable bet that doesn’t look fishy and force them to fold. This is especially nice because you are then taking a hand that has missed and has no value and turning it into a hand that gains value from draws. For this to be most effective you want to study your opponents carefully and only use this line against players that you are sure habitually call down with draws and fold when they miss.

Against tight players you want to do close to the same except you want to bluff when the draw has hit on the river. Normally tight players are playing top pair top kicker or two pair type hands. When the draw comes in and it seems like there is a big hand that you could have that beats their two pair or top pair they will run away because they are scared of the monster you are representing.