More on the Poker Bluff and When to Use It


Yesterday I talked about some good times to bluff. As you learn to read the board better and better you will more easily identify situations that you can successfully bluff in. Today I will point out some obvious and some not so obvious situations where you probably should not bluff.

First off, boards when you have several players in the pot, a board that contains an Ace is not the best one to bluff into. In other words, if there are 4 players in the hand including yourself and the Flop comes A-T-5, this is not a good time to bluff. Why? Because one of those players is likely to have an Ace. Why? Because many online players will play any Ace and a hand with an Ace in it is one that is likely to have gotten a call before the Flop. Of course, there are exceptions, your opponents might all be playing K-Q or pocket 8’s, but by and large you will find it hard to bluff into boards with an Ace in them.

The same can be said for multiple over card boards. I do not get as concerned about boards with say one King or Queen, because pre-flop a player may have folded a hand like K-3 or Q-7. However, if he has Q-J, K-Q, K-J, he is likely to have wanted to see the Flop and still be in the hand. Be careful of boards with multiple face cards.

Another board you might have a hard time pushing players off their hand is one that is suited. Not only suited with 2 cards, but even with 3. I have seen players call off all their chips with a high spade in their hand, hoping that 4th spade comes on the Turn or River. These types of hands you can take a shot with, but if you get much resistance it is probably best to shut the hand down, you may not be able to shake them off.

Using these quick guidelines should help in your decision making process of when and when not to try a bluff. Over the next few days I will talk about the ‘semi-bluff’ and when to use it. The semi-bluff can be the most effective tool in poker if you use it properly and it is sometimes even more profitable than a stone cold bluff. Stay tuned.

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