Texas Hold’Em Bluffing Strategies: Evaluation

© 2006 Lisa Gonzalez

No one will argue; bluffing is an art, however, there are just as many reasons to bluff as there are expressions worn by poker players. Knowing when to bluff and when not to bluff will prove to be a valuable asset when mastered.

Understanding the game and the consequences of a bluff gone wrong are valuable tools that can be gained only from watching a game. Paying special attention to the circumstances and the results at high stakes games or even Saturday night’s at the neighbor’s house will result in some useful experience, especially, if there’s not many players in the pot!

Is bluffing a couple easier than bluffing a crowd? When there are only a couple of players in the pot …

Evaluate Your Opponents

The answer is a big maybe because it depends on just ‘who’ those opponents are and the biggest mistake most make is by underestimating their opponents. In short, never underestimate your opponents. If you’re a novice trying to bluff a pro, you may get lucky but it’s best to pay attention to a more experienced player. If the game is in a progressive stage, chances are you have evaluated your opponents enough to recognize their bluffs, meaning: sometimes it’s good to wait to pull your own bluffs.

Then again, if playing with less experienced players then bluffing early on consistently may be the key if it’s proven to be profitable. If you’ve bluffed and it’s not working, you better slow down and pay more attention to the other players to re-evaluate your own tactics.

Most would say that it’s much easier to bluff just a couple of players but you have to know when and what to do.

Bluffing Two!

The advantage to being able to bluff just a couple of players … well, it’s all in the cards. The chances that two other players have a viable poker hand are slimmer, which gives you the upper hand. You want the other two players to build the pot, you want to win maximum amounts and when you’ve evaluated your players, you’ve evaluated the chances of a good hand being pulled out by one of them and your own hand in standing … you’re bluff may come through.

Consistently Bluffing

One of the biggest secrets is to bluff often but not every hand. This gives your opponents a real task because you’re so unpredictable. It’s okay to bluff when you have nothing but remember to play it off when you have ‘something great’. Being unpredictable and using various bluff tactics can make you the winner. Bluff two or three hands, stop, and play two or three without bluffing. The object is to be unpredictable.

Bluffing in Numbers

If playing with a large group, consider the variants of the cards. Look at what you have, look at what’s on the table, read your opponents, consider what could be floating and what’s already been played. Knowing the cards is 9/10th’s of the battle!

Play smart to be the best, bluff hard when you can and play honest when least expected.

Bluffing Strategy - Instilling Fear
Bluffing Strategy - Evaluation
Bluffing Strategy - Early Bluffing
Bluffing Strategy - Late Position Bluffs

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