Texas Hold’Em Bluffing Strategies: Early Bluffing

© 2006 Lisa Gonzalez

Just as important as it is to know when to bluff and when not to bluff, it’s even more important to know how to test your opponents. This goes far beyond knowing or evaluating your opponent because this is hand-to-hand combat.

To truly test an opponent you have to do more than read their body language or their facial expressions, you have to see what they do when faced with various options. The benefit here is to find out if you’re opponents are loose novices or tight pros, and the only way to know is to bluff on the flop or the pre-flop.

Bluffing on the flop or the pre-flop is considered early but you can see what level of skill your opponents are playing at early on if you play you’re cards right.

Easy Folders

If you notice that the players fold easily early on in the hand, you’ll recognize that this quaint trait usually means your opponents are novices and they’re not willing to stick it out to see what the deck holds in store for them. Usually these players expect to recognize a great hand from the get go and when they get a great hand … you’ll know.

When this happens, these players are usually swayed easily and can be bluffed easily too. You’ll know where you stand just from their actions.

The Renegades

The Texas Hold’Em renegades know that the deck is as unpredictable as Lady Luck herself … they wait for the right cards. These players play tight, they play smart and they have patience with the cards; beware.

If an opponent does not fold, if he or she holds up under pressure then you know that these opponents you’re facing are experienced and you can expect a few bluffs that may throw you off. Concentrate on the game, the cards and the players because when you’re playing against tight opposition, anything can happen.

Pay attention to the actions of those that fold early on, what do they do and what do the bold players that wait do when they’re holding worthless cards but choose to stay in the game? Some players are gamblers by nature and they’ll never back down, they’ll wait for “the perfect hand” until dooms day! Those are the ones you have to watch for because they can take you to the cleaners when they have the ‘perfect hand’ and you’ll never suspect it until it’s too late.

Texas Hold’Em is an extremely mental game with a lot of variants thrown into the mix and the player that’s able to take his or her skill to the next level while keeping an eye on the rest of the action will be the one to walk out with all the dough.

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

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