Texas Hold’Em Bluffing Strategies: Late Position Bluffs

© 2006 Lisa Gonzalez

There are perfect times for bluffing and the best prelude to a hefty pot is when you’re in a late position and everyone else at the table has checked. Late positions usually hold the most success but not always, this is a vulnerable time.

Some people say that this is a point of the game that forces other players out and this holds true if you play aggressively, however, the calm collected player will benefit with a bluff practically every time.

Forcing Players Out

If players fold, you’ll know they’ve summed you up thus far and it’s a sign that you need to tighten up. On the other hand, keep in mind that novices fold early because they can’t read the cards. If you’ve evaluated the players correctly, you should be able to predict their next move.

In the middle of the game you’ll recognize the opponents that need to be eliminated and to force these players out your plays should be sporadic. The late position is great for intimidation and showing off poker valor. In the middle of the game is when most players begin to play a bit safer and that’s the time to enforce fear.

Once an opponent begins to play safer, the more anxious they become and concentration is dwindled, putting you at the top of the board.

They Checked & They Stay

Good and bad signs! Once again, if you’ve evaluated your player’s right, then you should know what this means. Calling their bluffs is important because a good player will be testing you too and early on the in the game is when everyone usually chooses to bluff, pay attention!

All of the others players have checked, you’re in the late position and everyone is waiting for you, trust that they’ll pay attention based on your action. The late position is a critical position because most players in the late position holding a good hand tend not to be so humble as to simply check.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to check as everyone else has. When the player in the late position checks, the other players are usually swayed to believe that the player has an unpredictable hand or nothing at all.

Keeping the mystery is invaluable!

The biggest factor here is if you’ve bluffed early on a flop or pre-flop against an experienced player and they don’t buckle, you better keep an eye on them when you’re in the late position because an experienced opponent knows how to work the table to his or her advantage.

They could be milking you!

The Secret

Change your plays when you’re in the late position, never do the same thing twice. If you checked last time, bet next time, and the next time, then check. Make it impossible for anyone to read your moves.

Developing a style is not recommended; you have to play each hand like it’s your first because if you don’t, you’re in for it. An added advantage is to be responsive. If you notice a player that tends to stay in when you check or fold when you bet, watch them because they’re trying to establish a routine with you, meaning that they’ve sized you up or are trying to trick you.

The Cards are Your Friends

The cards don’t lie, know what’s been played and the chances of what your opponents may have in their hands. This is hard to tell with those that fold early but more predictable with pros that stay in for the long haul. Your objective is to keep the players in, bets are needed and when you can … bet.

If you have an Ace high, three other aces have been played and you’re holding the King and the Queen of the same suit, you know by taking into consideration the cards that have been played that your chances are beyond average.

Keep an eye on your opponent’s actions to see their reactions once the river comes about.

In the progressive stages of the game you’ll be able to eliminate those opponents that pose a threat, trimming down the opposition to your favor and reaping the rewards of a massive pot you’ve managed to build from your own savvy.

While there are a zillion strategies to play Texas Hold’Em, the ultimate test is up to the players. It’s a matter of exercising the skills acquired and making the right decisions at the right time, one bad decision can throw the whole game. Maintaining a positive, yet realistic mindset is a skill best utilized at the poker table. Do you have what it takes?

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

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