The most important part of the game, which gives poker that originality and uniqueness, is the bluff, and it is the bluff that is perhaps the most curious and, most importantly, spectacular part. This statement is especially true for an audience that is just starting their poker career and has not yet understood the theoretical side of the issue.
Agree, few people are able to appreciate the discipline of your game, being unfamiliar with the mathematical expectation. And if you are faced with a negative session, when the expected action was not in sight and you never hit the board, pocket tens became the best starting hands. In such a situation, more lucky beginners will simply say that you absolutely lack skill.
Let’s get back to the topic of storytelling. Pros position bluffs exclusively as a tool for making a profit, there are absolutely no peculiarities, from the point of view of game theory, here. In addition, to be able to bluff you do not need absolutely any special volitional qualities, you only need a little knowledge in the field of psychology. Let’s try together to identify the skills that are important for a successful bluff and analyze the essence of bluffing as such.
As part of the game
If you watch a few Hollywood movies that feature poker, you can come to the conclusion that poker itself is a bluff game. And uninitiated people, among whom your friends, acquaintances, relatives or friends probably appear, are of the opinion that every poker player is a very gambling person and he bluffs even outside the poker game.
Today, things are stubbornly going to the fact that an inextricable link is established between the word “bluff” and poker, these words are almost synonymous. Bluffing is an integral part of poker, but it cannot be something special for you as a professional player.
When is a bluff justified?
The key rule that you need to remember is when is the notorious bluff justified? If the probability that opponents fold, and the player, in turn, will take the pot, is higher than the pot odds, this is a justified bluff, expressed as a positive mathematical expectation of a bluff. There are not so many situations when bluffing is indisputably appropriate, and often it turns into a struggle of characters.
It is strongly discouraged to bluff against an opponent who is incapable of critical thinking or has no interest in increasing his own income from the rink at any cost. It is worth avoiding the so-called autoresponders like fire – there are a lot of people who are not able to refuse to answer your bets.
Let’s say that even before the cards were dealt, you made the decision that in this hand you would bluff all your opponents out of the pot for no good reason – bad news for you.
You need to act according to the situation, it is quite difficult to give clear recommendations about when you should bluff. We recommend choosing a time for bluffing when opponents have hands in their range that he can fold – the notorious fold equity.