Poker, as we all know, has one of the highest skill ceilings among all deck games. Rather than just knowing what cards could be coming out of the shoe next round, one has to constantly guess what kind of hands the opponents at the table have. In fact, the real poker is played in manipulating your opponent’s gameplay by manipulating the information they potentially have on your hand. This is why the legendary ‘poker face’ is such a big factor in poker.
The bluff by nature is a thrilling game mechanism that can add a whole different layer of intrigue. Here are a few tips that will help you master it easier.
Get your poker face on
This is the most obvious pointer in the world when it comes to bluffing. One must know how to sell a bluff when they do bluff. But most beginners actually think they are better at bluffing than they really are. In reality, most people tend to have at least some kind of tell. The bottom line is to have perfect command over your body language. The one surefire way to deal with this is mirror practice. Often our lips tremble, our hands shake, or our expressions change slightly even without our knowledge when we lie. Once you spot a tell that you tend to have, practice a posture that will help you hide it. An example is keeping your hands together with the cards inside your palms if your hands tend to shake.
Timing is everything
It is common knowledge that the frequent bluffer seldom succeeds. In a game, generally you bluff only once or twice. And it is best never to bluff more than two persons at a time. But the timing of that bluff is also crucial. This varies game by game, of course. For example, in a game where you have a great hand but with low bets, you can use up your bluff to bait your opponents into increasing the pot size.
But as a rule of thumb, it is best never to bluff too early and instead bide your time. If you have to go first in a round, resist all temptations of an otherwise good bluff opportunity. It is always better to wait for a round where someone else will go first. That way, you get a way better read of the room, and other potential bluffers.
Practice makes perfect in Poker
Strangely enough, bluffing is also something you can practice. Some people are more gifted at it than others. But bluffing is all about understanding and manipulating your opponent’s hands and motivations. So it is something you can practice even over an online poker table.