Regardless of whether you are of the mind that playing tight is the right way to do things or not, the people that you play against should know that you have the ability to bluff if it comes down to it. If you don’t bluff from time to time you become too predictable and could lose loads of money in the process. It’s been said that if you don’t bluff in poker then you’re doing something wrong so here are some tips on how to go about doing it right.
This tip solely for those who play live-poker and is likely where many seasoned players learned to bluff. Body language is a natural form of non-verbal communication that all humans subconsciously engage in. Controlling your body language is hard but not impossible and if you want to become a great bluffer it’s a skill worth honing. Physical tells or behaviors play are very important in live poker and if you have too many tells, seasoned players, who are experienced at calling bluffs and noticing tells, will likely use it to their advantage. A good idea would be to get used to a neutral posture that hides the usual tell-tale areas and make use of this posture whether you’re involved in a significant pot or not.
What sets experienced bluffers and weak poker players apparent is their mindset about the real-life currency they’re playing for. When you sit down to enjoy a poker game, you should not be thinking of actual money involved but rather the chips, which are big blinds. It takes time to let go of the attachment to real money but this mindset will be a great help as you endeavor to become better at bluffing. The thought of betting 200 dollars of your hard-earned cash is enough to make anyone reluctant but thinking in terms of betting 40BB in exchange for a 150 BB reward is much easier to do. Thinking of real money hinders your ability to pull off a good bluff as money is associated with the things you could spend that cash on instead. This, in turn, leads to hesitation that opponents will notice.
If your goal is to become an expert at bluffing then good and logical storytelling is a vital skill. While bravery and detachment from the cash are all good, bluffs are always called if they don’t make sense. Before you decide to bluff, think about what this bluff is going to represent to the other players at the table. Make sure that you know the story you’re going to tell beforehand and ask yourself whether it makes sense. There’s always a risk that you will tell the perfect story and still get caught out but this is because some players hate folding.
Now that you’ve got the basics down, the only thing left to do is go forth and conquer. Remember that bluffing is a skill that is best learned through practice and even Rome was not built in a day.