Before bluffing what question should you ask yourself?

The question you should ask yourself before bluffing is "If I bet a large amount, what kind of hand would my rival need to call my bet?" Would he have kings or aces? In other words, what is the main reason of calling his big bets? He may not call a bet unless he has big pair with a good kicker on a flop such as K-T-6. But if the flop comes with small cards, 7-4-2 for example, a rival will find it difficult to call with hands such as AK or AQ. Will he call with two over cards to the flop? Or will he call with a straight draw?

If you are vigilant enough, you can limit the kinds of hands with which a rival will call a bet. You can then answer your question, "If they don't have this kind of hand, they are going to fold." Knowing the calling requirements of your rivals is more significant in making a successful, legitimate bet as well as a bluff bet.

How much money should you bluff?

Generally you bluff an amount which is equal to the size of the pot. When you bluff that many chips, it means that your rival will have to put in large number of chips to call you. You can push all your chips if you are somewhat short-stacked. Suppose there is $4000 in the pot and your total stack is $9000. If you are going to bluff, you may take the risk by putting all your chips. That way, nobody can re-raise you. But suppose there is $4000 in the pot and your total stack is $20000. Here you can risk $4000 at the pot, a pot-sized bet.

What do you understand by semi-bluffing?

Semi-bluffing is one of the types of bluffing. The semi-bluff means that you put in chips with no pair, no nothing, when you have the marginal hand but you have some kind of a draw that gives you a chance to win the pot on the later street. You have a draw to a good hand but at the same time you take risk that your rival will fold if you bet.

Suppose you are holding a hand like A Kand the flop is 8 53. If someone bets on the flop then you should believe that he has made a pair or perhaps an over pair to the flop. There might other players holding a hand like 66 or TT or it is possible that they don't have a hand either. Whether or not he has a hand, you have outs - you have two over cards as well as the possibility of making a flush draw. You should put in a big raise when your rival bets. By doing this, you might a chance to win the pot and Also if they have a weak hand,

But let's say they check to you. Even if you think your rival has made a pair it is a fair chance that you make a good-sized bet. They might fold their hands and you can win the pot. However, if you get called, you still have outs to the hand - you can make to a flush or can get an over card on the river to win the pot. You can make this play when you have two over cards with no additional draw. Otherwise you cannot win the pot with such kind of hand.

With the help of Bluff How You can steal the antes and blinds?

It is very important to bluff in order to steal the antes and blinds. When you endure for a steal bluff, you make a positional raise; you can sometimes do this even with the weak hands. You should steal the blinds as and when it increases for the purpose of continuing the play.

When you are first one in the pot, you can make a bluff bet from late middle to late position. It would be difficult to bluff bet in the early poker position or middle position. It would be very risky to make a bluff bet as to try to steal the ante and blind when you raise the pre-flop earlier. Again you should not consider trying to steal the ante when someone else has already entered the pot.

In few poker tournaments you will find players trying to steal the ante and the blind with positional raises. The blinds tend to be very big at the final table of the poker tournament. Because of this reason players try to bluff bet even with the two cards even with 9-2, for example to try to pick up the antes and the blinds because it is important in the final stage of the tournament. By that players shall attack their rivals so that they will fold against a big raise.

If you can see the player's cards it feels good to watch someone with a hand like 8-3 making a big bet trying to steal the blinds. You can even see his rival who is Also in one of the blinds taking a tough decision whether to call or fold. You will be happy because you know what he doesn't know - the raiser doesn't have anything good.

What do you mean by re-steal bluff?

Re-steal is another type of bluff. You think that your rival is broken and you start re-raising to try to steal the pot. You are showing a best hand by re-raising your rival. Some players would think that this rival is just trying to steal the pot so even I will to try to re-steal it from him. Thinking this mind you re-raise the pot with nothing. You can find such kinds of plays in World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker.

What do you mean by follow-up bluff?

You need a very strong heart in order to bluff once and also another bluff. Most of the time it is a complete disaster and some of the time it makes you win lots of chips. Let's take the example, a player bluffs before the flop just to steal the blinds and antes and a rival call him. Suppose he completely misses his flop. Now that player thinks that I will bluff more because I don't want to lose all those chips in the pot and so I'll bluff more so that I can save them. If the player who called the bluffer's pre-flop raise is first to act and he checks on the flop, it is certain that the raiser will bet. The pre-flop caller will fold if he missed the flop and the raiser will win the hand with his follow-up bluff.

However, also let's see the other side of follow-up bluff, i.e. the disadvantage part. For example, the caller has a good hand. He is certain that if he checks to you, you are going to bet. Thus he takes the advantage of his position and checks his good hand to allow you, the raiser, to bet and set up a check-raise to win more chips. Suppose he has two queens and he called the pre-flop raise. The flop is 9-5-3 . He checks to you, thinking that you are going to bluff the pot. If now you bet he will re-raise you and win the extra chips that you bet on the flop.

Therefore it is very dangerous to any novice to play follow-up bluff in no-limit hold'em. It obviously requires lot of experience and skill so as to determine who and when you should bluff against.

What do you mean by total bluff?

The last type of bluffs is the total bluff. It is similar to the steal bluff with one exception. The exception is in the steal bluff, you may have hand which is weak but some has possibility of winning the pot. Some examples include 76 suited, QT off suit, A4 off suit. However, in the total bluff, you have absolute trash in your hand - 9-5, 7-2, or 8-3 for example. You are gambling that nobody will call if you raise. The total bluff is normally tried in late position when no one has entered the pot and the blinds are tight players who fold some weak hands.

Who you think normally bluffs after the flop?

It depends on the number of factors. In an un-raised pots, the first player in the pot bets after the flop, because he thinks everybody must have missed the flop. If the pot was raised before the flop, the player who is likely to bluff after the flop is the raiser, as people are used to check to the pre-flop raiser. He might have a better hand but he runs the risk of getting trapped by a rival who check-raises him, as some players check a big hand from up front when they are sure that the pre-flop raiser will bet.

Pressure on rivals when you bluff

It creates huge pressure on playing flop tournament players when they go broke or damage their stack. Always keep in mind that you and your rival require a better hand to call a raise with than you require betting with. If your rivals are short-chipped and they know they are going to have to give most of their chips, it will be very tough for them to call without a "made" hand. With your bet you pressurize them to go broke and damaging their stack if they call with a weak hand.

How your ability to bluff is affected by the changes in fast-action no-limit hold'em

There are many more "action" players playing in no-limit hold'em nowadays. Also there are many aggressive players who consistently strike others. In the past, there were player who don't use to call a big raise with a hand such as AQ. However, in nowadays games, many players might call you with a hand such as AQ, AJ or AT. Some beginners think that such kinds of hands are big hands and they will call a big raise with these hands and also sometimes re-raising them. This tendency is important to bluffing strategy because you should know that in the modern world tournaments, many players call you with weaker hands that you would have expected them to call you with.


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