Bluffing....Look, I'm no expert, but I read a lot...and this is the advice wot I have read.
Basically, in a long handed game, say 7 or more players, you really don't need to bluff. This is because with so many players, someone is almost bound to have a hand that beats yours, and is also prepared to call your bluff. So only play strong hands. This is incredibly boring, as it means you play about one hand in 12, and on a bad day, you might not play a hand for well over half an hour at a time. This only play good hands strategy isn't original or interesting, but it is effective because for some reason I can't understand, few other players stick to it, and few adjust their play to allow for your rock-like credentials.
It's still a good idea to bluff sometimes, the idea isn't really to win anything out of it, but almost to get caught bluffing. If you do this people will say "Ah, that C.M. , he's a bit of a bluffer". This means that the next time you play a hand, even if its a pair of AAs, people will say "Ah, that C.M. , he's a bit of a bluffer" etc. Hopefully they will raise against your bet on your impossibly strong hand, & you clean up. Well that's the idea anyway. I think it's probably best not to bluff more often that once in every 10 or so hands that you play. That's a guess. I don't know for sure. As you're only playing 1 in 12 hands, that means you bluff about once every blue moon. But you get the idea.
In short handed games esp with 3 or less, then you need to bluff a lot. In this sense, it means raising loads in order to convince your opponent that you have a strong hand. Strangely, because there are only a few players, if you have almost any hand of any quality it probably is stronger anyway. This tendancy to raise a lot in short handed games makes them very aggrressive, so pref. should be avoided by the likes of us. They're difficult to win, unless you really have a feel for the game, which takes time. I'll give it another year for my ability !
Because of all this, when selecting tables, the thing I most look out for is full tables. They're easier for beginners.
"I have enough money to last me the rest of my life unless I buy something." -Jackie Mason
The way I see it, in limit poker there are only two good times to bluff, the semi-bluff when you have a four flush or open ended straight.In other words you have the worst hand, but a very good chance of making the best hand. Sometimes you have both , with 15 cards that can make your hand.I particularly like having a pair and the flush draw. Of course if it's the top pair, you are not bluffing. The other time to bluff is the position bluff, when you are last or second last and everyone has checked. I prefer to do this after the turn card, too many players will call after the flop with over cards, and the bigger bet on the turn discourages callers.Remember they have no idea what you have, in their mind you could have slow-played a set, or have made a set or two pair on the turn.Some poor players can't be bluffed, so it's a good idea to know if this type player is in the hand.Just the other day, I saw a bluffer called , and the caller couldn't even beat an ace high, which of course what the bettor had..
If you play low limit against more players, then do not bluff or very rarely, because there are players who never fold. If there are 1-2 opponents only, then of course you have to bluff, when you feel your opponents do not have good cards. If the pot is large, then the bluffing is bad idea, because if the players fold, then they lose lot of money, so some of them will call. If the pot is small, then the bluff can be good. (I'm quite good low limit Hold'em player.)
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