Learning To Bluff In Poker

Sure, you’ve studied the rules of the specific type of poker you’ll be playing, and you’ve memorized which hands beat other card combinations. But in poker, it isn’t always the best hand that wins. Poker combines mathematical skill with deception, with a handful of luck thrown in. To really succeed in the poker world, you need to learn how to bluff.

Put simply, bluffing means tricking the other players into believing that your hand is better than it really is. To really be successful, you’ll need to control your physical mannerisms in order to prevent betraying your bluff to others. People who are lying tend to blink more rapidly, shift their eyes around more frequently and fidget more in their seats. If you’re going to learn to bluff, you’ll need to learn to control these physical effects. Practice by watching yourself in the mirror as you play a mock hand – you’ll quickly learn to correct your most noticeable cues.

In addition, becoming successful at bluffing means learning when to bluff and when to simply fold your hand. There are several factors you should take into consideration:

First, consider your opponents. If you’re playing against an inexperienced player who’s calling and raising every hand that goes around. This type of poker player will make it difficult for you to successfully carry off a bluff. However, if you’re able to identify a player who only plays through on top hands, you may be able target him or her successfully with a bluff.

You should also consider your order in the game play when deciding whether or not to bluff. If you’re one of the last players to act on a hand, you have a much better shot at successfully bluffing, since you’ll be able to watch their actions and gauge how they might respond to your bluff. If you’re earlier on in the lineup, you may find yourself in over your head if a later player pulls through with a hot hand. It’s also best to wait so that you’re bluffing only one player – attempting to bluff two or more increases the odds that one of them is holding a hand that will beat yours.

Another key factor is the size of the bet you place during your bluff. If your bet is too large, your opponents are likely to take notice and call your strong hand. On the other hand, if your bet is too small, you’ve made it easier for competitors to call. The real key to bluffing is to save it for occasional hands, when the situation’s right. If you attempt to bluff at every opportunity, your opponents will take notice.

A final, more advanced option is to bluff your opponents into thinking your hand is much worse than it really is – a tactic often known as “slow play”. Using this method, your goal is to entice the other players to put more into the pot than they would if you led out with a big bet. The key is to hold off on your bigger bets until the turn or river card so that other players are more drawn into the game. And of course, it should go without saying, that you should only attempt this tactic if you really do have a solid hand, like a full house or a high flush or straight.


Late Tournament Play With Ten Big Blinds

When poker tournaments are in the late the stages there are many different kinds of stack sizes that players could have. You’ll have the chip leader; middle stacks and you’ll have those small stacks clinging on for dear life. In this article I am going to discuss the small stack play and how to use your chips more effectively than you may have in the past. Playing small stack poker can be a tricky thing and players sometimes do not play their stack correctly which in result could end their tournament life. I am going to discuss small stack play in which the player has roughly 10 big blinds to work with.

Let’s imagine that you are in a tournament in the late stages and you find yourself with a stack of about 10 big blinds. This is a situation in which a player has to choose a hand to make their move with. With this many blinds there is no time to mess around and, in my opinion, there are only two options when you have a stack of this size; it’s either all in or fold. I say this because you don’t have a stack to limp in with because odds are you will miss the flop completely and someone will more than likely bet you out of the pot. If you were to keep doing this over and over your chips would disappear very quickly. I don’t really recommend limping but it makes me cringe when I see players do it with 10 big blinds or less.

The other option I don’t recommend doing is the standard raise unless the player is an experienced player and they have been in this spot before. The two options I would stick to if I was a new player would be to go all in or just simply fold. Now this can tricky as well because you don’t constantly fold your hands away because the blinds and antes will eventually run you out of chips. On the flip side a player doesn’t want to all in with any two random cards at any point in time. The decision to go all in can come down to a couple different factors. One factor would be the position on your table. If you are one the first to act then I would recommend shoving a stronger hand but if you are close to the button and one of the last to act then your hands don’t have to be as strong. It’s a very tricky situation to master but on the flip side I don’t think poker is a game anyone can master because the game is constantly changing.
So, if you find yourself in a 10 big blind situation think about some of the tips I just gave and see how the works out. Choose your spots wisely, don’t fold all your chips away and finally pay attention to your position on the table. Stay tuned for my next article where I will discuss the type of hands that I recommend when making your move all in. Good luck in your next poker tourney!


Introduction To Omaha

One of the most popular variations of poker is known as Omaha Hold’em. This game is very popular among Europeans, but it is also enjoyed in the States. A great way to deal with the Texas Hold’em burnout is to give Omaha Hold’em a try. The game is almost exactly like Texas Hold’em, except for two major differences. Players are dealt four cards instead of two, and players must use two and exactly two of these cards to make the best five-card poker hand.

Since players have more cards in your arrangement, the winning hands are usually stronger than the winning hands in Texas Hold’em. With that in mind, be aware that many new Omaha players lose a lot of money by overvaluing their hands. While in Texas Hold’em an ace-king on a table of ace-nine-six-four-two is a strong hand, in Omaha the same hand loses a lot of money against two pair hands and straights.

Omaha doesn’t have as much of a psychological factor as Texas Hold’em does. That’s because the game is more manageable. If there is a three-to-a-suit on the board, there is a good chance someone will have a flush. Psychological aspects such as bluffing are of little importance in Omaha.

In all honesty, I’m not a big fan of Omaha, as the odds you are likely to have against an opponent while having a strong hand are not clear. For example, let’s say I have a queen-queen-ace-four hand and the flop is queen-eight-six. In Texas Hold’em, I have a starter pull grip on every opponent, regardless of what they are holding in their hands. In Omaha, however, let’s assume my opponent has Jack-Ten-Nine-Seven with two different backdoor flush options. I don’t have a handle on him and he also has a slight advantage over me at this point! In other words, there is a good chance he will complete his draw and so a lot of my equity is tied up with the board having a pair on it, so I can do a full house. With such a scenario, many good Omaha players wait for a safe turn card before the pot is rammed and blocked.

Most Omaha games are played with pot-limit bets. Rarely can you find an Omaha game that has no-limit bets. Since many of the strategies are now based on getting by with correct draws, no-limit bets would ruin a lot of the fun of the game. Basically, players with the best hand in the second betting round could bet everything and force those with strong draws to fold in many situations. As you can see, Omaha is a gamer’s pleasure. The boundaries are small and the impression of the game comes from the excitement and anticipation of revealing the turn and river.