Advanced Poker Strategies and Bluffing
Advanced Strategies: Bluffing
Bluffing in poker is very much a skill and is generally used when a player's hand is particularly poor. After assessing the competition around the table, the bluffing player must ensure a reasonable pot, and then by using a combination of extreme confidence and aggressive betting / raising, persuade the other players to fold and withdraw from the game.
It is often difficult to know when good, experienced players are bluffing or betting against a strong hand. Poker players use a number of methods to ensure successful bluffing, including decisive betting, controlled body language, composed facial expressions and a relaxed tone of the voice.
When players hold an exceptional hand of cards, they may be tempted to keep looking at them, and they may use this subtle technique to bluff, tricking other players into believing that they are holding a higher ranking hand than they actually are. Poker players may also be more likely to bluff when the overall pot is high, as there is more money available to win.
Advanced Strategies: Spotting Bluffing Players
Experienced poker players are able to look out for the obvious signs for bluffing, which can prove extremely advantageous. Some of the most common signs when players are bluffing are as follows:
- Constant Fidgeting - when players seem unable to keep still and keep moving their hands and fingers
- Wandering Eyes - when players keep moving their eyes around the table and other players
- Hiding the Eyes - when players avoid eye contact, looking at the table, cards or even obscuring their eyes with their playing cards or hand
- Tone of Voice - when a player's voice changes noticeably, using becoming higher
- Sweating - when a player begins to sweat more than usual, particularly around the forehead
- Licking the Lips - when a player keeps constantly running their tongue over their teeth and licking their lips
- Shaking - when a player begins to shake or tremble, which can be particularly noticeable on their hands and fingers
- Changes in Posture - when a player's overall postures suddenly changes, such as remaining very still, or leaning forward much more
A combination of false body language, memorising the hand of cards, confident eye contact and relaxed conversation are all good ways to mask bluffing in poker.
If a poker player suspects another player of bluffing, they may simply start talking to them and see how they react. By knowing and understanding particular players, a pattern for when they choose to bluff soon becomes apparent, and many players never actually bluff at all.