A bluff is a wager made with a hand that is probably a loser, with the intention of getting all of your opponents to fold. Bluffing and reading bluffs are two of the most famous aspects of poker.
Bluffing is a more risky thing to try than other strategies might be. You really have to know your opponents and be able to get into their heads. If someone calls your bluff, you can be out a lot of money.
However, if your bluff is successful, you’ve just won the pot with a weak hand. There’s no set way to bluff. Every situation will be different. It will dependent on many things including the type of player you’re trying to bluff, how many there are, what the flop is, etc.
Also common in poker is semi-bluffing. Semi-Bluffing is a partial bluff with some truth in the play.
A semi-bluff is similar to a bluff in that you bet, check raise or raise but a semi-bluff differs in that it has a couple more ways to win then a bluff does. With a bluff a person can only win if the opponent folds. With a semi-bluff you can either win by them folding right then, by improving to the best hand or by catching a scare card and betting them out on a subsequent round.
Additional Bluffing/Semi-Bluffing Questions:
Poker Bluffing Definition
Bluffing is perhaps the form of behaviour that is most associated with poker because it is a fantastic tactic that can be used to try to beat your opponent. Essentially, bluffing is betting or raising on a hand of cards with a view to pushing individuals with better hands to fold. The bet or raise is designed to make people think that you have a better hand than you currently do so that your fellow players will bow out and leave you to take the pot. The beauty of it is that if you are good at bluffing and force everyone else to fold then you can simply muck your cards, thus not showing anyone the hand you had so that they will never know whether you bluffed or not!
Although bluffs are used in many forms outside of the game, it is ultimately associated with poker more often than not. This is because the best players are successful bluffers that can encourage other players to fold high ranking hands relatively easily. Of course, it does not always work but if you can get it to work around half the time then you will be using it successfully. The key is to not make your bluffing obvious in any way to keep your opponents guessing, and this includes keeping all of your body movements, speech, mannerisms and so on neutral and natural at all times.
To ensure that your bluffing does have the best impact though, you should make sure that you bluff with the correct frequency, even if you have a good hand. This is to ensure that your behaviour is covered as far as possible. Make sure that there are no hidden patterns by literally covering them well and playing bluffs infrequently but relatively often. You will find it beneficial in the long term when playing poker.
Poker Semi-Bluff Definition:
When you semi-bluff in poker, it’s making a bet which if you are called you don’t expect to have the best hand, but you have a good chance of outdrawing an opponent. Semi-bluffing is a very important part of every poker players arsenal, and should be used often when playing online poker.
A semi-bluff is generally when you make a bet with a drawing hand. For example, if the flop is the 6, 7 and Jack of clubs, and you have the Ace of Clubs and Two of Hearts. At this time, you only have ace high and no real hand. However if you make a bet at the pot, it isn’t a complete bluff because you still have a drawing hand. If you move all-in and are called you aren’t drawing dead – you’ve got a draw to the nut flush, the best possible hand.
Semi-bluffing is also a good way to get a free card. If it is checked to you and you check behind, most likely someone else will bet on the next street. However if you bet on the flop and are called and are in position, it will be checked to you the majority of the time. If you haven’t yet made your hand you can then check behind earning yourself a free look at the river, at which point you can even earn yourself a free showdown if required. This will also induce a bluff from the other players in the pot often.