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Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Trick to Bluffing Online

There’s always been on unchangeable rule in poker: you don’t need cards to win. If you’re playing with better poker players, not the donkeys that consistently call anything just hoping to get lucky, ala Jamie Gold, you’ll find that bluffing online is one of the most effective tools you can use.

No other game found on online casinos and other gaming sites give you total control of your destiny like poker. Whether you’re playing the famed Texas Hold’em, Omaha, or a game of Stud, the chips you make is totally up to you.

Not every player likes using the bluffing method in order to build a stack of chips. Some are solid players, only coming in with decent hands and staying out of trouble if they don’t have the goods. This is a good, solid style of poker. But you also can’t lose what you don’t play. If you’re a tight player, working a little bluffing into your game will take you to the next level. If you don’t believe bluffing is an effective style of poker play, just check out Stu Ungar. He was the master.

Stu would bet at everything. When players finally got peeved enough to call, he would turn over his cards and have the best hand. This sent a signal to the other players: I’m not bluffing! So everyone else at the table was always scared to get busted out by the consummate professional. Stu bluffed most of the time.

There’s an art to bluffing. One should never throw around their chips loosely. You have to actually be in control of the table before you try this method. For starters, you need to get a feel for your opponents. Find out what they play, what they call on and when they fold. You can find this out without ever even coming in for a flop. Just stand back and observe for the first round or two, unless you have the cards to come in.

This sends out a message that you’re waiting for cards. Players will automatically assume that you have a decent pocket when you come into the hand. Score this in the win column already.

The next thing you want to do is start throwing feeler bets into your competition. A feeler bet is usually the size of the pot or a little larger. After the flop hits, as long as you’re acting first of if the pot’s checked to you, go ahead and bet. You don’t have to be holding anything, and it’s really better if you aren’t (because it’s easier to get away on a raise). You’ll quickly find out who wants to play here. But before you do this method, you should remember that this is for ring games. You don’t want to wait around in tournaments. That’s a different monster entirely.

Now that you’ve felt the table out, you know who stays in hands, when, and where they fold. You’ve gathered invaluable information that can be used for your benefit time and again. Now it’s time to seize control of the table and be aggressive.

If you’re on the button or in any high position, start raising the pots. When a pot is checked to you, throw a bet in there. Use your chips at weapons. Like Doyle Brunson famously says, “Put the pressure on your opponent.” Not every bet is going to win you the pot, but if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know exactly who’s going to fold. And you’ll also know that if they don’t, it’s time to abandon ship.

Bluffing is truly more art than science. You need the feel for the flow of the table. After you have that, turn your chips loose. Think of them as Stock Market investments. You’re buying stock in the pot to get a return. A successful bluffer can rake in hundreds a day at a ring table. Just use your head; your talent will do the rest.

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