The art of bluffing is as old as the game of poker itself and has been used to excellent effect in some of the most high-profile online poker tournaments, right down to casual cash games between friends. Almost everyone aware of the game who isn’t a regular player has a perception that poker is simply a game of bluffing and that the guy who bluffs the best will always win. This perception is fuelled by the use of the term “poker face” in many non-poker contexts such as politics, business, and sport. That’s why any prospective poker player needs to understand that the art of bluffing, while an important weapon in the armory of a good player, most certainly is not the only strategy employed by good players.
Online poker tournament strategy is a complex series of educated guesses when it comes to bluffing because you’re reading the player’s hand history a lot of the time instead of getting a read on them at the table. This is why a lot of online specialists thrive on being unpredictable and mixing in bluffs with some more conservative bets on stronger hands. It’s an excellent way to throw any would-be callers off the scent and ensures that there’s always a slight sense of doubt around your intentions. Online poker tables offer something of a haven for lovers of a bit of tomfoolery, especially in sit-and-go games where you can scare people off their hands relatively easily.
Why is bluffing such a big part of poker?
Believe it or not, many players dislike the concept of bluffing and rarely indulge in a bluff during games. The simple, very understandable reason for this is that they believe it to be a very high-risk move that often results in chip losses. This may be true, but never forget that when you play poker online, and particularly in live poker, the selective use of this strategy ensures that your opponents always remain on the back foot and are never confidently able to read your play.
The less predictable you are, the more complicated life is for your opponents, and therefore your chances of emerging as the victor carrying home the cash are that much greater. However, the further up the tree you go, the more nuanced your bluffing will have to become, as the heavy hitters tend to have almost a sixth sense when it comes to sensing bluffs, particularly on the best online poker sites.