32Red Poker Guide to Bluffing

Everything you need to become a poker pro

32Red Poker Guide to Bluffing

Bluffing is at the heart of Poker and whether you are a tight or a loose player, you will need to bluff at least occasionally if you want to be a winning poker player. Whether it's a ring game or a tournament, you will have to bluff to succeed. At 32Red we believe in giving you the best possible chance of winning and are experts have put together some golden rules of bluffing.

Develop a Tight Aggressive Image...

We recommend a tight-aggressive strategy at the tables. Tight-aggressive players have a much better chance of bluffing successfully as opponents see them play conservatively and not chasing down wild hands. A loose player is far more likely to be called when trying a bluff. The objective of a bluff is to not get called so you have to earn the right to bluff by projecting the right image. Once you have proved your credentials as a selective player, get bluffing at opportune moments in the game.

Attack the short stacks and weak players...

Players given to checking rather than being more aggressive are ideal candidates for the bluff. It may be that they are not fully cognisant of the rules and nuances of online poker, so go ahead. Similarly, a short-stacked player will be less likely to call if it's going to inflict significant damage on their chip balance and potentially put them out of the game.

A failed bluff was not necessarily all bad...

If it all goes wrong and your bluff is called and you are shown up to have poor cards don't be too upset (as long as you haven't lost too many chips). By being revealed as a Bluffer it can enhance your reputation as a player who takes chances and thus increases the possibility of being called when you have a strong hand and are betting into the pot.

However, don't bluff for sport!

Bluffing needs to executed selectively and before doing so you should weigh up the chances of succeeding. As a tight-aggressive player you should be taking these calculating risks and will be caught out at least once. This is enough to establish in your opponents' minds that you do bluff and therefore encourages called bets you may make when having strong cards.

Don't bluff the whole table...

Trying to bluff a table of 10 players is a recipe for disaster. Instead use your bluffing skills when there's just you and up to two other players left in the hand.

Try bluffing if everyone has checked...

Particularly when there's plenty in the pot and your opponents have checked through the last round of betting. Be wary of the slow players and any scare cards though.

Bluff by representation...

Successful bluffs can often be played when there are specific hands on the Board. For instance a pair of Aces dealt by the dealer to the table could be followed by a bet (bluff) in order to make your opponents think you have a pocket ace thus making three of a kind.

Still in with all the cards on the Board?

The golden rule here is to not go mad. You can try a bluff in the right situation but it's not usually an All In opportunity.

Don't bluff the Poker experts or the calling stations...

You want to be bluffing other good poker players. Poor players think it's the right strategy to call if they've got anything and have an ambition to catch the bluffer out. Not good bluffing material. Expert poker players are more dangerous to bluff as they have greater experience and are familiar with when the optimum time to bluff is.

Semi Bluff...

The semi-bluff is betting on your hand when there are plenty of forthcoming opportunity with the remaining community cards to make a strong hand. At the time of betting however you have nothing and thus it's a semi-bluff. The semi-bluff is always a good tactic as you have two chances of winning: either by your opponents folding in the face of your bet, or by hitting the strong hand with the Community Cards as they are dealt.

Get stealing those pots!


These tips/guidelines are intended to help you enjoy poker and improve your chances of winning. However, the above should not be regarded as advice and 32Red disclaims any liability or responsibility for the accuracy thereof or for any losses incurred by players following these guidelines.

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