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How to bluff effectively

Bluffing is a popular move in poker, which is often over exaggerated during movies and TV shows. Contrary to popular belief, people do not bluff as much as others may think, although a well thought out bluff can result in a huge pot shipped your way. Without the art of bluffing, poker would be less interesting and predictable, and your bankroll would probably be much smaller, but how do you perform an effective bluff? There are a few factors which contribute to making a worthwhile bluff.

Firstly, a bluff is when a player makes a bet when they have no chance of winning the pot if it goes to showdown. The objective is to make all other players folding, meaning you win the pot without having to go to a showdown.

Amount of Players in the Hand

It is much easier to perform a bluff when there are fewer players involved in the hand. This is because there is less chance of a player having made a hand using the community cards, and on average, the pot will be smaller and less desirable to win.


The type of player you are facing will mainly decide whether or not a bluff is correct. If the opponent is loose and has been making a lot of calls, it is generally a bad idea to try and bluff the pot. You need to use this play on opponents who are tight enough to fold to your bet, even if they have a hand.

Your Image at the Table

If you have been bluffing regularly at the table, it is likely most players will have you down as a bad player, especially if one of your bluffs has been caught and shown to the table.

It is much easier to perform a bluff if you have a tight table image, as players will have no option but accept you have a hand and muck their cards.

Community Cards

If the community cards seem “scary” with many draws available, it is not wise to bet out at the pot. Players may be chasing a draw and willing to call a bluff to view the next card and see if it improves their hand. Also if they do hit, you will have no way of winning the hand and may end up losing more chips in the process.

Action before the bluff

If your opponent has been the aggressor throughout the hand, but you fire out a bluff on the river out of position, you are heading for disaster. You need to pick a hand where action is slow, and stay away from hands which have involved aggressive play. You also need a small amount of information on your opponents before making the bluff.




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