Bluffing is betting when you are quite sure that you don’t have the best hand. Bluffing is an important part of poker without it your game would be way too predictable.
1. You missed the flop and doing “continuation bet” (Especially when flop has an ace or a king) and “second bullets” (another continuation bet on the turn)
2. After a “scary” card comes and you hoping to pick up a pot representing it
3. Against predictable “Fit or fold” opponent or who is frequently folding or playing too scared or too tight
4. Semi bluffs – when you are on a draw and have outs to make a winning hand
5. When you missed your draw and your only way to win is when your opponent would fold to you
When you bluff you hope that your opponent will fold. Typically, you should bluff when you think the size of the pot, compared to the estimated probability that your opponent will fold, is large enough to make this play profitable (in terms of long-run expectation). For example, if there is $60 in the pot and the bet is $10, you are getting 6-to-1 odds on your bluff. In this situation, if you think your opponent will fold more than one time in seven, bluffing would be correct.
There are situations where bluff would be correct regardless of your hand. You can bluff to create a certain image at the table which will pay off later. It would also make your plays harder to read. (Beware, that expert players would pick up on what you are doing). Another example is betting the river instead of checking when you are not sure if you are holding the best hand or not, that bluff can potentially lead to your opponent ending up folding a better hand.
A good bluffing opportunity from an early position arises when flop comes with one high card without any draw opportunities and with a few players in. You can bet and pick it up. Especially in a game where players tend to bet preflop with their hands containing an A or a K and throw away another ace or a king’s lands. Remember you want the pot to be small.
One of very popular bluffs is a bluff on the turn, after everybody checked the flop chances are nobody improved on the turn and you can pick up the pot no matter what hand you hold. Another fourth street bluff (the turn card) occurs when you bet the flop with either a draw or very little, and the top card on board pairs. If you weren’t raised on the flop, this is a good spot to bet again.
Example of a good river bluff would be a situation where you are up against just one opponent, who is capable of folding. You were going for a straight, missed it, but the river card is a 3rd club on the board, so betting here would represent that you made a flush.
General rules with bluffing. You have to know your opponents. Don’t try to bluff a so-called “Calling station” a person who loves to go all the way to showdown. On the contrary if a player folds way too often it does not matter what cards you hold – you should bluff. When you don’t have any sorts of a hand and bluff it’s called a “stone cold bluff”. Another tip – don’t try to bluff against too many opponents. Bluffs work the best when you are up against 1 or 2 players. Your bluff is not likely to work against an opponent who was betting flop, turn and the river.