Poker is any of the many card games where players stake out money for the chance of winning a specific hand, in much the same way as those high street casinos rank the hands that each player has in terms of their strength. For those of you playing for the very first time, poker can be an intimidating game, in part because there are an ever growing number of newbies who make the mistake of believing that poker is a straight forward game, when in all actuality it is anything but straightforward! That said, if you are new to poker, it is important that you get started off on the right foot. As with any game of poker, a newbie poker player needs to learn how to bluff his or her way through a potentially very difficult situation.
Bluffing is defined as using deception and/or bluffing to try and manipulate another person into making a roll or decision in your favour. In order to truly understand how to bluff, it is crucial to have at least some idea of what a lowball and wild card hand is, and the differences between them. Essentially, a lowball is simply one half of the two standard decks, and a wild card is the other half.
The two cards, also known as the flop and the turn, determine the chances of the strongest hand winning. A flush is usually the best, followed by a straight flush and a four-of-a kind. So if we take the flush and the turn, the chances of the highest valued card winning are then determined by… getting the highest valued card on the flop, and then having the highest value card in your hand (the top card). This means that the pot odds will be highest for the hand with the highest cards (flush).
The second way that you can bluff is to simply not deal five cards to your opponent. When you are dealt five cards and you do not have a flush, then the game is not fluffed, because you have a better hand than your opponent. Therefore, it is important for you to know which cards they are holding before you make your move. You will know this from the position that you are in. If you are in an early position and are dealt a hand, such as a full house, then it is very likely that they have already had a peek at their cards, so all you need to do is bluff a little.
Bluffing when you are dealt a hand containing no higher value cards than yours is more difficult, because obviously if you did indeed bluff then you would have revealed your hand to them. Therefore, it is important for you to be bluffing with lower cards only. You can bluff your way to wins when you have a great hand, such as a three-card combination, or a two pair or a one card high card. However, when you are bluffing with lower cards, you want to be sure to only use this tactic against players who are more experienced than you. In a two pair game, you may find yourself outmaneuvered by a player who has found a high matching low card; therefore, you do not want to bluff when dealing with these type of games.
The final type of poker bluff that we will discuss is the pot odds betting strategy. This involves betting high (or folding) when the pot becomes very large. For example, if you are playing a tight game with a thirty-one point hand and the flop reveals a straight, full house, or four of a kind, then you should fold. However, if you bet the same amount on the fourth turn and they show you a low card, then you might try to raise the bet to cover the lack of cards, hoping that they will fold if they hold on to the pot.