People say you can’t bluff in online poker, but it is proven than you can.
In the “real world,” bluffing is probably the thing that poker is most famous for, and it’s definitely one of the biggest factors in how much fun you have at the table. If players only dealt and hit the showdown every time, the best hand would always win and there’d be no real thrill to the game.
With bluffing, poker moves from just sheer numbers and luck into a truly psychological space, where it takes skill to win. However, players need to learn when and how to bluff to get the most out of the strategy.
If you’re at a loose table where players are throwing around money left and right and basically having a blast, then there’s probably no real point in bluffing, because they’re likely to call. Loose players and a loose table mean that your bluffs are unlikely to even be recognized and you’re even likely to be raised on a bluff yourself. Tight tables are prime places to try bluffing, so save it for when you’re playing against tight players who are expecting the same from you.
Just like table personality, players can frequently have their own take on things and even a typically tight table can feature one or two wild cards that need careful assessment. Bluffing generally works better against good players as compared to the weaker ones and the latter may not even realize they’re being bluffed. In addition to the skill level of the player, their chip stack needs to be taken into consideration. Someone with a huge bankroll on the table is likely on a good run and they’ll call because they can afford to. Take on people who have short stacks and you’re likely to push them out of the pot.
Your Table Image
If you’ve developed a tight image for yourself over the course of a session at the tables, your bluff is going to have a much greater chance of success. The same is also true if you’re on a hot streak as the other players are going to give your raises more credence. At the same time, if you’ve been loose or are running cold, you’ll want to play strictly by the numbers, especially if you’ve been caught bluffing recently.
How Many Players?
Bluffing is something that should be done against or two players (at the very most,) as the goal with a bluff are to get everyone to fold. Basic math says that the more players that you need to fold, the less likely you are to complete a successful bluff.
In low-limit poker games, you should definitely bluff less often. In limit poker games, the pot is big enough by the end that players will want to see the river out of curiosity as much as anything else. Higher limit games and no-limit tables are where the art of bluffing can offer big rewards.
These are the largest factors that go into bluffing in online poker. Once you play regularly at a certain level, you’re sure to see the same players over and over.