re: Poker & bluffing skills
Originally Posted by bullishwwd
One general rule to remember is: Limit the number of folks you are trying bluff against. Bluffing one player is much easier than attempting to bluff 4 or 5 players. Best to actually have 'some' kind of hand (say a pair) when attempting to bluff.
Let the "board" help you in bluffing by presenting a scenario in which you are 'believable' when you "represent" a specific hand.
I have some things to add. I typed up a very lengthy post, and it got lost in cyberspace . Let's try this again.
Let's say you hold A-K, and you raised preflop. You are HU, and opponent checks to you on a Q-high, unconnected rainbow board. Even though you didn't hit that queen, you should c-bet bluff here most times. If you check the flop, and then bet the turn, the villain will probably not believe that you have the queen. You take control of the hand on the flop. Then continue to rep that queen. If you come up against some serious resisitance, get out.
As for good situations to bluff:
Don't try to bluff wet boards. Boards like T-8-7 with two of one suit are terrible boards to bluff at. Three broadway cards are terrible flops to bluff at. If you are going to bluff boards like these, make sure you are semi-bluffing with draws to the nuts. Make sure at least king high FD, or the top end of straight is what you are drawing to, to semi bluff in these spots. If you have the lower end of straight, or a 6 high flush for example, even if you hit, it may be no good.
Good boards to bluff at are dry, unconnected, rainbow boards. It is pretty simple to put an opponent on a range too if he calls. And make sure you are playing tight. Most times you enter the pot, you should be opening for a raise. Don't limp often. Raising preflop helps you to define ranges, and take control of the hand after the flop also. You are already laying the groundwork for a c-bet on the flop. And if that flop comes A-7-2 rainbow, it will be easier for people to believe you paired the ace (even if you have K-Q suited on the button). Take control of the hand early if you are going to play it.
Bluffing out of position is very difficult, and not advised unless you have a great read.
Postition is everything in poker.
Do not try and bluff donkey calling stations, ever. They will just call. Don't waste your money. They are too bad to even see the possibilities on the board. Don't bluff calling stations.
As for being bluffed:
You have to go over the hand when deciding if you are being bluffed. If it looks like your opponent may be trying to make you fold, he may be doing just that.
Let's say flop comes K-K-Q rainbow, and you have A-Q suited. Your opponent leads out for full pot right from the get-go. Many times, players try to bluff these boards. Not always, but frequently. If he really has that king, is he going to try and push you out of the pot? I think not... He is going to want you calling, so he can make money with those trips... Not always the case. Some opponents are tricky. When you aren't sure, run the hand over in your head. Think about betting action preflop, and all streets, and ask yourself what kinds of hands would villain bet like this with. It's like a puzzle.
If people flop monster hands OOP, they generally bet small, or check/call or check/raise. If you are getting check called on a dangerous board, you might want to check back on the turn.
If you can put someone on a hand, it is alot easier.
And finally, floating to bluff later: Advanced
Many opponents will bet draws really hard on the flop. They may have the nut flush draw, or OESD. The are firing, full pot the whole way. If you have a good read, and have some insight on your opponents tendencies, you can punish them for this when they miss. However, this should only be done in position, and with a GREAT read. You just call their flop bet, and see what they do on the turn. Many opponents will just c-bet with air OOP, and they don't have the balls to fire another barrel on the turn or river. This is where you punish them. I have played against people who will bet flop, and turn, with a FD or open-ender. Then when they miss, they check the river. I fire about 3/4 pot bet, and I take it down. I might not even have anything at all, but they don't know that. This is why you want to avoid playing out of position if at all possible.
Anyways, that is just my $0.02, gathered from my experience over the years. Take it or leave it. I am not Phil Ivey. I am just a semi-skilled poker player trying to make it.
Edit: Raising an opponent on the flop can give you valuable info. I forgot to add this. Do this with big draws or a good pair perhaps. Aggression wins pots sometimes. And the raise can help you take control of the hand, and win later. However, be careful with this...