What signs do you look for when you feel like someone is bluffing at you. This is a huge hole in my game. I feel like I am constantly getting run over with medium hands. Most books say the overbet is a big sign (Strong when weak) but I need more help.
The overbet is no guarantee, but lately I have taken to calling down a loose player who makes that overbet. Results so far have been favorable. Of course I don't do it with my hot air thinking it is hotter than his hot air. But a big overbet from someone who has just lost a big hand, and is now shortstacked, does make me think he is on the verge, if not totally immersed in a tilt binge he will regret later.
First of all, I think these are really read dependent. It's hard for me to call what I think is a bluff with out a strong hand if I had just sat down at the table. Here is one situation that I have noticed though:
On a very draw heavy board when you're in position and head's up. If you get bet into on the flop and you call. Turn doesn't help any draw and it goes check check. River doesn't help a draw and he bets big into you. I have found this to be a bluff (missed draw) very often.
like VANQUISH said sometimes you just know. How do you just know, well you've gotta be playing alot of attention to who your trying to get the bluff read on.
First if you feel like your constantly getting run over with medium hands than your probably not raising enough. "To the aggressor goes the spoils". If your just letting people lead into you, you'll be second guessing your self on the next street everytime if your unsure.
as far as getting bluffed. You have to think about position and how many people are in the hand. than you have to consider the type of players, and you have to consider if that person thinks that you are weak. You have to think do I look like I am playing weak? Because in this case they will most likely take their chances trying to take the pot from you. Also You gotta think about what they can call with preflop and whether the flop is likely to have hit them.
It really just comes with time and hand experience though man, you have a lot to play a lot of hands, Its hard to teach reads. You gotta learn the betting patterns and pay attention to every showdown, gotta call alot when your getting pot odds, even when you know your beat. Sometimes when I'm getting the right price to call I'll call just to see what the player could be giving me these odds with so I know what rangeof hands he will do this with. Thats a mistake I see alot of people make, they'll call all the way down to the river, know they are beat on the river, but when they get bet in to and are layed like 10 to 1 odds to call a somewhat small sized pot they'll fold. AT THAT POINT YOU SHOULD CALL JUST TO SEE WHAT THEY ARE BETTING WITH. You may see something that will make you say "hey, if I check-raised the flop and took control I could've probably won this hand with nothing"
Once again tho, in online poker its not signs, its being able to put your opponents on hands during and before the hand. Also realizing the competency of your opponent and who is able to make the deceptive plays and who isn't. Also you have to realize, that the other person HAS TO BET to win the pot, if he doesn't bet he'll probably lose to you if you have something. I wouldn't get caught up in that overbet mess tho, becauuse often times people overbet the pot out of nowhere with the nuts or might have hit a set on the next street and don't know how to extract the value correctly for the hand.
It all has been stated above, and the best advice is to pay attention to betting patterns and the board and your gut feeling.
Then it also depends on the game your playing in. ie:ring or tourney.
It also has crossed my mind that you may be playing too passively and if this is the case, its time to take some time to learn how to play an aggressive game, as most if not all players will tell you, aggressive poker is winning poker as I have found out in recent months.
Some of the bigger tells online are your opponent's bet sizing (and patterns), as well as how long he takes to bet.
An overbet doesn't necessarily mean a bluff (nor does betting really quickly) - it depends on the player. Some people bet really big when they have a monster in the hopes of winning the most when they get called. Others are betting so big because they have a weak hand and want to scare you off.
I think in general, the latter applies more often.
Also, people often take a really long time when to act when they have a monster. They're trying to get your attention and see just how 'hard' their decision is, when in reality, they're just luring you in. Again, some trickier players will do the opposite just to confuse you.
It depends on when they overbet. In cash games I've noticed people, actually "donks" with a monster hand, bet the minimum on the flop and turn just to get small money into the pot then make a big bet on the river trying to get their big score. Also look for this kind of play when it comes to flush draws. I don't mind calling a min bet if my opponent is on a flush draw. Raising will do me no good, since I know he is going to chase. If the turn brings a blank on the flush and he bets minimum again, I like to raise. Then if he comes back at me I can usually throw the flush draw out the window for him. Calling bluffs is all a feel thing, and really comes down to recognizing patterns and tendencies.