Poker bluffing is the art of feigning your opponent to try and trick him or her into thinking that you have a certain hand. You can try to trick your opponent into thinking that you have an awesome hand when in fact your hand is worthless, and vice versa. You can bluff in the real world using facial expressions or by making certain discreet gestures and these moves are often referred to as ‘tells’. Some poker players don’t realise they are giving away such information and by closely examining your opponent you can often pick up on these tells to help you in your decision making.
Your opponent may look up in relief each time he is dealt a premium hand, or for example he might scratch his nose without realising. However, your opponent could be sending out false reactions on purpose just to try and trick you. Each player is different in how they react to certain hands when they are dealt them and some players have a better ‘poker face’ than others and will give you no information whatsoever.
This is the great thing about playing poker in the real world, you can use your physical body to try and bluff your player, or you can read other people’s bodies to try and pick up on their bluffs, but how do you do this bluffing technique when playing online? Unfortunately when playing online, you NEVER know who you are playing with.
You might decide to play on the low stakes tables (perhaps with blinds as little as $/€/£0.01 / $/€/£0.02), thinking that you will avoid the ‘sharks’ at this level, but some sharks might prefer playing at these low stakes tables because it is easy to take money from the ‘minnows’. In other words, you ALWAYS have to assume that the other player could be a shark when playing online, whichever stacks you decide to play at.
A shark is basically a professional player and a minnow is a player who is not very experienced. He may lure you into a certain way of playing over 50 or so hands, and then wham, you will be ‘taken to the cleaners’ and rinsed for every penny you had. The best thing to do when playing online is to try and mix your play up as often as possible and try not to become too predictable.
This is much easier said than done, but the great thing about plying online is that you can just switch tables at the click of a button whenever you choose. We advise that you do this as often as possible, especially if you find that the same player keeps taking big pots away from you or from any other players on the table. The chances are that your opponent is a shark.
Don’t forget that poker is all about bluffing, so you don’t always have to muck your hands (a term given to discarding your cards without revealing what you had to the table). We do recommend occasionally show your winning/losing hands, but only to throw your opponent off the scent that he or she may have picked up on and only to confuse them as much as you can.