Texas Holdem Bluffing
The only Texas Holdem bluff we recommend is the semi-bluff
When playing our beginning poker player strategy you'll have many opportunities to bluff. However, the only bluff we recommend for beginners is the semi-bluff. A semi-bluff is a bet that is meant to take down the pot, but could pay off big if you hit a card that improves your hand on the next street.
Only bluff from late position
If you've read our beginner advice on playing Axs, you'll know we recommend the semi-bluff from any position when you have a flush draw. This is the only bluff we recommend from early position as it's meant to set a trap. All other bluffs should be made from late position only if the action has been checked to you.
The two most frequent late postion bluff opportunites you'll see using our beginning Texas Holdem poker strategy are when you have a straight draw or any pocket pair. If the action has been checked to you then make a top pair bet on the flop. That means a bet the near the size of the pot.
You must be able to get away from a Texas Holdem bluff
If you are called and your hand does not improve on the turn you should check and hope your hand improves on the river. Never bet again on the turn with just a pocket pair or a straight draw. You've made your play and it didn't work. If you still haven't hit by the river you should check and fold to any bet.
If you make your draw and you're almost certain you are ahead, then you should find a way to get all your opponents money in the pot. Chances are your opponent was calling with a similar draw or slow playing you. In either case, he'll pay you his entire stack so don't be afraid to get your money in the pot.
If you are raised with a straight draw you can call the raise if it is small, but don't put any more money in the pot if your hand doesn't improve on the turn. When your opponent check raises you on the flop he's sending the strongest signal he can. He has a big hand. That means if you make your draw he's going to pay you. This gives you implied odds to call the minimum raise.
If you are raised when you bet a pocket pair from late postion you must fold. The odds of improving your hand are so low that you'll lose money in the long run if you call the raise. Keep your emotions in check. You made your play. It didn't work. Now is the time to get out of the way by folding.
When someone bluffs you don't play back unless you have a huge hand
When you play online Texas Holdem poker you'll often see other players bluffing a lot. Don't fall into the trap of trying to catch them. They are most likely playing a very agressive strategy they've read about in a book. Your best move against this type of an opponent is to pay attention to his play. If his bets continue to get larger on each street you know you've got a fish. All you have to do is wait until you have a huge hand and then show him weakness. He'll put all his money in the pot and you'll watch it move into your stack. Don't get emotional when you see this type of player even when you see him winning pot after pot on a bluff. This is where patience will pay you off. Let the other players give him money then you can take it from him.