If you play poker online in India, you know very well that bluffing is integral to poker. Bluff is the materialization of your fight to lay claim to the pot by perceiving the apparent weaknesses of your opponent and capitalizing on them with strong hands. For players who are acquainted with what is bluff in poker, it is common knowledge that bluffing indiscriminately would make you vulnerable to rivals with stronger hands by making your moves predictable. In order to defend yourself against bluffs, it is imperative that you know how to spot bluff in poker, particularly on cash game table.
This post dilates on five tell-tale tips to catch bluff in poker.
Observe your rival keenly
Studying your rivals meticulously, taking notes of his tactics, and making an accurate reading of his cards would offer you insights on when bluffing is going to be used against you. If the rival, after missing a draw, is in the habit of making similar out of line bet repeatedly, it is high time for you to employ the 2nd strong hand pair to call the bet. If the rival makes an unexpected large bet, it is a bluff as he is forcing you to play with your strong hand. You need to intimately familiarize yourself with opponent’s psyche and take decisions dependent on previous action record for similar situations. Reading body language of the opponent is vital.
Catch flat-out bluffs
If your opponent is trying to draw through the bottom pair, he is probably thinking of catching 2 pairs or a set as the action comes to your end. The bluff maker is capitalizing on you not having made a pair yet and would defeat you during the showdown. Have an eye for semi-bluff if you are in position. If the rival doesn’t have the strongest hand at the time but yet betting or raising with the hand to improve his odds, he would certainly bluff next.
Understand maths of bluff catching
All tips to catch bluff in poker are based on pot equity and odds. Your potential to win a hand by pulling off a draw depends on pot odds. Each bluff of a rival can be turned into a gainful call by understanding the underlying calculations. An example would clear the matter further. A No Limit Holdem cash game with folding in button INR1/INR2 is in progress. Your rival has raised to INR8; with the folding of the small blind, you decide to call with A♦ 3♦. The pot becomes INR17. For flopping, 9♦ 8♠ 3♣ is used and your checking call is INR10 bet. Pot rises to INR37. Your instinct tells that on your turn, checking 2♥ is good and 2♣ is ok for hitting the river. You go accordingly with the resultant bet being INR20. If your rival has got a stronger hand, your chances are lost. Your decision to call should be in accordance to the pot odds and the same is to be compared with the frequency at which your rival bluffs. You need to call INR20 for winning INR57 and the pot ratio is 2.85:1 for your call. You should call 50% time if you think that the rival’s bet is a bluff as odds in the ratio of 2:1 are stacked against your win, but the pot potential of win is 2:1 in your favour. This essential maths in poker to win is for spotting bluffs and making the pot pay you.
Figure out intimidating moves
The natural instinct of the rival, at the verge of bluffing, would be to appear intimidating so as to inspire you to fold the hand away. The rival may stare in your eyes, slam down his chips, or yell.
Study the shoulder’s language
Shoulders of rivals in stress get cramped. He would heave up or down his shoulder in an attempt to give vent to his pent up emotions. This motion is a symbol of his rival’s fright as he is necessarily posing a weak hand. Under such circumstance, the rival is likely to bluff.
The aforesaid tips to catch bluff in poker would render you a better player.