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by: Dino The Greek.
Bluffing is a poker skill that cannot be learned without incurring some losses first. Most education that is worthwhile doesn’t come without some effort and expense and learning how to bluff should be viewed the same way.Or in other terms, spending some money in learning how to bluff so as to be a better poker player is money well spent.
    Not only is bluffing a required skill for a good gambler, it?s also a life skill that can be applied with good success to business affairs or during one on one social encounters.

    The #1 key to a successful bluff is to understand that a bluff will only work if you are prepared to accept the consequences should the bluff be called. It requires commitment to the course of action and that commitment in itself is 90% be part of the act. Let me give you a non poker related example. Let?s say you think that someone you?ve encountered in a bar is looking for a fight and you don?t want to fight. Bluffing will work in getting you out of the situation without backing down, but only not if you are doing it scared.
I like to bluff early and it?s not really that bad to lose a small hand and let everyone know you are capable of it. Finding a small pot late in a hand where a bluff will not cost you much, but you?ll be able to show your cards will make the other players think. If you can sucker a guy into coming into a pot because he thinks you are bluffing when you?re not, then you?ll really have him confused for next time.
Buying a pot can alter another player?s mindset to your advantage. But if they don?t know they been bluffed, it doesn?t have the same affect. Showing your cards can be considered bad manners depending on the players and situation. And, how you do it? My preferred method is to not show my cards, but show some slight relief that he didn?t call. Overacting is not recommended. Bottom line, if you appear to be happy when they don?t call your hand, it appears as a bluff. Likewise showing unhappiness when they don?t call makes them think they made the right call. But it has to be subtle.

There?s too much to the art bluffing to write it out in one page. The best thing is to spend a few bucks at a low stakes game feeling your way around. The best card players win because they know how to read people. Over the long haul everyone gets the same cards. How they play them is what determines who wins, and who loses.

© Copyright 2006 Online Poker Hangout This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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