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Top 10 poker bluffing strategies

15 Aug 2022

By Marley Luker
Poker is a game of deception.

Poker is a game of deception.

Poker bluffing is one of the most essential skills a player can have. If you can successfully bluff your opponents, you will win more hands than if you simply played good poker. This article will discuss some of the best bluffing strategies you can use to win poker.

Here is my list of top 10 bluffing strategies:

10. Preflop 3-bet
I'll start with 3-betting preflop. A 3-bet is the act of re-raising an opponent's open raise. This will be the most frequent bluff in your arsenal since it occurs before the flop.

3-betting is an excellent bluff against a loose player (someone who opens too many hands) because depending on how loose they are, you can start 3-betting more hands than you would against a tight player (someone who opens few hands).

This is a learnable talent that can be mastered through practice and mistakes. It's one of my favorite bluffs because you don’t risk much of your stack and it will let you build the pot with a good hand without looking suspicious.

9. Bluffing in position (IP)
IP (in position) is when you are in an earlier position than your opponents, so you have the opportunity to see them move first.

Bluffing IP is a common occurrence between the button and the big blind. You may frequently use this bluff by betting aggressively on most flops, and you'll be astonished at how often people fold.

The truth about Texas Hold'em is that you don't make hands too frequently, such as pairs, straights, or flushes. As a result, great players know how to bluff often and force their opponent to fold weak holdings. The difference between a winning poker player and a losing one is edge. Check out this poker cheat sheet for more winning strategies.

8. Continuation bet
A continuation bet is when you bet two streets in a row. (The phrase "betting street" refers to an action in which bets may be placed on the newly revealed hole card.) A continuation bet is the follow-up to our discussion of bluffs IP and can also be done OP (out of position).

A continuation bet is useful since, most of the time, a single bet will not induce your opponent to fold their hand, but you may frequently get a fold by following it up with another bet. For example, the most common place to continuation bet is after you bet the flop; you can follow it up with a turn bet.

7. River bluff
The river is the last hole card shown.

There are a few things you need to take into consideration to do this properly. First, if your opponent never folds, do not attempt this. On the river, be wary of draws connecting the final card, such as a flush completing card or a straight.

Pulling off a good river bluff is one of the best feelings in poker. The river will also usually be when the pot is at its biggest, and your opponent will have somewhat of a decent hand to have made it to the river. This is an advanced bluff if you're just beginning your poker journey so check out tips for beginners.

6. 4-bet
A 4-bet is a raise before the flop in response to a 3-bet.

The importance of 4-bets cannot be overstated, as it allows you to take down the pot before any hole cards. 4-betting against a tight opponent is dangerous; concentrate on 4-betting against loose players who aren't afraid to 3-bet with weaker hands. Here's a guide on reading your opponents, this is a very important part of poker and will alter your bluffing strategy.

Side note: A 4-bet bluff is commonly used by pros but can be neglected at the lower stakes.

5. Semi-bluff
A semi-bluff is when you have a somewhat shaky hand like a weak pair and want to force your opponent to fold.

Semi-bluffs are essential to a winning strategy, and any player level can add this to their game. Focus on semi-bluffing your weakest hands and draws. Be careful not to use this too often with mid-holdings, as you can check these down and win a large majority of the time.

If you're not used to bluffing, a semi-bluff is one of the simplest bluffs to get started with. For a more in-depth look into semi-bluffing check out this guide on A-Z bluffing.

4. Check-raise
A check-raise is when you check in position, your opponent bets, and you raise their bet.

If your opponent is more aggressive on the flop, look for check-raise bluffs. Check-raising can also be used when you have a strong hand and want to build the pot early on. A check-raise is a great way to build a pot with a strong hand.

3. Turn card bluff
A turn card bluff is when you bluff the turn card, the second to last hole card.

There are two common scenarios to bluff the turn. The first is when the flop is checked, and you have the opportunity to bluff the turn. The second common opportunity is when the flop is checked, your opponent bets turn, and you 3-bet.

Fundamentally, the turn card bluff is used when you do not believe your opponent due to how aggressive they are. Having trouble with some of the poker lingo? Check out this article on top 10 gambling slang words.

2. Multiway bluff
A multiway bluff is when you are up against more than two opponents in a hand and choose to bluff. Of course, you should be very careful bluffing multiway, but there are places where it makes sense.

When multiway bluffing, you should exercise caution since there is double the chance that your opponent will have hit their hand. On the plus side, opponents should be more willing to fold hands than they would typically against a single opponent because of this. A good spot to pull a multiway bluff is against tight opponents who have checked on one or more streets.

1. Triple barrel bluff
A triple barrel bluff is when you continuation bet all three streets with a weak hand. This is a move usually used by a good or crazy player. Triple barrel bluffs are a stable of pro players. You must use this move in the proper scenario against the right type of player to pull it off.

When do you use a triple barrel bluff? Triple barrel bluffs can be very effective on disconnected boards (when the hole cards are spread out, for example, A82, 26Q), especially when a scare card (a card that makes higher value hands) pops up and you think you will be able to bluff your opponent off the hand.

A quick note: make sure you're using this technique against a player who can fold and won't call you down just to see your cards.

These are just some of the many bluffing strategies you can use to win poker. Remember, poker is a game of deception, and if you can master the art of bluffing, you will be a winning player. Thanks for reading, and good luck at the tables.
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