When playing poker, it’s always possible to win. It doesn’t matter how strong your hand is or what’s on the flop, turn or river. You can always win any particular hand. It’s just that sometimes you win by having the best hand, other times you make your opponents fold by making a big bet! But you can always win a hand. There are some things, you should keep in mind, though.
Type of the Board
The board type is one of the most obvious reasons, when deciding on whether to bluff or not to bet.
Dry board types are obviously better for bluffing than ones with many significantly strong hands possible. However, this can be turned upside down versus smart opponents, as your perceived range is very thin in situations like this. We’ll talk about more advanced things like this later on.
Examples of a dry board: K72, A92, Q53
Dry boards usually feature one high card and very small amount of draws possible, or none at all.
Bluffing on a wet board type is usually a bad idea, unless you have specific reads on a player and he folds his mediocre strength hands on turn or river. Reasoning behind this is simple ?it’s easy to have some kind of a hand on these types of boards and players are often bad enough to call with anything decent, as they are curious to see your hand.
Examples of a wet board: KhQh9s, 6s7sTh
Wet boards usually consist of a 3 connected cards and have a large amount of draws or already feature very strong hands possible.
The second important and probably obvious reason for bluffing or not bluffing is your opponent. There are many types of players out there, some of them will call any bets with a pair and some will make huge lay-downs. This is why profiling opponents is important, as that’s how you’ll get a clearer picture on whether a bluff could be profitable or not.
Some of the most common player types include:
- calling stations
- Tight Aggressive players
By marking and writing a note on each of these players, you will make your life and bluffing easier!
Stack sizes are another important factor, when deciding on whether you should pull a big bluff. If your opponent only has 20 big blinds, it’s unlikely that he will fold his hand. On the other hand, if you are 200 big blinds deep, your opponent is very likely to fold his hand, unless he holds the nuts.
Your Perceived Range
While this is a little bit more advanced, it’s worth noting. Even micro-stakes are quite advanced nowadays. Your perceived range stands for the hand range, that you should be holding in a particular situation/hand. If your perceived range is very thin (small) in some kind of a spot, it’s likely that good players will look you up more often.
On the other hand, if your perceived range consists many strong hands in a spot, you are likely to get a lot of folds. So, when your perceived range is large, you can try to pull of big bluffs!
To sum it up, you shouldn’t be bluffing too much at micro-stakes or when you have just started to play poker. The level of play is still quite low here and you should be VALUEBETTING instead of bluffing, as this will earn you way much more money!