Bluffing is one of the most sensitive issues in poker. The reason why it’s so sensitive is that while it’s wildly popular, few players can get it right. Blind bluffs are among the most frequent beginner mistakes, and for most players they remain a problematic issue well after they can no longer be considered rookies.
There are two basic types of bluffs: the pure bluff and the semi-bluff. The pure bluff is about players firing out a bet in the hope of making all their opponents fold. A pure bluff only offers the bluffer one way to win the pot: by making everyone fold.
A semi-bluff on the other hand, offers the protagonist two ways to win. He can either take the pot down by making the other players fold, or he can hit his draw to take down a huge pot if his bluff gets called.
Here’s an example of a semi-bluff: you hit a four–card flush on the flop, and you bet into your opponents, attempting to push them out of the pot. If they fold, your semi-bluff is successful. If they call, you still stand a pretty good chance to hit your flush on the turn or the river and to make the best hand, in which case your opponents will lose a great deal of money.