The fine art of bluffing

Even if one of the most common strategies, the bluff is certainly one of the most thoughtful, evolved and complicated actions you can make in poker too. The basic concept is simple, you must stage a well-orchestrated plan in which your cards must appear different from what they really are and you must be very good in doing that since your opponents must believe it.

Everyone knows that to win at poker you are supposed to bluff at some point. Making someone fold a better hand is a necessary goal and there is no long term strategy in poker that can disregard the right handling of this aspect. Poker after all is a wise mix of reality and deception. In a bluff, like an illusionist, you must design a reasoning to fit your will and then believe your own lies and forge them into a truth, until the reality lies before the defeated eyes of your opponents. This is the fine art of the game, its true spirit.

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The semi bluff

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.

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