All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Bluffing Smart Folk

Why bluffing works better
against more experienced players....

One of the strangest things about poker is that bluffing actually works much better against more experienced players. The reason is you need to be confronting an opponent who's focussed enough to figure out you might be holding the premium hand you're pretending to have. He or she also needs to be world weary enough to know there are sometimes occasions when you should be disciplined and be prepared to lay down a perfectly good hand. Those are the ingredients needed for a good and well calculated bluff to work. When you are trying to snare a good player with a bluff one of the best times to strike is if the turn throws up a frightener. A frightener is perhaps an ace when your opponent is when your opponent is maybe holding pocket jacks or kings. His inner voice is going to be screaming at him, "The bastard's probably got aces!" (When in reality you may have next to nothing in the hole.)


A pointer to remember when bluffing is that at a normal ten handed table you're being offered odds of ten to one from the pot if your bluff works. It follows from that fact that you only have to make the bluff effective one time in ten to come out ahead. The key is not to get a reputation as a regular bluffer. If other players are tracking you and they see it's a favourite tactic, they'll start bringing you down with less than premium hands because they'll have figured out they don't need much to beat you, if you're out on a conning exercise. Like all strategies, bluffing should be used selectively and in the right company. It's a weapon in the arsenal, not an all-purpose blunt instrument to mug people with on an hourly basis. See: Getting Caught Bluffing


Practice Your Bluffing Strategy at:




Q: What does the term "freeze out" mean?

A: In tournament play, a freeze out means once you've lost the chips in front of you at the outset, you're out of the event. You can't buy anymore chips in a tournament. Everyone starts with exactly the same chip stack.

Q: I've heard Queen-Seven called a "computer hand" but nobody seems to know why it has that name?

A: Apparently a computer program was run years ago that showed a queen and a seven were the cards most regularly to appear at the flop. That's the reason for the term but the logic of the computer's result defeats me. Nerds and boffins please send explanations in to us and we'll print them!

All The Aces daily poker column: Monday, September 5, 2005: Bluffing Smart Folk