Bluffing is one of the core techniques for good poker players. It is as much an art as a science, and there are a lot of things to consider for people that want to do it right, but it can also reap big dividends. Understanding the benefits to bluffing is one of the first things that a player must learn if they want to know how to do it properly.
Winning Weak Hands
The single biggest reason to bluff is to turn a losing hand into a winner. After all, the actual value of the hand only matters if the other players call the bluff and play the entire hand rather than folding. Every player is different, and some of them are much more cautious than others, so it is important to read the table to decide if this strategy will work. It is also important not to do it too often to prevent the high bets from looking like the normal strategy. Deciding which dubious hands are worth a bluff is one of the arts of poker, one that is worth mastering.
Win on the Flop
The value of a hand changes as cards are revealed, so, one that looks good early on can turn out to be nearly worthless. Bluffing allows players to take advantage of a strong early hand by making it look like they already have winning cards. Choosing to bluff, under those circumstances, has a lower risk than other bluffs because it remains possible to draw into a superior hand. It can also help to control risk by encouraging the other players to fold, which prevents a lost hand from failing to draw good cards.
Control the Opposition
Bluffing can also offer a psychological advantage that can influence how opponents play the game. A person who bluffs frequently can look like they are raising on poor hands, which can encourage an opponent to take more risks. That often happens after they call and discover a bluff, which means that a smart player can even capitalize on a failed bluff. Successful bluffs can instead lead to frustration that leads to risky bets or mistakes from inexperienced players. It takes experience to capitalize on this type of manipulation, but it has a lot to offer to dedicated players.