Unlike the semi-bluff, the classic bluff is a completely worthless hand that you play as if it were a strong hand. However, as a beginner you should be careful with it, because once you fly up with it, every experienced player will use it in the next hands against you.
The most important thing for a bluff is that it is pulled consistently! The most common mistake beginners make by making a small bet if they haven’t hit anything on the board so as not to lose too much money. However, for a bluff to be effective, the stakes should be set so high that it is believable that you have a strong hand. For example, players who hold a flush draw are more likely to get out of hand.
When Should You Bluff?
The following situations are intended only as a rule of thumb for when a bluff is appropriate. In poker, you will always find yourself in situations that cannot be predicted and that require a spontaneous decision.
With few active opponents:
It is obvious that the fewer active players there are, the better chances you will have of successfully completing your bluff. A bluff with more than two active players often borders on an impossibility. Even two active players can already be too much.
If it is your last turn:
If you’re the last to be in a good position, this is a wonderful way to bluff. For example, if your active opponents have checked in front of you, this is a good sign that they are holding a weak hand. You will take advantage of this with a high bet and ideally be able to drive the opponents out of the pot.
If you raised a pre-flop:
If you haven’t hit a flop after the raise, you still have a chance to win the pot unchallenged with a continuation bet. However, be prepared to accept your losses and fold yourself when an opponent calls you.
Against opponents with few chips:
If your opponent has a small stack, they are unlikely to call your raise unless they have a very good hand after the flop. But be careful here again, because players with small stacks, for example five to ten blinds, will rarely call, but will usually either fold or go all in.
With a draw:
If you don’t have a made hand, just a draw, such as B. have a flush draw, and bluff, this is called semi bluff. Ideally you win the pot unchallenged, but even if someone calls, you still have a good chance of winning the pot with a nut hand. If you are re-raised, it depends on the pot odds whether it is worth staying in your hand.