We can start this article by stating that bluffing is an art.

It is an inherent aspect of poker, a technique that is perfected over time, until the day comes when you take all the chips of your opponents, calling an all-in with such confidence that no one dares to match your bet. But only you know that your hand is mediocre.

How did you manage it? With a magnificent bluff.

In your beginnings in poker, before knowing what a full house is, you may have heard the term bluff. But what is a bluff in poker? Or what does bluff mean in poker? Don’t worry, if you want to know what this word and expression mean, you are in the right place. We tell you all about bluffing in poker.

What is a bluff in poker?

In the world of poker, bluff is the term with which we refer to the action or strategy with which we try to persuade our opponents.

It is a move in which you try to impress your opponent, making him believe that you have a good hand and that, on his part, the wisest thing to do is to fold. And we say “make him believe” because, actually, your hand is not so good or even really bad.

The poker bluff can occur at any time during the game. However, in order for it to succeed, you have to know how to choose the best moment and take into account certain aspects that will determine the success of your bluff.

How to bluff in poker?

As we have advanced in the previous section, if you want to make a good bluff, you have to take into account certain factors such as: your cards, the development of the game, the feelings that are breathed, what is the profile of your players, how you are as a player and know how to control your emotions.

Below, we detail in more depth what you have to take into account to make a bluff in poker.

It must be credible

One of the keys to bluffing in poker is credibility, that is, the hand in play that you are trying to make your opponents believe, must have a solid base and make sense to your opponents.

What your opponents are like

Before bluffing, you need to be clear about the profiles of your opponents. If you’re facing someone who never folds, don’t be blind bluffing with ace-king if you don’t even get anything interesting from the community cards.

What kind of player you are

The image you have projected to your opponents has a decisive influence on the credibility of your bluff.

If you have shown yourself to be a tight player, i.e. you have given the image of a player who only bets when he has a safe hand, your chances of succeeding with a bluff increase. In addition, if you have managed to win a good number of hands, you will have earned the respect of your opponents, so they will think twice before betting.

If, on the other hand, you are a loose aggressive player, that is to say, you go to many hands and play them very aggressively, you have probably been labeled as the big “bluffer” of the table.

Therefore, it is recommended to adapt to the dynamics of the game, i.e., do not always play the same way so as not to become a predictable opponent.

Prepare your poker face

If you want to master poker bluffing, you will have to control your emotions to the maximum and be impassive.

If you are a beginner and you still find it difficult to control your impulses, you can always disguise your most noticeable gestures or facial features that speak for themselves, such as your eyes, with a good pair of sunglasses.

How to spot a bluff in poker?

Learning how to spot a bluff in poker is even more important than knowing how to bluff.

To do this, you have to start by understanding the value of your opponents’ hands, that is, to read their gestures, their attitudes and their way of playing in order to anticipate their strategies and detect possible bluffs.

A tense or relaxed posture is one of the great indicators of a bluff. Along with this, the eyes and gaze are decisive. Dilated pupils, an elusive or fixed gaze, speak volumes about the hand your opponent is holding.

Best poker bluffs

The history of this fantastic card game has bequeathed us bluffs that have gone down in history. Here are some of the best poker bluffs.

Moneymaker vs Farha

In 2003, Chris Moneymaker bluffed against Sammy Farha at the final table of the World Series of Poker. Moneymaker had nothing, yet declared all-in after the river. The Lebanese, Farha, had a pair of 9’s, but chose not to call Moneymaker’s bet.

The result? Moneymaker won his first WSOP championship bracelet.

Tom Dwan vs Patrick Antonius

It was 2009 when the Full Tilt Poker Million Dollar Challenge was being played.

Before the flop, Dwan raised with ace-queen in another suit. Antonius, meanwhile, was holding pocket nines, so he called. On the flop, on the table, Ace-Ten-Nine, a combination with which Antonius got a full house.

Dwan declared all-in, which Antonius paid. After that, Dwan showed his infallible Ace-Queen.

Steve Gee vs Jaime Robbins

This famous bluff took place during the 2012 World Series of Poker. Gee and Robins found themselves facing each other at a table, the latter without a good play in his hands, however, he kept raising bets.

Nerves finally got the better of Gee, who was forced to fold and lose almost everything he had raised.