If you understand when you should bluff, it is also when you should expect another good player to bluff. As I’ve said over and over you must know your opponents and their playing styles to bluff most effectively against them. Some people are easier to bluff out of a pot, and some won’t get out of the pot no matter what so your bluff will fail. But when is your opponent bluffing? If you know their playing style, it is easier to predict. But here are some things to watch out for.
*Note* – Even though these are times at Bovada poker when your opponent may be bluffing, you shouldn’t call out all bluffs with whatever hand you have. Often their bluff hand will be better than yours. Be careful.
Are They Bluffing?
Obvious Missed Draw
If there is a big pot going on and the river comes and the obvious draw got missed (like a flush draw), you can expect a bluff from your opponent who will try to take that big pot. If you have a decent hand you might want to re-raise and make them think twice about it. Pot Odds will help you decide what to do.
When do you bluff? Chances are when there are a small amount of people in the pot, especially if its one on one. Chances are your opponent is thinking the same thing, so expect the bluff. It's very easy to trick just one person. Use your skills at evaluating the previous rounds and the board to determine what they might have.
Bad Flop Doesn’t Stop Their Bluff
Joe Smoe bets pre-flop from a poor position, and the flop is something like 4, 4, 5, he is probably just trying to keep momentum going and bluff their way out of this hand. In this case you’re going to want to re-raise them if you know your opponent enough to know he probably hasn’t hit the flop and just has some overcards. If this is done correctly everyone should have folded out of the hand and leave you the pot, anyone still in the pot is to be watched. If you don’t hit on the turn, and they bet… you should just give the hand up.
They bet on the Flop, checked on the turn.
This is the classic scenario where someone bets into their draw, and they don’t hit it. They are just looking for a free card on the river… Take initiative and bet against them and pressure them. Be Smart about it though! If there was no draw and they bet on the flop and checked on the turn, they might be looking to do a check raise. Know your opponents.
Bet on the flop, bet on the turn, checked on the river
This is the same thing as above. The reasons for this are the same as above just they waited one extra card.
They Got Some Goods
Maybe they don’t have an amazing hand, but they got some decent overcards on a flop where there are no draws yet. It may not be bluffing, but they will raise to pressure people with the potential draw to drop out of the hand. If you have a decent hand with drawing possibilities, you might want to stay in.
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