The skill to bluff big pots in poker online effectively is something that’s needed. This separates good players from great players. It is no accident that the games played at the highest stakes feature some of the most daring bluffs: big bluffs are a central part of the game.
For small bets, the majority of best online poker players mix up their play very well. They’ll bet out or raise with nothing on the flop with about the right frequency – but a lot of players don’t mix up their play well on big bets. Some players never fool around when they put in really big money on the turn or river. Your opponents can never resist the big bluff when they see a lot of money/chips in the middle. Timing to strike the right balance between value bets and bluffs when you raising the ante in the pot is crucial to playing top-level poker.
When you are playing against world-class pros, bluffing too often is a bigger mistake than not bluffing enough. You will get called very often and you will look to everyone like you are carelessly spewing online poker chips. You’ll question yourself why they are calling you so often, but it’s easy to see why: your opponents will be getting 2:1 odds on a call (if you are betting the size of the pot) and they will infer based on your betting habit that you’re bluffing more often than that.
How can they determine that you are bluffing too often?
In a manner of speaking, if you are balancing your online poker real money big bluffs properly, you will be betting for value about two-thirds of the time. And you will be betting as a bluff about one-third of the time. Hands that you will bet big for value on the turn or river come up quite rarely. It’s not often that you make a straight, a flush, a set, or some other huge hand that earns a big bet on the river for value. If you’re betting big on the river and turn very often, your opponents will figure out that you’re bluffing too often.
Bluffing too often can be a huge misjudgment in an online play poker game. But not bluffing often enough in the truly big spots is one thing that prevents great players from becoming world-class. You’ll probably never hear someone say of famous poker players “he’s never messing around in that spot.” They can be bluffing in any spot. As the pot gets very huge, their bluffs will be less frequent, as they will be trying to represent very thin ranges, but their bluffing frequency will never be zero in any sport, other than some trivial ones where it’s only appropriate to raise with the unorthodox.
Have the edge on an opponent
Most of the time your big bluffs will occur when you have an edge on an opponent. This is most true for big moves on the river. If a player checks to you on the river, it’s likely not a check of strength. With one pair of hands, people will often call on the flop and turn, but not always on the river. Their “check-call, check-call, check” line often tells you that they have a big pair but no better. Some novice players will fold to a pot-sized bluff way too often in this spot, and will not adjust oneself behaviour even when they begin to suspect that you are bluffing them often. Against these players, you are obligated to keep pilfering (stealing) until they adjust.
Definitively, the ability to pull off a big bluff is a crucial element in poker. Highly do so with the correct frequency, and you’ll raise your game to the next level.