How to Bluff in Poker

Reading Hands and Situations

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Don't always raise with these very strong starters.

Reading hands and situations is a skill that can be mastered only by practice and experience. Over time, you can read many players because they fall into patterns and become predictable. For instance, some players immediately raise before the with strong hands like AA, KK, and AK. These players reveal too much information about their playing styles to their opponents by always playing this way.

What you must constantly look for is betting patterns. Many players bet the same type of hands the same way every time. If you can pick up on their patterns, it will improve your game tremendously. One lesson to be learned from consistency is to occasionally vary your own play so an opponent can't easily read your hands. Usually making a play that is contrary to your normal playing style is only necessary about 5 percent of the time to keep your opponents guessing. This, however, is only necessary in a game with opponents who are paying attention. Poor players rarely notice anything you do out of the ordinary, so just play simple straightforward poker against them.

Another reason it is important to pay close attention to the game is so you will think back about how a hand has been played to the present. Has someone who has been checking and calling suddenly raised? You need to answer these questions in order to recognize and read situations at the poker table.

Poker is a thinking man's game. To be truly successful, you have to stay one step ahead of your opponents at all times. If you practice the tips and suggestions in this article, you will be able to read other poker players like an open book.

For more information on bluffing and other advice on how to win at poker, try the following tips: