“Just bluffing”, how many times have we seen that admitted by players during a game. We all bluff at some point during a game, or should I say, try to bluff. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. But, how do you tell when someone is bluffing is the question.
It’s hard in online poker, you can’t see the “ tells” the only thing you can rely on is your notes, keep notes on everyone’s play .
Yes keep notes! Some is bluffers some is bingo some is real smart and some is real lucky,but that has helped me is to take notes and what the pot size is and so on!!
The context can be a clue. I look to see if possibly the person is in a desperation moment–low chip stack, likely going out. I feel pretty sure–in that context–an All In is very likely to be a bluff. The player is “throwing up a prayer.” However, just because the context fits, it still might not be a bluff. I know there are people who can write more about looking at the context. Hopefully they’ll weigh in here.
Yes, keep notes and I date them, as players have mood swings, so a note on how they played one time can be meaningless.
You’re mostly not going to be in a spot where you have a high degree of confidence that it is a bluff, so I mostly just try address the following questions:
- what fraction of the opponent’s range am I probably ahead of (what cards in range are they likely to bluff with, and what cards in range make sense as value bets)?
- what pot odds am I being offered?
- do I have implied odds that I’m likely to benefit from, or reverse implied odds that are likely to diminish the profitability of a call?
Very hard to tell online, but as you observe the style of play of others on your table, you gradually develop a sense. For example some players will bet half the pot as a continuation bet with nothing, or others will limp from the SB to your BB and then minbet on any flop.
The bluffs that really count are the big ones. In a tournament tonight we were down to the last three players and it was tough going. With the blinds at 2000/4000 three times I was in the BB when both other players limped in and I raised to double the pot, then donk betted them out of the 24000 chip pots. When the pot is big enough, it is difficult for any player to call any bet with less than top pair/decent kicker, but the real strategy is to get the player with the smallest stack to put a lot of chips in before the flop and then ask him/her the question on an uncoordinated flop, and hopefully further reduce his-her stack, forcing them to play with inferior cards or be blinded out.
Yes I agree with this. Placing in a tournament can definitely start to reveal bluffing patterns. Also, bigger blinds as stated. But ultimately we all will more than likely come up against the “I don’t care” players who are totally unpredictable in how the play against traditional strategy. Because. This. Is. Not. Real. Poker.