How to Bluff Without Letting the Opponent Know
The Art We Call Bluffing
We’ll let you in on our little secret, ladies and gentlemen — the key to a successful bluff (and you being the only one aware of it) is to control your emotions and reactions. Now, I know what you’re thinking; that’s old news — we already knew that.
Yes, you had probably heard this statement before. But do you know how to bluff without your opponents figuring out what you are trying to do? Essentially, it is a psychological battle between you and the other players participating in the poker match.
Luckily, there are more than a few pieces of advice which you can apply in order to bluff your way to a win.
But first, what is poker and why do you need to use bluffing to win the pot? Well, poker is one of the most popular and widespread card games out there. Being primarily a game of skill, but also a game of fortune, poker players use anything at their disposal to end up victorious.
However, by far the best-proven strategy a poker player can apply to their gameplay was and remains bluffing. It’s not just a game plan — bluffing became an art. Every good player worth their salt uses it in one form or another.
Control Your Body Language
Control your emotions; that’s what we said, right? Well, yes and no. Control your physical reactions to emotions, since it’s impossible for an individual to control what they’re feeling. After all, we wouldn’t have Romeo and Juliet’s tragic love story if this were possible.
Do the opposite thing of what your love partner would expect you to. When you’re with them, you try to smile, look profoundly in their eyes, and open up your soul by doing that.
Now imagine all that, but the complete opposite. This means no emotions at all. It sounds hard to do, but with our tips, you’ll hopefully get the hang of it.
Don’t let your opponent see the ‘smile’ in your eyes. And if you believe the eyes can’t smile, you are wrong. As much as you try to control your lips, eyes can reveal so much to an experienced opponent. Also, while we’re at it, avoid unnecessary eye contact. You can have the spaghetti western showdown with other players once you learn when and how to stare, but not before.
They say that only liars tend to avoid direct eye contact. Maybe this rule can be applied in real life, but it certainly isn’t the case when playing poker. Namely, players like to stare each other down in order to intimidate their opponents when they bluff because they have a strong hand.
Not All Poker Players Bluff
Have this fact in mind — there is a handful of players who don’t bluff at all, so be careful not to misinterpret their behavior. Their reasons for that can vary — maybe they don’t have the gift to deceive the opponent, or they just have some temporary mental block.
Watch Your Mouth; Learn to Smile Like Mona Lisa
And we mean this quite literally. You may think that the best way to trick other players is to talk your way to the winnings. However, if you are not a professional, things could go in the wrong direction.
Don’t smile too much, either. From your opponents perspective, this can be seen as a sign of insecurity. However, don’t be too serious, either, because they may see this as an indicator of despair and assume you have a weak hand.
We understand this is not an easy task at all, but practice makes perfect, and you have to be persistent to master all the bluffing techniques.
So here’s our best tip — let the image of Mona Lisa be the best example of a perfect poker face. Her mysterious smile has been the central mystery of the world of art since no one can tell with certainty just what her expression may represent. No one really knows if she’s happy or sad. Is she a merchant’s wife or the autoportrait of Leonardo da Vinci himself? Be a mystery to others — that is the ultimate bluff.
Well, the central principle of a good bluff, as we’ve said before, is simple — control your reactions to emotions you feel while at the poker table. Don’t show happiness or sadness; just look aloof and indifferent.
Also, mind your eyes — you may not even realize it, but they speak volumes to skilled opponents. If your hands are shaking because you are nervous, try placing your elbows on the table as solid support.
Moreover, try to sit straight and control your shoulders, since they can give away that you’re stressed because you have a weak hand.
Also, don’t forget to breathe as normally as you can. Poker players can give away that they’re bluffing by breathing deeply and heavily, or very quickly. None of this is good, and as hard as it may seem, learn to control it.
Hopefully, this will be enough to get you started. Practice these techniques as much as you can before you actually join a poker game. And remember, be like Mona Lisa!