Many recreational players join online poker off the back of watching it in movies on TV. It could be the thrill of emulating a great bluff from a Hollywood movie or seeing the vast sums won in WPT events.
Online poker, like the rest of online gambling, is going through a mini boom. But what is the common advice given on strategy sites? Play tight, play aggressive. This mantra is echoed around the online poker community when discussing the correct strategy for beating low stakes games. In this article, we’re going to examine whether bluffing is overrated when it comes to online poker.
Ego Bluffing is Pointless
Not all bluffs are equal in value. The players who bluff for the sake of it or just to beat their opponent are doing it for the wrong reasons. You come across these players on weekends. They see good poker as bluffing poker. In other words, they want to assert their dominance by bluffing recklessly. They are the type of player to show all their bluffs.
This type of bluffing is overrated because they won’t maximise their earnings. You can play this way for a little while but ultimately your opponents will pick you off. They will realise what you’re doing quickly and once they do; you will lose money.
To Not Bluff Is to Miss Opportunities
It’s not easy to make strong hands and just get paid every time. Some sessions, you can win money without making a single bluff. Everything goes your way and you keep getting paid. However, these sessions are few and far between for consistent winners. The best players online realise you need to have balance to your game and exploit any opportunities to bluff.
This sentiment is substantiated by poker training sites like Texas Hold’em Questions. They created a poker bluffing course that focuses on 6 bluff types. It’s a brilliant resource for people looking to improve their bluffing online. It sells for £199 but if you use our code “PLAYPLAYFUN”, you can take advantage of 10% discount.
Bluffing Helps Your Table Image
Image is a big part of poker. What you project and how you are perceived will impact your opponent’s decision making. If they perceive you as a tight player who never bets without a nut hand, how do you expect to get paid?
Bluffing with regularity, even if it fails, can help your table image and get you paid more often. This may seem counter intuitive but you want to give the illusion you may hold speculative hands. You don’t want to be pegged as someone who only plays big pairs and ace king.
There’s No Point Trying Bluffs on Donkeys
Low stakes online poker games are tougher than they used to be. But you will still run into donkeys from time to time. Donkeys are basically clueless players or players that do not care. They will call you down with ace high card or bottom pair because they don’t understand or care about the fundamentals. These players are not worth risking bluffs on.
Bluffing in games with donkeys is overrated because you will burn through money. You will be playing into their hands and get frustrated. A good poker player adapts to the table and recognises who can and can’t be bluffed.
As you can see there are valid arguments on both sides. If you pick the right moments and opponents, bluffing is a great tool to use at low stakes. On the other hand, if you are bluffing for the sake of it, for ego reasons or against terrible players, then it’s certainly overrated. The important thing is to have a balanced approach to playing online poker. If you’re interested in learning about bluffing, sign up for the Texas Hold’em Questions Bluffing Course and use our 10% discount code “PLAYPLAYFUN”. It can be used on any of their poker courses.