Bluffing plays an important part in the game of poker which can prove rewarding if you execute it properly. It proves profitable in low stakes online poker games where you can find more of loose-aggressive opponents. To catch a bluff, a player needs to make a call with a weaker hand to value bet and can only win if his opponent is bluffing. However, deciding when to bluff and when not to, is no easy task. Following are the ‘odds and ends’ that can help you decide whether to call or fold when your opponent could be bluffing.
Value on Getting a Call
While bluffing in poker, you should first and foremost think about the value when making a call. The pot odds that are offered will help you in determining how many times you need to win the hand in order for your call to be productive. Here is how you can calculate it: seize the amount you need to call and divide that by the total pot after calling. For instance, the money in the pot is 300, and your opponent bets 150. To calculate the odds : 150 / (150+150+300) which is 0.25, in other words, the minimum percentage of times you need to win is 0.25*100 = 25%. If your best hand – say a pair of 9s – is more than 25% of the time, then you can make a profitable call.
The Weaker Your Hand
When bluffing in poker, it is necessary to know the strength of your hand. You should know whether your hand is stronger or weaker than your opponents on the table. When playing poker if you have been in a soft spot, then your opponent will leave no chance of out-breaking your weakness by means of bluffing. And if your opponent bets big, then it is not necessary he/she is holding a strong hand. Because if your opponent would have been holding a strong value hand, then they would have bet smaller to keep you in the pot. Thus, the weaker your hand looks, the more you are inclined to bluff catch.
A Polarized Range
While playing poker online, the strength of your actual hand gets lower if your opponents play within a polarized range. An opponent following polarized range either has a very strong hand or nothing at all. The polarized range is the range when a player raises with strong hands or bluffs if holding low-value cards. Thus, you can easily bluff catch with weaker value hands if at any time your opponent has a polarized range.
Weaker Hands are Bluffed More
While you are playing online poker or live poker, you are likely to come across opponents who play unlimited hands and bluff a lot. Basically, players who play several hands including the weaker range tend to bluff more in order to win pots. Such players usually have lower hand strength and make every efforts to make you fold. In such a case, you should make calculated calls to bluff catch with weaker hands against loose players.