Concepts: The Bluff

The bluff is an active deceptive move.

  • Your hand can't win in a showdown?
  • But you still want to win the hand?

Then you'll have to bluff.

  • To bluff means to play a weak hand aggressively.


You bet or raise despite having a weak hand, so it's almost always possible to bluff. You don't need a good hand: you're willingness to bet is enough.

You actively set the pace of the game. In this way you exert the pressure necessary to win lots of hands immediately.

But successful poker is measured in the number of chips won, not the number of hands.


You are in a situation where you don't think you can win the hand at the showdown. So you have two alternatives:

  • You give up on the pot (fold) or you bluff.

Most times you should fold. If you decide to bluff, you're aiming to win a pot with a hand that isn't good enough. Your primary goal is to win the pot immediately. But even if you don't achieve this goal, you have at least done some advertising for your good hands.


In order to successfully bluff you must find the answers to these three questions:

1. How likely is it that all the other players will fold?

In answering this question, the following factors are particularly important:...