Catching a Bluff in Poker — How to Do It?

by Cole Paganelli | December 26, 2019 |

Bluffing is an essential part of every type of poker. Professional poker players can make flawless bluffs and trick their opponents into folding or raising more. However, professionals also know one more thing — how to catch someone who is bluffing. They are especially good at it when they play against beginners.

So — how do they do it? What’s their secret? What do they look for when trying to catch a bluff? Let’s take a look at some of the basic tips & tricks.

Know Thy Opponents

Catching a bluff against players with whom you play for the first time is extremely difficult. However, you need to learn and recognize betting patterns of your opponents as soon as you start playing.

Once you determine how they bet, you could try and guess which players are more likely to bluff in certain situations. It’s important that you follow every hand even if you fold in order to learn more about other players and particular scenarios where they would try to pull a bluff.

Watch the Bet Size of Tight Players

Tight players will not often risk their hand and will often fold than take part in a hand if their cards are not that good. If you notice that they don’t bet as often and all of a sudden bet a huge amount on the turn or the river, this might actually be a bluff. Naturally, this isn’t the rule, and the player might actually have great cards, but it’s something worth taking into account.

In other words, a big bet size all of a sudden means two things — the player is either bluffing or they have really good cards. You need to take into account the biggest possible amount your opponent bet in the previous hands and try to notice whether this bet is a lot higher compared to them. That way, you might be able to determine whether they’re bluffing or not.

Notice Peculiarities

This tip is mainly for players who play live games, as you don’t get to see how your opponents behave on the web. Although the majority of professional players know how to hide their reactions when they’re bluffing, there’s always room for you to notice some peculiarities in the way they behave.

Many players will avoid eye contact, and if you notice that a player avoids looking at you when the stakes are high, that’s a good sign that they might be bluffing. Moreover, many new and intermediate players will have different body language.

For example, they might seem a bit tense and hold their shoulders higher than usual. Moreover, if you notice that players breathe more heavily than usually, that’s also something to take into account. Finally, some players might speak in a different way, and that’s also a very important thing to take into account.

To sum up, bluffing in poker is an art, and you have to be really good to pull it off or catch someone. The more professional poker players are, the more difficult it would be to catch a bluff. Therefore, it’s something that all poker players practice, and if you want to improve your bluff-catching skills, make sure to start by taking part in the games where newcomers play.

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