Bluffing is essential – plain and simple. To win consistently at online poker you will undoubtedly need a fundamental understanding of percentages and your fair share of lady luck; but fail to understand the importance of bluffing and those players who do will more often than not gain the upper hand.
Basically, if you never bluff you’ll be missing out on the opportunity to steal a pot without a fight.
However, do it rashly and the better players will bide their time and take you down.
Bluffing online can be dangerous however, as many players have limited windows of time and money and therefore take more chances than they should. Therefore, trying to bluff the whole table when you’ve got nothing is likely to see you come unstuck. A semi-bluff (raising with a hand that is unlikely to be the best one after the flop but could improve greatly with the right turn card or river card) is a better play.
Bet big and everyone might fold. But if they don’t you’ve still got a chance of winning the hand. This is a great strategy when you’re sat with the last of the remaining players as, even if they call you, it’s likely they’ll check after the turn card – giving you a free look at the river card.
Regardless of whether your semi-bluffs are successful or not, it remains an important strategy, as by betting on such hands other players are much more likely to call or raise you when you bet on those hands you know you’re certain to win.
Of course bluffing is a two-way thing and this is when patience truly is a great virtue. If you’ve got the time, opt out of a few hands and take notes on your opponents. Try and work out what cards they have and whether they make out-of-line bets after the draw. If they do, then calling or re-raising what you think might be a bluff with a hand that isn’t the best possible hand on the table becomes a percentage play.
So now you know why bluffing at online poker is important – try it out – it might just make you a winner.