Bluffs are part and parcel of any poker game, and especially so in online poker game. Physical tells such as anxiety, aggression, and nervousness are some of the easiest tells of catching a bluff on live tables. As compared to live games, catching a bluff in online poker can be extremely tricky. However, by carefully monitoring the patterns and behavior of players at a table, one is likely to spot a bluffing faster.
“Everyone gets lucky once in a while, but no one is consistently lucky.” – Doyle Brunson.
One of the key requirements of winning pots at a table is by tactfully sniffing out bluffs. At any given table online, you will come across players who bluff a lot. By identifying such players, you save yourself the trouble of losing out on big pots because of their bluffs. Since you cannot observe your opponent’s physical tells, detecting bluffs online is all the more difficult.
Bluffing in Online Poker Game
There are no definitive or scientific methods to prove when a person is bluffing. However, here are some of the most common tells that can help you identify bluffing in playing online poker game:
One of the most dependable poker tells, betting patterns help you understand a player’s gameplay more thoroughly. When it comes to playing online poker game, you can’t physically see your opponents, which makes it even more challenging to sniff out bluffs. This is where betting patterns come in: look out for changes in a player’s betting pattern and keep a track on their timing. For example, you know a player is bluffing if he/she takes too long or calls immediately to bets; it’s a clear sign that they are probably drawing.
The Proverbial Calling Station
The proverbial calling station is someone who plays almost every hand on the table. Often, this leads them to bluff more than required as a way to dig themselves out of such deep stakes. Since calling stations tend to bluff a lot, they assume that everybody at their table does the same too, which only makes them call every single time even when they know they are beaten. One should be extremely cautious when dealing with such players online: only play when you have the best hands.
Long Pauses, Followed By Strong Raises
When a player thinks for quite some time and then raises big, it is a clear sign that he either has a good hand or is simply bluffing. This move is adopted by bluffers quite often to trick their opponents into believing that they probably have the best hand: do not fall for it. However, you’ll need to be extremely cautious when calling out such bluffs, as players tend to use this move when they have got the nuts.
Odd Number Bets
Quite a sizable number of players tend to bet odd numbers in a move to throw off their opponents. While players make this move to induce you into calling when they have a monster hand, some players only bet odd amounts when they have a bluff at hand, and usually adopt this move to make the chips in the pot appear bigger.
Massive All-In Bets
Massive all-in bets are either signs of weak players or aggressive ones. It is common among weak players to make huge all-in bets only when they’ve got a monster hand and not otherwise. Loose aggressive players, on the other hand, tend to go all in even when they have nothing, and especially with the weakest of cards. Ensure that you observe players showing such traits carefully before you decide to put any trust in your reads.
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