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To Bluff or Not to Bluff
Are you the type of person that will sign-up to an online poker room because you think that you can out-bluff everybody else at the poker table. Just because you think you can lie to your mother and get away with it you think you can do so while playing poker. I have news for you Buddy, your mother knows you are lying but just doesn't have the heart to tell you. She gave birth to you and knows every inch of you, she knows you like the back of her (poker) hand. She knows every "tell" that you have.

So you have just discovered that you have been out bluffed by your own mother. Whoa!... heavy stuff, something you need to come to terms with before you can carry on with the rest of your poker life.

Sorry to drop that on you like that Bud, but it's the truth. We all have "tells" that can be read by others when we tell a lie or bluff. Even when we play poker online and can't see our opponents physically we have certain "tells" that can be read by other players just by the way in which we play the game.

Tower Gaming Poker

Bluffing is Part of Poker
Bluffing is an integral part of poker and you need to know where and when the best time is to pull this off successfully. All successful comedians will tell you that telling a good joke is all in the timing. Good timing is also needed for pulling off a successful bluff in poker.

Pure bluff
A pure bluff, or stone-cold bluff, is a bet or raise with an inferior hand that has little or no chance of improving. A player making a pure bluff believes he can win the pot only if all opponents fold. The pot odds for a bluff are the ratio of the size of the bluff to the pot. A pure bluff has a positive expectation (will be profitable in the long run) when the probability of being called by an opponent is lower than the pot odds for the bluff. For example, suppose that after all the cards are out, a player holding a busted drawing hand decides that the only way to win the pot is to make a pure bluff. If the player bets the size of the pot on a pure bluff, the bluff will have a positive expectation if the probability of being called is less than 50%. Note, however, that the opponent may also consider the pot odds when deciding whether to call. In this example, the opponent will be facing 2-to-1 pot odds for the call. The opponent will have a positive expectation for calling the bluff if the opponent believes the probability the player is bluffing is at least 33%.

Semi-bluff
In games with multiple betting rounds, to bluff on one round with an inferior or drawing hand that might improve in a later round is called a semi-bluff. A player making a semi-bluff can win the pot two different ways: by all opponents folding immediately or by catching a card to improve the player's hand. In some cases a player may be on a draw but with odds strong enough that he is favored to win the hand. In this case his bet is not classified as a semi-bluff even though his bet may force opponents to fold hands with better current strength. For example, a player in a stud poker game with four spade-suited cards showing (but none among their downcards) on the penultimate round might raise, hoping that his opponents believe he already has a flush. If his bluff fails and he is called, he still might be dealt a spade on the final card and win the showdown (or he might be dealt another non-spade and try his bluff again, in which case it is a pure bluff on the final round rather than a semi-bluff).



Bluffing circumstances
Bluffing may be more effective in some circumstances than others. Bluffs have a higher expectation when the probability of being called decreases. Several game circumstances may decrease the probability of being called (and increase the profitability of the bluff): Fewer opponents who must fold to the bluff. The bluff provides less favorable pot odds to opponents for a call. A scare card comes that increases the number of superior hands that the player may be perceived to have. The player's betting pattern in the hand has been consistent with the superior hand they are representing with the bluff. The opponent's betting pattern suggests the opponent may have a marginal hand that is vulnerable to a greater number of potential superior hands. The opponent's betting pattern suggests the opponent may have a drawing hand and the bluff provides unfavorable pot odds to the opponent for chasing the draw.

Opponents are not irrationally committed to the pot (see sunk cost fallacy). Opponents are sufficiently skilled and paying sufficient attention.



Optimal bluffing frequency
If a player bluffs too infrequently, observant opponents will recognize that the player is betting for value and will call with very strong hands or with drawing hands only when they are receiving favorable pot odds. If a player bluffs too frequently, observant opponents snap-off his bluffs by calling or re raising. Occasional bluffing disguises not just the hands a player is bluffing with, but also his legitimate hands that opponents may think he may be bluffing with. David Sklansky, in his book The Theory of Poker, states "Mathematically, the optimal bluffing strategy is to bluff in such a way that the chances against your bluffing are identical to the pot odds your opponent is getting." Optimal bluffing also requires that the bluffs must be performed in such a manner that opponents cannot tell when a player is bluffing or not. To prevent bluffs from occurring in a predictable pattern, game theory suggests the use of a randomizing agent to determine whether to bluff. For example, a player might use the colors of his hidden cards, the second hand on his watch, or some other unpredictable mechanism to determine whether to bluff.

How Many Times To Rebuy in a Poker tournament
How often should you rebuy in a rebuy poker tournament? Some people love rebuy poker tournaments because they hate getting knocked out early because of a bad beat. Others hate rebuys because they feel it gives an advantage to players with deeper pockets. Either way, if you find yourself in a rebuy tournament, you are going to need some Texas Holdem tips and rebuying guidelines.

When You Can Rebuy
In unlimited rebuy tournaments, players can freely rebuy until a designated break, often after the first hour of the tournament. Only players under a certain chip count can rebuy. That amount is typically equal to the starting stack, so players can rebuy immediately if they so choose. If a player goes broke, they can double rebuy, rebuying once to get to the starting stack and again since they are still within the permissible rebuy amount. At the end of the rebuy period, you can usually do a single or double add on, which is essentially a rebuy that you can make no matter what your stack size. Rebuys usually cost the same amount as the buy in, although they can be cheaper.

When You Should Rebuy
You should take the first rebuy right away, so that if you get into a big hand with a player who has a lot of chips, you can maximize your return if you win. After that, if you have unlimited resources, you should probably rebuy whenever you are eligible to do so for the same reason. If you have limited resources, as most players do, you should at least consider making one double rebuy if you go broke. When calculating your tournament costs, figure them to be at least six times the buy-in. You will pay your buy-in and the immediate rebuy, then have one double rebuy in reserve should you go broke early, plus the double add-on at the end of the rebuy period. If you go broke twice, you may quit or you may consider using your add-on money to buy back in and forego the add-on. Also there is no rule that says that you have to do the double rebuy every time, you can ration your buy-in with single rebuys as well.
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