Bluffing: A Must-Have Skill for No Limit Hold'em

No Limit Hold'em offers special opportunities where bluffing is concerned, simply because the amount each player can bet is so high compared to what is in the pot. This makes bluffing a useful tool for getting access to an opponent's chip stack without having to back it up with the cards.

Bluffing in Limited Games

Just because these rules are for no-limit games doesn't mean that's the only place you can bluff. But be wary of limited games where players are likely to call you because the price is cheap rather than simply letting you have it.

When to Bluff in Mid- or No-Limit Games

Bluffing is useful when your hand isn't necessarily that great, when you've already committed a significant number of chips to the pot, or if there are several players left in the game and you want to weed some of them out.

Early-Hand Bluffing

Betting early has the advantage of raising the stakes for other players. If early in the game you'd like there to be less competition, or even to buy the pot, a big bluff will discourage players who don't have the cards to see the game through.

Late-Hand Bluffing

Late in the game, bluffing serves the purpose of convincing other players to get out while they still can. Even if they've already committed significant money, a large bluff may encourage them to leave that money and fold rather than spending more to call your hand.

Bluffing isn't just a useful skill when the sky's the limit. A strategic bluff can often win you the pot, but only if applied properly, believably, and not too often.