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Crash Course in No-limit Hold'em for Beginners

Shifting Your Thinking from Limit to No-limit

The 8 Winning Principles of No-limit Texas Hold'em

How to Determine the Strength of Your Hand:

Determining How Much to Bet:

Understanding Your Opponents:

Knowing When and How to Bluff

Knowing when and how to bluff

The Fourth Winning Skill of No-limit Texas Hold'em

Knowing when and how to bluff is the fourth winning skill of no-limit Texas hold'em poker. Pulling off a successful bluff one of the most pleasurable aspects of playing poker. There's nothing quite like the satisfaction you get when you have caused your opponent(s) to lay down a better hand than yours. Some players would actually rather win with a bluff than with a legitimate hand! The intense feeling of satisfaction and superiority they get from bluffing successfully is the reason why.

It's hard to hold enough premium hands to win a tournament without doing some bluffing along the way. In tournaments the blinds keep getting higher and higher as time goes by and when you become short on chips, you eventually have to play some kind of hand just to stay in action. Naturally everyone wants to look down and find pocket aces, but sometimes most of the time, in fact they don't come our way. That is why we have to become creative just to stay alive so that we don't completely blind and ante our chips away.

Many factors enter the picture when you make the decision to risk your chips with what you consider to be a weak hand, one that you think wouldn't win in a showdown. In other words, you have to think of lots of things when you decide to bluff.

We have decided to write this part of the book in a question and answer format. Here are our answers to the questions that students most frequently ask us about poker bluffing.

What is bluffing?

Bluffing is betting with a hand that doesn't figure to be the best hand. Some people refer to it as betting "without a hand." You think that you can make your opponent(s) fold a better hand than yours so that you can win the pot limit hold'em poker game even though you don't have the best hand. In this section, we discuss five types of bluffs - the semi-bluff, the steal bluff, the re-steal bluff, the follow-up bluff, and the total bluff.

What does "without a hand" mean

Betting "without a hand" means betting without what you perceive to be the best hand. For example, suppose that you don't have a pair, but you do have a flush draw on the flop. Alas, you miss it at the river. You can't even beat an ace high low poker hand, but you think that your opponent is weak. You've put a good read on him and you bet with nothing. "To me, one of the biggest pleasures in poker," Brad says, "is making a big bet at somebody and seeing him throw away a better hand than you have. You just win it with guts."

Of course the bluff is much more effective in no-limit poker where you can make a big enough bet to get your opponents to fold better hands. In limit hold'em, it only costs an opponent one extra betting unit to call and if the pot is big enough, he will be correct in calling. For that reason, bluffing is not as effective in limit hold'em as it is in no-limit hold'em.

When do you bluff?

You usually bluff on the flop when you think your opponent is weak and you believe that a bet will win the pot for you-usually when you have position on your opponent and he has shown weakness by checking to you.

Another time you might bluff is when winning the pot increases your chances of winning principles the poker tournament so much that it justifies trying to pull off a bluff. If you lose the pot, it will knock you out of the tournament, but that's a chance that you must take. In cases like this, you might risk all of your chips with a bluff bet to try to pick up the pot.

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Tournament Practice hands

Tournament Practice Flops:

Bluffing Practice Hands

How to Play No-limit Hold'em

10 Ways to Practice No-limit Texas Hold'em

Extra Stuff