Author: Marty Smith
You may know from my previous articles that I am not a proponent of bluffing in online poker games, especially in the lower limits. Most new players approach online poker like they are Gus Hansen and plan to bluff their opponents off the face of the map. Uhh… no. Really. However, I have never stated that bluffing is wrong, only that it requires a high level of skill, timing, and exceptional opponent profiling.
There is a vast difference in the styles of games played from limit to hi limit to turbo sit and go strategy styles, that should make you think twice about bluffing because if done with out due thought process you are likely to get caught and as we all know one single pot can make a huge difference in the outcome of the whole tournament.
There are many players simply immune to bluffing, and will call you even if it doesn’t make sense to you that they called. For instance you may be moving up the level to say like 10,20 even $50 sit and go tournaments and find that players at that level called just as much as they do at the one and two dollars sit and go tournaments. While a lot of that has to do with the math of the game. You have to remember that a lot of those $50 sit and go players are multi-tabling, and have no time whatsoever for your bluffing plays. They will simply look at the situation as a mathematical equation to determine if you have it or not – at least on a long term basis. That’s how they make their money.
To that end I would completely avoid blatant bluffing in turbos, with hole cards that give you no chance to win if you do get called. You at least have to limit yourself to semi-bluffing when your opponents are skilled math players. You will know if they are if they are multi-tabling while playing at your table as well.
In saying that I do find the best opportunities for bluffing are against tag players in the low to middle levels of sit and go tables, such as the $5, $10, and $20 tournaments. If you aren’t using a poker calculator to determine if they are attacked player then I recommend you use a service like sharscope to help you to that end. The tags usually have a steady uphill graph of consistent, decent profits. Tags will also try and take betting away from you, and the best way to get beyond that and don’t play them is to put them to a decision for their whole tournament in particular when they have a lot to lose and they haven’t yet reached the money.
Another time there is a good opportunity for sit and go bluffing is when you have a monster stack and the tournament is one off the money with four or three players left depending on the size of your table. If you get a player raising in to you and are holding cards with potential like suited connectors, paint cards, Ax of Kx suited, that could also be a great opportunity to win a sizable pot and get a cautious player to fold the better hand.
You know, professional players like Gus Hansen will often be caught on camera making fantastic plays and bluffs, but whit those same programs do not show is how these professionals exercise pot control and intimidate players when huge amounts of money are on the line. It is just no that way in online poker.
About the Author:
Marty Smith has a free sit and go strategy profiling report and videos for playing sit and go tournaments successfully. He also reviews all the online poker calculators with video in real game situations, so you can see which one is right for you before you buy.