It’s essential to see who’s bluffing because that player has something fishy going on that’s not good for us. So here are some casino poker lessons on bluffing, particularly catching a bluff.
These lessons hinge on one psychology principle: people’s propensity for reverse psychology. If we seem to be, we’re not. If we don’t seem to be, we are. This is often the case. Few people at the table are honest—that’s the first lesson. Thus, if someone at the table shows off strong, chances are, the person’s weak. If the person shows off weak, beware, the person’s probably strong.
Actually, it was a guy named Mike Caro who came up with the idea that people at the table playing for stakes will never display what they really have and are. And most likely, they will do a cheap show at it and act exactly the opposite, thinking to lure us all. And, surprisingly, they succeed often. But if we get this casino poker lesson on bluffing loud and clear, it will soar us to new heights.
Just think about it. If we have something we know would put us to ruin once made known to others, how would we act? Be obvious about it. It’s either we feign or be emotionless. But either of the two still means someone is hiding something.
It’s not enough to spot a bluffer. It’s likely that everyone at the table is bluffing, so what’s the use of knowing that? It’s like getting a half-picture of a bluffer. The thing we need to do is get at least the picture of the bluffer from the forehead to the lips, if not the whole picture. Look for signs of weakness and strength. Weakness is when the person is obviously lying. Strength is when the person seems too relaxed.
For instance, we have a 9 and 2 differently suited and then declare an all-in before the flop. We try to act natural and confident, but inside we hope no one calls. It’s stupid to be acting obvious with these cards. But the sign of weakness is there—we’re putting up a show, acting out something. Our little act would be too obvious for a sharp-eyed player. But if we have a strong hand, we won’t be putting up any show except probably a slight grin or frown.