are two basic kinds of techniques to induce and stop
bluffs - strategic techniques and artificial techniques.
Artificial techniques are easier to understand. They
can be used only against average to slightly-above-average
poker players, for they rarely work against tough
opponents, who are likely to see through them fast.
An obvious play to stop a bluff is to reach for your
chips as though you're anxious to call. If your opponent
still comes out betting, fully expecting you to call,
you throw away your hand. Of course, you have to use
this play against the right poker player. An experienced
poker player who sees you reaching for chips and suspects
what you are up to is all the more likely to come
out bluffing, fully expecting you to fold.
A ploy to induce a bluff is to give the impression
you intend to fold your hand. Now if your opponent
bets, you call. But once again an experienced player
who sees through the ploy might not bet without a
good hand; realizing a bluff won't work, that poker
player saves money when he or she has nothing.
There are several other artificial ploys - feigning
disinterest in the hand to induce a bluff, feigning
tremendous interest to stop a bluff - but they will
not succeed often against top players. Against such
poker players you must use strategic tactics.
Hands in Low-Limit Games
lot of people seem to think that you can't read hands
in low-limit games. This line of thinking comes from
the idea that low-limit players don't know whether
they have a good hand or not, so they can't telegraph
their hand strength. Of course, this is nonsense.
Many low-limit poker players are pretty good players.
Of course, every once in a while you'll run across
a player who doesn't have a clue, but that's not the
If you find yourself unable to read hands at all in
a typical low-limit game, look to yourself for the
reason, not the other players. It can get tough if
you have a player who calls all bets 100 percent of
the time and never raises. Or one who always raises/reraises
and never calls. But you don't really run into such
extremes often. When you do, it really doesn't matter
that you can't read them. They're going to lose all
their money anyway.
But if a player plays every hand and sometimes he
raises and sometimes he doesn't, then probably there
is some kind of pattern to when he raises and when
he doesn't. Maybe its not easy to discern, but its