Agenda 2013

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 players, for they rarely work against tough opponents, who are likely to see through them fast. An obvious ploy 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 player. An experienced 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 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 players you must use strategic tactics.