No bluff, no win?

No bluff, no win?

Monday, 2 November 2009

Dear Tom,

Is it possible to win at poker without bluffing?

Jepser, Uppsala

Dear Jesper,

This misses the point a little since the object is not to win £0.01 but to win, win, win! The question should be: “Could you ever win more by not bluffing?” The answer is no, I think – at least if you are playing for real money, whatever the stakes. You will occasionally encounter particular players you would never attempt to bluff simply because they nearly always call. But for obvious reasons such players don’t tend to be a permanent feature. I’m sensing perhaps that you don’t enjoy bluffing that much? If so – good news – a very little bluffing goes a very long way! If you rarely bluff you will have a tight image and rarely get caught. Players who bluff a lot may, in fact, not make much more than you because so many of their bluffs get called. So choose which end of the bluffing spectrum you want to occupy, but you have to do at least some or you are throwing away money. You may even start to enjoy it.


Tags: Tom Sambrook, Strategy, bluffing