The concept of bluffing while playing poker has become second nature to a high number of players both on the live poker scene as well as the online poker world. The thought of being able to give the impression that you are holding a strong hand in order to gain to your financial wealth is something that seems to appeal massively to new and weaker players. This situation means that there is a high percentage of hands that are played with the prospect of the players making a play that is not true to their real hand strength.
Bluffing in the 7 card stud poker variant is seen to be one of the hardest games to incorporate bluffing into due to players being able to see a number of exposed cards within your hand, giving them more information into the possible hands that your hand could contain. There are two forms of bluffing that a player has the opportunity to use:
A semi bluff is a play that is made by a player who is holding a hand that carries some value but their betting action would credit the hand to hold more strength than it actually has. This type of bluff is considered to be the safest form of bluffing because the player is making a play with a hand that could offer the possibility of winning the pot should they get a call from an opponent and have the need to fall back on the hands strength. Due to the smaller risk that this form of bluff carries, it is thought that this is the most common bluff used by players of all abilities.
This style of bluff is where a player is willing to take a huge risk in making a strong play while they are holding a hand that carries no strength other than a high card, something that 95% of the time will see the player lose the hand. If executed well, a pure bluff can become one of the biggest adrenaline boosts available to a player, knowing that being able to make a player laydown a hand that carried some strength when you are holding a hand that wouldn’t even place offers a great feeling.
This form of bluff is mostly used by either new poker players who are still trying to learn their trade within the game of poker or by strong, tight players who are looking to mix up their playing style in order to remain hard to read. The pure bluff is not recommended when a player is playing the 7 card stud poker variant because opponents that are seated at the table are able to obtain information about possible hands that you could be holding due to the number of cards that are exposed and dealt face up for all to see.
So what should you remember when considering making a bluff in 7 card stud poker?
1. Being hard to read is a key attribute
Is a player falls into a regular pattern of play, their hands can become predictable and so mixing your playing style is highly recommended. This means that players are less likely to know that you are trying to deceive them with your bet.
2. Making a bluff will be more profitable then folding
This speaks for itself, if you are able to successfully able to execute a bluff and are able to scare our opponent out of a hand, you will win more chips than if you fold you hand.
3. Do your opponents show any weaknesses?
Being able to find and expliot an opponents weaknesses is the most profitable way to play poker. This is because if you can locate a situation that your opponents are uncomforatble in, you can place pressure on them and they are more likely to fold due to uncertainty.
4. Playing a bluff reduces other players from doing so
If you are caught playing a bluff, players will see that you are willing to risk your chip stack in order to play your hand in a way that is more powerful than it should be played. This will mean that less players will be willing to play a bluff as they will be looking for ways to counter your play to their benefit.
5. Revealing a successful bluff can prove costly
If you are able to execute a bluff successfully you should keep your cards hidden, keeping your opponents wondering about what cards you could have being holding at the time of your bet. Showing your cards removes the mystery and reveals that you were making a bet with a hand that was of no significant strength and so will lead to more players being willing to call your next bluff.
6. What level of opponent are you playing against
One of the worst traits that a player could fall into is trying to bluff a poor player. A poor player who is either inexperienced or generally bad at playing the game is more likely to call your play due to the inability to fold. This can prove costly if you are trying to make a pure bluff.
7. Remember what poker variant you are playing
Before making a bluff you should always look to remember the poker variant that you are playing. This is because different variants offer a different amount of information that your opponents are able to obtain about your hand.
For example, when playing texas hold’em poker you are dealt two cards that remain face down and hidden from your opponents so playing a bluff will be easier than playing a bluff within 7 card stud.
This is because the level of information that is exposed to your opponents is significantly higher within this variant due to the exposed cards.
8. Do you really need to make a bluff at this moment of play?
The number of players that forget to weigh this factor up is huge and so means that their play can see them losing more chips than if they just laid their hand down.
If you are not holding a hand that carries any strength and the pot only consists of the blinds at a low level, it is advised that you don’t try to play a bluff as the level of chips that are in the central pot is too low to risk being called in this situation.