Some players play poker for years and still don’t know how to play the game. So without further ado, here are 3 great poker tricks and pieces of advice that most players either overlook or don’t follow.
1. Double and Triple Barreling
Barreling is a poker term that means you place bets on two or more consecutive streets, such as the flop, turn, or river. Although barreling can be synonymous with bluffing, there is often much more strategy involved. An example of double barreling is missing the flop and the continuation bet. When the turn comes, you sense weakness in your opponent believing that they will fold if you bet, so you quickly fire off another bet, or double barrel.
Like any sort of bluff, the key to making a double barrel work is to get a good read on your opponent. A double barrel can happen if a player who leads on the flop makes a bet on the turn before they even see it. This indicates to the other players that this person has a very strong hand and forces mediocre opponents to fold.
Double barreling can be a very effective way for picking up early pots, especially if you find your opponents are playing loose hoping to catch cards. Player who can double barrel effectively will command the table and earn the respect of their peers, but only if it’s done correctly.
2. Don’t Call to Keep Your Opponent Honest
Sometimes, players know they’re beat at the end of a hand, and yet they still call their opponent’s bet in order to “Keep them honest.” You might think it’s worth it just to see their cards and file it away in order to gain information or to let everyone at the table know they can’t be bluffed, but this is a bad habit to get into.
Essentially what it comes down to is you’re giving your opponents even more money for free. So stop doing it! You might think calling one hand here and there might not seem like a big deal, but over the course of a tournament or a sitting, this will add up and deplete your chips.
3. Timing the Perfect Bluff
Never bluff for the sake of bluffing. Poker is a game of deception and for a bluff to work you need to ensure the other players at the table think you have the better hand.
One way to illustrate when to bluff is to use a quote from good ol’ Abraham Lincoln, “You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Taking Honest Abe’s advice to heart, the next time you bluff, don’t do it when there are a lot of players in the pot. It’s so much easier to bluff just one or two players rather than a whole table full of them. The less hands there are, the better the chances there isn’t a strong hand out there that will call your bluff.
A benefit of putting bluff bets out is that they will give you information about your opponents. Players that tend to fold the easiest are the ones that play the loosest. If you bluff against an opponent who never seems to fold, you can likely assume that they are very tight players who may actually have a strong hand.