The most romanticized-about aspect of poker is no doubt bluffing. You see it in movies and TV shows, and all of the beginners want to discuss it. But in reality, bluffing isn’t as big of a part of online poker as everybody makes it out to be. That said, bluffs still happen enough to make them relevant though, so it’s worth discussing how to spot them.
The first thing you need to realize is exactly what we said to open the article in that bluffing isn’t as prevalent as people think. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you’ll get out of the mindset that players are constantly trying to bluff you; in turn, this prevents you from wasting unnecessary chips while calling players all of the time.
In regards to actually catching somebody in a bluff, you need to know their betting tendencies, what range of cards they typically play, and what the board looks like. For example, let’s say your opponent is extremely aggressive, they raise with 66/KJ/etc. from just about any position, and the board reads 5-8-3 rainbow; in this scenario, any raise could be construed as a bluff. But before you call or re-raise here, you need to have enough info on your opponent to make an informed decision.
Assuming you don’t have enough info on an opponent to spot their bluffs, just remember one thing: being bluffed isn’t the worst thing in the world. In fact, it might even be +EV in the long-run to simply fold rather than trying to sniff out a bluff when you’re not quite sure.
Lots of experience with reading opponents and studying their tendencies will definitely help you spot bluffs as well, so keep this in mind while you’re playing poker.