Identifying if someone is bluffing or not is very important in poker! If you ever find that players sitting next to you has started to sweat from their brow and if have starting to smell their breath due to their sudden heavy breathing, do you know what does that means?
Probably your opponent is bluffing. This is an important part of a poker game. To be a successful player, you must be able to lie without losing confidence. Obviously, there are many ways to identify if the player is bluffing and lying to you about their hand.
You must develop this skill to become a professional poker player. Let’s find out how you can tell if someone is bluffing or not!
1. Body Language
This is the most obvious factor that is visible apparently. Anything from a head nod to a tap of the foot can be a bluffing tell. If your opponent does not nod when you meet eyes, he is likely confident in his hand. Don’t hesitate to look into the eyes of other players and rely upon you with the reading you get. In addition, the jugular vein is another clue. These are some physical signs of nervousness. This is the reason many player wear sun glasses and hoods to hide their nervousness.
2. Bet Timing
The timing on which the other players’ bet is also instrumental in displaying their tells. They can either take a considerable amount of time or not much time at all to act. An immediate bet is mostly a sign of a weak or strong hand. In case a player has a strong hand, he will try to maximize the value. It may take some time to calculate. Betting quickly is a sign of confidence. If someone is bluffing to be strong they are probably weak.
3. Bet Sizing
The way players bet also speaks a lot about what they’re holding. A bluff will try to scare you as they know they are weak may not compete well. They are trying to scare you as they are scared. It is always suggested to target loose and aggressive players. You can’t identify a bluff until you know you are getting bluffed.
4. Bet Positioning
Yes, a player’s position at the table also ascertains if they will play a hand, bluff on a hand, or both. Late positioning is more beneficial. Late positioning has more chances to bluff then middle or early positioning.
5. Verbal Cues
It is all about Umm, uhh, hmm etc. These are filler terms, and they are used unconsciously when someone is nervous or not sure of their next statement. The best strategy to find verbal cues is to observe who is talking and how much not only during the hands you play but also during the hands you plan to fold. Figure it out faster who is talkative and who isn’t. You can now pair this knowledge with your observation of the players talking more or less in a potential bluffing situation.
Noticing tells isn’t the core of being a successful poker player. It might help you in one or two hands as good players don’t bluff that much. It could ideally be to throw you off. So better to put these together and look for a break in a player’s game.
The next time you hope someone is bluffing you, evaluate the table position, the size, and timing of the bet, and whether or not there is any sudden change in their talking or body language.