Is my online opponent bluffing? It sounds like a simple question. But is it that easy to tell when they don’t have the goods.

The short answer, as to almost all questions, is it depends. Sometimes it’s easy to tell. Sometimes it’s not. And, of course, there are no guarantees in this life.

However, there are definitely some tell-tale indicators that can give you an idea about if your online opponent is bluffing or not. Some of them might sound obvious. Maybe some will be new to you. But either way, it’s always good to reinforce what you should be looking out for.

And, if you’re looking for some hints on how to pull off a successful bluff yourself, check out our guide to bluffing. Or if you need a new online poker room, here’s a sweet bonus code bet356 for new players.

Is my online opponent bluffing?

Situational bluffing

In order to figure out if your online opponent is bluffing, take a serious look at what’s currently going on at the table. Players are more likely to bluff when they think that no one else has a strong hand. So, for example, if there’s a rainbow flop with no royals and no connectors, chances are that your opponent is going to take a chance. If they start betting, this could well be an attempt to steal the pot. Before you fold in this situation, try to figure out what possible hands your opponent could have. If you think that they have zilch, maybe try call their bluff. Or raise and force them to fold.

Bluffing can also be more common in certain positions. For example, as a rule of thumb, late position players and pre-flop early position players can be likely candidates for a bluff. Meanwhile, mid-position players rarely do it because it can simply not be worth their while to risk it.

Bluffing tells based on their online actions

It can be simple to tell if your online opponent is bluffing. You can get to know their playing style if you take the time to observe their play over the course of a game. If your opponent suddenly starts betting very fast, this is an indication they’re not really thinking and could be bluffing.

Another thing that can tell you fairly quickly if a player is bluffing is if they start betting way out of their regular range. This can be the case for players who are betting both bigger and smaller than they usually do, although it’s more common for big bets to be big bluffs. If you do find yourself up against someone who’s min betting and you think it’s a bluff, why not test your theory by trying out a 3-bet on them?

Equally, if you’re playing against a loose and/or aggressive player, they might be more inclined to bluff too. So that should give you a bigger incentive to make them face the music to see what they’ve really got up their sleeve.

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