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5 Tips for Slowing Down a Big Bluffer in Texas Hold'em

12 August 2016, By: compncards
The art of bluffing is one of the main skills that separates a great player from an average player.

An equally important skill is the ability to combat against habitual bluffers at the table

Here are some quick tips for combating a habitual bluffer.

1. Trap

One of the simplest ways to combat someone who regularly bluffs at the table is to tighten your game and trap them when you have a big hand. 

With that said, you don't want to appear too rock tight or you will telegraph your play to the point where they wont bluff against you.

2. Speculate More

Another strategy is to speculate with non-premium hands in hopes of flopping a well disguised hand. 

For example, open up your range to include suited connectors, suited aces, face-card connectors and low pairs.

If you can get in relatively cheap, you can even expand this to hands like K-10, Q-9, and J-9 unsuited. 

With these hands, you want to catch against the opponent in the hopes of them bluffing off their stack to you.

3. Think Like a Calling Station 

Newbie players sometimes have an advantage over a habitual bluffer because they don't have the knowledge and experience that bluffers feed off of. 

They don't know that if there are three suited cards on board with an ace, their pocket 10's should probably go in the muck. Their tendency to be calling stations can sometimes neutralize a bluffer.

We aren't necessarily saying that you should adapt a total calling station mentality, but lean more towards calling in tricky spots when against a habitual bluffer.

4. Watch for Patterns

Some players will almost telegraph their plays via their betting patterns.  

For example, watch how they bet and see if they have a tendency to change the size of their betting based on whether they're bluffing. 

Sometimes they will change the speed or even the way they bet when they're bluffing as opposed to when they have the nuts.

Granted, this is not very accurate with pros, but sometimes you can catch an amateur by watching their patterns.

5. Sometimes You Just Can't Beat Them

Of course there are just times when you can't beat a bluffer.  They may actually have a huge hand when you play back against them, or they may even recognize your play and stay out of your way. 

When this happens, just suck it up and come back another day. Bluffing is an art form; catching one can tend to be an inexact science. 

With time and practice, you will find what works best for you. In the meantime, the above tips should get you started with holding your own against bluffers at the poker table.

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