Poker can be a strategic game, especially if you are used to sitting down at a table with experienced poker players. An important strategy to use in poker is the bluff, but many amateur players do not know how to bluff well and end up losing more money than they make playing poker. One of the keys to bluffing is being able to read your opponents and judge how they play. If your opponents are "calling stations," meaning they usually call any bet, then bluffing may not be effective against them. However, if your opponents play tighter and don't call as often, then running a good bluff can help you win some hands. You don't want to run a bluff on every hand you play, as your opponents may quickly sense this and wait until they have a great hand to call your bluff to win. You should only use a bluff occasionally and, hopefully, in the right situation.
Some good hands to bluff on are flush draws and straight draws. If you think your opponent has a pocket pair or has hit a big pair on the flop, but the three cards are all of the same suit, you can try to bluff by placing a big bet. If it works, your opponent may think you hit the flush and fold. If there is a four card straight draw on the table, betting as if you hit the straight can help you win the hand as well, if none of your opponents have hit it. Probably the biggest advantage to the bluff is making your opponents think you play loose. If they think you are always bluffing or playing any two cards, then it will be easier for you to disguise a good hand when you are dealt one.