Every poker player who gets into the game for the first time tries to bluff. It is only natural, as they have seen countless examples of this kind of poker play on TV and in Movies, and even more so now that poker has become so popular that a new tournament or variety poker show pops up what seems like every other week. The problem is, when you are watching someone on the big screen or the small screen bluff, they are either acting out a role with a forgone conclusion or, in the case of real poker TV, they are pros. You, at this early stage of the game, are not. Don’t feel bad, just except it. You are what they call a “Fish”, a new player in the game, food for the Sharks. Understanding your level and not rising above it until you are ready is paramount to being successful in poker.
As you are at the level of Fish, there is one rule you should learn right off; Fish Shouldn’t Bluff. It seems tempting, of course, and who wouldn’t want the thrill of pulling the wool over the eyes of your buddies at the table? The only problem is, you are not good enough to bluff yet. Most of the times you try a bluff, you will get drawn in and lose. There is a flip side to this, as well; don’t assume the other guy is bluffing, either.
While it is true you should act aggressively if you believe you have the best hand, and especially if you know you have the best hand, such as the Nut Hand, once again you are not good enough to tell if your opponent is bluffing or if they have a good hand. If you want to risk some chips from the lead position to try and learn a little about the player, fine, but if you are playing in a cash game or short stacked, it is better to play it safe.
So focus on your game and learning the fundamentals, and leave the bluffing to the pros and the actors.