Bluffing could also be viewed a lot like eating vegetables -- it's good for you
even if somewhat unpleasant. Don't think of bluffing as lollies or soda,
something fun, because too much fun will make you sick to your
Bluffing is potentially the sexiest of the poker betting actions, it boost's your ego and gives you confidence. Except when
it's plainly stupid, it is bold, daring and exciting. Aside from the
adrenaline rush of winning something significant, bluffing gets
the juices flowing much more than other actions, especially things
like folding or calling or betting the best hand. Bluffing feeds
the same human desires as riding a roller coaster or seeing a scary
movie. People like semi-living on the edge. Needless edge-play
though not only becomes foolhardy, it takes the edge off the edge.
If you don't ever get caught bluffing you almost certainly don't
bluff enough. There is a theoretically ideal point where you would
bluff only and always when you would get away from it, but that
perfection is not possible in the real world. Getting caught bluffing
once in awhile actually pays off in terms of getting called when
you do have the goods.
But bluffing too often leads to pointless bankroll swings, and
leads to the psychological inevitability of losing begetting losing. A
person who plays two hands and wins one and loses the other will
almost always be on a lower psychological plane than a person who
played neither hand. Let's face it, to a human being, winning X
dollars is never as pleasant as losing X dollars is unpleasant. A
$20/40 player who loses $1000 one day is basically always more
pissed off than he is pleased when he wins $1000 in a day. It's a
common obsession among players to "get even" when they are losing
four or five bets. Players might risk their entire fortune
to try and get those five bets. In contrast, when a player is five
bets winner, winning another five bets has virtually zero effect on
anyone. It's spooky how humans can look at two things of equal
value in completely different ways.
risking loss, and people suck at losing, so the psychological
effects of bluffing should be put into your mental calculator when
deciding whether to bluff or not.
Still, all this translates into: don't do too much of a good
thing. And bluffing surely is a good thing. Bluffing is the act of
earning with personal boldness some economic value that you were
unable to earn with the objective assets of your cards.