Obviously, opponents call too much in loose games, otherwise these wouldn’t be loose games. The main mistake opponents make in these games is to call too often.
You should expect their key mistake of calling too frequently to hurt you when you try to bluff. When you bluff, clearly you don’t want to be called. But in loose games you should expect to be.
Sure, everyone knows that, but you’d be surprised how many serious players bump their heads against poker’s wall by trying to bluff anyway. And, actually, it isn’t just the loosest games in which indiscriminate bluffing fails. It pretty much fizzles in most games, because typical opponents also call too often.
Does this mean you should never bluff? Of course not! But you need to choose rare situations where evidence strongly suggests that a bluff can yield long-range profit, if you attempted it over and over thousands of times. Otherwise — without strong evidence that a bluff will make money — simply don’t try to buy pots.
The secret is to never bluff in loose games unless you have a specific reason on a particular hand against a particular player. In tighter games, you can bluff once in a while at random, but in loose games and in most typical games, you must resolve never to bluff without a major motive.
The sad fact is that almost all players lose money for their poker lifetimes trying to bluff. So, if you did decide never to do it, you’d fare better than by bluffing at whim. Think about it. — MC
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