Winning at poker isn’t just a matter of calculating your chance at getting the big pot; it is also a psychological confrontation that is to be won by the one with the most powerful weapons.
A good player must always increase his/her own opportunities and this can be done by means of a series of strategies.
One of the most effective strategies is to exercise a strong psychological pressure on the opponents – the deception. Deception refers to a hand played otherwise than it should be played: betting on a weak hand more than it is worth or pretending that you have a weak hand when in fact you have a strong one, in order to trick your opponents into calling your bets or folding from the game.
There are two main deceptive strategies: bluffing and slowplaying.
Bluffing refers to playing a weak hand as if it were a strong one and making your opponents call you bet. Semi-bluffing is a strategy that implies your betting on a not very good hand but with a high probability of getting a strong one.
On the other hand, there is the slowplaying strategy that refers to making your playing partners believe that you hold a weak hand when in fact you are playing a pretty good one.
These strategies will help you improve your playing and will also induce your opponents into error, but you must be careful when employing them, for you do not want to let your partners discover a predictable behavior.