What is Bluffing?
Basically – bluffing is the technique of utilizing deception and misdirection to achieve a result. For example, you may wish to secure a raise and so could threaten to leave your job if you don’t get it. You really have no desire to resign, but you may be able to get a raise by running this bluff.
Know Your Opponent
The 1st part of the bluff, whether in poker or in real life, is to know your adversary. Are they going to believe you and your bluff in the first place? Also, are they a person who does not intimidate easily and will call your bluff.
If you are going into your work office to demand a raise “or you’re resigning” you will need to know whether your employer values your work contribution enough and whether the bluff will work. If easily replaceable, then your bluff is doomed to failure.
Don’t Let up That You’re Bluffing
One of the worst things you can do if trying to bluff is give off what is termed a “tell”. Tells are clues that provide your opponent information about your bluff, or in this case your true intentions.
For example, car salesmen are expert at determining tells. They can see when they have a client “on the hook” for a car and with those clients they can extract the maximum amount for the car.
While shopping for a car with these salesmen, you want to carefully hide your tells. Keep to the basic facts about the vehicle and don’t show too much emotion. You might want to shop around in order to counter with prices you have seen at other yards.
While bluffing, leave yourself an exit if your bluff is called. For example, you may want to refresh your resume and test the job market prior to asking your boss for a raise. For that car you are looking at, you may want to contact a number of dealerships to determine the best price on the car in the event your dealer doesn’t want to give you the best price.
Providing yourself exits is known as semi-bluffing in poker. You really don’t have the ability to carry through your threat, but in the right circumstances you can still get your desired result.
There are many other methods to improve your bluffing ability, but these three principles are great ways to start fine-tuning your bluffing skills in poker or the real world.