If you are playing a hand and you've been largely bluffing through it, and somebody (re)raises all-in, should you fold immediately, or should you pretend to think about it in order to hide the fact that you were bluffing?


4 Answers 4


In order to not give any hint/tell, it's worth using always the same routine, no matter which cards you played, which moves (right or wrong) you made, how good or bad you played the hand : always do the same things. They'll have to figure out if you were actually bluffing or sorting out a tough decision.

For pretty much standard hands not requiring extra thinking, and even if you think/already know that you should fold/call/raise, and no matter what your final move will be :

  • look (or don't) at your cards (*)
  • take the same 5 to 10 seconds to think about it.
  • make your move.

(*) it's all about image, so it depends on whether you want the other folks at the table think you were bluffing or not. You can have a very decent hand, then believe you're behind, but played smart and make a good fold, but still, you want to mislead them, and have them think you were caught bluffing. It'll help later, never know...


As said, it is not considered bad etiquette to do so, so it is acceptable. However, if you observe top players playing on TV they almost never do it. They usually fold instantly, giving their opponent the credit for the good guess, which is kinda nice if you think of it.

Ex. Dwan vs Ivey preflop bluffs

It has nothing to do with balancing your game/image, as in both cases the result is the same (i.e. you fold), so your tendencies and betting patterns are not affected. After a while, even a rookie player will notice that you do it (no one can tank fold all of his hands because he never bluffs and "always has sth"). So basically, it is up to your manners and respect, just that.


It is not wrong to tank before you fold after a bluff. This is completely understandable and is not bad etiquette.

It is up to you if you want to do it though, considering your image.


A reach but it can give away live tells.

Raiser can think about they did different when you snap fold versus think about it.

Table can think about what you did different when you snap fold versus think about it.

It indicates you did not have at least a bluff catcher.

My advice is look at your hand and pretend you had second pair and you decided it was not good. Always look at your hole cards as some times you will want to look at your hole cards.

Hoyt Corkins used to tank to punish you for looking him up and he rarely got the clock called on him.

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