Bluffing in poker is probably the most misused, most misunderstood aspect of the game. The concept behind bluffing is trying to lead your opponent/opponents into thinking you have a better hand than you actually do. As most new players to the game love to think that they could do this, they employ it at the wrong times, and completely miss the point of bluffing.
What you need to understand about bluffing is that there are times when you should and times when you shouldn’t. See, with bluffing, it is all about the credibility you hold with the other players. There are situations when this credibility will be high, and then there are times when it will be low. You need to bluff when your credibility is at its highest, because this will truly make the other players think that you have the winning hand… when in actuality you have nothing.
For example, you just raised your opponent. They scoff, mumble something about “keeping you honest”, and call you. You beat them out pretty good, and win the hand. Now your credibility has been raised with this particular player. Odds are, in the exact same situation, that player will be more likely to fold next time than he would have been had he beat you. Also, consider this. There is this especially timid player, and you know for a fact that he is timid. He puts out a bet, it is on the shallow side. You know he probably doesn’t have a very good hand, and if this is true, this raises your credibility. You have nothing, but you don’t let him know that. You raise him, pretty big. Not too much, just enough to let him know that you mean business. If he believes you, than you have raised your credibility yet again. He is now more likely to fold than he was before.