Not only Obra Theater
Accurate assessment of your chances of pulling off a bluff comes, like so many advanced poker plays, only with experience. You must first be able to read hands. You are obviously not going to bluff out an opponent with a lock or any sort of big hand.
In general, the weaker you think your opponent’s hand is, the higher the chances your bluff will succeed. Sometimes both you and your opponent have been drawing to a flush or a straight. You don’t make your hand, but there’s a good chance your opponent didn’t make his either. Because of earlier bets on the come, there may be a fair amount in the pot — say, $ 100 in a $ 10-$20 game. Now let’s say you are first, and you end up with an AJ high.
You think there’s a 55 percent chance your opponent made a legitimate hand, and there’s a 15 percent chance he has you beat “by mistake” with something like an A,K or an A,Q high. In this spot you should bet because by betting you are likely to make your opponent throw away the A,K and A,Q high, thus improving your chances of winning from 30 percent to 45 percent. Even the way in which play developed in previous hands can have a bearing on whether a bluff is now right or not.