The art of the bluff.
As in every great card game, be it with a standard
52 Poker Card deck or customized trading card game,
only half the battle lies in the actual cards you
hold in your hand. This is more than just a battle
of the decks... this is a war of the bluff.
Just like a great poker face can help conceal what
cards you have in your hand, a great fake
poker face can lure your opponent into traps, or
help you stall while you look for the perfect card.
Many times has a person had the opportunity to go in
for the kill, only to leave their opponent's life
points untouched for fear of a tide-turning face
Here are some great ways to help yourself out in a
situation where you are facing imminent doom:
1) Body Language
First and foremost, watch yourself. Bluff or
not, the human body's ability to read cues just by
the way you carry yourself is unsurpassed. If you
play a bluff, don't shift your weight in your seat.
It shows that you are uncomfortable or nervous.
Likewise, don't say anything. Just play your move.
If you narrate your actions, your opponent may be
able to tell just by the quality of your voice (via
trembling, change in tone, etc.) that you're doing
nothing but trying to pass a weak attempt at a lie.
Similar to the voice, the eyes are also a way for a
person to read your thoughts. If you look at your
opponent, don't dart your focus away... they'll know
you're bluffing. Finally, don't cross your arms or
bend your body forward after setting a bluff... this
sends a signal for your opponent that you're being
defensive, most likely due to a bluff.
The previous tips were for a sticky situation in
which you need to bluff to survive. If you want to
lure your opponent into attacking, just do the
opposite. Shift uncomfortably, or don't look
directly at your opponent. For experienced actors,
try putting a little tremble or squeak in your
voice... followed by a clearing of the throat and
nervous giggle. You'd be surprised how many players
surpass logic for a seemingly quick strike at your
2) Spell/Trap Bluffs
Spell/Trap card bluffs are the easiest to pull
off, because that's what they were designed for. If
you find yourself without monsters and facing an
imminent attack, always place a face down magic/trap
card... even if you can't actually use it to defend
yourself. Your opponent might think you placed down
a Mirror Force, when in actuality you've got nothing
more than an expendable Spell card on the field.
It's not foolproof, but if you pull it off, you
might buy yourself a turn or two.
If you really want to lay it on thick, let out a
sigh of relief after your draw phase, and then set
down a Spell/Trap card right away (if you didn't
draw a Spell/Trap card, then shuffle your hand a bit
so your opponent doesn't know). This sigh of relief
will tell your opponent, "Hey bub, I just drew a
card that'll somehow prevent your attack."
3) Set Monster Cards
Just like with Spell/Trap cards, set Monster
cards present the following dilemma to duelists:
Does it have a Flip effect? How do you make your
opponent think you've got a Night Assailant or
Morphing Jar #2 on the field? Easy... ask about Flip
Effects. Something along the lines of, "Do Flip
Effects occur before or after battle damage?" will
plant a tiny seed of doubt in your opponent. It
helps if you pretend to glance at the card you're
about to set while you do it, too. Your opponent
might hesitate to attack something as weak as one of
the Ojama Trio!
4) Attack Position Monster Cards
If you feel really daring, you can pull off one
of the handiest bluffs: The Two Card Kamikaze. This
basically involves placing a monster in attack
position with such ridiculous attack (or at least,
an attack significantly lower than your opponent's
monsters)... and then placing a Spell/Trap bluff. If
your opponent's head doesn't explode from this
illogic, then they'll thick you're brewing something
and may decline to attack altogether. For example,
placing something such as Spirit of the Breeze in
attack position, then placing a face down Spell/Trap
card, makes your opponent think that you must
have some means to defend it. This way, if your
opponent doesn't attack, you gain a turn and some LP
Now, mind you... these methods are not guaranteed to
have a 100% success rate. And it takes some practice
to have an air of confidence strong enough to pull
off something against an experienced player. But if
you are in a bind and you need just one more chance
to draw the perfect card... or if you're simply
trying to bait your opponent into a much larger plan
of attack, the art of the bluff is an incredibly
useful way to do it.