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The Top Ten Poker Tells (Part 1)

Jul 21, 2008
Poker tells are the habits, behaviors and physical actions of your opponents in a poker game that will give you insight into what kind of hands they are holding. The top ten of these tells are:

1. The Eyes. Watch the eyes of your opponents, unless they are wearing sunglasses. Many players will stare at their cards when they have what they feel may be a winning hand. Those who are not quite sure of having a winner but want to try to steal the pot may glance to the side to see if the remaining opponents have looked at their cards and are likely to fold. If you are new to the poker scene, some experienced players make ask you questions about your hand to see if they can gain any information about the cards you are holding. This is a strategy you can also use with your opponents.

2. Facial Expressions. When you have a good hand, it is often hard to hide your glee and will likely give it away through a smile or a satisfied expression. This is why being able to maintain a "poker face" is of extreme importance. This is why many poker players were a hat with a large brim or a sun visor so that other players cannot see and read the expression they have on their face. If you have a weak hand, signs of nervousness can also be depicted in your face and disappointment when you have a weak hand.

3. Acting Disinterested. This is one of the ploys often used by novice players, but veteran poker players can use it quite well. When you look at your cards, you appear to be disinterested in what you have so that others may think you have a weak hand. On the other hand, you can also appear very intimidating to the other players by actions that make them think you have a good hand, when in fact you are intending to bluff.

4. Becoming Nervous or Agitated. When you have a weak hand for several deals, your disappointment may cause you to become nervous or frustrated. Other players can really pick up on this and use it to their advantage. Some of the signs include sweating, having a dry throat so that you need something to drink, increased heart rate and dilation of the pupils of the eyes. Such players may take deep breaths or their chest may expand abnormally. When playing the game, if other players sense that you are nervous, you may notice them staring at the veins in the top of your face to determine if you are really nervous or just putting on an act.

5. Trembling Hands. A player whose hands are trembling probably has the best hand of the night and is trying to decide how to play the hand to get the biggest take. On the other hand the player could be betting with nothing and is very worried that he/she will lose and be put out of the game.

6. Glancing at the Chips. A player who is weighing whether or not he will raise the bet or figures he/she has a good hand in comparison with that of the other players at the table will unconsciously glance at the chips as soon as he/she looks at the cards. This will give you an idea that this player intends to play on and is maybe wondering if there are enough chips in the stack to go all in if this action is needed.

7. Peeking at Cards the Second Time. Some players may find it hard to resist the urge to peek at their cards a second time after they have looked at them an placed a bet. This could tell you that this player has the potential of making a straight draw and is checking to see if one of the cards laid in the flop matches one of the cards in his hand. Sometimes this is because the player only remembers the suits of the cards and not the number. However, it is something you should be aware of when betting against this player.

8. Patterns in Betting. When you become observant about the players at the table with you, you will start to notice whether or not there are patterns to their betting. Being aware of this will also help you avoid displaying a pattern in your betting that others can pick up on. Take note of a player who always checks when he/she has made the nuts or one that always folds when you re-raise. These signs will help you overcome the odds and become the winner in such a hand.

9. Player Attitude. A player who is a bit nervous and all of a sudden become aggressive or develops the attitude of a winner is one that is likely holding a good hand. There are obvious changes in the way a player acts depending on the cards. For example, a player that looks dejected when he/she looks at the first cards and then all of a sudden sits up and starts playing is definitely displaying tells to all the other players. The others will notice and will likely not add too much money to the pit because they know that they will lose. Showing disinterest or very little excitement will entice others to keep betting against you so that you have a greater chance of winning a bigger pot.

10. Stacking the Chips. The way players stack their chips on the table can tell you a lot about how they play poker even before the game starts. Players who are very methodical ins tacking their chips in a neat and orderly manner usually play a much tighter game than those who have unorganized and sloppy stacks of chips.

When you play poker, you are not only looking at the cards in your hand and determining the pot odds. In order to become a winner, you also have to become an expert at reading the other players and learn their individual quirks that will sometimes give them away.
About the Author
For more information on poker and Party Poker bonus codes for bonuses up to $150 visit http://www.PokerTips.org
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