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How To Spot Poker Tells

Aug 17, 2007
Though poker is a game of chance, and your game is as good as your hand, there are ways to get the most out of your hand even with a bad hand. Though this hand won't likely win the game, it will help you become a better player.

Learning your opponent's habits is also very important to your game. Often times, players have certain expressions and gestures they use, usually without noticing them, that occur when certain things happen. For instance, someone who is bluffing may bring their hand to their face every time they do this. After a while, people learn to recognize this gesture and know it signifies the player is bluffing. These types of expressions and gestures are known as poker tells.

By definition, a poker tell is any habit, behavior, or physical reaction that gives other players more information about your hand. The more you play with the same opponents, the more you will come to recognize such occurrences.

Listed here are tips that can help you spot poker tells. Remember that in poker there are many contradictions and exceptions. Also, experienced players often give false tells in order to fool other players.

Watch the eyes. Many experienced players wear caps or sunglasses while playing because they know that the eyes rarely lie. For example, many players can't help but stare at big hole cards, so they peek for a longer period of time.

Facial expression. Here too, many experienced players try to disguise their facial expression by wearing a cap or looking down so as to avoid the classic stare down that poker pros are famous for like when trying to study a person's face to try and detect nervousness detecting a weak hand, repetitive body characteristics like a body "tic".

Weak is Strong/Strong is Weak. In its simplest form, this usually applies to novice players but can frequently apply to pros as well. Most players like to act, and when they have a great hand, they will often appear disinterested thereby, sometimes tricking their opponents. Adversely, a player who raises the level of his or her voice while raising the level of the pot, trying to look intimidating, may actually be bluffing.

Anxiety. Anxiety typically occurs when a player is either confronted or facing confrontation. Psychologists often call this the "Fight or Flight" response. This is believed to link back to cave man days where physical changes happened such as muscle flexing, dilation of the pupils of the eyes, heart palpitations, ETC. In poker, a player with a big hand is often ready for confrontation and may exhibit any or all of these characteristics. You may notice the player's chest expanding abnormally, or his or her voice become higher than usual.

While these are just a few of the poker tells you may notice in your opponents, they are of the most common to occur. Being able to spot them is important and essential to your being able to bluff, and may even help you avoid such tells yourself.
About the Author
Keith Londrie II is a well known author. For more information on Poker, please visit Texas Holdem Poker for a wealth of information. You may also want to visit keith's own web site at http://keithlondrie.com/
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