Most people, even pro’s have Poker Tells. It is up to you find them, identify them, and find out what they mean. The same tells for one person may mean the exact opposite for another. However, the poker tells we will discuss are pretty solid across the board. We suggest you read Mike Caro’s Book of Tells, from the (Suggested Readings) section, if you wish to gain the best possible information, being that he has done research his whole life on poker tells. Looks You can find many poker tells in the way a person reacts to a situation. One of the best ways is to see how they are looking at you, how they are looking at the cards or reacting to the cards, and where they are looking in general. Looking Straight at You .
During a crucial moment of a hand, it usually means they don’t have a very good hand. They are watching your every reaction to see what you’re going to do. They don’t want you to call or raise and usually, they are on a bluff hoping you will fold. The psychology behind this is that the person doesn’t look at you when they have a good hand, so if they are looking right at you, they must not have a good hand. If you can reflect on the 2003 World Series of Poker, when Chris Moneymaker was all-in on the bluff of a lifetime, you’ll notice his stone cold face. If you look really hard, you can tell that behind those glasses, he is starring Sam Farha right in the eyes. Sam Farha, in his professional wisdom, may have caught this at a closer look. Surely he has read “Caro’s Book of Tells” and he should have known that it was highly probable that Chris Moneymaker was on a huge bluff. However, in that particular case, Sam got caught up in questioning his O. K. hand and folded. I wonder what he might of done if Moneymaker didn’t have his glasses on. We will never know, but we do know this, if a person is looking away from you, “Watch Out!!” This usually means they don’t care what you do therefore they don’t need to pay attention. In addition, they don’t want to deter you from calling or raising, so they look away. Looking Away From the Flop. This tell suggests that a person will look away immediately when the flop is strongly in their favor. They quickly see that they are in the hand and don’t want to deter anyone from playing. Therefore they look long at their cards or may even strike up a conversation. Heck, don’t you want to talk to someone if you’re really happy about something.
Looking at Their Poker Chips . This is one of the best tells of all. A person who has a good hand usually looks at their cards and then immediately looks at their chip stack. The duration that a player looks at their poker chips after looking at their cards may mean something too. The longer the stare, the longer that person may be thinking, “How much can I bet to maximize my profits?” Be careful with this one because some of the very advanced players my use this poker tell to lead you to believe they have a great hand. Cards and Hand Gestures There can be quite a few poker tells associated with playing with cards and hand movements. The Two Tap Turn . By this we mean when it is that players turn or just before, you’ll see them tap there cards two times. A very, very large percentage of the time, this means they have nothing and are getting ready to fold. We believe the two tap means in syllables, “Darn it”,” I’m out”, “I missed”, or “No Good”. Therefore, if you see the two tap, before your bet, raise no matter what if it is down to the two of you. This one happens a lot by a lot of players so keep a good eye out for it. The Neat Pile . If a person stacks their cards particularly neat, this usually means they are in the hand. That doesn’t mean if they are stacked sloppy they will fold, it just means if they took the time and care to stack neatly, they may be getting ready to play. You can test this theory with different individuals. If you know a person is reckless or sloppy by nature, then watching them carefully place their cards would more strongly signify that they are getting ready to play. Likewise the contrary, if a neat particular person sets their cards down sloppy, they are probably going to fold as well. In this case the psychology behind it might be, “Those aren’t my cards so what do I care?” Card Under Card. This is when a person is shuffling their cards in their hand card one card under the other. Usually this happens in games where people are fishing for a card. Therefore if you see it happen in Texas Holdem, they probably have an Ace and they are hoping to get the other Ace. However, if you never see them look at their cards, they may be set already. Who doesn’t want to play with fun cards? You’ll rarely see this from the person who is holding 8 – 5 off suit, unless of course it is some sort of domestic habit of theirs. Generally, a person doesn’t touch bad cards as long as they touch good cards. Considering to Play . After all the cards have been dealt, the people considering to play will usually hold their cards, play with them, or stack them neatly aside while watching the other players. The rest of the players with their cards some other way will most often fold. Therefore there can be many times in a live game when you see not much, “Card handling or placing” at the table. At these times, you may want to take a stab at buying the pot. Also, look for the players that purposely hold their cards too long. They will usually be watching you and the others and will wait until the last minute before they make their decision. This is a tough to fold sign meaning that that particular player likes to play. They don’t really ever want to fold and may sometimes be playing cards they shouldn’t. I’m OK Hand Shrug . This is a poker tell that can be found with hand gestures as well as some body language. If you ask a person how strong there hand is, the may reply, “I’m O. K.”, but normally it means they are really strong. Sometime with their hands they may give the hands down folded open gesture of “I’m OK”. It looks like an Italian version of “What” with the hands. 99% of the time when you see this gesture, you may want to fold.
There is a very good chance you not only beat, but “Smoked” by a large margin. Be aware of the I’m OK hand gesture. Body Language Body language can tell us alot about a person hands. Here are some examples: The I’m OK Shoulder Shrug . It is the same as the hand shrug but with the shoulders. If you as a person how they are doing or how strong there hand is, they may give you the I’m OK shoulder shrug. This means that they have a very strong hand and by giving you the shrug they mean, “Wait to see my cards” This tell is very effective because the players giving you the, “Shrug” don’t realize what they are doing. Even the advanced players that do sometimes can’t contain themselves. The Lean Back . If you spot someone leaning back in their chair, it usually means they have a good or strong hand. The game has been tense and it is finally time for them to relax for a moment. Therefore if you spot someone leaning back, keep in mind that they may have a good hand. The Lean Forward . A person leaning forward is generally very interested in the game. They either have a good hand or are on a good draw waiting to catch. After all, what do you do if you have a good hand or are on a good draw? Lean forward to see the cards right? Verbal Poker Tells Players who are talking about you or your cards may be paying you a compliment or trying to put you on tilt. Listen very carefully to what a person is saying about you because that may likely be a poker tell on how they will play poker against you. If they are saying, ” He always beats me” in regards to you, then they may tighten up against you. However, near a crucial moment or at the end of the evening for that person, they may want to take a stab at you if you have been beating them all night. In this instance, they may play weaker cards against you. On the contrary if they are saying, “Wow what a bad move” when they are talking about you, you should try to play a little stronger cards against them as they might think you’re a poor player or you play bad cards. This can be used to your advantage if you’re a solid player and you start off betting and raising with a crazy hand and get caught. After that, you can play tight and they may even bet strong into you when you have the NUTS. Players taking about Themselves or their cards may generally have good cards-unless they are telling you how bad there cards have been. They may tell you right up front, “If I catch my card your toast” or they may say, “I’ve been getting great cards today” or , “I can’t catch a cold”. Listen very carefully as most often these are honest poker tells which means that these statements are very likely true. The person catching good cards all night will probably sit quietly with a smug face as the person getting bad cards may complain more and shake their head back and forth in disgust. These tells may give you the ability to refine the odds of their particular hand that they have and in essence help you win. More Poker articles. Gaming Articles Index Enjoy Poker