Top poker tells

It takes countless hours of poker playing to acquire the skills necessary to be successful. Games broadcasted on TV or online usually edit out the “dead” hands and focus mostly on the exciting showdowns. However, it’s the way to get to those showdowns that aren’t always advertised.

There are many skills a poker player must have to be successful, and one of them is called The Tell.  The Tell is a small hint, even a microscopic physical tic by your opponent, that can give you a “tell,” on what type of hand your opponent is holding. A tell is any mannerism or movement that a player makes subconsciously, or makes purposely trying to throw off the competition.

Poker tells can be behavior patterns, betting patterns, facial expressions, gestures, exclamations, habits or physical reactions, which players shout notice and then use to plan their next move. Each poker player has his or her own unique poker tell, although the circumstances may be similar (having a monster hand, about to raise, etc.)

‘Beautiful day today, I’ll just kick back and relax…’

If a player peeks at his the cards, leans back with his hands behind his head, crosses his legs and is interested more in his shoelaces or watch than in the action on the felt, one may assume that the player had not received good cards and is planning to fold. However, a tell this obvious can also be a bluff, so watch out!

‘You know, I think I’ll play a hand for a change…’

If a normally inactive player suddenly takes keen interest in the action, there usually is a good reason behind it.  Is the player leaning forward at any point? That means he may hold a very good hand.

‘Damn, I shouldn’t have had those extra eight cups of coffee this morning’

When a novice poker player gets what he wishes for – a strong hand – it usually is accompanied by a bad side effect: trembling hands. Unfortunately, it is a tell that cannot be hidden by sunglasses or sweatshirt and visible to all.  Possible solution? Pre-game meditation.

‘Yep, I used to duke it out with the big boys of poker; stared ‘em straight in the eyes in Vegas.’

A player with excessive confidence should not really be taken seriously. If a player stares at his opponent confidently, challenging him/her with his eyes, the opponent can go ahead and call because the over confident player rarely has a big hand. However, when it comes to experienced or professional players – that’s another story!

Good Hand Tells

If a player has a really good hand, he/she might pretend to be uninterested, get shaky hands, breathe quickly, sigh and shrug, or glance at hole cards and then at the chip stack.

‘Air. Air! I need air..!’

Players with weak hands may pretend to be aggressive; however, if an inexperienced player is trying to bluff, that player might appear as if he has trouble breathing. Of course, if his face is changing color, chances are he is having trouble breathing…

‘Do you know how long it took me to build that chip stack!?’

When a player sets his chips on the table without bothering on the appearance of the stack, that player might turn out to be an aggressive or loose player. On the other hand, if an opponent arranges his/her chips carefully, that player may turn out tight/conservative.

‘This is so boooo-riiiing’

An interested player usually means he has a decent hand. However, watch out from opponents who act with indifference –  he or she may be trying to trap you into making an expensive blunder while hiding their very good hand.

‘Look, I can move my eyes up and down real fast’

When a player is quickly shifting stares from cards to his chip stack, it’s safe to assume that he is making plans on how much he can bet or raise. Obviously, he wouldn’t do that if he were about to much his hand.

‘And now, for your entertainment, my best impression of a mime’

When an energetic, rowdy or loudmouth player becomes subdued, it’s a fairly good sign that this particular opponent has improved his hand dramatically and is trying to figure out how to extract the maximum amount from the game.