Common Poker Tells

♠ January 5th, 2008 by ♣ admin

One of the most important secrets to playing good poker, is to have the ability to ‘read’ your opponents at the table. Poker tells are any noticeable behaviors, habits, reactions or habits (body language) that in effect “tells” or gives at hint to other players as to the type of hand that you may have.

A good poker player watches and controls their own body language to ensure that it isn’t dropping any clues, while also watching their opponents for potential indicators of weak or strong hands. If you can accurately read your opponent’s tells, it can guide you to make certain decisions which are likely to help you win more.

With this in mind, here are some of the more common poker tells that you should be on the lookout for:

  1. Eye movements. Why do you think most professional poker players where sunglasses? The eyes never lie! It’s often inevitable for example that a player will look down at his hand, spot a nice hole card, then glance down at his chips to figure how much he can bet. Likewise, some players with a weak hand will try to use reverse psychology and stare down other players in a fake show of strength.
  2. Player uninterested. If a player seems uninterested in a particular hand, but is still in, it could be a good indicator that he/she has  good hand. More reverse psychology.
  3. Facial expressions. Simply put, it’s often difficult for a player to mask their glee or disappointment with a particular hand.
  4. Trembling or shaking. If a player’s hands are shaking, chances are he/she has a really good hand and this anxiety reveals itself in this way.
  5. Old habits die hard. You can tell a lot in the way a player habitually bets or acts during particular situations. For example, the player may rest his forehand on his hand when faced with a bad hand, almost as though he was reading the table and concentrating.
  6. Nervous anticipation. There are some habits that are often displayed when a player is nervously anticipating some good fortune. Movement /swinging of the legs/knees, tapping of the fingers or feet etc.
  7. Deep or even shallow breaths. When making a big bluff, some players will take a deep or shallow breath, or even hold their breath for a few seconds.

Ultimately, every player is unique, so the tells will be different for each. The key is to assess each player individually, and observe the difference in the way they play various hands. Any differences are potential poker tells.

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