Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Basic Tells A Poker Player Should Know

Poker is not just a social game; it is also a game of intelligence. However, poker does have many social elements, so it is important for a poker player to know how to interact with opponents. One of the most important skills of a good poker player is the ability to read their opponents.

Because every player is different, it makes it harder for a beginner or even an experienced player to read their gestures, understand the meaning behind their words, their behavior and habits. All of these factors are known as tells. A tell is basically any of the actions mentioned above that will provide the player information about their opponent's hand. Tells will not only help you play better by knowing information about you opponent's hand, but it will also keep you from disclosing information about your hand by controlling your body language. It is very important to take advantage of tells, as they will help you understand your player's game tactics and at the same time they will help you make the right decisions, which will lead to you winning more money.

Some of the most common tells that players exhibit when they have a good hand are:

Breathing rapidly: A result of their immediate excitement.
Sighing or Shrugging: Trying too hard to act like they have a bad hand.
Shaking Hands: This is especially common in beginning players.
Looking at Their Chip Stack Directly After Seeing Their Hole Cards: They know they've got a good hand and want to see how much they might be able to make.
Not Paying Attention to a Hand: Once again, an obvious tell that they are "playing it cool."

Some of the most common tells that players exhibit when they have a bad hand are:

Although there are less than those for good hands, the two most common are holding their breath and trying to stare down other players.