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Poker Tells

They say sharing your feeling and opening up is a wonderful way to achieve intimacy and friendship. Save it for the third date. Around the poker table you need to keep your feelings to yourself. The phrase “Poker Face” was coined for reason. When playing a live offline game, a good poker player has to control his facial expressions, body language, and voice, otherwise you’re as good as wearing sunglasses with reflecting shades. When you play online you need to contemplate your moves, and pay attention to others.

It’s only natural to get a little excited when your cards are promising, and no one will blame you for grunting if you hit the infamous 2-7 off suit, in fact, they’ll even welcome it because these tells help your table mates to strategies against you. In fact, a player that is so easily read will often be targeted by sharks who’ll chew him for a snack.

When you play offline, the most obvious tells are your appearance, but there are things you can learn to control and recognize in your mates (and poker tells are one of the main reasons I like to play poker online):

Relax Your Face – A good poker player is as expressionless as a fish. Sign of stress or discomfort are visible on the forehead and around the eyes. Practice on relaxing these muscles in front of a mirror. In the meantime, instead of running off and getting botox shots you can wear shades and a baseball hat.

The same goes for the mouth, except you can’t use a hat there. Here you can use a misguiding tell – if cover your mouth to hide a happy smile, cover it again when you have a bad or just plain hand, to throw off the other players.

Sit Up – Another thing to mind is your posture. Don’t crouch when your hand is lousy, and don’t jump out of your sit when the opposite occurs. You better stick to a decent sitting position.

Speak Up – when you sound to squeaky or hoarse, it makes people wonder what are you hiding. Make sure to take at least two deep breaths before you utter your words. Think of your speech as coming from your belly rather than the throat or upper chest. It will keep your voice steadier and more confident.

Use Your Hands – when you hold your card and use your chips you can make a wide move to intimidate players (not to dramatic otherwise it’ll look like you’re faking it). Try not to keep your arms to close to your body because it might make you look timid, and the idea is to appear as cool as an ice cube.

If you’ve got tells then it’s time to see them off. You may need some practice to achieve the desired level of self-control, but they say it builds character. Keep your eyes open to spot these behaviors among the people you play with and try to connect the tell with the actions and cards that followed. Breaking the tells code can guarantee amazing games and great prizes, and will earn you the title a bona fide poker player.

The next part of the article will focus on poker tells in online games.

May 22, 2012 - Offer valid as of date published. T&Cs apply.