Gambling How To

Common poker tells, from poker expert Mike Caro

Mike Caro's Book of Poker Tells
Mike Caro’s Book of Poker Tells

It’s a long weekend, so what better reason to ring in the New Year by getting together with your buddies for a late night of cigar smoking and poker playing?

But before you do, you might want to read up a little bit on how to recognize a “poker tell” – that is, those silent signs that your poker opponents aroung the table give off when they have a good or bad hand.

Some of these little ticks are done on purpose – players think that they can indicate whether they have a worse hand than they actually do by doing or saying something to throw you off the scent.  Other tells are things your body does whether you realize it or not.

Poker isn’t always about the words being thrown around the table; sometimes its what you don’t hear that you need to pay the most attention to.

So with that, here are SIX COMMON POKER TELLS that you should be on the lookout for.

  • They try to sell your hand by purposefully telling you that their hand sucks.  Don’t believe anything said at the table.
  • When people bluff, they tend to stop moving around, stop playing with their chips, whatever.  If you want to bluff yourself, remember to don’t let anything throw you off your normal poker-playing routine
  • Shaky hands. Nerves – they’ll get you every time.  On the other hand, Web Watch remembers playing in our first poker tournament in Vegas as a newbie.  Our hand shook with nervous energy with every bet we made, bluffing or not.  Might explain why we were able to win a lot of hands that day.
  • Try to have a conversation with your opponent.  Bluffers are less likely to be able to follow along
  • When people stare at their hands (or look at their hands often), they are most likely having a weak hand.  Strong hands are easily remembered and are less-likely to be looked at during the draw.
  • Watch what people do when the flop hits, instead of watching the flop itself.  Most poker giveaways can be found here, as your opponents get overly excited about the cards that hit (or don’t).