Poker Tells: Basic Tips to Pay Attention To

poker tells

Tells are behaviors consistently displayed from players during routine plays of the game. 
For instance, a guy I used to play with would consistently bounce his leg up and down every time he was bluffing.  All of the others caught on very quickly and he would go into tilt and never go to thunder dome.  We ended up telling him out of sympathy, and he was able to stop the behavior through conscious effort.  After a few games, he then substituted the bouncing of the leg with chewing on his lip consistently during every bluff. People who are played with on a routine basis are very easy to analyze for tells.  Usually you already know some of their mannerisms from being friends; they will perform these mannerisms more often during specific times of the game.   Playing with people of whom you have never played with before is different.  You don’t know their mannerisms or, their personalities.  This is a little more difficult of a task.  

Playing with someone you don’t know.
Keep a consistent eye on them even in the beginning stages of the game.  Watch their mannerisms in the beginning and during certain pressuring times.   Observe the changes in their behaviors or mannerisms.  Facial expressions can speak a thousand words.  Watch their expression when they peek at their cards.  Do they look confident?  Do they look like they didn’t get what they were hoping for?  When it is their call look to see small signals such as biting of the lip, nostrils flaring, staring a hole through their cards, scratching of the head, rubbing their hand on their face, and sighing or taking a deep breath.  These are just a few tells that people usually give.  

Fake it until you make it!
If you are going to bluff, make sure you have the cards to back it up.  Also make sure you look the person in the eye as they are making their decision.  If you get a card you didn’t want do not give it away, just smile as though you just received the last card to your boat.  Do not overly exert this behavior because seasoned players will see right through you.  I wouldn’t fake a bluff very often because if you are caught people will start calling you every time.  Practice playing with a friend; ask them to tell you of certain behaviors you do during pressuring times during the game.  This will help you to strategize to stop this behavior and make you an all-around better poker player.


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