Society & Culture & Entertainment Games

Introduction to Tells in Poker

Let's go back in time! In 1994, there was a movie with a young, talented actor named Mel Gibson.
That's right! It was the movie Maverick.
This movie made quite the impact at the box office, and it influenced the way many perceive poker as well.
Maverick could sit at any table and come out on top.
He knew exactly what you were holding, and he always knew when his hand was better.
Would you like to do know how he did it? He's an actor! There isn't any way to tell exactly what hand an opponent is holding (besides taking a peek).
This isn't saying that physical tells do not exist.
A tell is an action that gives away information about your opponent.
For example, you've noticed an opponent doesn't bet whenever they've made a hand on the flop.
From now on, you know to watch out when that person checks after the flop.
For a more "Maverickish" example, you've realized that whenever a certain player has an ace he immediately places his cards to the right side.
This would tell you to watch out for an ace on the flop.
For us mortals, tells that indicate specific cards we will most likely never notice.
However, we can rely on tells that indicate strength or weakness.
The basic rule behind these tells is that a player who is acting strong is probably weak, and one who is acting weak is probably strong.
For example, slamming chips on table, strong or weak? You better re-raise him! In most cases, he won't have anything.
I will go into more examples in another post, but for now let's focus on keeping others from reading our tells.
What's the number one rule? Never show your cards when you do not have to! If you just made a huge bluff, do not tease your opponent! It is pointless and is giving out information about you that you did not need to.
Also, a good practice is to always do the exact same controlled movements from everything to looking at the cards to the showdown.
That means look at cards ONE time and memorize them.
Look at them for a set amount of time no matter if it's pocket aces or seven-deuce.
Have control of your eyes! You don't want to stare down your opponent or the flop when you haven't been doing it the entire time nor do you need to take a look at your chips! Do not act strong or weak.
In conclusion, we probably won't have any real-life mavericks, but there are players who have extreme attention to detail.
These players will notice your tendencies, which is why we must try not to show them.

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