movies and TV tell us that a tell is some sort of unconscious behavior a player
makes when he holds a strong hand or when he is bluffing. He always takes a sip
of his water when bluffing they say. He bites his nails when he has the nuts or
the famous twisting of an Oreo cookie. This really couldn’t be further from the truth
at most poker tables. (Home games aside…)
A tell from a player is a lot more subtle than scratching his head when he holds
pocket Aces. A tell is more of a characteristic in pattern or an involuntary
style. When you start looking for tells from players you can’t look at what
cards they have as much as you have to look at what they want you to do.
players are actors and some are better than others. A tell is simply a method or
pattern in play. For example a player might always raise the same % with middle
pair and might most often check raise with top pair. These are tells, AKA
betting patterns. You see you’re looking for something in their game, a
leak, which allows you to get an idea of what they want you to do. The last 5
times player x check raised he had a semi-good hand and was trying to scare his
opponent off his hand. This is the start of a tell and can allow you to make
better decisions when you encounter this player in a hand. What they want you
to do…This is they key phrase there. You have to always be asking
yourself, "What Does My opponent Want me To Do?" Ask yourself this
question over and over. Do they want a call? Do they want a fold.
Are they looking for a re-raise. You have to know what they want and then
you can disappoint by doing the opposite.
You always have to decipher what your
opponents want you to do and then disappoint them by doing the opposite. You may
find that a player pushes his chip in flagrant mannerism when he wants to show
strength and quietly bets small amounts when he wants you to call. This is not a
tell however, not until it has been proven effective over and over again. That’s
why it is so important to pay attention to every hand even when you’re not
involved in it. Every player in the world will tell you weak means strong and
strong means weak. This is almost always the case even when the player knows
this is the case.
A weak to average player acting like he has the best hand in world and you’re crazy to call most
likely has a weak hand at best. And the opposite is true as players try not to
influence you by looking away and being quite and non aggressive they want a
call. Why is this almost always the case even if most players are aware of it? It’s
all psychology. Even when a decent player knows this behavior, they can’t
alter their behavior because they will believe you do not know this basic
rules of tells.
One of my favorite tells is
what I like to call "The Speech." If a player goes out of their way to
make a speech and says things like: "Oh well, I was getting tired of playing
anyway, I might as well just go all in now." You better listen carefully
and get out of that hand. In most cases I would consider folding pocket
Kings pre-flop here. Very few players go out of their way to make speeches
about how bad their hand is, unless the truly hold the nuts at this point.
Don P - Getpokercodes.com