‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’.
In the same spirit, let’s get you acquainted with some advanced poker learnings called ‘Poker Tells’ to help you enhance your poker skills.
What are poker tells?
In a game of poker, Psychology and game strategy work hand in hand.
One can beat at poker without the understanding of psychology but one can’t beat at poker without the understanding of strategy. What we are trying to say is that it is essential to learn the fundamentals first.
But, But…on the contrary, psychology can play an important role in the major amount of profits you make from playing poker.
Why The Contrary Statements?
As far as game strategy is concerned, once you have learnt the basics of poker, you are on your way to becoming a good player but there is always scope for improvement. Whether you imply a good strategy or the best one, it does not make a lot of difference in the amount of cash you are going to pocket. But, what will increase the number of your winnings is the art of seeing through your opponent’s mind and have them call your bets during your best hands. I am not talking about any spell magic here. It is mostly Sherlock. Or what you call deductive science.
To get to the top of this you need a deep understanding of the poker game you are playing (Hold’em or Omaha or any other variant), keen observation skills, an average understanding of human body language & Math. A concoction of these skills wrapped with a sound temperament makes an incredible poker player without fail. Irrespective of the stakes you play or your mode, online poker or offline.
But How does one learn to read their opponents?
A player must develop two crucial skills: observation and empathy. The faculty of observation develops from opening up your mind and paying attention to things happening around you instead of just paying attention to yourself. Understanding other player’s feelings also called empathising. When you successfully ask yourself a question ‘why?’ you’ll know you observed and empathised. Experience and practice both help in developing these skills in any player.
Let’s get a little more technical here With the two types of poker tells
Type 1: Betting patterns
A player’s betting attitude and patterns are the most dependable and accurate poker tells. By reading the way a player bets, you will have more information to understand their gameplay and be able to judge them better. Which will further aid your senses to decide whether to check or bet? Betting patterns will always remain our prime poker tells. This requires a detailed read.
Type 2: Physical tells
Physical tells are the non-verbal signs poker players leave behind for the others ones to pick up on. Believe me, you want to be smart and be able to pick on the tells of the other players. For eg their body language, Expressions, Anxiety levels etc.
With these signs, you can tell whether the other player is genuinely betting or bluffing.
merely by noting there physical movements, voluntary or involuntary! Somebody could be reading you right now! Creepy eh? Very soon with practice, you will find yourself
gauging your opponent’s Genuity with a lot of precision
What do you exactly need to look for while looking for a tell in your opponent?
A tremor, a jitter, Heavy Breathing and so much more. But let’s talk about this in detail.
Body language is a major part of communication. People end up revealing a lot of information consciously or subconsciously through the unsaid. Let’s consider our first common tell.
Shivering Hands: haven’t we all felt a little nervous here and there? I reckon we have. High-intensity emotions tend to manifest physically. Unless a person is well read and experienced on how to keep a “Poker Face”. It is difficult to hide a genuine shiver though.
And similarly, there is a listicle: Blinking Eyes, The Pulse on the neck, Posture (whether the person is relaxed or if stiff as in tensed), the dilation of the eye pupils and many more.
If this helped you understand poker better. Read the upcoming detailed posts on betting patterns and physical tells. Until then!