When playing live poker learning to spot the tells of the players around you can be the difference between winning and losing. However, these days, when poker strategy is so widely available you must be careful of the counter-tell; the tell which is deliberately used to fool a player.
Expert players are almost impossible to read so if you come up against a player you think is an expert, then it’s probably not even worth trying to read them. Not great advice I know, but there’s a reason why expert players always win and it’s largely down to not giving away tells whilst playing.
Tells can also be picked up in what someone says or indeed how much someone is saying. It’s no coincidence that Phil Ivey, the quietest man in poker, is also the most successful.
The eyes are the window to the soul, or in this case the window to your player’s hand. This is why you will see so many players sporting sunglasses at the tables – some would say this is cheating, but whilst sunglasses at the poker table are allowed, you may as well take advantage of this. Big hole cards will usually attract a longer stare and possible even a widening of the eyes.
Tells can also be picked up in what someone says or indeed how much someone is saying. It’s no coincidence that Phil Ivey, the quietest man in poker, is also the most successful. If your voice is higher or cracklier than usual, alarm bells will ring. If you suddenly start talking incessantly, players will pick up on your change of character and will be cautious of getting involved in a pot with you.
Physical tells are easy to spot. Trembling hands, sweating, sitting forward on the edge of your seat or slumping back on your chair are all giveaways. If an aggressive player leans forward in a confrontational manner, it is likely that he is bluffing. Representing strength is usually weakness and vice versa.