Poker | Reading Poker Tells
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Reading Tells

In live poker the difference between winning a pot and losing one can be a tell. A tell is a physical signal given off by a player involved in hand. These tells usually conform to one underlying theory: weak means strong and strong means weak. This theory was first proposed by Mike Caro, a draw poker expert, whose work focused on the psychological aspect of the game.

In his opinion when a player tries to look strong it often means their hand is weak and vice versa. Thus, when you see a player slam their chips onto the table, stare at their opponents aggressively and lean forward in their chair it can often mean they arenít that happy with their cards. Indeed, their physical actions are being used to distract from the reality of their hand.

In contrast, a sign that someone is strong usually comes in the form of a meek demeanour. Tells such as leaning back in their chair, acting relaxed and someone putting their hand over their mouth often indicates someone trying to contain their excitement. Indeed, whenever you make a strong hand at the live poker table it releases a rush of endorphins which raises your heart rate. Thus, youíll often find yourself trying to hide that youíre keen to play the hand.

Looking out for tells is a key skill in live poker and something you should do your best to practice. Indeed, whenever you face a close decision a tell can be the difference between making a correct call or a prudent fold. A good way to putting this strategy into practise is to play poker online for free.

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Last updated 25 July 2012

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