re: Poker & Phil Hellmuth - Read am and Reap... Join the Nintendo Fun Club Today!
Originally Posted by puppyfeet
That's one of the things that any book will tell you about tells, is that you have to watch out for the false ones and use them as a part of the overall picture when making a poker decision, not as the sole deciding factor. If you start throwing your money into the pot every time you see a guy touch his face or move his adam's apple, you're going to get abused!
The problem here is that tells are not that easy to learn.
I realise the adams apple and face touching were just cursory examples.. but lets use them anyway just for clarity.
A guy touches his adams apple.. what does that actually mean?
The guy next to him does exactly the same thing.. does it mean the same thing?
Thats the basic problem with tells, the same physical action can mean anything.. its very person specific. There are a few which are more reliable than most.. but in general you cannot learn tells by looking at a persons actions.
True tells exist.. but they are so person specific that they are difficult to teach or to learn. Tells exist because under conditions of stress, things like adrenaline in the body increase.. it makes people a little more 'twitchy' than usual. Persperation may increase a little.. leading to scratching etc etc.
In order to use this kind of infomation.. you have to be extremely good at reading body language because if you are going to bet / fold based on a scratch.. you need to be confidant that you can read it for what it is... you also have to know how often that guy scratches normally.. and why this particular scratch is different.
Its not impossible.. but its very hard!!
Reverse tells.. or faking tells.. it can be done.. but consider this.
Firstly if you intend to do this as part of a bluff.. you need to be very sure that your opponent picks up on it and that he interperates it in the way that you intended... against weaker opponents who have just cottoned onto this tell thing.. it may work.
Against people who can read tells it not only wont work.. you will also be telling them what you have. Think of it like this. You are sat in the pub and the guy next to you knocks your wallet off the table. Does he intend to steal it? There is something about someones actions that are different when its unconcious to when its planned.. its really hard to explain what it is because the action is the same... but you often know when a movement is planned and when it isnt.
So the kind of person who could reliably interperate your tell the way you intended, is also the kind of person who could spot a fake one.
The guy who falls for the fake one.. may or may not actualy interperate it in the right way because his reading abilities are poor anyway.
There are always ecxeptions to things but I think the above holds true most of the time.