tell me tells

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styly

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for a while now ive been practicing my reads on people and some parts are going well where as in other areas im a complete FLOP.i find the eyes give myself a lot of tells and various other body launguge 2 but im sure i need to be looking out 4 a lot more.i watch the shoulders 2 see if they moving which indicates the legs are bouncing,but struggling 2 understand if that may mean they are nervous or excited,a bluff or 4 real.a pulse in the neck is another but with many clothes wore its hard 2 detect.
would very much appreciate any posts which can tell me of your experiences and wot you look 4.i know this is a weak part of my game and is why im asking 4 help 2 encourage me to look 4 other signs which may be easier to spot and could be the difference between winning or losing a pot.
thanks for sharing with me.:rock:
 
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Mixter X

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this is something that i seem to be struggling with also.
I tend to read play action instead of body language as it can be easier to detect. I've made many a bad call doing this tho, but have also doubled up on a few all inner's who were trying to steal the pot.
i'll be interested in seeing what ppl have to say aswell.
 
MrMuckets

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Sometime on line my brain seems to go on high alert and i some how pick up on what the other guy is up to. but more often since i can't see him i don't know whether he is chewing his nails or dancing a jig.
 
dude

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online poker is not very predictable. Often I play poker tournaments with friends and reading their hands by looking at their faces can be a real help! (Ask my friend Tjenz, I nailed him 3 times on a row yesterday with his trembling hands...)
 
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My best tip is that when someone is shaking it usually means that they have a monster. Think long and hard before you call the shaking bet.
 
Dorkus Malorkus

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Online:

- Delayed check = weakness
- Quick check = weakness
- Delayed bet/raise = strength
- Instant call/raise = strength
- Small bet/raise = weakness (at low limit, fishy people tend to vary their bets according to the strength of their hands, so similarly huge overbet = strength). The reverse can often be true at higher limits, but a knowledge of the player's style is important in all cases here.

Live:

- Shaking hands (when pushing chips in etc.) = strength
- Extended look at the flop = strength
- Looking down at chips (yours or theirs) = strength
- Checking hole cards = weakness

These aren't set in stone but hold true more often than not.
 
floggedmeat

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yea i know wut u guys mean about shaking i hear Micheal J Fox & Mohamad Ali clean up at the tables. everyones afraid to call cause they think their slow playin a royal flush.
 
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A few years ago when I first started playing at a casino, the guy next to me hands started visibly shaking. He wasn't a very good player and I didn't know the shaking tell. I had AA and was doing my best to cap the preflop betting, but all I could get were 2 bets into the pot. The flop comes A66 and I have made aces full. Now I am able to cap every bet. I figure he has 2 pair and things he is golden, or maybe A6 and has 6s full. But I did notice this guys hands were shaking each time he threw a bet in. He was a rookie player who just stepped in from the blackjack table, so I figure he was just afraid and maybe was trying to bluff me, but I had a made hand so I was OK. Well as it turns out, he flopped quads. Later I read about this tell, and believe me I never forgot it. You would have think this guy won the Lotto as much as it affected him. Crazy

A few weeks ago I was at a Brick and Mortar casino in Australia and playing with a few of their football players. A lot of friendly loose action and I watched the guy across from me call blind. A few others limped in and when the flop came, the board paired and the guy across from me looked at his cards bordering on the verge of depression. I saw as he picked them up, he looked, did a double look, and was so startled he literally stumbled off his chair and move all his chips in.

His friends all called, but I was out of there, remember the guy with the quads. Sure enough, he had flopped a full boat and was overly excited.

Its amazing how a good hand can really affect some people. But I have to assume once you have a decent amount of experience this tell goes away.
 
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It does go away. When I have a monster hand now and there are a lot of chips going in the pot I still always feel like I'm shaking, but it's not nearly so bad, and no-one can see it anymore.

Interestingly, I've never felt that way online, even when playing for a lot of money - certainly much more than in some casino situations where I feel that I'm shaking like a leaf.
 
BC4Jesus

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Dorkus Malorkus said:
Online:

- Delayed check = weakness
- Quick check = weakness
- Delayed bet/raise = strength
- Instant call/raise = strength
- Small bet/raise = weakness (at low limit, fishy people tend to vary their bets according to the strength of their hands, so similarly huge overbet = strength). The reverse can often be true at higher limits, but a knowledge of the player's style is important in all cases here.

Live:

- Shaking hands (when pushing chips in etc.) = strength
- Extended look at the flop = strength
- Looking down at chips (yours or theirs) = strength
- Checking hole cards = weakness

These aren't set in stone but hold true more often than not.
I just viewed a DVD with Daniel Negreanu and he said exactly the same thing about looking down at chips. He said that the subconscious mind generally causes a player getting ready to pounce to glance at their stack prior to playing. Your post is excellent; I'm printing it out! One question though...in the online tells section you have both delayed check and quick check as being a sign of a weak hand; what's that leave?

BOB C.
 
Dorkus Malorkus

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BC4Jesus said:
One question though...in the online tells section you have both delayed check and quick check as being a sign of a weak hand; what's that leave?
A quick check is usually a result of clicking the check button before the action is on you, which good players might use as a bluffed weakness, but most players just use because they have nothing.

A long wait before a check is trickier to place, but is generally seen as weakness. It doesn't usually take someone 30 seconds to decide on a check-raise, so the delayed check is essentially either "I have nothing but I want to make it look like I'm thinking about this", or "I have nothing... shall I try a bluff... umm... errr... nope, let's give up and check/fold".

What does it leave? Any check that takes between say 2-10 seconds, which is hard to gain information from. This is why it's probably best to take a few seconds before acting even if your action is obvious online.
 
BC4Jesus

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Dorkus Malorkus said:
A quick check is usually a result of clicking the check button before the action is on you, which good players might use as a bluffed weakness, but most players just use because they have nothing.

A long wait before a check is trickier to place, but is generally seen as weakness. It doesn't usually take someone 30 seconds to decide on a check-raise, so the delayed check is essentially either "I have nothing but I want to make it look like I'm thinking about this", or "I have nothing... shall I try a bluff... umm... errr... nope, let's give up and check/fold".

What does it leave? Any check that takes between say 2-10 seconds, which is hard to gain information from. This is why it's probably best to take a few seconds before acting even if your action is obvious online.
Great stuff!

BOB C.
 
diabloblanco

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I play exclusively live games and can tell you that the biggest misconception people have is that there are steadfast rules or tells on people. While being able to pick up on little nuances during play is crucial to making it over the hump from good player to a very good player, physical signs are a lot less important than other easily recognizeable "tells".

Betting patterns are you're biggest weapon and the thing you should pay attention to during live and online play. People are creatures of habit and will usually do the same or very similar things when confronted with a particular situation at different times. I made a very lengthy post on tells and my experience with them as a live cash game player which I will try to find and link it here. I realy don't feel like typing it all over again. Stay tuned.
 
BC4Jesus

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diabloblanco said:
I play exclusively live games and can tell you that the biggest misconception people have is that there are steadfast rules or tells on people. While being able to pick up on little nuances during play is crucial to making it over the hump from good player to a very good player, physical signs are a lot less important than other easily recognizeable "tells".

Betting patterns are you're biggest weapon and the thing you should pay attention to during live and online play. People are creatures of habit and will usually do the same or very similar things when confronted with a particular situation at different times. I made a very lengthy post on tells and my experience with them as a live cash game player which I will try to find and link it here. I realy don't feel like typing it all over again. Stay tuned.
I sure hope that you do find it and post it. I LOVE this kind of information.

I just ordered Doyle's SuperSystem 2 and The Theory Of Poker, now it looks like I'm going to have to get Caro's Book Of Tells too (lol). With all this reading, I'm not going to have time to play (hehe).

BOB C.
 
diabloblanco

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The Caro book is a must read, as is SS II. Just pace yourself and don't rush through them just to get to the next one. Take your time and absorb them as fully as possible, especially SS. I'm gonna look for that thread now, and ill just cut and paste my post from it here so its easy to find in a recent thread....or ill make a new thread and open it for discussion. Either way the info will be in this thread so check back.

diabloblanco said:
The Caro book is the bible on such matters, but the one thing it absolutely cannot do is make you understand people. Reading people in my opinion is really a gut instinct. Sure there are little things you can look for, nuances you might say, but when you peel away all the layers of the onion, you must rely on your ability to feel what the other person is putting out even though he is doing his best to keep his real emotion or intention hidden.

Before the visible, know the things you can glean difinitively. Keep a runing record of what cards people show down and how they bet those cards on every street. Memory is vital when you aren't playing online and can't take notes. You must remember these things for every player. Devise some kind of system for yourself, it helps me. I categorize hands by strength so I only have to remember 4 or 5 different classes of hands instead of tons of starting hands individually. Then all you have to do is remember monetary amounts. Playing limit this is a little easier to do because you can just remember the number of bets. For example Q-J is a rank II hand and the player in seat 3 always plays rank II hands cautiously, limping in to see a flop. I hope this is making sense. Also keep track of betting patterns.

It bears repeating that a very weak player will usually act strong when on a bluff or draw and meek when holding a made hand. This is the really simple stuff but you would be surprised how often it holds up. Just don't rely on it 100%. Something I absolutely love is when someone wears sunglasses at the table. When wearing them, in my experience, people tend to feel hidden and will gesture more with their body and make facial expressions more often. When you are staring someone right in the eyes, they are more congnisant of their face, facial expressions, and body language.

When the flop comes down, watch the opponents left in the hand, not the cards. The cards will still be there in 15 seconds, their reaction to the cards will be long gone. After the flop if a player looks at their hole cards again and stays in the hand, it usually means that they are making sure they have the hand that they thought the had, a sign of strength. Now you watch their bet to see how strong they are.

Watch peoples posture closely. Poor posture and aggravated body language usually disappears when a good draw or flop hits them. Also pay close attention to their hands when they place chips in the pot and how the place them.

Also, if someone wants to talk after they raise, needling you and antagonizing, let them do it. Much can be learned from someone who can't shut up. Taunting and bold statements generally mean they don't want a call and silence from a loudmouth generally means strength.

After all this is considered, you simply have to rely on your gut instinct. It doesn't always pan out for you, but I find I have a fairly uncanny knack for being able to smell a rat. You simply cannot teach someone to read others, but one can learn on their own. There are a certain number of "types" of people, once you can categorize people, they then become easier to read. We are creatures of habit and will do the same things or kinds of things in certain situations almost without fail.

One other thing I recommend is that when sitting down for the first time, basically sit out for the first half hour or so except in the blinds for cheap or free with a decent hand or with a premium hand anywhere else. Don't play anything but the top 4 or five hands, just sit and watch. Watch every single move on the table. If there is someone there that hasn't made a move in the first half hour or so, he is a rock you can almost bet on it. Good luck, and let us know how you do.

There it is, in all its glory. Hope it helps someone. Have fun with it guys, and remember I'm not responsible for any lost pots, but will take full credit for all wins.:)
 
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BC4Jesus

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diabloblanco said:
The Caro book is a must read, as is SS II. Just pace yourself and don't rush through them just to get to the next one. Take your time and absorb them as fully as possible, especially SS. I'm gonna look for that thread now, and ill just cut and paste my post from it here so its easy to find in a recent thread....or ill make a new thread and open it for discussion. Either way the info will be in this thread so check back.



There it is, in all its glory. Hope it helps someone. Have fun with it guys, and remember I'm not responsible for any lost pots, but will take full credit for all wins.:)
Those are some great tips! It would be cool to go through the forum and get all the tips like these in one large .pdf file that can be printed and referenced. There is nothing as helpful as experience and the experience of others is helpful to me as well. Next book on my list is Mike Caro's Book of Tells.

BOB C.
 
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styly

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diabloblanco said:
The Caro book is a must read, as is SS II. Just pace yourself and don't rush through them just to get to the next one. Take your time and absorb them as fully as possible, especially SS. I'm gonna look for that thread now, and ill just cut and paste my post from it here so its easy to find in a recent thread....or ill make a new thread and open it for discussion. Either way the info will be in this thread so check back.



There it is, in all its glory. Hope it helps someone. Have fun with it guys, and remember I'm not responsible for any lost pots, but will take full credit for all wins.:)
very much apprieciate your time taken.will sit and study your words and no dout improve.a bit more reading is on the cards.will keep you informed with progress made.thanks 4 post.good luck in every hand 2 you.
 
BC4Jesus

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diabloblanco said:
The Caro book is a must read, as is SS II. Just pace yourself and don't rush through them just to get to the next one. Take your time and absorb them as fully as possible, especially SS. I'm gonna look for that thread now, and ill just cut and paste my post from it here so its easy to find in a recent thread....or ill make a new thread and open it for discussion. Either way the info will be in this thread so check back.



There it is, in all its glory. Hope it helps someone. Have fun with it guys, and remember I'm not responsible for any lost pots, but will take full credit for all wins.:)
I really like the idea of watching the betting patterns, etc. and not the cards. You are absolutely right, the cards will still be there but the tells may be long gone. I've been doing that today while playing and it's starting to happen 2nd nature. After I make it through The Theory Of Poker, I'm going to invest in Caro's Book of Tells. I really want to be a well-rounded player in all aspects of the game.

BOB C.
 
Bill_Hollorian

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I am in complete and total agreement with Diablo. Many new players believe tells are a mystic shortcut to poker success. That the nly thing seperating them from the best, is the pros ability to detect tells. Forget it. At that level there a re very few tells, and most are there as psychological combat.
At beginner and intermediate levels focus on hand reading skills, proper betting strategy.
Tells will save you some money nad make you some money, and thats for sure. But, if you base your calls, rasies and folds, primarily on tells, you will lose it all.

Bill

Diablo it is nice to see you return.
 
diabloblanco

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How's the old saying go...you can't get rid of a bad penny or something like that. And you're right, betting patterns, hand reading ability, and ability to make good laydowns are much more important than trying to figure out what it means when Bob scratches his ass with his left hand on the turn.
 
BC4Jesus

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diabloblanco said:
How's the old saying go...you can't get rid of a bad penny or something like that. And you're right, betting patterns, hand reading ability, and ability to make good laydowns are much more important than trying to figure out what it means when Bob scratches his ass with his left hand on the turn.
I agree with you, but this thread is specifically about tells so that's why the importance was placed on them I think. I'd much rather get like Daniel Negreanu and be able to tell someone they are holding king/nine or something. He's a master at knowing the cards that the opponents are holding.

BOB C.
 
diabloblanco

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No doubt, I think we would all like a little of that intangible "thing" some of the pros like DN and a few others have. Marcel Luske is another that I have seen make some sick reads. Sorry for the semi-threadjack, but I only meant to stress the importance of refineing the finer points of your game before worrying about placing too much emphasis on some of the other intangibles of the game. They are going to win you far more pots. On a side note, these guys like DN that can do these amazing things (or what seem impossible) have played so many hands and lots of times against the same people, that they appear to make the deck transparent when in actuality its just years and years of playing.

Additionally what you're usually seeing is a very, very heavily edited match or final table where he may well have "called out" someones hand 10 times and been wrong--close but wrong--but rest assured, if he calls it correctly like that once, even if it isn't a big pot, it will make the TV.
 
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diabloblanco said:
No doubt, I think we would all like a little of that intangible "thing" some of the pros like DN and a few others have. Marcel Luske is another that I have seen make some sick reads. Sorry for the semi-threadjack, but I only meant to stress the importance of refineing the finer points of your game before worrying about placing too much emphasis on some of the other intangibles of the game. They are going to win you far more pots. On a side note, these guys like DN that can do these amazing things (or what seem impossible) have played so many hands and lots of times against the same people, that they appear to make the deck transparent when in actuality its just years and years of playing.

Additionally what you're usually seeing is a very, very heavily edited match or final table where he may well have "called out" someones hand 10 times and been wrong--close but wrong--but rest assured, if he calls it correctly like that once, even if it isn't a big pot, it will make the TV.
I never thought about the editing process. I'll bet you're absolutely right about that one. Whatever makes "good tv".

BOB C.
 
diabloblanco

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It is for this reason that so many players are disillusioned with poker after they actually play. What they have seen on TV so many times is such a watered down version of the actual game with nothing but action hands every time, that they falsely assume that "I'm all in." is a term used on every other hand. Its a double edged sword really. These players are certainly dead money until the outgrow or unlearn these bad habits so its good for established players to exploit, however, they also play 6-8os because they saw Gus Hansen do it on the WPT and suck out on you with runner runner straights. You have to take the good with the bad though I guess. If they continue to play those hands, you'll eventually bust them.

So this isn't a complete threadjack here are a couple tells that hold fairly true especially live. If a player bets fast it is usually a sign of weakness, and if he bets slow it is usually a sign of relative strength. Not sure I mentioned these eariler but if you start to notice and pay attention to these two--notebale amongst more fishy players--youll see that the hold true much more often than not, and that's all you can really hope for.
 
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