Poker is game involving not only chance, luck, and strategy, all defined by specific rules, but it requires the involvement of a number of psychological maneuvers as well. Covert as well as overt reactions to the cards being dealt as well as different moves in the game can be used by players to obtain information about their opponents’ cards and strategies.
These indicators are often referred to as poker tells and they help seasoned players to mask their own emotions while reading those of others to gain an upper hand in the game. In this article we shall discuss some of the common indicators in poker that can be used to gain an edge over the opponents by inferring extra information about their hand.
The posture of the person, both the physical carriage as well as its accompanying attitude can be used to determine the person’s frame of mind. If the player has received a bad hand of cards or is in danger of losing the round you might notice his shoulders beginning to droop and his whole body slumping down in the seat. Strong players on the other hand sit in an upright and focused manner, intent on following the game and their opponents’ moves. Also, the posture can be used to determine who is bluffing and who is reacting sincerely. Those players who bluff a lot often sit too rigidly or too casually and keep leaning in towards the table center in an engaging way or sighing a lot. Usually, an extreme reaction can be understood to be a faked one.
Another indicator of the playing style can be seen in the manner in which people stack their poker chips. While these indicators are a broad categorization and cannot be applied to every individual, they are often accurate as they are indicative of the personality type. Psychologically it is derived that people who tend to play in an assertive and hard-line but disorganized manner place their chips in messy, haphazard stacks. Conversely, people with exacting personalities and an eye for detail keep their stacks in a tidy and organized manner which is reflective of their playing styles as well. People who maintain careful stacks are more likely to play a traditional game, conforming to established rules. Those with loosely stacked chips are more likely to make instinctive and unsystematic moves during the game.
Many experts advise paying close attention to the hands of the opponents as these are often accurate indicators of the person’s level of anxiety and nervousness. Those with steady hands can be understood to be calm and in control of their game. People with fluttering hands and trembling fingers are visibly nervousness. However, this nervousness can be born both out of fear of losing and excitement at a possible victory. Exploiting and masking your own tells can be one of a lot of true winning poker tips.
Facial expressions are a strong indicator of the individual’s frame of mind. Mastering one’s facial expression takes a lot of practice and control and those who are not able to do so perfectly often take to hiding their faces by wearing caps and shades to mask the emotions flitting across their faces. Facial expressions can be used to determine the person’s emotional as well as mental status. A nervous or worried expression is indicative of a weak hand while a calm and serene expression is denotative of a good hand. Many experts fake their expressions as a contrast of their real emotions to mislead other players.