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Learn to Read Players in Poker 101

Texas Hold'em is a game that requires each player to use limited information as best as they can. A poker game is a game where people interact and exchange information. When we interact with our opponents, we can often receive information through our words, actions, or betting habits to judge the opponent's hole cards. We call this kind of information, either physical or verbal actions - “poker tells”.

Experienced players know that if we can observe and interpret other players to figure out other players’ flaws or tells, we gain a huge advantage in the game. Some players will even deliberately disguise some of their tells, hoping to mislead their opponents. In short, poker is a game full of deceptive information.

Forms of Poker Tells | Texas Holdem | SLOWPLAY

Betting patterns:

Betting patterns are the most reliable poker tells. By observing an opponent's betting habits and comparing them with his current actions, very reliable information can often be obtained, and it can also help you better predict the opponent's next actions. Vice versa, pay attention to your own betting patterns because that information is also what your opponents use to read you.

 

Physical tells: 

The role of body language is often exaggerated by film and television dramas and become myths. This will be the focus of this article.

Of course, in live poker games, players can win a huge pot by simply reading body language. However, this is based on a lot of learning, analysis, and practice.

Spotting Poker Tells | Texas Holdem | SLOWPLAY

It's hard for the tells to be effective essentially because every player is different. For example, some players forcefully throw their chips into the pot and then place the cards in their hand to the side of the body that is close to the pot. For most people, this means they have a strong hand. But many players are often bluffing when they do this. There are also many poker tells that are based on falsehoods. Some tells have different meanings at different times and even contradict themselves. If you plan to use it directly in the actual game, it is too unreliable.

When you develop the habit of observing and analyzing the game, you will gradually learn how to filter out true and reliable tells. Generally speaking, the earliest tells are often the most genuine, and the shortest tells are the most reliable. Most of the long-lasting and complete rhythmic tells are often made deliberately, hoping to deceive the other players. There is a classic poker tell which probably many of you have seen: the player frowns first in displeasure, and then places a bet! This is the most common fake action. Very often, weakness means strength, and strength means weakness. But you must have a judgment of your own: In the current situation, combining all the given information, how much do you rely on this tell to make a decision? If you can make the learning process fun, then it will become a wonderful side task outside the mainline of your game.

There are many types of poker tells. The following is a list of common poker tells. You can use it as a basic guide to point out a general and clear direction. Poker tells do not directly correspond to whether an opponent's hand is strong or weak. It depends entirely on the opponent's habits and your observation.

Poker Tells | SLOWPLAY

Poker Tells Before Cards Are Dealt | Texas Holdem | SLOWPLAY


Poker Tells - Strong Indication | Texas Holdem

Poker Tells - Strong Indication | Texas Holdem

Poker Tells-Strong Hand Indication

Keep in mind that the importance of the above is not the same, and different tells may be more obvious in some players than the other. Some players often ignore what the hands show, but other than the eyes, we would suggest that you observe the opponent's eyes. Hands are more difficult to control than the eyes, therefore the information given is often more reliable.

Weak Hand Indication - Poker Tells

Poker Tells - Weak Hand Indication

Poker Tells - Weak Hand Indication

This list is relatively long, you can choose some from them, and try to find the tells when you play offline next time. In our upcoming blog, we will continue to look at some basic knowledge to help you find poker tells more effectively. 

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