You won the $200 pot at your weekly poker night with the boys and have convinced yourself you can actually do this for a living. You’ve been sober this past month and things are becoming so very clear. Sure, sobriety isn’t your choice (doc diagnosed you with gout and drinking liquor makes you want to cry alone in a corner), but being the only guy at poker night with a healthy liver does have its advantages. You now have the uncanny ability to read the room. It’s probably because you’re the only guy there who can speak in complete sentences after two hours of boozing, but I digress.
Now, before you drop the mic on HR at your insurance job to join the World Poker Tour, remember that skilled players know a lot more than you. They are pros, and you still live in your mom’s basement. But by knowing these 6 poker tells, the odds are you can be the man at least a few times a month. Hell, you might just rack up enough money to get some tires for that 1977 Firebird that’s been sitting on blocks for the last 2 decades. You have to dream big my friend.
If an opponent tries to come across as “strong”at the table, exaggerating his bet by splashing the pot, he’s probably bluffing. Of course, if you’ve known this guy your whole life and he’s always been an asshole, this might be a “reverse bluff.”For normal people, though, splashing the pot is a sign of weakness.
Liars blink. A lot. If you see a guy staring you down or doing his best to avoid eye contact, he’s being dishonest. Look away, look at me, look away, don’t blink. Rapid blinking is a common tell. If you know you do it and can’t hide it, establish that you’re allergic to everything when you sit down to play. Start sneezing. Get an inhaler. Do whatever you got to do, germ boy.
If an opponent glances at their stack after viewing their cards, odds are they have a strong hand. If they look at their money, they’re contemplating how to take yours. Trust your gut, because your first reaction is usually spot on. Right about now he’s going to act like he has a weak hand, which is a sign he’s got a good one. Poker is like asking a chick what she wants for dinner: whatever you think is right is probably wrong.
Normally, these two activities are on our short list of awesome when it comes to your Tinder profile, but when it comes to poker, dishonest people excessively lick or bite their lips. Sometimes a person who is uncomfortable will purse their lips or touch their mouth before betting.
If your opponent looks like he has zero interest in the hand, it usually means he’s about to school you. The minute a guy stiffens up, it means he’s mentally preparing for a confrontation. He looks disinterested because he’s probably lying.
You slouch literally all the time and then suddenly roll your shoulders back and sit up in your chair. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see you have a hand you’re proud of. Watch players as soon as they sit down at the table. When playing in a room full of guys you’ve known your whole life, ask a question while they look at their cards to see their reaction. If a guy’s bluffing, his demeanor will change. You can lie, but odds are your body can’t.
Watch your friends and keep mental notes on their tells. This is actually a good idea for work, as well. Start a file the moment you meet someone. Don’t write it down or anything, because that’s creepy. Just make notes in your mind when you see a friend lying. Remember, we all have tells. What’s yours?