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Poker Tells/Behavior, hosted by: Zachary Elwood Discussions about poker tells, behavior, and psychology, with a focus on live poker.

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Old 12-06-2016, 03:21 AM   #1
apokerplayer
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Long initial looks at hole cards

Curious to get people's thoughts on this.

When a player first looks at his hole cards, and stares for a couple seconds at the cards, does this behavior:

a) Make a strong hand more likely?
b) Make a weak hand more likely?
c) Not mean much

Like to hear all thoughts and opinions and any personal experiences you've had with the behavior.
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Old 12-06-2016, 07:34 AM   #2
tawtttt
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

Depends, do they do this every time?

I wouldn't assume they have a weak hand just because they look a little longer at their cards, though in my experience people tend to glance at monsters, especially at the lower stakes. There's a guy who plays 1/2 at my local, and he physically shakes when he gets dealt JJ+. So maybe a hand like suited connectors or 1 gappers, lower Ax etc you might find someone looking at a little longer, whilst working out whether or not they want to play it or not. Where as big pockets and AK etc they know they're playing.

Similarly, I always see people checking their cards again after the betting closes and the flop is about to be drawn. Perhaps they have the worlds shortest memory, and forgot what they just raised 4x bb pre with, but usually it's "s##t I have AA and got 2 callers how do I make myself look weak".

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-06-2016, 03:44 PM   #3
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

I assume it is not a pocket pair when a player lingers.

As to tawatttt's second statement, I ALWAYS take a second look after all the action is over PF. Just to confirm memory (I'm an old fart)...... especially which suit(s) I hold.
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:56 PM   #4
tawtttt
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

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Originally Posted by King Spew View Post
I assume it is not a pocket pair when a player lingers.

As to tawatttt's second statement, I ALWAYS take a second look after all the action is over PF. Just to confirm memory (I'm an old fart)...... especially which suit(s) I hold.
Haha, yeah I also find some of the old boys take a bit longer than 'normal' with the initial look, most probably because of poorer eyesight etc.

No disrespect
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Old 12-07-2016, 10:52 AM   #5
hOoLiGaNNNNNNN
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

I think in general if they look longer they don't have a monster but usually something that requires a bit more thought to play. AJ, SC's, suited one-gappers, etc etc.

On the contrary, if they only need a split second to read their hole cards its usually TT+ or AKs.
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Old 12-07-2016, 07:25 PM   #6
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

I believe if you observe certain players, they do give away tells this way. A longer look means a marginal hand. A quick look could be an easy fold if they fold, but if they use that same quick look then think how much to bet, they have what they consider a premium hand which doesn't require much thought and therefore, less time looking at the cards.
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Old 12-08-2016, 06:48 AM   #7
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by apokerplayer View Post
Curious to get people's thoughts on this.

When a player first looks at his hole cards, and stares for a couple seconds at the cards, does this behavior:

a) Make a strong hand more likely?
b) Make a weak hand more likely?
c) Not mean much

Like to hear all thoughts and opinions and any personal experiences you've had with the behavior.
In the following instructive youtube video of Daniel Negreanu plays heads up poker with Todd Brunson, at the 11:40 mark, DN makes an easy read of TB's hand, because TB peels a look at his hand one card at a time.

If you understand about hand values in HU play, reading the 1st card looked at (longer look) as a King and the second card looked as a 2,3 or 4 (shorter look) is easily understood. DN then announces his read as K3 and gets the needed feedback that this is the correct guess.

The only problem, like many of DN's reads is that it was made at a moment when it was not all that useful. He is also informing TB that his behavior makes him readable and that he should stop his slow one card at a time BS.

It only takes a quick glance to read your cards. It should go without saying that this should be a consistent behavior irrespective of the strength of the cards.

As for a lingering look at both cards, I think it means some type of ambivalence and it is indicative of a moderate hand or a hand considering a bluff.

I've thrown away hands when I suddenly became aware that I stared at my hand too long for it to be bluff worthy i.e. I realized I've drawn too much attention and I considered that attention unfavorable. I could be wrong about that though, since my reaction is simply a case of bluffers liking attention and evidently me being no exception.

A really strong hand does not need to think that long. OTOH, this is a frequent reverse tell. Players will take longer looking at their cards and making a decision even when the decision is an easy one.

So what a lingering look at ones hand means will, as usual, be player dependent. With weak players, the tendency is for a longer look being moderate to weak I believe.

Where the player peels the cards one at a time is a special case of the long look, though after both cards have been looked at, it does become similar I believe. I think the distinction is important and relevant, which is why I point it out. Besides that, the DN vs TB clip of that particular hand is simply just plain fun to watch
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Old 12-08-2016, 12:04 PM   #8
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

These are 'thinking' hands typically ... connected somehow by suit or straight or both. Very well could be a small pair, 99-, as well.

"What am I going to do with this?" or "Do I really want to play this right now?"

One thing I have noticed about the 'single' peelers ... When they quickly go back to the 1st card (or look at both together) they are doing so to verify that they are either the same suit or rank and they are, in fact, a hand to think about. GL
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Old 12-09-2016, 01:16 PM   #9
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

I will stare at a hand for a couple of reasons
1. Drawing hand (low PP, suited connectors) deciding if I should play
2. Very strong hand (AA, KK)-I am going to get it all in, and I just want to make sure I read the hand correctly (Damn you A4)
3. Weak hand-I am trying to figure out if the sitiation is right for a bluff

So, I don't find it to be a reliable tell.
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:58 AM   #10
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpewingIsMyMove View Post
I will stare at a hand for a couple of reasons
1. Drawing hand (low PP, suited connectors) deciding if I should play
2. Very strong hand (AA, KK)-I am going to get it all in, and I just want to make sure I read the hand correctly (Damn you A4)
3. Weak hand-I am trying to figure out if the sitiation is right for a bluff

So, I don't find it to be a reliable tell.
Hah! I did that years ago with A4 thinking I had AA. Raised big preflop on two limpers who called. Got LUCKY! Flop came 484 and tasting the rainbow. Took down AK and QQ who both shoved the flop with me in position with trips.

That said, nowadays, I stare at my big pocket pairs intently when out of position in order to purposely represent weakness and even look around the table sometimes to see who noticed. Check, and then re-raise (sometimes all-in if in MTT) once the raised action makes it back to me.

I even had a guy once state, I don't think you have anything worthwhile. I think I got you beat. He calls my check, and re-raise all-in. He shows AQ and I show QQ. He doesn't catch his 3 outer and loses half his stack. 3 hands later, he tilts out in 11th place and doesn't make the final table.

We are in a day and age now where most people know of at least a handful of tells, and can replicate them to an advantage and mislead players who catch such things.

Be careful out there.
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Old 12-23-2016, 10:31 PM   #11
Rich Checkmaker
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by apokerplayer View Post
Curious to get people's thoughts on this.

When a player first looks at his hole cards, and stares for a couple seconds at the cards, does this behavior:

a) Make a strong hand more likely?
b) Make a weak hand more likely?
c) Not mean much

Like to hear all thoughts and opinions and any personal experiences you've had with the behavior.
hmmmm it depends on the situation and this player's normal tendencies when looking at his cards.

i would guess this means the player is unsure of how to play the hand. he has to think about what to do and thats why he's staring at it.

i would maybe feel more confident trying to bluff this person later on in the hand.
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Old 12-24-2016, 03:06 PM   #12
Kelvis
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

Probably losing eyesight.
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Old 12-25-2016, 09:16 AM   #13
Kozat
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

I like to think that they are trying to make out if the have a suited hand, and if that suited hand is connected enough for a call/raise.
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Old 01-17-2017, 04:20 PM   #14
ARCANGEL0
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

weak hand more likely
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:10 AM   #15
leavesofliberty
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Re: Long initial looks at hole cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by apokerplayer View Post
Curious to get people's thoughts on this.

When a player first looks at his hole cards, and stares for a couple seconds at the cards, does this behavior:

a) Make a strong hand more likely?
b) Make a weak hand more likely?
c) Not mean much

Like to hear all thoughts and opinions and any personal experiences you've had with the behavior.
In general they are looking for an excuse to call, and staring at the cards in the meantime. It indicates weakness. This tell is somewhat player dependent, being most reliable on noobs and unsophisticated players, and also should be contrasted from a Hollywood routine, which will usually entail several gestures (going for the Academy Award).
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