Originally Posted by TripleH68
Being new to live NL play I have been paying closer attention to chip stacks. Also looking for tells or tendencies. I say tendencies because I don't feel like how a player stacks his/her chips is so much a tell as it is an indicator of a player's personality.
I think of that line from Caro's book often: "when I was a boy I liked to play with blocks." I am compulsive about keeping my chips stacked neatly. When I play at a casino with specialty chips I will even mess with how they are arranged in my stack(namely which ones are on top). Thankfully I do not go so far as to line up the stripes on the outer edge of the chips(though I have seen people who do this!). I also resist doing much chip shuffling because I am not good at it and fear giving away something by fumbling about with my chips.
You guessed it. My playing style is conservative. I am a strong player though and if anything my low-limit competitors have been giving me too much respect lately. I have been learning to use this to my advantage.
In limited experience I have noticed other players chip stacking styles matching their playing styles. Those who stack out from the rail seem confident and are more willing to make plays. Those who stack wildly are wild and act on impulse more often. Etc.
So how much attention do you pay to this? Do you think at all about how your chip stacks appear to your opponents? Thanks.
How one stacks their chips is one small clue
that gives insight to their overall personality and style at a table.
Pretty sure the Caro makes it clear that all of his tells are only larger-picture indicators.
For what little it's worth, I believe Caro is right. It's a good indicator -- but like any of them, it's not the end-all be-all of tells. Neat and tidy players generally
tend to be neat and tidy in their play. They still might be bad players with horrible skills and bad hand selections, but they're more likely to at least not play out of turn
A common theme in all of the "tells" books are that feelings you get about people are, essentially, just uncategorized "tells." You watch a neat or sloppy guy, you file that information away in that player's profile in your head. Eventually you gather all
the information about him, and you treat him however you're going to treat him.
...and yes, a lot of players lie; and yes, a lot of players do so intentionally; and yes, no one tell is universal.
In my particular case, I stack chips fairly neatly, in stacks of 20, and my first rack goes on the table in front of me as such:
O O O
As long as things go well for me, I buid a tidy pyramid, and color up when the back row is 5-wide. I'm procedurally neat
but my game is pretty laggy (or sadly, worse