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Old 10-03-2008, 02:29 PM   #1
TripleH68
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How you stack your chips = personality?

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.
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:48 PM   #2
The Palimax
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TripleH68 View Post
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 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 ).
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:21 PM   #3
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

These chip stacking "tells" aren't always necessarily true. I've seen more messy chip stacks with tight play and tight, neat chip stacks with loose play than otherwise. Just because you're neat, doesn't mean you're not aggressive as that is what I play like.

I usually stack my chips 20 high, and have them like the poster above me. Once it gets too much, I'll stack them 25 high and then change color if it just gets too much for me to be able to look around the chips and navigate.
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:34 PM   #4
alpha1243
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

You can also pick up some interesting tells from the players choice of card protector. I think someone did an pictorial about that for this past WSOP.
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:38 PM   #5
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

you are never going to make a read solely on chip stack architecture.... it's just one data point that you need to weigh against several others...

and yes, for the most part, neater = tighter, sloppier = looser, but there are exceptions
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:44 PM   #6
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

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You can also pick up some interesting tells from the players choice of card protector. I think someone did an pictorial about that for this past WSOP.
link?
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:06 PM   #7
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

I usually stack mine in a $ formation .. .lol


but the Tells on the way people stack thme is some times accurate. but I use it to place false tells.
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:49 PM   #8
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

I've seemed to notice a tendency that players who build stacks of 20 are more conservative than players who stack in groups of 30 or 40.

I think subconsciously this has to do with racks being 20 chips in size, and conservative players "following the rules" of 20 chips to a stack, and looser "rebels" refusing to conform and stacking larger.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:17 PM   #9
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

i dunno if i've ever played with a good player that had his own card protector
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:25 PM   #10
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

I'm clumsy, so I stack my chips 10 high and color up often if I winning a bunch. But, some nights I just have a bunch of haphazard stacks (but never a dirty stack, not for longer than a hand or two). So, my stacks depend on my mood than some long-term personality facet.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:38 PM   #11
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

I stack my chips in a fibonacci sequence. True story.
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:42 PM   #12
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

I stack my chips at least 5 different ways/session. Analyze that! Srsly, I'd like to know myself.
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:48 PM   #13
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

I buy tons of chips and stack them in gigantic enormous pyramids. It's always very, very neat and well sorted.

In real life I'm kind of insecure and I have a tough time keeping my place clean(though I try)

so no?
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:05 AM   #14
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

I saw a guy at a 3/6/12 game stack his one dollar chips in a little circle of about 5 that he just kept putting the rest of his chips on higher and higher putting the next chip on the spot between the chips below until it was a fortress of chips


then he would tear off sections of the thing, eating pork rinds and shouting raise every street with bits of pork rind shooting everywhere from his mouth
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Old 10-04-2008, 01:29 AM   #15
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

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Originally Posted by StrictlyStrategy View Post
I buy tons of chips and stack them in gigantic enormous pyramids. It's always very, very neat and well sorted.

In real life I'm kind of insecure and I have a tough time keeping my place clean(though I try)

so no?
WOW Thats Funny!!!!!
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:21 AM   #16
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

I've noticed, in the 4-8/6-12 stud games I usually play, that players who don't stack their chips at all tend to be raise-happy tiltboxes. Beyond that, I don't have an opinion.
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:25 AM   #17
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

i dont stack chips cause im always scooping the pot
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Old 10-04-2008, 11:30 AM   #18
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

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link?
ditto
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:38 AM   #19
Sunglasses13
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

I have never seen any rules for stacking chips, so my question is can you just leave them in a messy pile? There is a person that comes to a poker room that I frequent and keeps his chips in messy pile and never stacks them. At times they seem to invade other people's space.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:44 AM   #20
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

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I have never seen any rules for stacking chips, so my question is can you just leave them in a messy pile? There is a person that comes to a poker room that I frequent and keeps his chips in messy pile and never stacks them. At times they seem to invade other people's space.
19 Higher DenominationChips Visible---
Players must keep their higher denomination chips visible at all times.


that is the only TDA rule i know of about it... messy piles make it hard to comply with this rule
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:19 AM   #21
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

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Originally Posted by StrictlyStrategy View Post
I buy tons of chips and stack them in gigantic enormous pyramids. It's always very, very neat and well sorted.

In real life I'm kind of insecure and I have a tough time keeping my place clean(though I try)

so no?
At least you're honest. Josh won't even admit he has a problem

As for myself I've considered buying in for 4 racks. But then I'd have to ward off all the retards asking to buy chips from me because they're too frickin lazy to walk to the cage despite the fact they're going to wait for the blinds anyway.

As for my actual stacking method I generally build pyramids. However I have found that for my own general sanity its better if I stack my chips in messy stacks. This way I have a harder time knowing my exact count and thus spend less time thinking about how much I'm up/down.

Also for some reason I just noticed orange chips are easier to shuffle than purple chips (Borgata obv.) no idea why this might be. I need another stack of orange so I can repeat the experiment I guess (not meant as a brag, I actually did just notice this, but I guess it does count as a brag anyway). Does anyone else shuffle casino chips while browsing 2+2? Please say yes just so I don't feel totally retarded.
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:42 AM   #22
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

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I'm clumsy, so I stack my chips 10 high and color up often if I winning a bunch. But, some nights I just have a bunch of haphazard stacks (but never a dirty stack, not for longer than a hand or two). So, my stacks depend on my mood than some long-term personality facet.
Pretty much across the board, people who stack their chips in 10's rather than 20's are new to irl poker and/or fish. If someone buys in and breaks all of their stacks in half, I lick my chops. Another good indicator is when they sit down at their tournament table, they immediately ask what each chip represents, then put all of the different demoninations into their own separate stacks, even though they have only a few of each.

It is possible to try to give off a false tell in this manner, but within a few minutes, just by a play you make or the way you handle your chips otherwise, the illusion will usually be broken.
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:44 AM   #23
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

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Does anyone else shuffle casino chips while browsing 2+2? Please say yes just so I don't feel totally retarded.
[x] Shuffles chips while doing many different things at home (tv, internet, playing online, reading)
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:02 AM   #24
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

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Does anyone else shuffle casino chips while browsing 2+2? Please say yes just so I don't feel totally retarded.
No.
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:07 PM   #25
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Re: How you stack your chips = personality?

I stack'em like this...

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