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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 10-23-2017, 06:49 PM   #26
jdr0317
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

Body language and motions to misdirect the strength of their hand is a common one among the weaker players who have played a fair amount of casino poker. In particular, strength-feigning.

Good example: There was some action that involved me having AK in a 4-5 way raised pot (where I was the PFR) for like 125 in the middle.

I whiff some like T hi flop and let it check through. Turn A checks to me, I go ahead and stick a reasonable bet out there (like 80) and some guy calls.

River Q and this guy immediately starts reaching for his chips, playing with them, looking like he's getting ready to bet. Finally, after some 30 second show of strength, he...checks. I immediately decide that I should try to size down to collect a call and bet 110. He unfortunately folds immediately.

You can see exactly what someone is trying to do. Since poker is heavily a game of misdirection and psychologically influencing what your opponents will do (something most guys who are, frankly, much better at picking up these live tells than I am), then it'd make sense for someone to give off the aura of strength to try and spook his opponent into letting him showdown his cheeseball middle pair. But on the other hand, would you ever try to spook an opponent out of putting $ in the pot on the Txx-A-Q board if you were holding the stone nuts? Of course not. So acting strong is often just that: an act.

Relaxation, on the other hand, often is a sign of strength. People, by nature, tend to be way more nervous about losing money than they are excited to win money, so once they have the hand locked up (in their mind), some will begin to relax in ways that they normally do not. The guy who never talks during a hand suddenly starts talking about the World Series after shipping the turn? May be because he's not scared of losing.

A great example of this was some old school hand analyzed by The Poker Guys between Ted Forrest and some amateur. Said amateur gave off both the tells I mentioned: first on the flop, he had a marginal hand and instacalled a cbet, probably to spook Ted out of betting turn on J76 or something. Since Ted had AJ, he happily bet the turn 3 handed, and this guy nervously check raised his hand. Ted called, but on the river 7, this guy now shoved his trip 7's and began chatting and joking with his rail. Ted, who was in 100% call down mode, folded.

Sorry for the long winded reply .
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Old 11-04-2017, 05:53 PM   #27
Julio
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

Ted Forrest was so underrated. Made unbelievable reads, never gets nervous.

The Poker Guys make trash videos with terrible analysis. I challenged them to analyze hands where the hole cards are not revealed and they didn't respond. They are constantly justifying crazy plays from internet players using excessively complex jargon while incorrectly critiqueing plays from guys like Doyle using logic that wraps itself around in circles.

"It was incorrect for Doyle to check his set here because (insert bunch of jumble that uses words like EV incorrectly, range, value, etc.) while Dwan was correct to bet out both flop and turn because (again more senseless jargon)."

The Poker Guys should do a live stream of an online session just so we can see how meritless their analysis really is. Doug Polk recently did a video about The Armchair Poker Player. That's what Poker Guys are. A couple of armchair poker players. Doug Polk isn't perfect, but his analysis videos are coming from someone who actually makes money playing poker (he does his Youtube videos to upsell his supremely overpriced snake oil poker videos) not a couple of guys trying to make Youtube/affiliate revenue.
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:53 PM   #28
BluffJobz
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

Easiest tells are the ones that come pre flop. Especially after a couple hours of play, players start relaxing and their shoulders are hitting the back of their chairs (slouching backwards). When a good hand pops up, they start sitting upwright and they get engaged.

I also like to act like I have a big decision when they jam or make a bet on the river to see if they stay like a rock. Sometimes, they move or say some random garbage after a while because they can't handle the anxiety. When that happens, it's usually a sign that they don't want to get called.

Perky lips are usual signs of lies too.
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Old 02-16-2018, 11:48 PM   #29
felixxx1021
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BukNaked36 View Post
Preflop - before calling, glance down at the hands of the players behind you. They'll often already be getting chips ready to bet or cards ready to fold

Flop - watch faces not the flop - staring at the flop means they missed. Looking away or looking at chips means they hit

River - checking hole cards on the river then betting means they've got it. This has proven 90% reliable
I like this one
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Old 02-16-2018, 11:49 PM   #30
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rizzeedizzee View Post
It's an old and well-known one, but I do find that players often will quickly look down at their chips if the flop hits them hard.
+1
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:38 PM   #31
tdammon
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

Has anyone gotten successful reads based on bet sizing? I know in a lot of weaker games players adjust there bet sizing based on hand strength, but I am wondering if we will actually get to see there hands often enough to build ranges based on bet sizing.
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:33 PM   #32
EvilGreebo
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

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Originally Posted by tdammon View Post
Has anyone gotten successful reads based on bet sizing? I know in a lot of weaker games players adjust there bet sizing based on hand strength, but I am wondering if we will actually get to see there hands often enough to build ranges based on bet sizing.
Yes but the key is just what you said - you must see their hands - OR see the behavior after the flop comes out to establish a reasonable read on their hands.

For instance - if a guy bets $35 and shuts down when the flop has higher cards, you've got a reasonable read that he's betting a mid pair and now hates the flop.

But visual confirmation is always good.
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Old 03-21-2018, 12:37 PM   #33
answer20
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

Bet sizing can give off useful information, especially after playing with someone for some time, but you can also 'ABC' certain situations that are fairly consistent at lower stakes.

The 'go away' (pot sized) bet is a very popular Flop or Turn bet in a couple of spots ...
1) When a player with AA/KK smashes down a 'go away' bet when the Flop comes out dry just because he wants to take it down rather than risk any suckouts. Issue is that he only gets called when crushed by a set and folds out all other 'value' holdings that would've like to peel another card at a more reasonable price. Obviously 'poker' players in this spot may have AK or weaker holdings and are trying to 'balance' their range somehow.

2) When a player thinks they're ahead but is facing a wet draw heavy Board and just wants to take it down now rather than face an uncertain 'next' decision ... especially when OOP.

PF raises can vary based on hand strength for sure, especially from players who don't open very often. We tend to joke "The bigger the raise, the weaker the holding" but you would be amazed at just how often this is true. GL
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:42 AM   #34
The Bukafax
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

My favourite tell is the looking away to watch the TV when strong lol. I do this to people I assume know the tell.

Any big bluff I watch the TV. Value I stare at the table. Worked like a charm last session made a guy fold TPTK when I had a FD on a A549 board lol.
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:42 PM   #35
antialias
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

Generally reading - unless someone has a super consistent, massively obvious tell - is the last thing I consider when playing a hand (i.e. only when I'm totally unsure about what to do)

This is something I've noticed with novice players at our home game (semi-reliably):

Downsizing the chips they put in play (i.e. grabbing some chips to raise but putting some of them away before raising) -> can be an indication for a bluff. If you want to get value wouldn't you rather add chips than put them away?
I don't think the opposite holds, BTW. Adding chips to the ones in hand can be a bluff or a value bet.

Checking their hole cards on third card of a suit on board - as a tell that they don't yet have the flush (against good players who think I am a weak player - and who know this behavior by weak players - I've used this as a reverse tell when I've already made my flush quite profitably. Only works once a night but has a high chance of stacking them when they call down my seemingly 'big busted flush bluff')

For average players:
Looking at their cards (especially with a flush draw on board)
and
taking their time thinking
and
then making an overbet -> they have it.

Clicking back (especially on the river) is rarely a pure bluff (dunno about online, but live this has worked for me).

Any player who is interested in tells will know Mike Caro's book..which sorta means that I wouldn't put too much value on the tells described therein when playing with anyone but pure amateurs (even the really physiological ones which are hard to fake like shaky hands - pros don't have that anymore). If you have someone with a scarf at the table then they know about physical tells 100% guaranteed. I don't even bother to try reading them.

Quote:
you'd probably be best to pick up tells from the players at the table with as much or more money in play than you.
Wouldn't those be more likely the stronger players (who probably know about tells and know how to use them against you)?

Quote:
I've heard of a new tell recently- looking at the pulse in the neck. I hear this is why so many players are now wearing scarfs.
I try to chew gum at the table. I think (hope) it helps against giving away all sorts of facial tells like moving lips, swallowing, breathing, etc. , and it also gives you something to do while you stare into space when villain tries to phaze you..not sure if that covers the pulse thing reliably, tho.

Quote:
River - checking hole cards on the river then betting means they've got it. This has proven 90% reliable
90% of all numbers in statistics are made up
(Not doubting the tell...just the exactness of the estimate )
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:00 AM   #36
answer20
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

Mr. Gum Chewer .. You have plenty of tells that when combined with normal tells make you an easier mark ... ... Double Mint or Spearmint? GL

PS .. I know a guy (not me) who carries gum with him specifically for this purpose ... to pass it out to the rest of the table.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:55 AM   #37
antialias
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

That's interesting...what would those tells be (of course being carefull sticking to a specific chewing rhytm and strength during a hand)? I would have assumed concentrating on making one specific motion that is very regular would mask smaller/involuntary ticks that stand out in people trying to go for a stoney/pokerface approach? (and that it would also keep you from being chatty or having other kinds of reactions to speech-play.)
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:01 PM   #38
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

the one i found most reliable is when an average player leans back (weakness) or towards the table (strong hand)
-average as in wont trick with pseudo tells-
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:52 PM   #39
answer20
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Re: Easiest live tells to spot?

They are similar to a chronic chip shuffler ... stopping/starting, pace ... still need a baseline with some 'examples' but can be reliable. GL
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