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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 05-04-2017, 08:46 PM   #1
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Looking at the flop or the player?

Do you think looking at player's eyes are useful? I play poker at the casino but I just started introducing the game to my parents.

I realized that since I've been playing seriously, live poker tells are real when you play with amateurs. As Mike Caro notes, it is important to look at the players during the flop and I realized that I don't do enough of that. How often do you guys watch the flop rather than the opponents?

If my parents have a pair, it is soo obvious because they are literally looking at the flopped pair hand. Last time I went to a casino was a while ago so I don't know this but do you guys see players looking at certain cards or a flop in a specific way that gives you any valuable information? What are some of those tells?
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:37 PM   #2
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Re: Looking at the flop or the player?

Looking at the player seems obviously better. You can always see the flop at any later point you want, but you only get one chance to see the player's first reaction to it.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:05 AM   #3
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Re: Looking at the flop or the player?

Weaker opponents stare at the flop for a prolonged period of time as though to say that the flop connected with their hand in some way. It is not as though you can follow their eyes. Also related is double-checking when a low card comes. This can mean that they are checking to see if they hit a second pair, or whether or not they picked-up a draw. It takes a lot of practice, and it is best not to be in the habit of staring at the flop.
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Old 05-11-2017, 02:35 AM   #4
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Re: Looking at the flop or the player?

This is about as generic "Poker Tells 101" as it gets, so take it with a grain of salt, but someone who stares at the flop then immediately looks/glances at their chips usually means they hit something and are interested (for lack of a better word) in the flop in my personal experience.
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:13 AM   #5
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Re: Looking at the flop or the player?

I think the most you can say about this behavior is:

For inexperienced players, prolonged staring at the board cards makes it unlikely they've hit a very-strong hand.

I think players who hit quite well have a tendency to look away; it's an instinct to not draw attention to their "treasure." But this isn't that reliable as an indicator of a strong hand; people are easily capable of looking away with both strong and weak hands. (Although sometimes a player might look away very quickly or unusually, in which case you might think it's likely they've connected. But this will be hard to be confident in.)

So the long stares at the board from players who haven't hit well are just the absence of the looking-away behavior.

Also, I think people are generally capable of continuing to stare at the board when they've connected with a medium-strength hand. So basically it's just making the strongest hands less likely, but that can also be valuable.

Personally, I use this when I'm on the fence about continuing to c-bet or bet into a multi-way pot with air. The staring-at-board behavior just makes it a bit more likely that they're not interested.

Also notice I say inexperienced players. As with most tells, it'll be hard to pick much up from this behavior the more experienced the player is.
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:39 AM   #6
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Re: Looking at the flop or the player?

I was in a hand with a lady, who was chatting. When she looked at the turn card, belatedly, her eyebrows raised, she seemed startled. Turns out she hit the flush.
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:26 AM   #7
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Re: Looking at the flop or the player?

I always tend to watch the players faces as opposed to looking at the flop/turn/river. Before I even look at my own cards I'm watching how the players react to their own home cards. I feel as if there is a ton of information people give away over time without being consciously aware that they are doing it. I'm always looking for the generic tells obviously but after watching people react EVERY hand, EVERY orbit, I can start to build a better judgement off of the small reactions/ticks/whatever they are doing to give me a solid read on their holdings.

Long story short I don't take a players "tells" to seriously until I've had more time to study their reactions over time. Some tells mean different things for different people.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:00 AM   #8
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Re: Looking at the flop or the player?

player, period.

Flop/turn/river is information that is always available, players reactions is not.
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