Read your poker opponents like an open book!


Even though the game of poker implies having a little bit of luck and getting the rights cards, the truth is that there is an easier way to get that stream of victories and that is reading the body language of your opponents. In other words, you must find the “tell” of the people you are playing with, especially when there is a large sum of money at stake. The “tell” is a physical reaction or a habit that gives the other person away and from which you can find out whether you should continue on the hand or not. Basically, you will need to observe and learn the automatic behaviors people do when they have certain cards in their hands and take advantage of them.

Besides the automatic ticks, your opponents can give away their cards due to their physiological responses. For instance, shaking, facial redness and strange restless movements can be an indicator of a good hand. Other common physiological reactions that can indicate a good hand are the breathing or the heart rate. Even though your opponents may be wearing the proverbial poker face, the carotid artery in the neck area can easily give them away.

Using the common game assumption is one of the common aspects professional poker players do to confuse their adversaries. A normal game assumption for instance is that if you think you have a strong or winning hand, you probably have a weak one and the vice versa. While inexperienced poker players will follow this rule, the professional players can reverse the impression and even reverse ‘the reverse’ and create a mix from which you cannot tell anything. Consequentially, acting is one of the priceless abilities to have with you at a poker game.

With this in mind, you should always pay attention to the changes in the behavior of the other players, regardless of how insignificant you consider them to be. For instance, they start talking all of a sudden even though they were silent until now or holding their arms and their cards in a completely different manner. At the same time, be aware of the bluffs or chicanery. A long sigh, expressing total disinterest, diminishing the wager are all pointers of a faker that is trying to make you raise the stakes even higher knowing that he has a good hand that he will win.

It is equally important that you are also careful about your own behavior. If you know that you are usually very excited about things, then you should train yourself to control the uneasiness and fidgety that are visible through your behavior and reactions. Keep in mind that the easiest people to be read are the ones that have no clue that they are being analyzed. Therefore, the first thing that you should do when you sit down at the table is to spot the weakest player that you can read. In case you are not able to spot that person, then chances are that you are that person and hence, it is a good idea to move to another table!