In a continuation to our previous poker strategy, “Learn Your Tells, and Use Them!“, a discussion on recognizing fake poker tells, we’ll be discussing how to intentionally incorporate new poker tells into your game.
Poker tells are any observable behaviourisms, spoken or unspoken, that relay information on a player’s holdings. Poker tells can be conscious or unconscious behavioural patterns or mannerisms.
On the surface, it is generally a bad idea to let any poker tells show in your poker game. But when you can successfully emit poker tells that throw your opponents off, it can be an awesome weapon in card game warfare.
It can be difficult to dupe your opponents in such a manner, as we learned from Mike “The Mad Genius of Poker” Caro in his publication of ‘Caro’s Book of Poker Tells’. Caro stated simply, “strong means weak and weak means strong”. Any veteran poker player knows that a player who is trying to appear weak is hiding a strong hand, while a weak-handed player will attempt to appear strong.
You’ll have to be a bit more deceptive, and certainly more convincing, to pull this off.
The reverse psychology method has been so overused that now days, you may actually have more success by acting like you have exactly what you are holding. Instead of betting aggressively on a bluff, you may have to act like you have nothing, which is in fact what you have. Conversely, play a strong hand tenaciously.
Unfortunately, the success of this plan will have everything to do with your opponents. If they are too inexperienced or weak themselves, they may not even be paying attention enough to know that you are emitting poker tells. If they are too experienced, they may recognize your behaviour before it does you any good.
One of the most common poker tells is the raising of the eyebrows, or widening of the eyes upon seeing your hole cards or the flop. It is so common because too many players simply can’t control their immediate reaction. They know not to let their face show such tells, but it happens so instantaneously, they just can’t always control it. In a live poker game, it can be especially useful to let yourself show a momentary widening of the eyes every once in awhile.
Anyone who is paying attention will think you’re holding Pocket Aces, while you’re smirking on the inside over something like 10-8 suited. Do this in late position and stealing the blinds could be a cinch.
Betting patterns are excellent poker tells to incorporate against more experience poker players. They are always watching for any kind of pattern in an opponent’s game. Allow yourself to be read as a pattern bettor. Bet aggressively with a big hand; more conservatively on draws. Then when you mix things up, they will never know what hit them. Suddenly an aggressive bet becomes a scary situation for them, regardless of what you’re really holding.
Don’t become overly confident in your purposeful poker tells before you can determine whether your opponents are actually falling for it. If they are reacting as you had hoped, then you know they are paying attention, and you’re playing the role of a very good actor. Swoop in for the kill!