Disguising Tells in Poker

A lot of players starting out in poker are concerned about tells. They’re aware of these subconscious signals players can give out that reveal something about their holding and aren’t quite sure how to defend against it. They may not know if they are giving out tells to their opponents and be reluctant to bluff for this reason.

Emitting Tells in Poker

Most people do not emit a glaringly obvious tell, like eating a cookie differently depending on whether they are strong or weak. If you do, you will probably notice it right away. If not, hopefully friends will point it out. What you have to look out for more is telltale patterns of behavior.

Telling Behavior Patterns in Poker

What you want to avoid is doing the same thing every time your hand is a certain strength. If you always splash your poker chips into the pot when you are weak and push them in, neatly stacked when you are strong, you may have a problem. If you check whenever you miss the flop and bet whenever you hit it or vice versa, you are giving something away.

Disguising Tells in Poker

Consistency can be fatal, but it can also be your saving grace. If you act the same way whether you are strong or weak, the other players at the poker table will have a tough time picking anything up from you. If you always wait 15 seconds before you act, then push chips into the pot in one stack with your left hand, you have created a consistent behavior that does not reveal anything. If you don’t talk and always look straight ahead between your bet and another’s call or raise, you won’t give anything away.

The main thing to remember with tells is deception. Either play the exact same way, or randomize so frequently that it is impossible for opponents to pick up a pattern. One of these philosophies should adequately disguise the strength of your hand.


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