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Texas Holdem Tells

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If you have a tell and you are playing Texas Holdem you are on a path to the poor house.

A tell is any little mannerism that another player can use to evaluate your hand. You might have a tell and still think that you are playing with an absolute straight poker face.

Since a tell is unconscious it is best to get a friend of yours to watch you play poker. It can be something as small as fussing with your chips in a certain way when you have a pair in the pocket. Or it can be as grossly exaggerated as lighting up with a great big smile when the flop goes your way.

Believe it or not even a tell that is as exaggerated as that can escape your conscious mind. Don't be in a big hurry to pick up your hand. Watch the other players pick up theirs. Concentrate on one guy at a time. It is impossible to catalogue the whole table at one time.

Too much information is worse than too little information in this case. I always start with the person who has the biggest stack of chips on the table. True, he may have bought them and brought them to the table and sat down just before you did but usually that is not the case.

He most probably is taking his time looking at his cards and spending a few minutes watching the other players for tells.

Watch a single player through the entire hand. Spotting a tell on a single player may not seem like much but it will boost your bottom line.

If he drops before the flop switch to the player on his right and watch him. Start with that player on the next hand. You should be asking yourself questions about their play.

"What made him drop before the flop? Poor cards, short stack? How many hands an hour does he play?"

Asking the questions in your mind about the other poker players is important but asking the questions about yourself is even more important. Absolute honesty is critical.

If you screw up, admit it to yourself. Don't look for excuses that will absolve you from the mistake. Learn from it. In time you will also profit from it.

Hide Your Tells

The best way to hide your tells is to slow things down.

Many people will look at the flop and keep staring at it in the hope that the cards will change. They never have and they never will. You should be watching your designated player for that hand when the dealer rolls the flop so you can see how it affects his hand.

When you are finished with him, then, look at the flop. Look at it for the same amount of time, every time. Is there a possibility of a straight, flush? Is there an over card that beats your hand?

Keep looking until you run all the possibilities through your mind and you have memorized the flop. Keep looking even if you can read the board instantly. Take your time, the same amount of time, every time and when you look up.

Look at the dealer not another poker player. Don't smile, scratch your ear, or fuss with your chips.

Slow down. There is no need to get your chips ready way before it is your turn to bet. That in itself can be a tell!

Slowing down the pace of the table gives you time to think. A slower more deliberate pace can also bring other tells to the surface.

If you are moving slow and someone is tapping their chips like they are in a big hurry to bet, pause for more thought, especially after the flop.

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