What Should You Look for in Your Opponent’s Poker Game to Get the Upper Hand?
If you are reading this, it means that you want to get better at poker. Also, you have realized that there are areas where you can improve – and that is positive.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for teaching the game. Although poker movies on the subject may suggest the opposite, it is best not to believe them too much.
There are some good clues in there, but this is only the tip of the iceberg.
So here are some practical tips that can help you, but do not take them as rules set in stone. Poker is a discipline that requires strategy, excellent self-control, and an ability to deceive opponents.
Good technique can also be used on one's own behavior and to stimulate others. This is what a good poker player usually does at the green felt to improve the chances of winning. Or, put differently, to make others play bad and lose.
Poker Tells: Ignore Them or Not?
Beginners usually rely a lot – and maybe a little too much – on tells from other players, where the result is often misinterpreted.
On the other hand, many experts do the exact opposite: they focus on their own strategy and ignore poker tells from other players.
The best solution is probably in the middle, where balancing between the two aspects will build a complete scenario.
We must also say that observation of these signals works best in a physical casino. However, it can also be used in a live casino you play online.
After all, thanks to modern technology, it does not matter at all whether a player plays in an online or a live casino.
You can literally feel the presence in the same way.
A live dealer, combined with traditional gaming elements, will help you immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the casino. You'll be able to pick up on tells from other players, just as you would in a traditional casino.
You begin tracking patterns and signals – the meta-game. It's similar to what you'd do in real-life or modern-day video games, like Among Us. That said, live poker’s meta-game is less programmed.
Online casino is a very popular activity among poker lovers as they can play from the comfortable chair at home or wherever else, whenever they want.
The presence of different time zones around the world means that there are always players available. Whenever you feel the itch for some action, you can be sure there will be games going on, ready for you to jump in.
Poker Signals – Physical and Behavioral
To return to the topic, it is important to remember that poker tells (or signals) are not only physical. They are not limited just to expressions and actions. Tells can also be behavioral.
If someone is hesitant to bet or bets very quickly, this is definitely something to consider. Bet patterns are among the most reliable poker tells.
Unlike facial expressions, these are repetitive and therefore independent of the facial expressions and behavioral tactics the player is using at the moment.
By studying how the individual player bets, both in the past and in the present, you will be able to get more information. This, in turn, will make the assessment of whether to bet, call, or give up much easier.
A simple rule of thumb is that strength usually means weakness, and weakness equals strength.
Someone who behaves as if they have a weak poker hand will either taunt you to bet or try to scare you. And here, one finds the character and experience of the player, who masterfully sharpens the situation to convey an opposite impression.
Another important rule is that everything that seems obvious and stressful is often acting. That is, if the behavior continues over a long period of time, it is most likely acting. Real poker tells are small, spontaneous, and almost hidden.
The more fleeting the impression, the greater the chances that it is sincere and consistent with reality.
Whereas games like chess are of perfect information – where there are really no surprises, where you can ‘see’ everything that could possibly happen – poker includes unknowns.
It's one of the things that make the game so appealing in the first place. If poker were the game of the perfect information, it would quickly lose its appeal among the general population.
As is, it continues to attract people from all walks of life.
If you strive to be one of the best poker players, you need to do everything possible to reduce the amount of unknown. Figuring out how to interpret various poker tells and signals is an important step in that process.
And, the best part is, this is a learning process that never ends. No matter how much you know, there is always room for improvement and getting better at reading other players!