Read ’em and watch them weep.
Reading books on Poker Tells like “Caro’s Book of Tells” is great for the experienced player who wants to get a read on a player sat in front of him in a cardroom. But what about online where physical tells are absent ? Or your home game where the play isn’t world class – There is an obvious and almost universal “tell” which most players make at worst habitually or even just subconsciously both on and offline –
They play & bet the value of the cards in front of them. Simple as that.
Some, in fact most players will bet similar hands in roughly similar ways – Once you have this figured out it is far easier to put a player on a hand. It might be that they always bets draws in a certain way like betting half the pot with a flush or a straight draw. It maybe that they always go all-in over the top with AA or KK regardless of what is already in the pot and with no thought of position or the flop. Maybe they always bet twice the pot when they’re on a huge bluff or 2/3rd’s when they want you to call.
Either way spotting players who react consistently to a given situation will win you and save you an awful lot of chips. Say you see them flat calling – have you seen them do this before and turn over suited high cards or they raise before the flop do they always show a middle pocket pair ? Now when you see the flop your in a much better position to judge the strength of your hand and make the right bet or respond to their bet optimally.
Surely it cant be that easy ? Well even the players who try to mix it up will do so within bounds they feel comfortable with or makes sense to them.
OK so the guy hasn’t bet exactly the pot but if you’ve been watching everyone like a hawk you can get a fair idea he has you beat or if he’s betting on a big fat draw.
If you can see a player is cautious and tight and the last time he bet like that he had the nuts – It ain’t rocket science – He’s got the nuts.
Reverse Poker Tells
Poker Tells – Reverse it and use it – Lead them by the nose.
I wrote previously about predictable playing – getting a read on players because they bet certain types of hands in consistent ways.
So it seems obvious what you should do with your own cards – don’t play predictably – don’t bet the same hands in the same ways – well yes and no.
This is where you can really crank up your game – Don’t just try to behave unpredictably, randomly racing around trying to make confusing bets.
Be unpredictably predictable … bet different hands but in the same ways.
If you have one type of hand bet it exactly as you did another. Make a real point of betting the same amount – you will make them think that they know what you have – and they will be wrong – and that is always a good thing.
Now I am not the best at poker mathematics, I can get my head round pot odds if you give me a while. But the point is poker is a game about players not just about your cards … Play them and play they’re cards as if you own them.
If you’ve figured out their hand and one of there scare cards comes up – bet like you’ve got 3 of ’em – If your in the right position and the right game against the right player – it doesn’t matter that you were on a semi-bluff – you won a hand that wasn’t rightfully yours and that’s good.
I only have a few basic bet sizes and during the game, say an $80 raise, a half pot, pot sized, twice the pot, all-in and a say random $237 bet.
Preferably early in a SnG I will advertise a couple of them for all to see.
This trains other player to “think” they know what I have the next time I bet in the same way – leading them by the nose.
If I raise / or re-raise pre-flop regardless of position on the first 3 hands I see in a SnG what “tell” or info does everyone think they have picked up ?
He’s a loon ? Aggressive ? Raises but folds to a bad flop ? Inexperienced ?
So all of a sudden for the cost of what $120 chips you have taken control of players minds at the table in a whole load of different ways.
Now this is the important bit – by playing this way you have tilted everyone else a bit but DON’T start tilting yourself – you must always be disciplined.
Now I also do a lot of betting the pot, this really bugs people – they convince themselves your stealing pot after pot, maybe you are but eventually they will start to call you down with any old junk and that is when you want and will have hand.
Playing aggressively like this but with discipline is how you get action going and how you get the max reward safely when you get dealt AA or KK.