Body Language and Poker

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When you play poker, you will of course notice the players are all visible since you play on an oval table. You might not realize it, but this is the most important part of live poker. You need to notice the other players.

Most people assume what cards you get, and how you use them is the most important part. These are very important factors of the game, but not they are not everything. But more important is how to use your body language, and understand your opponent. The cards, over time, will balance out. Luck is evened out over a large number of hands, and each player will end up with about the same amount of good hands and bad hands as any other player.

In the times when luck is not on your side, you can sit back and wait. In the games of poker a player usually has four choices: check, bet, raise or fold. If you are not getting good hands you fold right?

Well, this is not always the best idea. You may be leaving a large amount of money on the table. Folding, and playing tight are good strategies, and will have significant effect on your game. But you also have to learn when to bluff bet and steal some blinds. If you are going to attempt these steal bets, you have to be aware of your table image. You also have to have an idea of the other players in the hand. If it is a player you have seen go to the river with junk, you should not bluff. However a tight player is the perfect target.

To truly work this type of bluff you can do a little acting. But I find it is best to start off straight forward. When you sit at the table, show your hand on your face. If you have good cards smile big and be happy, if you have bad cards be upset. Get the table used to your reactions the first couple rounds. Then when the players are sure you are an easy target switch them around. Many players in todays poker rooms will stick with their initial thoughts about you. Try not to get caught with a hand different then your reaction.

The key is to create a complicated pattern of emotional reactions to your hands. You want to throw them off, all the while trying to trap them when you have a big hand and they think you are bluffing. If you get some opponents trying to figure out the correlation to your reaction and your cards you have them where you want them. It is important to get in their head and try to figure out what they think you have.

When this strategy works it can earn you several extra big bets in a session. Just make sure you don’t go to far. Some games at lower levels are so unsophisticated this strategy would go unnoticed. You have to get a read on the other player of the game. You have to learn what they are thinking when they are deciding how to act. This strategy works well on medium level players who will be collecting information, but lack the experience to see through your rouse.

Good luck at the tables, and always play with our head.

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