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Hiding Your Poker Tells
Poker tells are those twitches, sighs, glances, tricks and other movements that a poker player makes that can give you an idea what sort of hand they are playing. Recognizing them can be very profitable for you, but hiding your own tells is also important. If other players can read your tells just as well as you can read theirs, you profit nothing. To really take advantage of tells, you have to read others' tells AND hide your own.
Here are some tips for hiding your own tells.
Tips for Hiding Your Poker Tells
Decide on your most comfortable sitting posture and stick to it. Spine erect is best though you may rest your back when you're tired.
Go the middle way in everything you do (physically) at the table. Bet neither too strongly nor too weakly.
Bet in the same way every time.
Try to take the same amount of time looking at your cards no matter what they are.
Avoid meaningless habits such as rapping, tapping and whistling. Be as calm and still as possible all the time. If you want to be noisy, then be noisy all the time. Just be consistent.
Wear sunglasses to hide your eyes. Pick a spot and pretend to look at it, but don't. Keep an eye on all the action so you can read other players' tells.
Speak in a steady voice.
Do not exaggerate any of your gestures.
Do not talk with other players. Say something nice once in a while and nothing more.
Above all, learn to control your emotions in and out of the poker room.
Problems with Hiding Poker Tells
If you think hiding poker tells is painless, you're wrong. At least, if you are like many people who play poker not just for money, but for fun and the social interaction it brings. Hiding poker tells involves focusing on the game and keeping interaction with others at a minimum. But if you play poker in say, a friend's house, you are expected to be friendly with the host and the other guests. So what do you do? Obviously it would be poor form to play stone-cold poker-face poker when everybody else is just having a good time. That would take the fun out of it and ruin the day for everyone. Don't do it. The money you could win isn't worth irritating your friends and family for. Instead, relax and enjoy the game with them.
Even in a casino, many players enjoy chatting with their fellow players. If you are always aloof, they will not like you that much. But you shouldn't mind that. To play serious, money-making poker, you have to do it in places where you don't need to be liked. When you go to a casino to play, do so with the intention not to make friends. Be nice and polite, but don't get personal. If you get too fond of other players, you may end up soft playing against them at your own expense. Of course, you can still make friends in spite of this. But let that happen in its own time. Don't look for it. The professional poker player has got to act like one. "Nothing personal; business is business" is a good attitude to have, if a ruthless one.