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There are a handful of special moves that, when mastered, can make the difference between winning a little, and winning a lot.
The Reverse Tell
By mastering the reverse tell you can trick your opponents into mucking when they have the best of it and shoveling their chips into the middle when they’re crushed.
The essences of a reverse tell is about being able to influence your opponent’s behavior, by feeding him false information.
People tend to get closer physically to their cards and chips when they have a strong hand, and farther away when they’re weak.
Next time you’re bluffing all-in and your opponent looks like he’s having a tough time making a decision, lean into the table and cozy up to those cards like they’re your two best friends.
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The next level of reverse tells involves setting up your opponents over the course of a session or sessions.
By making sure the other players take note of a certain behavior or tell, you can use that behavior at an opportune time to force a mistake. The reverse tell isn’t foolproof, but poker is full of times when players are torn between calling or folding in a tough spot. Sometimes all they need is a nudge in the right direction.
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Here are the top five tells you can reverse:
- Strong is Weak, Weak is Strong: Most people believe that when a player is holding a strong hand, they’re most likely to act weak in order to confuse their opponent. The reverse is true of someone bluffing. Throwing out bets forcefully, staring down your opponent and speaking with inflated bravado are just some of the ways players act strong.
- A Shaky Hand Means a Monster: Many players, especially beginners, will be more nervous when they’re holding a monster hand than when they’re bluffing. Hence the idea that when someone’s hand is shaking and jittery when they put out a bet, they’ve probably got the nuts.
- Staring at or Looking Away from the Flop: Similar to the ‘Strong is Weak’ idea, when a player looks at the flop and then quickly looks away it indicates he likes what he sees and is attempting to look uninterested. When a player is staring at the flop for a long time it usually indicates he has missed.
- Glancing at Chips: When a player quickly looks at their chips after seeing the flop, it usually means they connected with it somehow.
- Nonsensical Conversation: If a players is normally very smooth in their conversation and begins to speak nonsensically or clumsily when involved in a massive hand, it’s usually means they’re bluffing.