Ultimate Guide to Poker Tells
Devastate Opponents by Reading Body Language, Table Talk, and Much More
by Randy Burgess with Carl Baldassarre
2006, Triumph Books
An easy read in less than 200 pages. Well written and nicely sequenced. Includes chapters on: “Tells in No-Limit Hold’em”, “Generic Tells in Limit Poker”, and “Protecting Yourself from Angle-Shooting”, and two appendices; a “Poker Glossary” and “Further Resources”. The “Further Resources” appendix points the reader to books with chapters on tells, books about improving your people-reading skills, and books on poker fundamentals.
Burgess and Baldassare write about honing your ability to recognize:
- Generic tells
- Individual tells
- Reverse tells and other false tells
- Verbal tells
- Subconscious physical tells like chip grabbing, body posture and microexpressions
They include a chapter, “Test Your Tell Detector”, which displays photos with a mini story underneath each one. You need to decide what the tell indicates and the response you would make, and of course, Burgess and Baldassare explain their interpretation and what they recommend for each scenario.
The authors warn that recognizing tells will only help you if you have a fundamentally solid game and understand strategy, pot odds, hand values, implied odds, etc. Tells are only valuable in context. Weigh the tells appropriately. Consider the “story” a player has been telling in the current hand, and his/her betting patterns throughout the game. You need to figure out if a player is “acting”, naive, or seasoned.
And…remember…the absence of tells does not mean that a player has a hand; it may mean that the player has super control over voluntary and involuntary tells.
Don’t muck your hand until you see, understand, and agree that your hand was not the winning hand!
They also talk about giving tells, both voluntary and involuntary, and suggest exercises for recognizing your tells -and eliminating them. The five stages of deception that each poker player travels on his/her journey to becoming an elite poker player are discussed. Stage 1 is the naive player who doesn’t try to hide his/her delight or disappointment with a hand. Stage 5 is the elite player who “plays the player”; quietly masking the strength or weakness of his/her hand, making plays that entice the other players to do what they (the elite player) want then to do.
You’ll feel comfortable with this read. Not a must-have for your No-Limit Hold’em library, but, good for the beach or a plane ride.
Get it now on Amazon.com