The Various Ticks of a Poker Player

At first glance it is difficult to gain an insight into poker players hand strength as you cannot see their cards. However carefully observing the player can reveal interesting body language clues that despite their best efforts to conceal them are very accurate pointers in assessing their hand strength. These Poker tics or habits are often reflex actions that the players are unaware of. Whilst they concentrate on appearing weak or strong, sitting still and trying not to shake these automatic clues are giving away all the information you need.

The human body is designed to show emotion so revealing nothing is particularly difficult. The stress and pressure in important poker hands increases the need to show emotion and the extra effort in concealing these physical tells can lead to players revealing information through involuntary actions. These include gulping rather than breathing, shaking, blinking too much, breathing faster or tapping their feet. Any movement they make is often a release by the body to the pressure situation.

For the observant poker player the good news is the body will repeat the involuntary movements in a similar situation so if you spot a player with an obvious physical tell when they are nervous this could mean weakness in a hand. At showdown you can classify the hand strength and thus classify the tell for future reference. The face and neck are the most revealing parts of the body which is why players wear hats, Hoodies and sunglasses to conceal these give-away areas of the body. The body reacts to what it is engaged in at a particular moment so physical reactions you spot during a hand is always related to their current experience of poker, i.e. their hand strength.

Poker players may try and deliberately give out a misleading tell like tapping their hand on the table, shuffling their chips when they are strong or sniffing but it is the more subtle involuntary physical actions are the really valuable movements to pick up on as they are very difficult to fake.

If you want to play poker like a pro and become a poker master you should start watching opponents and people very carefully and pick up on the small idiosyncrasies that everyone has and begin interpreting them in terms of poker. Once you have mastered spotting poker ticks and habits you will have a real advantage over your opponents.

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