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Beyond Player's Behavior

Learning how to read people is probably one of the most important skills you’ll need to learn for poker. Some people feel that this should only be done at the table, but we feel quite the opposite. You should start to read people before you take a seat at a game. Forget about never judging a book by its cover. In poker, that really does not apply. The game of poker is based on judging your opponent’s expressions, gestures and appearance. There is quite a bit you can discover about a poker player based on their clothes. Are they wearing their tie loose or do they have a laid back outfit? If so, they are likely a loose player. Likewise, a man with a tightened tie will more than likely be a conservative opponent. Often those who believe in chance hold a luckycharm or religious symbol.

We’re here to help by giving you some guidelines and hope you will build your own strategies off of them.

Let’s talk about what you can see at the table. The most common ideas are:

  1. If the player doesn’t care about his chips, it probably means that he doesn’t care about his money. This seems simple, doesn’t it? Keep in mind that some players behave like that just to show that they don’t care about the money, when in fact they do.

  2. Watch how a player buys chips. If they let everyone know about the amount they buy, then they are probably weak players who will likely lose all their money. But, if instead, they hide their chips, it actually means the same thing..

  3. If you see that the player is deep in thought, but you can tell they are not thinking about poker, it means that they are probably not in the mood for gambling. But, you can be rest assured that if they haven’t folded, it’s because they have a good hand.

  4. If a player shares their hand with someone else (not with an opponent, of course) there is ample evidence that he has a strong hand. This behavior, however, is a common and well known weak player’s tactic.
All in all, if you see something unusual in your opponent’s behavior, try to understand what it means. In fact, it takes most players quite a while to determine what unusual and normal are exactly.
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