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Poker for Dummies - Harroch R.

Harroch R. Poker for Dummies - Wiley publishing , 2003. - 314 p.
Download (direct link): pokerfordumm2003.pdf
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The calling reflex is built into most players who have come to the poker table for the excitement of seeing a showdown and have a bias toward calling and against folding. They are looking for any excuses whatsoever to call a bet, and most bluffers instinctively realize this and do nothing to trigger that calling reflex. So, expect bluffers to be rock steady and seldom animated. Expect that sudden trembling is not an act, but an involuntary release of energy after a good hand is made. Unless you have an extremely strong hand, don’t call.
Chapter 17: Ten Ways to Read Your Opponent
Jittering and fidgeting is usually not an act. Players can be impatient. Sometimes, you’ll see a player drumming fingers rhythmically on the table. Now, he bets. The drumming of fingers continues. You reach toward your chips. The drumming stops!
What does this mean? It usually means the bettor is weak or bluffing and doesn’t want the call. A player who really has a big hand will usually continue to be relaxed in the face of a pending call. When we have a close decision about calling or folding, we often use the technique of seeming to reach toward our chips to see what a jitterer’s reaction will be. Whether it’s drum-, ming of fingers or fidgeting beneath the table, if that action stops abruptly, we call, believing the likelihood of a bluff is high. If it doesn’t stop, we fold.
Shrugs and Sad Voices
Shrugs and sad voices are acts. Whenever a player shrugs, sighs, and says, “I bet” in an exasperated tone of voice, you need a big hand to call. This player is going way out of his way to convey sadness.
So, let us ask you a question: Why is he doing that? If he really had a weak hand or was bluffing, would he go out of his way to let you know it? Of course not! He’s acting sad because he hopes that will make you think his hand is weak. But, remember, weak really means strong when they’re acting. Shrugs and sad voices are key indications of strong hands.
Changes in Breathing
A change in breathing patterns is not an act. This unconscious tell is one of the strongest in poker. If you’re seated near the opponent, you often will be able to hear this tell. But even if you’re seated across the table, you sometimes can see it by the movements of the person’s diaphragm.
The key here is that players who make strong hands tend to become excited and need to breathe faster. Players who are bluffing, on the other hand, tend to disguise their breathing and sometimes stop entirely. They fear that anything they do might trigger their opponent’s calling reflex, so they become extremely unanimated and scarcely breathe.
Part V: The Part of Tens
Misdirected Bets
A misdirected bet is an act. If the action is three-way or more, expect your opponent to be most concerned about the player who appears to be the most threatening. If you seem to have the strongest hand, based on exposed cards and previous action, then you should be the main target.
What if an opponent, instead, stares down another player who doesn’t seem to be the big threat? And what if the opponent then aims his bet toward that other player? What then? Then you have witnessed a misdirected bet and you have every right to think, “Hey, what about me?”
This misdirected bet usually means that the player is trying to convince you that he isn’t really worried about your hand but about something he sees elsewhere that is even more powerful. But if you can’t see that other threat, then you should usually conclude that the misdirected bet was all an act. You should not be intimidated into folding. In fact, if your decision would otherwise have been between calling and raising, you might lean toward raising.
Extra Emphasis
Extra emphasis on a betting motion is an act. This is one of the hardest of all tells to spot, and you need to train yourself to see it. We’re not talking about conspicuously exaggerated bets. Those bets can be either a lure to entice your call, or a false warning not to call, depending on the opponent and the situation. What we’re talking about is more subtle.
Watch the tail end of a bet. If the betting motion is smooth but is closed by a slight extra flare — perhaps a flick of the fingers releasing the chips — that’s extra emphasis and it usually indicates weakness. The opponent is either bluffing or uncomfortable about the strength of his hand. The final flare happened because the player thought at the last instant that he wasn’t making the bet seem strong enough. Why would he worry about that? Only if the hand was not powerful enough to make the bet comfortable.
So, when you see extra emphasis on the tail end of a bet, tend to call more often than usual.
Looking AtOay
Conspicuously looking away from the action is usually an act. A player looking away from you tends to be more dangerous than a player looking at you.
Chapter 17: Ten Ways to Read Your Opponent 251
When you see a player gazing away from the action as if distracted, beware. There are only two possibilities here, folks. Either that player really isn’t interested — so why risk a bet? — or the player is acting to deceive you. If the player is acting, then she’s trying to make your bet comfortable. Don’t be fooled. Unless you have a very strong hand, check and fold after the opponent bets. If you bet a medium-strong or worse hand, expect to be raised. And almost never bluff into a player who is gazing away from you.
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