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    More Poker Wisdom from The Thundercat- Spotting a Bluff

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    Thundercat

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    Registration date : 2007-08-28

    More Poker Wisdom from The Thundercat- Spotting a Bluff

    Post by Thundercat on Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:15 am

    There is one KEY PRINCIPLE to keep in mind when deciding if
    someone is BLUFFING or has a GREAT HAND...

    Here it is:

    If a player acts STRONG, he is probably WEAK.

    If a player acts WEAK, he is probably STRONG.

    It's simple human nature.

    This is NOT an original idea... Mike Caro was the first to
    put this amazing insight into words many years ago.

    And after I had heard this wisdom, my poker winnings soared
    to a NEW LEVEL.

    Because every poker TELL boils down to this fundamental
    principle.

    Now, the UNFORTUNATE thing about this advice is that even
    though it is SO SIMPLE, most card players just don't "get
    it", or don't apply it properly.

    So let's discuss how you can use this concept to spot bluffs
    QUICKLY, EASILY, and CONSISTENTLY...

    First off, it's important to remember that in order to spot
    BLUFFS, you must be tuned into signs of STRENGTH as well.

    For example... if you only look for "tells" that suggest a
    player is BLUFFING, you're only getting half the picture...

    When trying to get an accurate read on an opponent, you must
    be looking for both signs of strength AND weakness.

    Let's go back to our main "rule" again and look at the first
    part:

    "If a player acts STRONG, he is probably WEAK."

    This means that when a player does something that makes it
    LOOK like he's got a monster hand, he's probably bluffing.

    The CRUCIAL point to keep in mind is that most players don't
    TRY to act strong. They just do it unconsciously...

    I know that sounds strange, but think about it.

    Let's say you've got 9d-2s and you decide to make a bold
    bluff by going all-in pre-flop (which I don't recommend, by
    the way!).

    Anyway... in your mind, you're thinking, "Damn I sure hope
    no one calls!"... but when someone starts contemplating a
    decision, you REALLY start to get worried.

    So what do you do?

    Well, the NATURAL thing to do... the thing that MOST players
    do... is to act like you're NOT afraid.

    Obviously you don't want someone to know that you're SCARED
    of getting called, right?

    So you sit up straight, your hands don't tremble, your voice
    has a little "arrogance" to it...

    And ultimately, all of those things are signs that you're
    BLUFFING.

    But you didn't MEAN to act that way... it just kind of came
    naturally. You didn't think, "Oh, I don't want him to know
    that I'm scared, so I'm going to sit up straight and act
    smooth and talk with arrogance."

    It just kind of HAPPENS...

    Still with me?

    Ultimately, a BLUFF is a LIE.

    That's right... just a plain old lie.

    So when someone is bluffing by betting, they're simply LYING
    about what they have in their hand.

    Which means technically, the real skill is not the ability
    to spot a bluff... it's the ability to spot a LIE.

    But anyway... back to my point...

    When the player acts strong, he's probably weak. But he
    didn't really CHOOSE to act strong... this is just a
    "mechanism" inside of him that turns on, simply because he's
    LYING to you about his hand.

    Let me show you a few practical examples. Here are THREE
    valuable "tells" to look for:

    1. When a player "flicks" his chips in the middle with extra
    OOMPH or tosses them in aggressively...

    What's going on there?

    I'll tell you what:

    The player is ACTING strong... which means he probably
    doesn't have a very good hand.

    2. When a player speaks aggressively and talks a lot...

    Once again, this is usually a sign of weakness, since the
    player is "covering up" his bad hand by acting like he's got
    something.

    BUT... this poker tell is very easy to confuse and get
    COMPLETELY WRONG, and here's why:

    There is a major difference between SPEAKING AGGRESSIVELY
    and DEMONSTRATING CONFIDENCE.

    Here's what I mean...

    If a player talks a lot in a manner that's NOT normal for
    him, it's usually a sign of WEAKNESS.

    The way to sense this is to look for any signs of
    DESPERATION with his voice...

    But if the player is chatting along, having a good time, and
    seems quite CONFIDENT in general, it usually means he has a
    strong hand.

    It's a very subtle difference, and takes time to learn.

    3. When a player looks you dead in the eye...

    This usually means the player does not have a strong hand.

    The "death stare" is simply an ACT of strength, but what it
    really means is WEAKNESS.

    Now...

    Let's flip this over and look at poker tells that will show
    you when a player is sitting on a monster hand...

    Because knowing when to FOLD is often times MORE IMPORTANT
    than just knowing when someone's bluffing you.

    So, repeating the second part of our mantra:

    "If a player acts WEAK, he is probably STRONG."

    ACTING WEAK is usually more subtle than acting strong...
    it's usually demonstrated in a way that is more like
    DISINTEREST.

    And once again, the player doesn't usually MEAN to act
    weak... it's simply a NATURAL MECHANISM. Of course,
    sometimes a player will INTENTIONALLY ACT WEAK, but the
    meaning behind it is still the same:

    He's got a strong hand.

    Here are three poker tells when a player is acting WEAK, but
    has a really great hand:

    1. Looking AWAY and acting disinterested... and NOT making
    eye contact with you...

    This is the opposite of STARING YOU DOWN, which is a sign of
    weakness.

    This poker tell is ESPECIALLY apparent when the flop hits...
    if the flop REALLY helped a player, he'll usually just
    glance at it for a brief moment and then look away.

    (On the other hand, if a player stares at the cards on the
    flop for a long period of time, that usually means the flop
    did NOT help him.)

    2. Being very quiet...

    When a player is PRAYING to himself that you're going to
    call his bet, he usually stays very quiet and to himself...

    If everyone at the table is laughing at something and a
    player suddenly gets QUIET... or kind of "forces" his
    laugh... then that's a sign he just picked up a monster
    hand.

    Beware!

    3. Getting shaky...

    When a player's hands get very shaky, watch out.

    Some people think it's a sign of BLUFFING, but I sure hope
    you're not one of those people. Shaky hands is almost always
    a sign of a MONSTER HAND.

    Also... I might add here... that after someone WINS a really
    big pot, sometimes they get shaky as an "after effect".

    Honestly, I have no idea why. But I do know that it happens.
    So if someone just won a huge pot and is looking kind of
    shaky, that's probably why.

    Knowing about poker tells like these... both signs of
    WEAKNESS and signs of STRENGTH... is a very important part
    of WINNING POKER.

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