Published on August 18, 2003, 9:25 pm EST

What is it? It's basically when a player gives up some non-verbal
information that could be used by another player to determine what
kind of hand the player has. It might be a nervous twitch,
a pulling of the hair, or a change in voice inflection. The
question is: is the use of such information cheating, as some
claim it is?

The Poker King's answer is: use whatever tools are at your disposal,
as long as they are legal. If someone pulls their hair everytime
they are bluffing, then use that to your advantage. If someone starts smiling when they have a strong hand, then use that to your advantage as well.

The surge in popularity of online poker games has taken this
important element out of the game. However, if you are playing face to face with people, it can be a very important tool. Watch someone's facial expressions and movements every time they have a hand, and then note how strong their hands were after the hand is completed. If they are an amateur to intermediate player, chances are they will be giving up information just in the way they play, or by certain movements. The more advanced players will go to great lengths to either not show any of this information at all, or purposely switch up their "giveaways" to confuse their opponents. The reason why many pro poker players wear sunglasses is to hide any possible information that their eyes might give away. For instance, if their eyes widen, then they might have a strong hand.

To become a great poker player, you need to play like a pro.


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