‘Body Language & Tells’ with Felix Schneiders

Players are going to look at you, players are going to use whatever actions you perform to guestimate the strength of your hand, and you need to be comfortable with someone staring at you.

Easier than it sounds right? some players hate to be starred at, it makes them anxious and nervous, fortunately, there is a good strategy for this, called “One Pose”.

Pick a pose that you’re comfortable with, practice this pose at home at your dining table, it needs to be as comfortable as possible for you, as you may have to sit like that for 5 minutes whilst your opponent tries to get a read on you. The idea is to move into this pose after every decision in a hand, whether you’re bluffing, on a draw or has the nuts. Making you unreadable.

Tips for Poses

  • Don’t fully close your mouth, you need to breathe whilst in this pose, leave your lips open about 1 cm to allow yourself to breathe. Lots of players lock up when in a pose, they fully close their mouth and are not able to breathe, this makes them anxious and uncomfortable.
  • Stare at the same point, whether it’s a card on the flop, you’re chip stack, the logo on the felt, just stare at the same point each time.
  • Breathe, forget the hand, concentrate on your breathing, slow calm deep breaths whilst sitting comfortably in your pose, starring at the same spot. In your mind, you can also count your breaths, if you like to fully take yourself away from the hand.
  • Do not engage. If a player asks you a question whilst in a hand, it’s not rude to not answer, many pros use this tactic to get a read on you. Of course, if you’re comfortable talking and sure that you won’t give off a tell, it’s up to you.
  • Chip counts. Some players will ask how many chips you have in front of you. In order to avoid this question, always keep your big domination chips at the front of your stack. Try to keep the stacks equal, so it’s easier for your opponent to see how many chips you have. Your opponent has the right to see how many chips you have, but you do not have to tell them. Many players ask for a chip count to gain a read on you, to see how you count the chips and to see how you announce the answer. The dealer will comment if you’re doing something wrong by saying something like “please move your big chips to the front”.