Playing live poker?
Looks like you are about to have a heart attack at the table and having a hard time reading your cards because your hands are shaking from nervousness?
Relax and join the club.
Poker can be stressful when you first start. It combines all the things we hate about public attention and high stakes that come out in what is known as the “physical tell.”
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Physical tells are the worst.
They make you feel bad, rattle your self-confidence and can be easily read by other players.
Fortunately, they are also easy to get rid of.When you first start playing, you are an open book to other players.
Your stress at a bad hand will reveal itself in sweat or coloration.
Your hands may shake or your voice may tremble. Worse still, you may fumble the stack when trying to place your bet.
There are many things you can do to get over this.
Watch Your Opponents
You should carefully watch the number of cards each of your opponents is drawing.
You should also study each person for any reaction when he examines his new cards. You must as well remain vigilant.
If a card is drawn by a player, it may be to a full house, but there is a possibility that it is to a straight or flush, and after a lucky draw fails, it is likely that the hands become worthless.
For instance, a draw to three-of-a-kind may be two cards, but it is a common bluff when a player draws two cards when holding a pair.
If a player draws three cards, it is very likely that he holds a pair.
Learn from other players
Watch some pro players or players you admire and see how calm and controlled they are.
Look for the little habits they all have, like flicking their eyes or adjusting themselves in the chair – these are small ways in which they are relieving tension in their bodies.
These don’t count as physical tells because these are acts they have learned to do to prevent stress from building up and spilling over into the game when they get tipped over the edge with a bad hand.
How to undo bad habits
Practice and feedback are the keys to undoing bad physical tells.
One of the best things you can do is to practice visualizing yourself playing, being calm and winning – while also practicing controlling your breathing.
A lot of the most obvious physical tells come from something simple – when people get tense they hold their breath.
The more you hold your breath the more stress the physical aspects of your body are under.
You will then get a red face from your blood pressure rising, your hands will tremble and your speech will be uneven.
The more you can practice being calm and controlling your body’s physical reactions – the better off you can be.
Another very good idea is to videotape yourself playing and watch it. Then adjust your play and tape it again.
Most of what we feel in nervousness doesn’t show to the outside world, but you don’t know that and won’t benefit from that confidence unless you see the evidence.
Know the Simple Rules
Knowing the simple rules is another way of winning important poker tournaments.
For instance, when you have five cards of consecutive values, like a hand with a 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, that is a straight.
If you use an Ace in a straight with a 2, 3, 4, and 5, you do not have the highest card again, and you can lose to any straight beginning with at least 2.
Therefore, you cannot use the ace in making a looping straight like a King, Queen, Ace, 2 and 3 because its value cannot be determined.
When to bring those bad habits back
Trembling hands are something you never want in a live poker game – unless you want them.
You can play the players with a few subtle slips with physical tells that are manipulative, not revealing.
You have to be very careful with this act. It is recommended that you save it for when you become an intermediate player.
Trying to use a physical tell to manipulate when you are an advanced player can be especially challenging because it can read false – unless you do it with style.
Many players look to the stacks to see your state of mind.
You can also choose to tell them whatever you think would work best to your advantage with some careful arrangement.
If you do not want your hands to be shaking during important poker games, there are certain things you should also keep in mind.
To be successful at tournament poker games, you must have a diverse and strong knowledge base.
It is required of a tournament player to be an expert playing under various types of circumstances because conditions are changing constantly in tournaments.
Tournament players who are always winning create good strategies for every phase of the game, waiting for the stupid move of his skilled or not-too-good opponent at specific moments of the tournament, whether when the tournament gets short-handed or even at the early stages, bubble play.