Texas Holdem Tournament Poker Strategy - Betting Is Communicating

The "Language" of Poker Bets

We humans are very perceptive creatures. We are able to communicate in many different ways with one another. By saying something, by saying nothing, by shrugging our shoulders, by winking, delaying, etc. These are all forms of communicating.

Do you realize that when you place a poker bet you are actually communicating something to the other players? Understanding what you are communicating with your betting, and understanding what the other players are communicating with their bets is one of the cornerstones of good poker play.

By mastering this form of poker communications, you will find yourself becoming a truly formidable poker player. If you ignore this betting language, you will consistently lose - it's as simple as that.

When a player calls, it often just means they're limping to see the next card with the hope of improving their hand. When a player checks, it typically means they're not too happy with their current hand, and would like to see another card before making any move. Yes, they could be trapping, but that's the exception, not the rule.

When a player bets, they're communicating that they like their hand and they want some action, so they're risking more chips in order to take control of the action or just take the pot. Whether this communications is "real" or not depends - upon what style of player they are: tight, solid, loose, maniac, etc. and how this player communicates.

If you've been paying attention (like you should be), you'll have a pretty good idea of how "honest" this player typically communicates (bets/plays). Aggressive players who play a lot of hands and raise a lot to drive people out of pots can be generally considered "dishonest" and can't be trusted to communicate (bet) honestly.

Tight/solid players are relatively honest, usually betting more in accordance with the true strength of their hand, making them easier to read most of the time. Learn to read these different player's betting signals and you'll be amazed at how much your game improves.

Decide how "honest" or "dishonest" you want your betting signals to be that the other players are reading from you. Try mixing these signals up a bit so the other players can't quite tell what to expect from you and it'll help by causing them to make more mistakes against you, resulting in bigger winnings.

Now, let's have a look at an example situation. Let's say you're in a game with 9 people at the table, and on the button, so you'll get to act last and have the most information to work with. Your starting hand is good, but not great, such as a 67 spades-suited connector. The action comes around and half of the players have dropped out, and several players have limped in. You go ahead and limp in as well, wanting to see the flop like everyone else. The flop comes: 4s, Jc, 9d - not exactly what you'd hoped for. The first three players check. The 4th player throws out a bet of 3 times the big blind. So, where are we?

Ignoring your hand for just a moment (since we're talking about betting and communicating - right?), everyone except the 4th player communicated that they didn't really like the flop, then the 4th player placed a decent bet. Is he trying to steal the pot or does he now have a pair of Jacks? Since we've been watching these players' style of play all along, and we quickly realize that this is a fairly tight player, we would correctly conclude that this basically "honest", tight player has hit that pair of Jacks.

On the other hand, if the 4th player had instead been playing loose with lots of bets and raises, stealing many pots and pushing people around quite a bit, then they can't be trusted since they're fundamentally "dishonest" with their betting communications patterns.

See how this works? Now, about your hand. You need to fold either way here, since the odds of you making a flush or straight aren't good, and there's an overpair of Jacks that's possible and likely based upon what's being communicated (and someone could also be trapping that checked, too).

So, what are you communicating with your bets? Are you even thinking about that? Before you fire out a bet, you need to consider what "message" you want to send the other players, and make sure your intended message gets through, in order to affect the other players' actions and control the outcomes more often.

What are the others communicating to you with their bets? What kind of "communicator" are they? Honest or dishonest? Consistent or variable? How much do you believe what they're telling you? Are you really listening, or just looking at your own hand too much?

So, Betting Is Communicating. Become truly fluent in this "poker language" and you'll be amazed at how much it boosts your winnings.

Good luck!

Rick

Rick Braddy is an avid writer, Texas Holdem player and professional software developer and marketer for over 25 years. His websites and Texas Holdem poker software specialize in helping people become better Texas Holdem poker players. If you're a poker player, be sure to visit his Texas Holdem website today and learn how you can play better Texas Holdem, too.

In The News:


Fox News

Will all bets be off? Massachusetts voters to decide casino gambling's fate
Fox News
A citizen-initiated ballot question this November will give voters a chance to reverse that 2011 decision -- ending casino gambling in the Bay State before it even begins. "The promises of revenue and jobs don't hold up," said John Ribeiro, chairman of ...
Question 3 will decide fate of four Massachusetts casinosEagle-Tribune
Boston Globe and Barney Frank weigh in on Massachusetts casino repealNJ.com
Eddins: Casinos will affect everyoneMetroWest Daily News
Valley Advocate
all 74 news articles »

Wall Street Journal

Massachusetts Reconsiders Bet on Legal Casinos
Wall Street Journal
Three years after a state law paved the way for legalized casino gambling in Massachusetts, voters are set to decide next week whether New England's largest state should reverse course before the slot machine reels start spinning. The 2011 law allowed ...


'Redskins' name controversy, Casino gambling
WMUR Manchester
WHEN I WAS GOVERNOR, I SUPPORTED GAMBLING AT OUR FOUR TRACKS. WE HAD A RACE TRACKS. IT WOULD'VE PROVIDED REVENUE TO THE STATE IN A WAY I THOUGHT WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL IN SUPPORTING EDUCATION AND ...


The Casino Giant And The Quest To Cut Odds On Your Gambling Habits
Forbes
The casino chain and gaming firm operates such casinos as Red Rock Resort and Green Valley Ranch Resort, and 17 other venues. It is one of the largest businesses in the 'locals' market, which primarily serves nearby residents rather than out-of-town ...

and more »

Anti-casino coalition members say economic benefits of Springfield gaming ...
The Republican - masslive.com
During a meeting with the editorial board of The Republican and Masslive.com, Al Cabot and Steve Abdow, who are urging voters to overturn the state law which expanded gaming to casinos and slots, said Springfield should not be "putting up the white ...


Massachusetts Question 3 debate: MGM Springfield president, Repeal the ...
The Republican - masslive.com
Excerpts from Massachusetts Question 3 debate on casino gaming law Al Cabot, of Repeal the Casino Deal, and Mike Mathis, president of MGM Springfield, debate Massachusetts Question 3, the 2014 ballot question that seeks to repeal the commonwealth's ...

and more »

Gambling issues roiling Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York
The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio - As Ohio's casino and racino development has concluded - with four casinos and seven racinos seeking to build momentum - several nearby states are in the midst of heated debates regarding adding or removing gambling.

and more »

Boston Globe

Yes on Question 3: Pull the plug on flawed casino law
Boston Globe
THROUGH THE looking glass of Massachusetts politics, yes means no, and casino gambling means sustainable economic development. If voters can disentangle the first contradiction, though, at least they can get rid of the second: Voting yes on ballot ...
Interfaith anti-casino gathering: Massachusetts policy 'is creating gambling ...The Republican - masslive.com
Casino law must go: Opponents say casinos no quick economic fixBerkshire Eagle
Place your bets: State voters to decide fate of casinosCapecodonline
Wicked Local Raynham
all 40 news articles »

NBC 10 Philadelphia

Gambling Association Writes on Benefits of Casino Industry in Pa.
NBC 10 Philadelphia
The American Gaming Association has sent a letter to Pennsylvania's legislative leaders highlighting the findings of a study on casino gambling's impact in the state. The letter sent Thursday cites a study conducted by Oxford Economics that found ...


CNNMoney

Macau trumps Vegas with $270 minimum bet
CNNMoney
Las Vegas has first class shopping, dining and nightlife. But for serious gamblers, Macau holds all the aces. The city's $45 billion casino industry is now roughly seven times bigger than Vegas, and eye-popping growth has attracted the biggest players, ...
Smoking ban the least of worries in Macau gamblingLas Vegas Review-Journal (blog)

all 29 news articles »
Google News

Expensive Errors in Holdem

There are several expensive errors that are frequently made in... Read More

Slot Machine Basics 101

Let's begin with a little bit of basic knowledge about... Read More

Your POSITION Of Power In Holdem

In Hold'em poker, the importance of your position in relation... Read More

2005 AFC North Football Preview

In the AFC North I expect to see the Pittsburgh... Read More

Do the Laundry or Win the Lottery

On the Friday afternoon drive home, I'm relieved the weekend... Read More

Building Your Bankroll

The first thing one needs to do before they even... Read More

Baseball is Back!

What are your goals for this season?In another week the... Read More

Information - Do Not Bet Without It

Information is the key.In how many circumstances is that applicable?... Read More

Roulette - The Basics

Roulette is actually one of the simplest games in the... Read More

What is the True Winning Percentage of a Professional Soccer-punter?

Many people believe professional-level sports bettors win at least 60%... Read More

The Secret of Making Odds Only Bets

Pssst...! Wanna know a secret?How about the secret of making... Read More

Secrets of Texas Hold Em

First if you are tired, angry, drunk or your condition... Read More

Expected Value in Texas Holdem Poker

A successful Texas hold em player is one who maximizes... Read More

How To Choose a Sportsbook - Guide To Online Sports Betting

Online Sports Gambling is a growing business with thousands of... Read More

Roulette 101 - Play Like a Pro with 4 Easy Tips

Roulette is a simple game that can yield high profits... Read More

How To Have The Most Fun Playing Holdem Poker At Home

Holdem poker is taking the country by storm as one... Read More

The Secret of Field/Place Betting

Pssst... Wanna know a secret?How about the secret of profiting... Read More

Poker Aces ? how to play them

Poker Aces refers to two aces dealt pre-flop. It is... Read More

The History of Roulette

The term "Roulette" is derived from a French word meaning... Read More

No Limit Texas Hold?em Poker

Most online casinos offer three different types on Texas Hold'em... Read More

Addictions To Gambling on The Rise!

Over the past five years addictions to gambling have grown... Read More

Las Vegas Whales

What Las Vegas jargon names "whales" is in fact the... Read More

5 Tips for Finding the Best Poker Websites

There has been an enormous growth in poker websites in... Read More

Halftime Wagering Part 2

Examples of pre-game research are to see how the teams... Read More

Help Become a Consistent Winner at Online Low-Limit Texas Hold ?Em by Playing at the ?Easy? Tables

Select Advantageous TablesTable selection is one of the most overlooked... Read More