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.
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.
Feuled by seemingly nonstop television coverage and internet access in... Read More
It is in one's best interest to know all your... Read More
In People magazine's December 2004 issue, Gus Hansen was voted... Read More
Poker Aces refers to two aces dealt pre-flop. It is... Read More
It should come as no surprise that Texas Hold 'em... Read More
An overall review of online casino software has led me... Read More
Are you puzzled by the workings of online Casino bonuses,... Read More
You might be wondering how virtual casino gambling started and... Read More
Books have been written on this subject and the debates... Read More
Card Counting is one of those phony ideas published in... Read More
I've just read one of the most interesting stories I've... Read More
How to Succeed in the Poker Freerolls Part 1 looked... Read More
Gambling is considered a game of luck and chance. As... Read More
The role of a 'bookie', the common name of the... Read More
The CrapshooterThe Secret of The Inside NumbersPssst...! Wanna know a... Read More
Craps is the fastest - and certainly the loudest -... Read More
At one point in time our society believed that gambling... Read More
Casinos have always been a destination for the wealthy and... Read More
Many players try to beat roulette by buying a "sure... Read More
Pssst...! Wanna know a secret?How about the secret of laying... Read More
There's an awful lot of poker on the television these... Read More
If you're new to Texas Holdem poker this article will... Read More
Pssst...! Wanna know a secret?How about the secret of making... Read More
Often incorporating creative and realistic graphics along with high tech... Read More
It's been proven time and time again that the majority... Read More
Poker's new upsurge in popularity in is due to televised... Read More
Poker tables come in al shapes, sizes and prices.Folding poker... Read More
Gaming chips have been made from a wide range of... Read More
If you have never opened an account with an online... Read More
After being in sports betting for about 23 years you... Read More
Poker tournaments freerolls are free poker tournaments that are hosted... Read More
Pssst...! Wanna know a secret?How about the secrets of hard... Read More
His palms are sweaty and his heart is racing, but... Read More
When I learned to play poker I did it the... Read More
Most people believe that poker tournaments are for the most... Read More
There is a fundamental difference in the outlook of men... Read More
The subject of financial investment is such a wide and... Read More
The MIT Blackjack Team Story What's the first... Read More
Las Vegas, my favorite destination doesn't have to cost a... Read More
Are You Using These? Are They Being Used Against You?Let's... Read More
When playing poker we are constantly required to make decisions.... Read More
Many gamblers have come across the term "Offshore Gambling", but... Read More
Statistical Arbitrage strategy applied to Video PokerIntroductionJacks or Better is... Read More
Party Poker is one of the world's largest online poker... Read More
Halftime wagering is done exactly how it sounds...at halftime. If... Read More
Free online card games that can be played over the... Read More
Online poker freerolls are a unique breed amongst poker tournaments... Read More
Texas Hold em Poker (also know as Holdem Poker) is... Read More
Bonuscodes for Party Poker are a great way to get... Read More
Even though Three Card Poker is a fairly easy game... Read More
Casino & Gambling Casino & Gambling