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A secret to the game of poker

By Jeff Lakie

Poker is increasing in popularity and it seems like every channel has its own Texas hold'em tournament, whether it's played by celebrities, or athletes, or the not-so-handsome professional poker players.

A secret to the game of poker

There are excellent books written on poker from how to play to how to improve your play. But in this article you'll learn one of the secrets of playing better poker. This is the fundamental purpose of the game and knowing it will help you play great poker:

· Poker is a game about understanding people… which just happens to be played with cards.

Sure, getting dealt a good hand can help, but the rest of the game and the success of the professionals is all tied into understanding your opponent. For example,
Do they know when you bluff?
Do they bet high only when they have a good hand and fold otherwise?
Do they fidget nervously if they're not sure how good their hand is?
But before you are done asking yourself those questions about your opponent, consider this: are they asking themselves those same questions about you?

When we react to our cards, those are called “tells” because the broadcast to the other players our reaction. Sometimes a tell is a physical reaction, like unconsciously touching your ear. Other times, a tell is a style of play, like betting high when you have a good hand and really, really high when you're bluffing.

If you decide to take your poker game to the next level, you should supplement your poker playing and your poker book reading with a refresher course in body language, psychology, and stress. For understanding these, being able to see them in others, and being able to manage them in yourself are the hallmarks of an excellent poker player.

Of course this may not be fair play if you are suddenly winning every week when you're playing at your buddy's house. But do you really need to tell them that your buddy sips his beer when he has a good hand? If you're bringing home a little loot, you probably won't tell a soul!


About the author:
Jeff Lakie is the founder of Playing Poker a website providing information on Poker


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