What is hand reading

Reading hands means paying attention and correctly interpreting not only the gestures and position of the hands themselves, but the whole picture as a whole. Facial expressions of the opponent, body position and so on. This is an incredibly complex puzzle that you have to solve in the shortest amount of time. Collect the puzzle, draw conclusions based on the picture, and make the right decision. All this in a matter of minutes. Each piece of the puzzle can have a huge, even decisive, impact on the outcome of a poker game. 

Here are the main points that you should pay attention to before further analysis:

  1. Opponent position
  1. Opponent bet sizing
  1. Opponent’s tendencies

These moments are perhaps the most important, although in a game like poker there are a lot of such moments, and even professional players fail to notice every and every detail without exception. Beginners should try to simplify such an analysis for themselves, reducing the collection of information only to the main points. 

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What specific gestures hide

Our body says much more than we would like, because it is impossible to control it every minute, and it treacherously betrays all sensations and sometimes even thoughts. What will really give us confidence during the game is to know that the opponent is bluffing. 

A bluff is signaled to us by the body of the opponent in case he succumbed forward. Also, a seemingly nervous motor skills of the hands may indicate a bluff. For example, tapping on the table with fingers, wagging foot incessantly. It all looks like the opponent is doing poorly, and he is nervous, but almost always these are signs of a bluff. A hasty throw of chips on the table also indicates a bluff. 

Thus, they try to cover up bad cards with exponential self-confidence. A desperate attempt to hide a bad state of affairs is the sharp deviation of the opponent on the back of his chair. The display of relaxation is actually a signal of frustration. The dropped shoulders of the opponent and his sudden stoop will tell us about the unsuccessful layout of the cards. The fact that the opponent’s affairs leave much to be desired will also be indicated by his attempt to hide emotions. Namely, covering the face or part of the face with the hand or lapel of the head. If your opponent sits straight and with bare shoulders, then keep in mind that he is doing well with the cards

Control your own body

Watch yourself more than your opponent, because he also reads you. Control your emotions, try to breathe evenly, in case of fear, try to relax. Ideally, maintain control over every part of the body. This practice is very helpful. Just imagine that you are not a player, but only an observer. As if nothing is happening specifically with you. Beginners can use the help of a friend. Invite a friend to the game, and he will watch you himself and tell you later where you give yourself away and what you need to work on. 

For a more in-depth study of gestures and facial expressions in the world of poker, we recommend reading the following books:

  • The Body Language of Poker by Mike Caro
  • Your Worst Poker Enemy by Alan Schoonmaker
  • Your Best Poker Friend: Increase Your Mental Edge and Maximize Your Profits by Alan Schoonmaker
  • The Psychology of Poker by Alan Schoonmaker
  • Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo
  • Sign Language by Allan Pease

For those who love card games, the skill of recognizing thoughts with the help of body language will be extremely useful. However, it should be noted that in other areas of life, this knowledge will not be superfluous. In addition to reading the people around you, it is important to remember your own body behavior. Take control of your own body, and this will add to your self-confidence and protect you from prying eyes.