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Poker Tells: Card and Hand Tells

You will be holding and studying cards throughout every poker game. Card and hand tells are important sources of information for you.

Card Looking

When a player takes second look at their hole cards, it may be for any number of reasons.

- When a community card comes and they glance at their hole cards, they may be checking for a connection with the board.

- If a low card shows up in a community card or stud game, and a player double checks their hole, they are checking if they have that card. It is certain they have a low card there somewhere that they can't recall. But it is also likely they have much higher cards (and you may see this in a stud game if it's an up card), and that's the reason they forgot about the lower card until now.

- If suited cards appear on the flop and a player double-checks, they are checking if they have a card of that same suit. Most players recall only the ranks of their cards, not the suit, if they are mixed. They may know the color, but as there are two suits of each color, it can be hard to remember. What this poker tell reveals is the player does not have suited hole cards. If they did, they would remember the suit and not double-check. They cannot have a pair either since this is easy to memorize.

Showing Hands

- If a player, whilst playing, shows their hand to a non-playing companion, it is safe to assume they have a good hand. Nobody wants others to know they've been dealt poor cards.

- However if the companion seems to be very much "in" on the game, watch their movements. See if they are trying to put on a show to deceive you. If they know how poker is played, why would they give away a weak hand by sighing or a strong hand by cheering? If they feign a sigh, it must be a good hand. Then it would be an "act" and not a natural tell.

Protecting a Hand

Players are protective of good hands. They are less protective of poor hands. If a hand is good, they do not want it accidentally moved or exposed by another person. But if a hand is poor, who cares what happens to it?

- When a player protects their cards more than usual, it is an indication they have a worthy hand.