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Poker Tells: Looking, Staring, Glancing and Exposing Card Tells

After weak is strong, strong is weak, betting, and various other acting tells, here are two more: looking tells and card exposure.

Stares and Glances

You know a player is feigning a look when it lasts long enough for you to notice. A "natural" look is just a stolen glance. A fake one is a blatant stare. An exception to this is when your opponent is staring at your chips to make sure you bet the right amount, or when they are calculating how much they might need to bet against you.

- An extended gaze at the flop, turn or river means a weak hand. They are feigning interest in the cards.

- Looking at one's hole cards for too long is a sign of weakness.

- When your opponent stares at you, they may be trying to look intimidating. They don't want you to bet. Note that if they look at you directly this is pretty reliable. If they look at your chips instead, they may just be checking you bet the right amount.

- When a player looks at their chips long enough to be noticed, they may be acting. They want you to think they are going to bet.

- A player who stares at their hand in the middle of another player's bet is most likely bluffing. They don't have to double-check (which only takes a moment), they want to be seen.

- When a player sees the flop and quickly looks away, chances are the flop helped their hand.

- When a player turns their head away from the action, but their eyes are set on you or the table, beware. They have a strong hand and are waiting to pounce on you.

Exposing Cards

Exposing cards is seldom accidental. The only time you can assume it is unintentional is if the player is new and clumsy. A seasoned player who shows you one or more of their cards is "telling" you something. They want you to believe their hand is the opposite of what they really are.

- If they show you a low-ranking card, they probably have a strong hand.

- If they show a high-ranking card, they probably have a weak hand. Again, weak is strong, strong is weak!

- On occasion, a player may show you "strong is strong, weak is weak" cards. But most of the time, this is not the case.