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Sports & Gaming

Spotting Tells, Part 1

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 11:20 min

Daniel teaches his exact process for determining if a player is bluffing and reveals the physical tells he’s spotted in opponents that have made him the most cash.

Daniel Negreanu
Teaches Poker
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You know during this section, I'm trying to show you examples that are extreme, but you have to understand that they're going to be a lot more subtle when you actually play at the table. But when you start to learn what it is that you want to look for, it will become easier and easier to spot those subtle tells. In addition to that, at the lower limits, players have much more pronounced tells. And as you get higher, people learn to mask them better. So as a general rule, when we're looking for tells, essentially what we're looking for is behavior that is different than the norm, right? So another good example of this, and this one's pretty accurate for the most part, and I remember when we're talking about this, there are no absolutes, right? You know, some people may use this kind of stuff to fool you if they think they can throw you off something. But one of the ones that I've found to be most accurate, is imagine you're playing against the player who typically, you know, they don't really look at you. You know, they kind look of look at their chips, they check, they bet. And then all of a sudden on the turn they check and the action is on you, and all of a sudden they're like-- their body language is, like, forward, they're looking at you, like, giving you the, you know, the mean mug look. What would you think that would mean if you were to gauge what that is likely to mean? So normally he doesn't look at you, now he's checked the river, and he's staring at you like he wants to eat you. Well, typically in this spot they're trying to send this glare, this message of strength when it's actually quite the opposite. They're looking at you trying to show this moment of strength when they really don't want you to bet because their hand's weak. So if you are in a situation on the turn where you're not sure if you should check or bet, and all of a sudden the player stares you down like that, you can rest assured that more often than not he's folding. If you've played in a poker room pretty much anywhere in this country or the world, you're going to hear the sound of crickets. You're going to hear, as people are talking and playing, chips shuffling. It's pretty common for most poker players to fidget in this way. And you can actually glean a lot of information based on how people are shuffling their chips in key situations. For example, you only watching the chips shuffle and all of a sudden say for example, you notice that after a big bet, the chip shuffler all of a sudden freezes and stops. OK, they may be doing this consciously, and they may do this every single time. But again, you want to look for that because it could mean that they're uncomfortable and they're not trying to bring attention to themselves. So they notice that they were shuffling chips and they stop. A much more subtle and effective thing to look for, because this is one that can be controlled. People, you know, stopping their shuffle is something they're doing co...

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Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I should have done this one before I did the other poker class. (My familiarity was that poor.) Far more comfortable if I find I "have to" play a few hands.

Thank you Daniel for sharing your poker experience and your kindness. I had a great week listening to and analyzing your comments. Merci beaucoup. Je vous souhaite une excellent santé

Thanks Daniel to teaching us all the dimensions of poker and taking us through your journey!

Daniel greatly teaches the basics and some advanced principles of Poker in an easy to understand format


Roger W.

I look long enough to remember exactly what I have , I say to my self ace of diamons ,and king of spades ,or eight of diamonds and ten of diamonds.


Great lesson. I play against a lot who like to play with their chips. Never paid attention to it. Always thought they were showing off. Will also start to study the eyes.

Michael U.

people looking at their chips when the flop hits is the number one tell...when they like the flop they look at the chips... when they miss the flop the keep staring at the flop because they are trying to figure out if they are going to C-bet the board or just check it.

A fellow student

I think that just like ICM model it is imortant to be aware of the level of the tourn or cash game u play when making out tells. I always try to obtain as much info fr players i know or anticipate having issues with. U can't remember every single person u play withs tells.

Leslie M.

Daniel is super interesting to listen to and watch. Really good information here.


Betting Patterns can also be a tell sometimes. It is very difficult either way and many times the more accomplished players don't like to fold and would rather remain sticky with marginal valued hands unless a player really comes over the top.

Luck W.

Likes the lessons. Gives a perfect overview up to now. At the moment I am playing just online, but if I am in a live game I will watch the video again.

Patrick Z.

Not bad,and yet not so advanced, it's info that can b found in books no wow factor for me here, just a smile :)

Ahmad K.

Holy smokes Daniel is the devil in disguise haha! It's amazing how much detail he looks for in his opponents. He was destined to be a live player. There are very subtle ways to pick up tells in online poker aswell!

Troy R.

Loved this part. Unfortunately, you can only go so far with a training series like this, but as a player, I feel like I have subtle tells that others are picking up on and I can't distinguish them. I have started playing with a hoody and sunglasses (Phil Laak look alike :) . Anyway, it seems to have helped but I'd like to get to a point where those aren't needed. Guess I am going to have to work on this on my own some more at the tables.