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Reading Poker Tells Paperback – April 1, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Zachary Elwood is a former professional poker player.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Via Regia (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984033300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984033300
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As someone who enjoys reading (and collecting) poker books as much as playing poker, I have read almost every important poker book ever written. Occasionally a new book is published that changes the game. Over the last 15 years there have been about 10 such books. Interestingly, the books published in the area of poker tells have been marginal at best. Some poker tell books have been very basic, very general, and sometime just plain incorrect. Zach Elwood's book, Reading Poker Tells, is the first major contribution to the subject since Caro's book, which has been showing its age for several years now. I consider Navarro's book a solid contribution with some helpful material, but fraught with many problems not worth outlining in this review. Given the high price of some new strategy books, I'm frankly surprised this material is being given away for $20.

Reading Poker Tells gives a lot of well-deserved credit to Caro's original work, but adds important structure and many new observations. Many of these observations are known by serious players, but have never been printed. The structure of the book is divided into three main categories: waiting-for-action tells, during-action tells, and post-bet tells. One great insight in the book is that traditional tells can mean different things in different contexts (even from the same player). As I read the book there were a few times I was struck with horror realizing that I do some of the very things that Elwood outlines. As a fairly experienced player I was always aware of "Caro tells," but there is a new generation of tells that good players have figured out. This book exposes many of them. Just as the books written by Brunson, Sklansky, Harrington, Miller, and others made the game tougher, this book will do the same.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have several psychology books relating to poker tells in different degrees (including Caro's). They're all useful, but it's still up to you to apply in different situations. You still have to make the right applications here too, BUT this book is more focused on how to use tells in specific ways while playing. Well articulated and organized. Plus, Elwood gets into even more detail online using videos and real world situations. I've not purchased any poker books for quite awhile (I have over 30), but I'm glad I got this one. No, it's not rocket science, but for me a useful tool.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
if you are new to the game the material in here is accurate and will help you a good amount in live cash games.

If you are a veteran, like I am, and have read Caro's book, Navarro's book, and other tells book this covers much of what they discuss. But the do have some extra tells that are worth getting the book for. I have been playing 11 years and I do very well for myself and I confirmed a few tells I intuitively knew to be correct but never really thought about it directly. The new information paid for the book the next day interestingly enough.

The only thing I did not like is that there didn't seem to be a consistent pattern and general analysis as to why these tells are the way they are. I had no problem with it because I have been studying behavior science for a long time as a hobby. But some newer players might have to memorize these tells until they pick up a book on basic body language.

I do disagree with analysis of micro tells in Navarro's book. But perhaps the author is as acute as I am to them. He does mention he is not a study of psychology.

Overall a good book for anyone.

Angy's Husband.
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Format: Paperback
As a tournament poker player I believe one of my key strengths is reading poker tells. In fact, I used my reading ability of opponents to win over $100,000 at the WSOP Main Event in 2011.

I just finished reading this book and I am very impressed. I have read Caro and Navarro, as I consider them the best in the business. But, Elwood has provided a more practical way to identify strength and weakness in your opponents. He does this by breaking up tells into 3 key sections, and labeling them either as a sign of strength or weakness. These 3 areas are:
Waiting for action tells
During action tells
Post bet tells

And, the examples in each section are excellent! Because the examples are things that you will recognize from your opponents (or done by you) and perhaps you weren't sure how to interpret them. It is also simple to understand the reasoning for your opponents actions when you read this book.

There are also sections on Verbal tells and Deception.

Overall, this is a real world, practical guide to reading poker tells. I recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book helped me learn to give reverse tells. I utilize the techniques all the time at giving reverse tells. However, sometimes very hard to distinguish what others are doing. People all have their idiosyncrasies, so impossible to apply to even half the players at the table. Sometimes works great, but I have used better to reduce my tells or give ridiculous false tells to induce whatever it is I want the opponent to respond with.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been playing about 4 years and am pretty good at reading people. A lot of the tells in the book I knew but it helps to reemphasize them so you know to look for these things. I play a lot of live poker and if youre knew to live poker this is a must. Its good even if you're not new. I've read most of the tells books out there including the one written by Navarro and Helmuth (of course Caros as well) and those are a joke compared to this book. This book gives REAL LIFE tells that I see all the time in low stakes. Those other books mention stuff like someone leaning in more or hands closer inwards equals strength which are rediculous; I never see that in a live game. Or if someone starts shaking their leg. How often to you see that? Um never. This book talks abotu how quick someone acts or stares at you etc. THESE are things that are real tells you see every day. Very Good Book.
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