Body language in Poker Games – How to Read Different Body Language in Game

Body language in Poker Games

A major part of poker has always been about observing your opponents and trying to guess their expressions. Any experienced, professional poker player can pick up on the ‘tells’ or body language of their competitors. In poker, a ‘tell’ means an involuntary physical indicator that exposes the true feelings of the player about his hand of cards. However, there is hardly any universal guide on this subject as two players showing the same tell may tend to convey different meanings. 

Expert poker professionals have trained eyes to pick up on what the tells of each of their competitors may be. They observe the behavior of the individuals outside the poker table to deduce how they will react to intense situations. For example, an excited guy will, by default, expose his excitement somehow if he gets a good hand at the poker table. However, a player with passive expressions throughout the game means he has a few matches under his belt. This article will give you a cursory understanding of how to read the more obvious body language of your competitors during a poker match. 

How to read body language in poker?

weaker cards even if you know to play them right. It depends on how much you can read into other players to predict their cards before you play yours. Knowing how to discover your competitor’s tells and read into their behavior can drastically increase the odds in your favor. Here are some generic body language signs you can observe to discover what the other participants may be hiding up their sleeves:

1. Eyes

The eyes happen to be the most important feature to observe when you are trying to discover someone’s true feelings. Thus, it is hardly surprising that many professionals tend to conceal their eyes by wearing shades at the game. Try to observe their pupils and if they dilute, know they are trying to hide something. By all means, they may be are going to bluff or are concealing a strong hand. Also, notice their gaze and where they are looking. If they happen to check their turn card and immediately glance at your stack, they might have strong cards and are counting their winnings. 

2. Mouth

Another body language to look out in Poker. Some professional poker players are of the opinion that the mouth reveals more than the eyes. If a player is biting their lips, they are tensed or nervous, in all probability. Try to observe them outside the casino set to check whether they do so even in normal circumstances or if it is just a habit. Another very important thing to observe is the twitches. It takes mighty effort and practice to conceal our thoughts, and many amateur players, and even professional ones, tend to be vulnerable for that one fraction of a second. You need a lot of practice to catch these twitches, but once you do, you have almost certainly gained the upper hand. 

3. Hands

Check the hands of your opponents to see whether they are hiding it under the table or constantly moving them. In both cases, they are extremely tense or nervous, and their hands reveal those emotions. Also, check for the constant running of the fingers through the hair and cracking knuckles. Fidgeting, pulling at the sleeves, or constantly drumming the fingers are other common signs of nervous energy. If they are continually keeping their hands below the table, they have a stress ball in all probability! You can sure take the advantage of the nervous wreck and aim for the win.

4. Voice

Most professionals tend to remain silent throughout the game. In all fairness, poker does not require a lot of words. You can play the game with the throwing of chips and simple gestures. However, some nervous players try to chat with their opponents to reduce the pressure of the situation. Check for constant nervous chattiness, shaky voice, and awkward pauses to determine their mental state. However, be wary of some professionals who talk down their opponents to win the game. 


Poker is a game that concerns a whole lot of nerves and how you tackle tense situations. Besides learning strategies, you also need to pick up body language reading tips to stay expressionless during the game. A passive and blank face can take you close to winning. However, it requires hours of practicing before the mirror and learning to pick up subtle tells of others.

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