Poker tell video: Blowing smoke

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Mike Caro poker-tell video
Blowing smoke

▼ TYPE  Poker tell       ▼ TIME  1 minute, 39 seconds
Video notes

I don’t smoke cigarettes, but I was never especially upset by other players at the poker table smoking them. My tolerance doesn’t stem from a belief that it’s healthy for me, but rather from the knowledge that smokers provide some of the most powerful tells in poker.

Today, most cardrooms are smoke free, but some aren’t. And you’ll still encounter smokers in many private games. If you find yourself in such a game, here’s a very powerful video that translate to a lot of extra profit.

Bonus notes

The Laws of Tells at the end of many of these videos are extra information and don’t always apply to the preceding tell.

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Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

4 thoughts on “Poker tell video: Blowing smoke”

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  1. I thought you usually wrote that “strong means weak and weak means strong”? In the first example he is acting strong and relaxed and it’s just the opposite in the second example.

    1. Hi, Jim —

      Thanks for your comment. You are partially right in that the player isn’t acting sad or conveying entry-level weakness when he bets with the strong hand.

      But the player depicted is acting consistently with the theory of tells. In the first case, he is animated and holds a winning hand. He is trying to encourage a call by creating doubt and confusion.

      But in the second, he is hardly breathing and not moving much. That’s consistent with players who are bluffing. They fear that any action they take will make you suspicious and cause you to call. At the same time, this post-bluff action is intended to seem threatening, as if the player isn’t concerned about being called — but simultaneously not encouraging one.

      These traits are explained in other tells and laws of tells that you’ll find at Poker1. Here, the player is trying to convey weakness by being over-talkative with the good hand, generating doubt. In the second instance, he is trying to convey strength by not appearing worried when bluffing.

      It’s important to try to get inside the brain of the bettor. Recreate the words and motions in your own mind. What is being conveyed? What does he want? With practice, the truth will often become clear.

      Straight Flushes,
      Mike Caro

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