It doesn’t matter if you’re playing a high-stakes game at the casino or a friendly round of Texas Hold ’em with your crew – after the last hand has been played, you want your corner to be stacked with more chips than you started with. Master the subtle art of the perfect poker face and fake your way to winning with these tips from Annie Duke, a World Series of Poker champion, and Joe Navarro, a former FBI non-verbal communication expert (and bluffing coach to the pros).
By MH Staff - Posted on 14th October 2013
Fake your way to winning every hand
1 Mask your tells
Your grinning mouth and fidgety hands are liabilities. Use “the perch” to remain inscrutable: place your elbows shoulder-width apart on the table. Make a fist with one hand, wrap your other hand around it, and then rest your chin and mouth on both hands. Strike this pose anytime you have a live hand.
2 Be subtle
Faking confidence? Sit up slightly, give a quick eyebrow arch, and then settle back down. Want to embolden foes? Touch your neck with your index finger and pull your shirt out a bit. Then follow with a correction, as if you caught yourself revealing too much. It’ll throw your opponent off the scent.
3 Time your attack
If you bluff with a weak hand, your opponents will quickly catch on. But if you bluff when it’s strong, you’ll scare off big bets. The best time to ham it up is on a draw, when you’re one card shy of a straight or flush. Do it well and the bluff will look identical to the natural ease you’d have with a strong hand.
4 Do the maths
The greater the number of players at the table, the worse your odds of holding the best hand. So until you become the Daniel Day-Lewis of method bluffing, take note of the head count. If it’s higher than three (yourself included), play it straight. Hold your fakery until you’re down to two opponents.