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Using Your Opponents’ Words Against Them

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People ask me questions about talking tells all the time. “While I was thinking about calling a big bet, my opponent kept saying, ‘You should fold.’ Should I have believed him or not?”

It’s a difficult question to answer because the meaning varies from player to player. Some players will say “You should fold,” when they want a call. Some will say it when they want a fold. And some will switch it up. I frequently just ignore statements like this one because the information isn’t reliable enough for me to act upon.

When in doubt, ignore anything that comes out of your opponents’ mouths. Don’t let it affect your decision-making. If you aren’t sure about what something means, and despite that you go ahead and use it to make your decision, you’ve been manipulated.

I’ve learned about a few things I can do or say that tend to make average players somewhat more likely to call on the end. When I say one of these things to a player, the last thing I want them to do is to ignore it. I want them to try to use my words against me, because most people do it wrong, and I end up getting more calls.

So if your opponent says something to you and you’re tempted to treat it like a puzzle and try to decode it, STOP! You’re being manipulated.

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4 Responses to “Using Your Opponents’ Words Against Them”

@ Sun Jun 08, 2008 01:44:07 PM

That’s amusing, last night we had two people at my table doing that every hand they were in, and nearly every time they ende up showing down the hand that they were asking. ie, “You got nines?” they had ‘em.

@ Sun Jun 08, 2008 07:44:34 PM

Ed>”So if your opponent says something to you and you’re tempted to treat it like a puzzle and try to decode it, STOP! You’re being manipulated.”

It’s a good thing for Jamie Gold that most of his WSOP opponents didn’t seem to understand this bit of wisdom… :)

@ Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:22:56 AM

Ed, how many times do you plan on posting this? Are you looking for a high five on your super-read?

@ Fri Jun 13, 2008 07:48:38 PM

this is so true. i lost a huge pot last time i was in vegas bc the guy kept talking and i had always heard that meant nervous. i wish i had just folded. he kept saying, “you have an overpair, don’t you? just fold.” i did indeed have an overpair. i didn’t fold and got v. expensive lesson about talking and what that means.

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