News Study Reveal’s more about Poker Tells


05/17/2013
By Maria McCoyGoogle
Stanford University has been using its well-renowned faculty of phycology to determine what it is that helps the pro players make the incredible decisions they make while playing live poker.

The results of the research proved that poker players with stronger hands tended not to give off facial indications. Rather, it was their arm and hand movement that showed a positive correlation between the hand strength and the way they bet. This is a huge revelation, and it means that the old poker tell books stating facial movements as a useful tell may be coming down from the shelves in the bookstores.

Also, with the poker stare down as one of the number one techniques apparently used by pros and other players at the tables, now it seems that this method is also looking redundant if we go by the studies latest upshot for the poker world.

A hypothesis was set-out to prove whether or not poker reads come from facial expressions or from another part of the human body. In fact the hypothesis was set out originally to prove it was facial expressions that give live players the edge by understanding why their opponents bet the way they do. “Poker players give of signals about the strength of their hand through facial expressions”.



Three groups of researchers set-out to study players who were participating in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event. Using video footage taken from the event one group was to study the movement of the body, the second group has video’s cut down so they could just see the facial movements, and the final group of researchers could only see hand and arm movements. All three groups could see the player’s hands and had to rate these hands using a numerical scale of one to seven.

Once the study was complete it was not the hypothesis that was proved and rather the null hypothesis. The outcome provided that there negative correlation in two of the groups. However, in the group studying hand and arm movement there was a positive correlation between the way the player bet the hand using arm and hand tells according to the strength of the hand. Just to confirm this, the researchers undertook the study a second time, which on this occasion came out with exactly the same result.

On the third time around the groups then studied smoothness and confidence of the players using their arm and hand movements on all videos to prove that pressure and anxiety was the reason some players gave away tells using their hand and arm movement. The results came out with a positive correlation once again between the two subject areas. Players who are confident tend to bet with more smoothness.

This will come as a massive shock to those who keep their eye out for facial movements to get their tells. On the other hand but for those who already knew, this is not good news as now the new poker tell study is public knowledge! 

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