One can give a false image of themselves by various ways, such as pretending to be careless or unfocussed, or otherwise appearing overly meticulous to intimidate new players. This could be using the way one is sitting, or their facial expression or language, etc.

Also sometimes even losing some low value hands and appearing distressed just to give a false impression of one's playing strategy.

So are there like some common or long-drawn strategies that can be used to fool players and use tactics that go beyond just the choices made on the table.

  • 1
    I love the topic of tells, This question however is way to vague and will not get good answers. To really answer it would require a book. (Book of Tells by Mike Caro is suggested). Try again, ask something more narrow, like what does it mean when a player glances at their chips. Any tell you understand gives you a new tool, to pick up tells as well as to give misleading tells. There are many and specific tells make for a decent Q&A.
    – Jon
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 19:14

3 Answers 3


In Supersystem, Doyle suggests playing pretty crazily for the first buyin of a session, to set an image at the table. I quote "The first impression is a lasting impression." Then, upon inevitably losing that first 1000 or whatever, re-buy and play tighter.

Another way to create an image is just playing super-tight for a long time at first. Phil Laak is good at that, and Jesus Ferguson, Barry Greenstein, et al...many of the old school pros probably do that at times...if you have the patience to fold for an hour or two before running a bluff, the table will usually give you credit.

I guess the real trick is to still get enough action to make all that folding worthwhile, eh?

The beauty of Doyle's method, especially as utilitized by people like Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Patrick Antonius, etc. is that when you do get a monster you will usually get paid off handsomely. Doyle isn't known as the "Big Poppa" just cuz he's big and a poppa...he loves to shove, and people seem to pay him off quite a bit too...he might be on to something..


I don't like to give up trade secrets but since I will never play any of you here is a tip.

People are really emotional particularly men. Chat up the table and find what irks your opponent and exploit it. I have made a fortune off Donald Trump supporters as they are easily identified and pissed off very easily (just use facts or talk about how great Mexico is and immigrants are)

This is totally an 'evil' strategy but honey I got bills.


Few holds barred. I played at one club for 18 months and nobody recognized me from one time to the next because I would not play every day and completely change my appearance the once a month I would go. After making a small fortune at this place one of the regulars that I had repeatedly felted over the previous year told me I reminded him of someone else that busted him awhile back...and I admitted it was me,...again...and we had a good laugh. I told him it was the Old Saturday Night Live "pizza guy" strategy where the shark knocks on the door claiming to be "the pizza guy", "the phone company", "the water company" until the door opened and the shark ate the person that opened the door.

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