Rule Gathering information when people dont know theyre being watched

A certain percentage of our impressions about other people are gained by observing them when they don't think they're being watched - maybe even the majority of our impressions about them. If true, then we can use this -to silently communicate things about ourselves to other people. This approach might be described as: getting yourself in their line of vision, pretending not to notice that they are looking at you, and then conveying what you wish to convey.

Rule 149: People's facial expressions tend to be fairly consistent throughout life. They follow similar patterns and emotions. Rewind your memory back to how your opponents acted on previous occasions.

If you misplaced your car keys ten years ago, or stubbed your toe, or dropped a grocery bag, the look on your face was probably the same as it would be if these things happened today. If you receive some bad news today, your expression is probably going to be similar to the way you looked when you got bad news six months ago or six years ago. People's reactions remain fairly consistent throughout life.

The same is true in poker. The last time you saw a similar expression on an opponent's face, it was likely caused by a similar event. (How did they act when they had a good hand? How did they act when they were betting but had nothing at all?)

Facial expressions and body language have been forming for a lifetime. As many hours as we all spend at the poker table, our time away from it still greatly outweighs it. These emotions and reactions that have been forming for a lifetime are difficult to disguise completely.

Rule 150: Watch your own reactions to your cards.

Bad players have no idea that they are transparent to other, better players. When they get a good hand and erupt with happiness, they don't think this has any significance. They also think that the times when they don't do this doesn't tell the other players anything cither.

A player may think, «I have a lousy hand, and I'm getting ready to fold it anyway, so what difference does it make? Who cares if I shake my head in disgust? I'm going to pitch my cards in about ten seconds anyway, so what does it matter?» Well, it matters on subsequent hands when you don't do these things. The contrast is obvious to other players.

Rule 151: By nature, the way a good player is beating a bad player is invisible to the bad player.

This includes you and I as well - if we are up against world-class players. We can't see how they are doing it, anymore than terrible players who are playing against us can see how we're doing it.

Rule 152: If you have a monster hand, be hesitant and nervous about the possibility that you may play it wrong.

Be scared. Be slightly terrified that you won't get the most value (money) out of it. This may translate to the other players as doubt or nervousness about your hand. They may even interpret a bet here by you as an attempt to «push them out» and re-raise you.

Pick the times you get scared. Make this one of them. But again, don't overdo it. This isn't Broadway. Oscar-caliber acting is not what is called for, but do sit there and mull it over. The thing you are mulling over is how to get the most value out of the hand, and the thing you are scared to death about is the possibility of not doing it right.

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