Reading Poker Tells - Zachary Elwood

Since poker first appeared, tells have been a key part of the game. Nowadays this applies more than ever, as many players who learn the game online try to make the transition to live play. Often these players will have a solid grasp of the fundamentals, so it is their unconscious tells which may give you an edge. In his book "Reading Poker Tells", Zachary Elwood introduces you to different poker tells, what they commonly mean and how they can increase your bottom line.

Elwood starts off by describing the importance of poker tells. He acknowledges that often the situation is disregarded in their explanation and how some tell mean strength in one spot while they can also mean weakness in another . He points out how previously resources teaching tell reading have had little or no structure to them and lays out his own framework for teaching them in this book. This consists of placing strong and weak tells into three situational categories - waiting for action tells, during action tells and post action tells. Elwood then looks at some general verbal tells and common ways players often try to deceive others or gain information. He then finishes by countering the arguments other authors have used for not focusing on tells.

Throughout "Reading Poker Tells" Elwood reminds you that tells should be used alongside solid poker strategy in order to be effective, and simply relying on them alone will not make you a winning player. He admits that certain tells can be unreliable, especially with particular types of opponents and often suspected tells need to be verified by observing opponent’s hands. Because of this, and due to the large amount of potential tells covered, it is refreshing to read the author advising you to disregard certain tells if the spots are not right or the effort to find that tell is simply not worth it.

Since its release this book has been hailed as a great resource for players who want to gain an advantage in live games. This is likely because of the framework Elwood applies, something which had been lacking in previous tell books. The writing and explanations are clear although they can appear dry at times, reading more like a text book, and will likely find yourself making notes and highlighting sections. However if you often play in live poker games, or are looking to transition from online, you should check out "Reading Poker Tells" to add these important skills to your arsenal.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5