An underlying rule to many tells is: Weak means strong, strong means weak. Basically, what this means is that players who hold weak poker hands attempt to convince other players at the table that they are strong: staring down an opponent, throwing chips down forcefully into the pot in an effort to discourage others from calling. On the other hand, players who hold strong hands tend to try to disguise their hand as being weak. They attempt to fly under the radar by being a passive player at the table: not making direct eye contact, softly tossing the chips in, friendly and talkative. They're deliberately trying not to come across as intimidating, so as to entice a call.
Examples of other well known tells include:
The movie Rounders contains an even more subtle use of strategy: at one point, Mike discovers that his opponent changes the way he eats a cookie after betting an especially strong hand, and after using that knowledge once, Mike reveals to the opponent that he has discovered this tell. Mike's tactic works: although his revelation eliminates the usefulness of the tell itself, it upsets his opponent so much that it disrupts his subsequent play (q.v. tilt).
A popular reference to poker tells also appeared in the episode "Casino Night" of the US TV-series The Office: Dwight believes that Jim coughs every time he has a strong hand, but Jim really coughs only to make Dwight fold, because Jim knows that Dwight believes that coughing is Jim's tell.
In the M*A*S*H sixth-season episode "The Merchant of Korea," Hawkeye and B.J. lure Winchester, a beginner at poker, into a game with the intention of taking advantage of his inexperience. Winchester instead has an amazing lucky streak, until the other players realize that his incessant whistling (of a passage from Verdi's "La Traviata") grows louder when he is holding a weak hand and bluffing. Using this knowledge, the other players proceed to win back all of their money, and more.
One plot turn in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale hinges on Bond's belief that terrorist financer Le Chiffre must hide an eye twitch when he bluffs. However, until later on, Bond is unaware that Menthis, his so called ally has informed Le Chiffre that Bond knows his tell and uses it against Bond to call an all-in bet.
Chips down, snack makers play tough hand: as the snack food war heats up, pricing and advertising battles between the national brands may make regional brands the big winners. (News and Trends)
Oct 01, 1991; Chips down, snack makers play tough hand With a 40.6% share of the salty snack market, according to Information Resources Inc.,...