"Tells" are known as giveaway signals of body language which indicate the value of a player's concealed cards. Tell-play is an outgrowth of the science of kinesics. If a player can read the body language of his opponents with even a small degree of accuracy he will gain a useful advantage. Tell-play is a science which was pioneered by players of online poker games, where it has proved very effective. It has also been recently used with devastating effect at the online blackjack games tables. The two classics on this science are Mike Caro's website of Tells-The Body Language of online poker games and Steve Forte's work on online blackjack games, Read the Dealer. While no publication specifically on tell-play in chemin de fer exists, the methods described in these works are easily applicable and translatable to this games. Tells are particularly useful against amateur players. A tell does not have to be accurate 100 percent of the time to be of value, just more often than not.

Typical tells are lip-sucking and biting, pupil dilation, and an overly confident posture, indicating the player holds a favorable hand. A hand over the mouth indicates an attempt to deceive. Folded arms are a defensive gesture, suggesting the player is "protecting" a poor total.

Regular Bicycles and Bees are usually better than thematic decks. Make sure to buy fresh ones for every poker night. It is protocol to keep the decks in their plastic wrappers until the game starts. Have a few spare decks on hand for your game in case a card gets creased or someone spills a drink-a virtual certainty if you use those stupid drink holders.
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