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Do not worry if a pit boss camps at your table. In many casinos this is the customary procedure at any table with big bets. The only problem with having a pit boss.assigned to your table is almost all dealer errors will be caught.

When a new pit boss comes to relieve the old one, the exiting pit boss generally tells the new one how much each player has bought in for. If you think they are talking about you, you are right, but fear not. The bosses keep track of how much you buy in for and how many chips you walk away with, but I have never seen the information put to any use except to decide whether to offer you a free meal.

Sometimes a boss will grab a handful of discards and examine them. Sometimes the backs will be examined, sometimes the fronts, and sometimes the sides. Generally the boss is looking for marks. Maybe s/he is checking to see if the cards have been used enough and should be replaced. It is rare that a pit boss will examine the discards to find the count.

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Take a Deep Breath

Breath is easier to control than most other physical displays. Most of the time, a heaving chest means a big hand, but this is just too easy to fake or control to put much stock in without some history on your player.

Tells are a fascinating subject, but as knowledge of common tells becomes more common, it becomes less useful. The information remains valuable against relative novices, but isn't particularly valuable against more experienced players without empirical and player-specific research.

Televised poker is going to make it much easier to pick up tells on players, because we're all going to get to see faces and hole card simultaneously. I can tell you from first-hand experience that players are working on sending false tells to TV audiences. When I knew prospective opponents might be studying videotapes of me, I made quite sure I included some meaningless repetitive motions.

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