primary gaming family on the Internet is the rec.gambling
newsgroup. Every August, members of rec.gambling descend
on Las Vegas for the annual Big August Rec.Gambling
Excursion, or BARGE.
members are clearly computer literate and generally
knowledgeable in the field of Online Blackjack Games.
Many of them discuss the topic electronically on a
daily basis. A sizable percentage of them are card
become an unwritten ritual for a group of BARGErs
to converge at a casino of choice for a traditional
mass-barring. The mass-barring is typically a nonprofit
event in which the intent is to get kicked out as
quickly as possible, hoping to make a big scene for
the gang in the process.
BARGE '95, a group of us headed over to one of the
smaller casinos on the Strip. Several BARGErs scattered
to different tables, while some chose to enjoy the
action from a vantage point at the bar. Our group
found a $5 table with a lone player at 2nd base. Paul
took 1 st base, and Ubalanced Kid sat down next to
him. Monte found an opening on the other side of the
table at 3rd base. With two drinks in hand, Monte
immediately clamored for a double vodka-something-or
other. We all cashed in for chips and started to play,
betting $5 each.
boss asked Monte if he would like to he rated, and
Monte inaugurated the affair with the witty, if predictable,
reply, "No, I really don't want a Big Mac for
dinner." (At the time, the casino had a McDonald's
|Tells are Physical
seem glamorous and like real inside secrets, so players
spend a lot of time looking for them. Every once in
a while, that study pays off. Although world class
players rarely display the more common tells, almost
any action, sound, or motion (or the lack thereof)
can be a tell if you use it in only certain situations.
World-class players tend to learn how to avoid them,
but they still happen and when they do, players guard
the secrets like gold. You don't even tell your friends.
I have a tell on a very famous player and he has a
very hard time with me, even though he's a better
player in the abstract. I usually know when he has
a strong hand, and so would rather see him at my table
than someone with a tenth of his talent. If you have
consistent trouble with someone, especially if he's
someone you can't ever bluff successfully and/or can't
get to "pay you off' when you have a big hand,
there's a good chance he has a tell on you.
There is another class of clues that are easier to
find and more reliable than tells: betting patterns.
They're more reliable because they are based on logic
and to avoid logic a player must make mistakes earlier
in a hand.