Smell a Bluff?

Forbes magazine has an interesting article on how to sniff out a liar.  Read more here.

The Bat thinks there are some good tips for poker players probing a guy the Bat suspects is on a bluff:

Liars don’t gesticulate as much.  Got a verbose, New Yawker type at your table who won’t shut up and his arms flail with every story.  He puts a big bet into you.  Then when on a bluff you ask him a question and he’s less animated.  Beware he might be on the bluff.

If the answers are short and curt he may be on a bluff.  This is a toughie to implement because it’s not like you are going to ask the guy to tell you his life story while you are deciding whether to call or raise.

Liars use phrases like “To be honest with you” or “To tell you the truth” more often than truth tellers.  Funny, because both statements imply that they don’t always tell the truth if you really break them down.  They also give indirect answers to questions, and repeat and or ask you to repeat the question (perhaps a stall tactic to compose their lie) with far more frequency then truth tellers (though the poor guy could be hard of hearing too). 

You put a guy on a bluff and he repeats your question before answering it… You may well be right.

Liars are also less cooperative and guarded.  You feel like somebody is on the defensive he might have something to hide.  They might be fidgety or uncomfortable, wayward eyes, deeper breathing, or a higher vocal pitch.  They don’t feel as comfortable meeting your gaze.

The Bat recommends you ask questions and probe for reactions.  If the bettor looks cool as a cucumber and can carry on a conversation, he probably has the hand.  As Caro has said, a guy with the nuts can answer any question you direct at him, a guy on a bluff can’t tell you what he did five minutes ago. 

Alright that’s enough of the poker school for the Bat today.

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