Poker Tells

“A TELL  in poker is a change in a player’s behavior or demeanor that is claimed by some to give clues to that player’s assessment of their hand. A player gains an advantage if they observe and understand the meaning of another player’s tell, particularly if the Tell is unconscious and reliable.” Ohh. That’s a good one. I don’t play much poker, but let me TELL you, I have some “Tells”. My Tells won’t tell you about the hand I have been dealt, but they will tell you how I am handling that hand.  How I am responding to it. When I looked on a poker website, they gave some examples of some common Tells. It uncanny how closely they coincide with the Tells I display when my life gets tense, such as in a high stakes poker game. If you notice, the last part of the above explanation of a Tell, is that often the Tell is “unconscious”. I have a few Tells that go unnoticed, for a while,  but eventually I recognize them and I realize that I need to pause, assess the situation,  and sometimes call in reinforcements or form a plan of action. Sometimes I think I am handling a situation well because I don’t FEEL worried or bothered by it. However, I’ve realized that those are not always the indicators that alert me to unhealthy insides. So, here are some of my TELLS. Maybe you can identify with some of them.

Not taking care of myself physically: when I skip working out or eat poorly, I know that there is something out of whack in my spirit. Maybe my mind is preoccupied with someone else’s business and I am not minding my own. I think it’s funny that 2 of the 10 common Tells in poker have to do with “stacking chips” or “glancing at chips.” I do that! Mine are edible, but “chips” are definitely a part of my Tell too!

Anxiety is another common Tell in poker and is one I exhibit when I don’t like my “hand”. I can’t always put my finger on a specific event or person at the root of my anxiety, but it’s a waving red flag when I seem to have general anxiety about everything. It means I am out of step with God and trying to control the uncontrollable.

Weak is strong/Strong is weak. Wow. Is that ever true. When I am humble (weak) and gentle, I am a strong (confident) woman. When I am strong (in this case, “puffed up” with EGO-pretending to be the one who knows it all), I am weak (and in this case, weak means insecure, doubtful, afraid.) I can check my heart by asking myself which of these is present in me.

Lastly, the Tell I identify with is that of Attitude/Body Posture. Just like in a poker game, players can read someone’s hand by obvious attitude or body posture changes. When everything seems to make me angry or I see only the negative side to people and circumstances that present themselves to me, I know I have lost my trust in God and HIS will for me. When my attitude, well, sucks (sorry for using that word, mom), I know that I have ceased letting God run my life and am trying to arrange life to suit my own wants and desires.

It’s helpful for me to remember that I have these Tells. I can “gain an advantage if I pay attention to the meaning of “MY OWN’ Tells. Maybe I will learn how to actually win with the hand I have been dealt.

(And you can’t really talk about gambling without mentioning that above all, it is imperative to remember that “you got to know when to hold em’, know when to fold em’…you can fill in the rest if you are a nerd like me and listen to Kenny Rogers)

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