Reading Poker Tells Video Series
Live poker training series from Zachary Elwood, author of the Reading Poker Tells trilogy of books, and consultant for two World Series of Poker Main Event final table players. This video series uses real poker footage from both cash games and tournaments. Currently there are 29 videos, for more than 9 hours of training content, and more will be added in future.
Watch the 3-minute trailer below.
Check out the blog for updates about the series.
“A researched look at human behavior… It looks like Elwood is basically the only person currently doing a lot of in-depth work on the subject at all.”
- Clare Fitzgerald, writing for Casino City Times (read full review)
“One of the first things you notice about Zach’s videos, and one of their strongest aspects, is that they focus as much on the psychology behind poker tells as they do on specific actions. After watching a few videos, you begin to feel confident that you’ll be able to guess what other actions mean… The information they contain is invaluable.”
- Alex Weldon, writing for PartTimePoker.com (read full review)
“Clear, compelling content. Elwood takes great care to go into not just “what to look for” but also the psychology behind the action. You won’t just gain a few tips and tricks – you’ll have a deeper understanding of a critical aspect of live play.”
- Bradley Chalupski, writing for CardPlayerLifestyle.com (read full review)
"I’ve been a $2-5 reg for 10 years. You go into so much detail on gestures and actions that I often see but hadn't focused much on. They stand out so much more now. Absolutely excellent videos!”
- Randy Schmitz, semi-pro player
Get the Videos
Both video packages below are lifetime memberships; they get you eternal access to all existing videos and all future videos, as both streaming and downloadable files. There are no recurring subscription charges.
Below is the organization and titles of the videos in the series. Most videos are between 10-18 minutes long. Videos are added over time. When the series was first released in 2015, there were only 13 videos; now there are 30.
- Early-Hand Non-Aggressor Category:
- • Ostentatious physical behaviors from non-aggressors
- • Card shuffling by non-aggressors
- • Early-hand laughing and smiling
- • Talking from early-hand non-aggressors
- • Immediate pre-flop calls
- • Immediately asking about bet amount
- • Long looks at hole cards
- Early-Hand Aggressor Category:
- • Talking from pre-flop raisers
- • Immediate pre-flop raises
- • Immediate continuation bets
- Late-Hand Non-Aggressor Category:
- • Eye contact from non-aggressors
- • Defensive hand and arm movements
- • Immediate post-flop calls
- • Verbal checks
- Late-Hand Aggressor Category:
- • Eye-related behavior when betting
- • Weak-hand statements when betting
- • Uncertainty and concern when betting
- • Physical hesitations when betting
- • Double-checking cards before large bet
- • Playing with chips when betting
- • Delay between announcing and placing bet
- • Stretched lips when betting
- • Shrugging behavior from bettors
- • Big bet smiles
- • Standing up after betting
- Assorted Analysis:
- • Jamie Gold analysis
- • Will Kassouf analysis
- • Charlie Carrel One Drop hand analysis
- • Analysis of heads-up match (2 hr Twitch recording)
...More to come...
Who Am I?
I'm Zachary Elwood, a former professional poker player and the author of Reading Poker Tells, Verbal Poker Tells, and Exploiting Poker Tells. Many players, both amateur and very experienced, have called Reading Poker Tells the best book on the subject.
I've written many articles for poker publications like Two Plus Two Magazine, Bluff Magazine, and PokerNews. I've also served as a poker behavior consultant for two World Series of Poker Main Event final tablists (also known as November Niners).
While I'm very proud of my books, I also recognize that video has certain strengths books just can't offer. Poker tells are such a dynamic and time-based thing; it's admittedly hard to write well and accurately about them. Plus, there are many people who say they learn better in the visual format. This is why I was excited to announce the release of this video series in mid-2015.
I've worked hard on these videos and am proud of them. I've spent a lot of hours logging and analyzing a bunch of footage to find good examples of behavioral patterns. I hope you enjoy the videos and would love to hear if they're useful in the games you play. I'll continue to work on adding to this library of content. (You can see the list of videos above to see when new videos have been added.)
Click on a question below to expand it and see the answer.
In my humble opinion, I think all poker players will get value from these videos. I’ve specifically created them in a way I hope will speak to all audiences: beginner-level players and experienced, professional-lever players.
For the more beginner-level players, the main value will come from being able to eliminate their own (sometimes obvious) tells. Becoming harder to read is more important for these players than is being able to read their opponents. This is because beginner-level players should be focused on strategic considerations. Focusing on reading tells is a mistake and a distraction for almost all beginners, mainly because they don’t really know what to do with the information even if they are able to notice something.
For poker players who have played a good amount but who aren’t yet at a professional-level, they will get value both from eliminating their own tells and spotting tells in opponents. These players will have a better idea of when it’s smart to let opponent behavior influence a decision and when to ignore it, so they will get more value from reading opponents.
For very experienced and professional-level players, a lot of the information in these videos will already be known. But I think that there may be value in making some of these concepts more concrete and conscious, as opposed to more unconscious and feel-based. And for players who play high stakes, even a small amount of information can mean a substantial increase in profit. Even if a high-stakes player gains only one new piece of valuable information from watching all of my videos, that one piece of information could easily be worth thousands of dollars over time.
For the reasons above, I can confidently say that I believe these videos provide value for all poker players, no matter experience-level or stake-level.
Most videos include at least five examples of real-game examples of the behavior in question, along with an explanation of why these behaviors can be valuable, and what factors might affect your interpretation of the behavior. Each video is about half of actual analysis of real hands, and about half a discussion about the reasons behind the pattern and the factors involved. You can get a good idea of the content from watching the trailer video at the top of this page.
The currently available videos are not intended to cover all poker tells, or even the most valuable poker tells. Instead, these videos have been created based on the footage that was available and the behaviors I’ve noticed as I’ve analyzed the footage. The completeness of the course will grow over time.
There is an organization to the course and a suggested viewing order. But really, the videos are meant to be standalone and can be watched in any order.
Almost all of the videos are between 10 and 18 minutes long, with most being around 13-15 minutes long. These videos are highly produced, meaning a lot of work has gone into making them concise. (There is also one 2-hour heads-up match analysis that is more informal.)
I use footage from the Windy City Poker Championships (WCPC), which are shot in Chicago and produced by Kirk Fallah of Fallah Productions.
WCPC holds both tournaments and cash games, and the footage I use is taken from both types of games. Tournament buy-ins range in size from $500 to $1,500. The cash game footage I’ve used is mostly from $1-2 and $2-5 NLHE. Almost all of the game footage is No-Limit Hold’em.
A note about the players featured in these videos: I am not in any way implying that the players used as examples are ‘bad players,’ nor am I even necessarily implying that the featured players have reliable poker tells. In many cases, footage was chosen because it was a good example of how a behavior typically shows up from average players, not because it was proven to be a reliable poker tell for that individual. It’s entirely possible for the players I featured to be behaviorally well-balanced over time. In other words, if you are featured in the video, please do not take offense.
Most of the concepts in these videos are admittedly covered in my books. The main value will be in seeing real-life situations and behaviors, which can be much more memorable and instructive compared to written descriptions. Also, many people say that they are primarily visual learners, so the videos help them a lot more than the books.
Also, using real situations gives me a chance to talk about the other factors present in a specific hand, and go into a lot of detail on one spot, and that can be valuable, and different from book-education.
Although a lot of the general concepts are the same as those in my books, there are some improvements in content. For one thing, my understanding of behavior has changed and improved over the last few years. (For example, the more time passes, the more problems I see with my first book, Reading Poker Tells, because I’m continually finding better ways to think about behavior and better ways to phrase things.) So there are some concepts in these videos that are different and more advanced than content in my first book. In some ways, I think these videos do a better job of tying together general patterns and other related behaviors.
One specific example of a difference: there is one video about a verbal tell that I didn’t put in my book Verbal Poker Tells. (It’s the one thing, in hindsight, that I would add to Verbal Poker Tells, and I may add it in a future edition.)
All my products come with a money-back guarantee. If you're not fully satisfied with the quality of the videos, just send me an email telling me so, and I'll send you a full reimbursement.