Calling a Bluff: Is It All in the Arms?

The Huffington Post:

In a recent Radiolab interview, Duke talked about how she weighs risk and certainty and doubt in deciding to hold or fold. It’s largely math, but not the straightforward odds of drawing to an inside straight. She computes odds and acceptable losses over long periods of time. Surprisingly, she said, she gets very little help from other players’ “tells” — the inadvertent facial expressions that give away emotions and intentions. Pros are very good at “disappearing” into the well-known “poker face.”

We all know the expression “poker face” because the face is where we expect to find meaningful information. But what if poker players are looking in the wrong place? New research out of Stanford University now suggests that poker players’ arm movements may betray the strength of the hands they are holding, even when their faces remain expressionless. What’s more, it appears that even non-players can detect these motion “tells” in professional card players.

And that’s just what he found. As described in a forthcoming article in the journal Psychological Science, both judgments — player confidence and smooth arm movement — were strong indicators of the quality of players’ cards.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology.

Leave a comment below and continue the conversation.

Comments

Leave a comment.

Comments go live after a short delay. Thank you for contributing.

(required)

(required)