November 4th, 2011How To Bluff Like a Pro in Vegas
We have previously written about how to read other poker players and determine the strength of their hand by using various Social Engineering techniques. In this article we will discuss ways to use Social Engineering to trick and deceive the other players to give yourself an advantage on the table.
Poker is a unique game at a Casino. Unlike every other game in the Casino, in poker, you are playing against the other players as opposed to playing against the house like in Black Jack, Craps, Roulette, etc. As you analyze the game and really understand poker, you quickly realize that it’s not a card game, it’s a people game.
Here are some famous quotes from Poker players, professional and amateur:
“If, after the first twenty minutes, you don’t know who the sucker at the table is, it’s you.” ~David Levien and Brian Koppelman, Rounders
“The commonest mistake in history is underestimating your opponent; it happens at the poker table all the time.” ~David Shoup
“In a game of poker, I can put the players’ souls in my pocket.” ~Beausourire
“Poker is… a fascinating, wonderful, intricate adventure on the high seas of human nature.” ~David A. Daniel
Great poker players know and understand that poker, while played using cards, is essentially war of the psyches. While you are actively studying your opponents, your opponents are also actively studying you. Knowing that you have their utmost and undivided attention, what can you do to mislead them?
This is where our nonverbal communication comes in. Think of this, you are sitting at the park with your kids and as you look across the park to see a young girl eating an ice cream cone. She looks like this:
Does she like the ice cream or hate it?
Or if she looked like this?
We can tell a lot about a person by the way their nonverbal communication portrays their emotions. So why not use this in the casino, how?
When a poker player at a table has a good hand, are there “tells” that they have to indicate they have a good hand? If the player has a bad hand, what are the tells? Often rookie players will subconsciously give immediate tells when a certain action happens on the table such as a flop. Often happiness or sadness is conveyed by nonverbal communications. An experienced poker player will be watching his opponent for these nonverbal “tells”, watching for the emotions that sneak out unintentionally.
This is were your social engineering skills can come in handy. Knowing that the experienced players will be watching you, plant subtle tells when you have a bad hand. Bid, then lose. If you do this one or two times, then when you have a great hand be careful! Show those same nonverbal tells that indicate a bad hand. If you are successful the players will assume you have a bad hand and gladly bet all their money against you.
A good Social Engineer can fabricate these micro expressions and forge the immediate response. Fake a subconscious sadness when you’ve got four of a kind and see how far you can string your opponent along for.
Poker can get extremely intense with layers upon layers of persuasion techniques and bluffs designed to obfuscate the reality of your hand. Rookies often attempt to show the table the opposite of reality by doing things such as looking away during a flop or feigning disinterest. So when a rookie has a bad hand, the rookie will attempt to convince the table that he has a good hand. The experienced players are on the lookout for these things. What if you, the experienced Social Engineer, plays the role of a rookie making rookie mistakes and doing rookie things?
Social Engineering is great for the game of poker but we strongly caution you in using these skills – Casino’s do not take kindly to any one who even appears to be cheating. Use these skills with caution.