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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Learning to 'read' people can be a profitable tool

31 December 2009

Poker players, police interrogators, used-car salesmen and gypsies all use similar techniques to "read" individuals' body language. The goal is to determine truth or to make money -- it's as simple as that. Interestingly, although there were few books written before the 1980s that were dedicated to determining who's lying and who's not, more than a dozen have been published in the last five years or so. With what's happening in the nation's capital, on Wall Street and at the poker tables, many more people are seeking protection through information. Here are a few books worth focusing on no matter what your profession:

Phil Hellmuth and ex-FBI agent Joe Navarro have produced an instant classic in Read 'Em and Reap (213 pages, paperbound, $18.95), a guide to "decoding poker tells." Packed with illustrations, the book discusses how to become a threat at the tables; how to go about concealing tells and how to detect low-confidence tells. People move their eyes, hands, even their feet differently when trying to camouflage the strength of their hands, and the book makes you better at detection.

Caro's Pro Poker Tells (90 minutes, DVD, $49.95) uses multiple cameras to display tells in action, including gestures, words and body language from a cast of more than 60 notables in role-playing.

Telling Lies (Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics and Marriage) by Paul Ekman (390 pages, paperbound, $16.95) is written by an esteemed professor of psychology at UC San Francisco. He knows "emotions research" and nonverbal communication and here analyzes deception strategies from presidents to petty criminals and explains how a successful liar often depends on a willfully innocent dupe.

The Body Language Handbook by Greg Hartley and Maryann Karinch (206 pages, paperbound, $15.99). Co-authored by a military interrogation expert and a corporate communications specialist, the book teaches you what signals to send, how to read the body language of others and offers advice on how to avoid being manipulated. While it's a great intro for poker players, it's also perfect for lawyers, human resources personnel and Homeland Security at the very least.

Ultimate Guide to Poker Tells by Randy Burgess and Carl Baldassare (195 pages, paperbound, $16.95). This is a guide designed to help you "devastate opponents by reading body language, table talk, chip moves and much more." Includes tells in limit and no-limit poker, avoiding tells and the pros and cons of wearing sunglasses.
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com