The one thing that was cool about this exercise was that the people who I talked to all gave me similar answers for everything, so it made my life rather easy. When dealing with when they want to know how someone thinks, they mostly gave the simple answer of "ask." They said that you may not always get an answer, but it never hurts because even if they do not give you an answer, they might do something non-verbal to tip you off. This leads right into the second part, which is how do they know when someone is deceiving them? This part is a little bit trickier, because there are some good liars out there. The most common answer that I received was that if a person is bluffing, they may do something that they normally wouldn't do. If they normally don't talk at the table, they might start talking to the other player and begging them to make the call to try and show strength. The old addage is that if they act strong, they are weak, and if you act weak, you are strong.
For non-verbals, the people that I talked to were, for the most part, aware of their non-verbal cues. They were aware of them because they were planned non-verbals that they use throughout the game to try throwing the other players off. They also said that when playing poker they would rather use non-verbal cues than verbal, but said that it does not hurt to open up your mouth every once in a while.
To end the conversation, I asked each individual if there was anything else that I was missing out on that added to the game and how to read people, and I received the same answer every time. Betting patterns. All players have betting patterns, and if you are able to learn how players bet with certain hands, you will be able to have a better idea of what the player is holding. They also threw in that the amount of chips that a player has can also help determine what type of hand that they have because if a player is short-stacked, it means that they are going to be much tighter with their betting and only play solid hands in order to dig themselves out of the hole. If a player has a big chipstack, they are more likely to be looser in their betting, playing marginal hands just to try and catch something.
I liked this activity because it let me relate one of my classes with something that I enjoy doing very much.