People are people and will do all sorts of things when playing poker. Many are not what you want to happen and some are even done in bad form. We all think differently and that is really good after all. Still, it pays to pay attention and not let the bad things bother you very much and try to make them pay for you. Every event can be used for some kind of information or turned to your advantage. Deciphering things and using that information is the key to getting by and also increasing your winnings.
An annoying one is when a player, after you have called his bet or check on the end, now says “you got me”. It is customary for him to show his hand or at least call out what it is. Most occasions when they say that they have missed their draw and have nothing, and you may show your hand and take the pot. A few times a surprise happens and he really had a decent hand but not a good one which is still the winner. What I do is be quiet and forever will wait for him to show in the future or ask, “What does nothing mean”? The main reason many will call their hand out this way is that they do not want to show it, as they are embarrassed to be caught bluffing or do not want others to see they bluffed. I understand that thinking but you can not let them get away with that tactic.
A very worst case is when they over call their hand hoping you will fold. An example is calling out two pair when they only have one pair. It might get them awarded the pot if you fold. This is basically cheating and frowned upon but it does happen, and those that are quick folders in pots are prime targets of this slimy move. Same as with the other person after one time, I never show until it is my turn and they have shown their hand. To protect yourself, hold your hand until all other live hands have been killed and the pot is coming your way. Get into this habit and rarely if ever will you lose a pot from your own fault that belonged to you.
A common move that a few will do is to hide their large denomination chips from view so you may not notice or forget that he has them. This can lead to you calling a much bigger bet than you thought when he says “all-in" and you say call, thinking he has much less money and find a rude awakening shortly thereafter. This again is a mild form of cheating and being diligent and asking for the dealer to have him keep his big chips in sight will train those to find another way to have to try to scam you.
Putting in a straddle, or a blind call, or raise stating that they haven't looked yet may be another. Many action players will resort to betting blind thinking it creates action so it is easy to be fooled thinking he may not know his hole cards in this pot. If you do play one of these pots and it is against a good player, be prepared to see a really good starting hand as he just tricked you into calling him. The secret is to fold when it is done so it becomes a positive thing for you as you are not playing in pots when he has a good hand. When a good player has looked and bet and declared he has not looked, he always has a great hand.
Watch out for the person who looks like he made a bet or call but did not really put the chips in or takes them back. The only way to protect from this is to make sure the pot is right before you act. See his bet and do not be too quick to make your action until it is clear what has transpired. Except in tournaments with a director present who has absolute power, ask for the chips to be put in when facing a verbal bet. As the casino will not force a player to put in chips even though a verbal bet is binding except in a tournament. They may ask him to leave but it does not get you the money. Never showing your hand until the pot is right with the money, and it is also your turn, is a good policy to follow.
Occasionally, a player on your left will act like he is folding or getting ready to fold his hand. Your mistake of acting on this information can bite you. He may have a great hand and be trying to suck you in. If it is a good player pretending to fold, watch out. If it is a poor player, it is likely the real thing and you can use that to your advantage. So if you’re aware any time someone is possibly acting or getting ready to act ahead of you, use what you know and perceive for your benefit as it always helps you if you do not blindly believe it. If you do, it is your own fault. This can be called making a move or shooting an angle but in essence since most will accidentally telegraph their intentions on occasion, it pays to be deceptive and do a fake once in awhile to keep your opponents confused. That is poker and not angle shooting.
Checking and betting out of turn will be a contention a few times a night. It may be accidental in most cases and planned in a few others. It is the dealer’s job to keep that straight and on the up and up. When it happens in your pot, use that information for your benefit instead of complaining. Sometimes it can hurt you and sometimes help. But overall, since you are more aware and better at thinking things through, it helps you the most, so do not worry about it. The same is true with a person flashing cards or turning their hand over. Hopefully, you can process that information better than the rest, so it is again to your advantage. Winning at poker is a whole bundle of processing information and being able to use what you see and hear better than your opponents.