That might be the strangest poker blog headline you have ever read, but if you’re familiar with my style of writing, then it should be expected. If you’re not familiar with my style of writing, then you might be scratching your head. Look at it this way: sometimes it’s good to look at things from a different perspective.

Poker Teeth

When playing live poker (I play a lot of live poker), I have noticed an interesting pattern. Before getting to that pattern, please allow me to back up a moment first. It doesn’t matter where I’m playing poker. Whether it’s the One-Eyed Jacks Poker Room in Sarasota, Florida or the Bellagio in Las Vegas, I always see two types of teeth: good teeth and bad teeth.

I know what you’re thinking: This is obvious because it can happen anywhere. You can walk into the mall, the movies, or a drug store and find people with good teeth or bad teeth.

That’s true, but wouldn’t hold nearly as much important to you and your wallet.

Reading Bad Poker Teeth

The pattern that I have seen should be expected, but it should also be recognized and capitalized on. The players that I see with bad teeth are often degenerates without much money. They’re usually thin, they like to smoke, and they’re on the older side. When they play poker, they play tight and passive. When you run over them because you’re taking advantage of their passive nature, they tend to complain about you, the poker room, the game of poker, and the world in general. They’re usually not the happiest people. Then again, not many people would be happy when you’re taking their money.

This pattern might not be true of every poker player with bad teeth. There are always exceptions. However, it should be noted that I have never seen a poker player with bad teeth aggressively run over a passive table. If I have and forgotten about it, I at least know with absolute certainty that they didn’t keep those chips.

Reading Good Poker Teeth 

If a player has very good teeth, then you have to assume one of two things. Either that player was brought up by a family that could afford braces when they were younger OR that player paid for those nice teeth. Either way, these players almost always have money behind them, which is going to lead to a more carefree attitude with money. In order to capitalize on this, always bet for value. DO NOT try to trap them. These players usually have an ego and don’t like to be pushed around. They simply will not fold as often as most players. If you want to make money from them, bet out more often.

If you happen to come across a poker player with good teeth who also plays tight-aggressive, then it’s strongly advised that you steer clear of this player whenever possible. This leads to one of three likely possibilities:

  1. They are a strategist.
  2. They left their ego at the door.
  3. They paid for those teeth with poker winnings.

It could be all three or a combination of the three. Whatever the case may be, these players shouldn’t be your targets.


If you’re going to play poker and you want to win, then you need every advantage possible. Teeth are the most underrated yet easiest read you can make on an opponent. Unless your opponents never speak, they’re going to have to reveal this tell. Once you spot that tell, exploit it.

Tyler Nals

If you love poker, then you're in the right place. My poker strategy books are written for the beginner-intermediate player, and many readers have told me that these strategies have helped them turn a profit. My books are easy to understand and written from a macro perspective on how to win as a poker player. You will also find an entertainment angle. Regardless of what level poker player you are, you might enjoy A Fishy Poker Tournament, The Dark Side of the Felt, and The Poker Office. These are poker adventure books, not poker strategy books.

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