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'Tell' me about it

If somebody suddenly and surprisingly accuses you of something, and you're guilty, your reaction usually comes quickly and is frequently too protesting or feebly amusing. Whichever, more often than not, guilt manifests itself in a hurried response.

If you're accused and you're innocent, your first reaction is probably anger and thoughtfulness.

Guilty: blabby.

Innocent: quiet.

In cards, hands that are baloney are verbalized far more than good hands.

Shoot your mouth off with a good hand and see what happens: Call, call, call, call.

When your mind can't control your body, you're telling somebody that there's more here than meets the twitching eye.

Tells exist in all gambling endeavors.

Even blackjack dealers sometimes give their cards away. A new casino is a good place to gamble because some of the dealers just quit Burger King. A new Indian casino is a superb place to gamble because these halls are oftentimes in fairly rural areas. New dealers at Indian casinos might have from church bingo games.

There was, at a new Indian casino near where I live, a beginning blackjack dealer who chief concern was to keep the right cards face-up and the right cards face-down.

When he showed an ace or a card worth ten, then looked to see what his hole card was, he'd blink if it was nothing special. If the hole card was a player, which is to say if it was around a ten, he wouldn't blink. Once he had a jack up and looked at his hole card and didn't blink. I hit 17.

Busted.

Did it again and caught a trey and pushed him.

Squinting slightly, no blinking, usually meant he had a ten down under.

Blinking meant he had diddly-piddly.

It hardly seemed fair, the night I went to play and heard that the dealer had been transferred to a job behind the scenes. Dealers who blink all the time, that's just not right. I thought I found a woman dealer who licked her lips slightly with a low card down. Then she turned over a king on a big bet of mine. Women dealers, they're all yours.

Tells are important at the horse races as well -- your tells -- because when you're picking winners and betting, you're frequently competing against your self and your own better judgment.

The nervous tic of volunteering information when none is required is as revealing at the race track as it is in the room where cops interview suspects.

Little good comes from any talk at a race track, except when I must know what somebody who can't pick anything likes.

When I volunteer information at the races, it is usually about a horse I don't like. I have stopped drunken strangers to tell them of a horse I don't like. Then the horse frequently wins. This is the tell of making noise to cover concerns.

Another of my sad tells is betting more on short-priced horses.

Sometimes I do this to get even. All I do is get even crazier.

I used to believe that surrounding a basic bet with a number of savers was a tell that meant I was getting ready to lose. Then I hit a pocketful of big savers early in the year and am rethinking this one.

That which you do before consistently losing are tells to avoid.

Here's the most obvious personal tell of them all: If winning is not fun, you lose.

Write to Jay at jaycronley@yahoo.com