The threatening-to-turn-your-hand-over move is a pretty common tell you’ll see at low stakes and sometimes medium stakes. You can often see it happen very clearly when a guy bets, another guy goes to call, and the bettor, almost in a threatening manner, prepares to flip his cards over. It can sometimes appear like some comical Western stand-off, with the one guy getting ready to draw his gun (or call) and the other guy reaching for his own gun (or ready to flip his cards).
These situations are ridiculous when it’s this clear cut – and it’s surprising how obvious it is what’s going on. I’ve virtually never seen someone faking the tell when it’s made this obvious, although I’m sure it happens at higher-stakes.
Also, by “closing-action tell” – meaning it’s only going to be done on a last bet – meaning either a river bet or someone going all in. That might be obvious; you can’t threaten to show someone your “winning” hand when there are more bets to make.
Sometimes this tell can manifest itself very subtly. Sometimes a bluffer, when faced with an impending call, will just barely pick the cards off the table as if in the beginning stages of flipping the cards over. I mean, it makes sense when you think about the psychology behind the move – they think they’re gonna get called, so what’s the one weapon they have left in their arsenal. Look strong and act like you’re ready to show a winner. It’s a last ditch effort and it’s understandable that they’d try it.
This reminds me of another tell that happens right at that moment when someone is about to call a bluffer’s closing-action bet. It’s similar to the I’m-gonna-turn-my-hand-over tell, and sometimes goes right along with it. It’s when the bluffer makes a last ditch effort to talk the caller out of calling. This will happen right when the caller is about to push in chips to call – at any other time it isn’t the same kind of tell. It’ll usually go something like, “You sure you want to call?”, or “What do you have?”, or, “Can you beat a straight?”, or the (mostly) weak, “I’ll show you if you fold.”
Basically any little thing that could be construed as trying to talk the other player out of calling is obviously suspect. If you thought you had the winning hand and the other player was about to call, why would you do/say anything to dissuade them. Seems obvious, but people still make the strength of their hands obvious with this one a lot. Also, I see a lot of people get intimidated by these things when they shouldn’t.