Zach Elwood’s Poker Tells Video Series: A Thorough Review

Zach Elwood is most well known for his series of poker tells books, which includes Reading Poker Tells (2012), Verbal Poker Tells (2014), and Exploiting Poker Tells (2017). His first book is most well known around the poker industry and has been translated into eight languages. After producing the trilogy, Elwood then produced a video series. That’s the subject of this article, as we’ll be reviewing the entire Poker Tells Video Series series below (bottom line: we recommend!) and we’ll also give you an exclusive discount code that you can use to get 20% off your purchase.

poker tells video series

Poker Tells Video Series: The strengths

In the past, one of our contributing writers had shared his feedback on the Poker Tells Video Series, saying that it provided “clear, compelling content. Elwood takes great care to go into not just ‘what to look for’ but also the psychology behind the action. You won’t just gain a few tips and tricks – you’ll have a deeper understanding of a critical aspect of live play.” In this review, we’ll be diving a little deeper on the series, which you can find in full on Elwood’s website here:

Generally speaking, Zach’s video series is very helpful, going into all sorts of granular detail about specific behaviors in specific situations. He also words things in very easy-to-understand, down-to-earth ways. The fact of the matter is that while much has changed in the field of poker study, namely the advent of GTO (Game Theory Optimal) play and the proliferation of poker training sites over the past decade, what hasn’t changed is fundamental human behavior.

Thus, the Reading Poker Tells Video Series uniquely stands the test of time, even as poker theory continues to evolve. Considering the uniqueness of this material, and the strength of it, this is a valuable purchase for anyone serious about gaining an edge at live poker. At the very least, this series will help you recognize potential behavioral leaks you might have and help you minimize the edge other players might have on you in those areas.

What people really liked about Zach’s first book, Reading Poker Tells, was the focus on how different behaviors can mean different things in different situations. In this video series, Zach continues this theme by analyzing behaviors by situation. So, for example, there’s a video on eye-contact (and other eye-related behavior) from players making significant bets later in the hand. There’s also a video on “ostentatious” behaviors from non-aggressors (checkers, callers) early in the hand. So, besides a focus on a specific behavior, he gives a situational framework.

Something else that has always made Zach’s work stand out, both in book and video format, is that both amateurs and skilled players seem to get a lot from them. This review, for instance, is written by a serious amateur player, to which I imagine most of you reading this can relate. Similarly, our social media coordinator Chad McVean also enjoyed the series.

On Elwood’s site, he shares some reviews from some well known poker playing professionals. Here are a couple examples:

“I bought these recently as part of my WSOP prep and I think they’re absolutely brilliant.”

Dara O’Kearney, pro player and host of The Chip Race podcast

“WSOP Main Event preparation today, rewatching [Zach Elwood’s] tells videos. Pretty sure my EV has gone up a fair bit in the last two hours. Great content. Have been recommending [this] to my students who play live for a long time.”

Matthew Hunt, pro player, coach, and co-host of the MidStakes Living podcast

Poker Tells Video Series: A closer look at the content

As of this writing, all the videos in the Poker Tells Video Series total up to more than 13 hours of footage. The bulk of this series consists of fairly bite-sized videos (10-15 minutes long), each on specific behaviors in specific situations. These are highly scripted and formal. Then, on top of that, comprising 2-3 hours of the total content, there are some longer-form, more informal videos (for example, one in which he goes through some tournament footage, talking off the cuff a bit), and also a Q&A about poker tells that he did with veteran poker coach Alex “Assassinato” Fitzgerald.


poker tells video series

Zach offers two packages: a regular package (just the video series) and a larger package that includes the video series and all his ebooks. Notably, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of savings involved in buying the larger package, for what it’s worth; in other words, it wouldn’t matter much if you bought the ebooks and video series all together in the bigger package or bought them all separately. In fact, you’d probably be better served to get an ebook or two first to get a sense of Zach’s approach and see what you get out of it before moving on to the video series.

What kinds of footage does Zach Elwood use?

Zach uses footage from both cash games and tournaments, from a range of stakes. One of the strengths of the series is the wide variety of real game footage Zach pulls from to create his videos. If you’re curious to get a sense of what the videos are like and what kind of poker footage they use, you can check out his YouTube channel, which has various samples from the series there.

How often does Zach Elwood make content?

Based on the recent history, Zach doesn’t often create new videos, but he’s also very open about that fact. The cost of the Poker Tells Video Series is not based on any sort of subscription-model; it’s a one-and-done cost, and it has slowly risen over time since he released the series back in 2015 (when the series only had a few hours of content). As Zach points out (a bit tongue-in-cheek): because the price does rise over time as content is added, it’s “always the best time” to get the series, as you receive a lifetime membership. The series was $80 when it was first released in 2015; now it retails for $350 (but you can still score a 20% discount with our exclusive code; see end of this review).

Poker Tells Video Series: Criticisms

One weakness (which Zach does address) is that the behavioral patterns covered do seem a bit lacking when it comes to tells from players making big bets (i.e., indicators of whether players making big bets are either bluffing or value-betting). To point, there are tells discussed in Zach’s books that aren’t discussed here.

Reading Poker Tells Video

As Zach explains, this is due in large part to the fact that a lot of poker footage cuts away after players bet to focus on the opponent(s), which is quite unfortunate as this directing/editing approach can make it hard to get clear, uninterrupted shots of players after having made big bets.

Often that footage, even when present, is scattershot and interrupted, making it hard to get a clear sense of what happened. He does have some during-bet and post-bet tells (you can see the behaviors examined in the series on his site) but it’s just that, as he says, in a perfect world he’d have more of those situations to analyze and use.

Get a discount on the Poker Tells Video Series

After reading our review, we hope you have no doubt in your mind that even as modern day poker continues to evolve, the Poker Tells Video Series continues to stand the test of time. In a nutshell, we highly recommend it. Plus, if you’d like to get 20% off your purchase, we invite you to use this link and enter the code ‘CARDPLAYERLIFESTYLE’. A 20% discount will be applied to your total upon checkout.



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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded in 2009. A veteran member of the poker media corps, in addition to writing and video presenting, Robbie has hosted multiple poker podcasts over the years, including Top Pair, the Red Chip Poker Podcast, The Orbit, and the CardsChat Podcast. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of Poker Hall of Famer Eli […]

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