It wasn't that the red chips were higher in value; instead, players perceived their competitors to be more intimidating if they used red chips, thanks to the color's intimidating impression. (Players who used red chips also felt stronger, more competitive, and self-assured, the study found.)
But using red chips to ante up isn't the only secret trick you can use to collect your friends' cash. When you sit down at the table, try to snag a seat to the immediate left of the most aggressive player. Money moves to the left, and you want to see how he acts before you play. Since he's prone to play weaker hands, you'll have your chance. Just be patient for a decent starting hand and raise three to four times his initial bet to drive the pretenders out, advises Daniel Negreanu, professional poker player. It might not look great, but a 7-8 of the same suit can turn into gold after the flop. Plus it'll be hard for opponents to figure out what you're holding.
Of course, the biggest way to dominate your game is to show the perfect poker face--and with the help of body language expert Marc Salem, we figured out just how to flash one.