Chapter 159 - Mind-Reading on the Table

When Su Tao got out of the vehicle, he saw a silhouette from afar walking towards the Three Flavour Hall. Su Tao briefly stood on the spot, and when the silhouette noticed Su Tao, he smiled and greeted, "Why are you so late as well?"

Su Tao shook his head. He knew that Chu Huilin must have gone to play poker. This fellow had an unusually strong interest in poker. He would always play poker after work and return home late. Today was considered pretty early. Chu Huilin wasn't good at it, so he often lost money and even cursed out. Thus, the neighbourhood didn't really welcome him to play mahjong. Although Chu Huilin had lost again today, he smiled while walking towards Su Tao, but his brows were tightly knitted. After a brief pondering, Su Tao asked, "Where did you go to play mahjong again? My hands are itching today as well, why don't you bring me over and let me have some fun?"

Chu Huilin looked at Su Tao with a complicated gaze before he smiled. "You're mocking me on purpose, right? I’m early today because lost ¥2,000." There's a good factor about him; he liked to gamble, but he wasn't addicted to it. Despite losing all the time, he didn't borrow money, so there's no chance of him getting involved with unlicensed moneylenders.

However, Chu Huilin hadn't accumulated any wealth despite working for a long time. Most of his money was thrown into gambling.

Waving his hand, Su Tao smiled. "Bring me there and let me have some fun. I have money with me, and you can just watch from the side and guide me."

As Chi Huilin still wasn't satisfied today, so he nodded his head with a smile. "Sure, it's not far away. Just by the street there."

After walking a few blocks, they arrived at a kiosk seven or eight minutes later. This kiosk wasn't big. There were cigarettes placed on the glass counter and wines displayed on the shelf. There were a few tables set behind for mahjong purposes. Following Chu Huilin, the two of them went up through the narrow stairs and knocked on the door. Soon after, someone opened the door with a cigarette hanging from his mouth and smiled. "Why Old Chu, you're coming back to gamble after your loss?"

The bald man was a local here, which Su Tao could deduce from the former's Hanzhou accent. Glancing at Su Tao, the bald man looked alerted before Chu Huilin swiftly explained, "Boss Leopard, this is a friend of mine that I've encountered on the road. He said that he’s keen on playing poker, so I brought him here."

There were two floors, the lower one was meant for ordinary mahjong activity with no high bets. The wins and losses wouldn't exceed ¥200, which the boss made up for the numbers. After each round, he would take ¥10 as a fee. Although the boss wouldn't make much in a night, he could at least break even.

The real income came from the second floor. In a night, there were at least tens of thousands, and if some gamblers lost their rationale, they would even lose up to hundreds of thousands. The location was provided by the boss, so he was paid ¥20,000. This was a hidden chain supply. Aside from providing the location, and those participating in it, there were also those who spread information and they would earn a few thousand as commissions. Although the local police station was cracking down on gambling dens, these fellows have already created a system with sentries every ten meters to deal with them. By the time police come to the den, they would have already been informed about it and fled.

If anyone wanted to join the joint, they would have to be recommended by someone that was in it, and Chu Huilin joined through the recommendation of a poker friend. Although there seemed to wins and losses, he had already lost about ¥30,000-40,000 to those fellows in total.

When Su Tao sat down, a young woman served him a cup of tea. Although she wasn't exceptionally beautiful, she still looked bewitching from the dim light due to her thick makeup. Thereafter, she gave another cup of tea to Boss Leopard. The latter took a grope on her bottom, which his hand was flung away by her and she chuckled, "Annoying!"

Boss Leopard laughed before he turned to Su Tao. "Since you're a newcomer, then I'll let you know of the rules here. We don't allow any credit, so we have to verify your capital before we can allow you to bet."

Su Tao instantly took our ¥4,000 from his wallet with a smile. "I'll just play a few rounds first. I'll withdraw more if needed."

Boss Leopard was briefly stunned that this young fellow could take out four thousand in cash so easily and didn't seem poor. "Do you know how to play Golden Flower?"

Golden Flower was also called Three Cards, a popular poker play style in the country that allowed many players. Thus, the winnings of it were incredibly huge. Once someone fell in it, it wouldn't be easy for them to pull out. Most people wouldn't be able to remain calm when a bunch of cash was on the table and they would make the wrong judgments.

When Su Tao entered the room, he saw seven to eight people, with three to four amongst them looking pretty close. There were also two that seemed familiar with each other and not on the same side as the other group. Thus these two were prey, like Chu Huilin.

In fact, this was a scam, most of the time. They’d lure the gamblers into the boiling pot.

Firstly, they’d determine their targets, which were often called prey and assign people over to obtain their trust. This process was generally a long one that took a month or two. When their hard work has ripened, the assigned person would request to the person in charge, and the person in charge would get a room available and inform the rest of the team and assign them their jobs. The first few rounds usually wouldn't be significant, generally within ¥10,000. After the timing was right, they would attack even more ferociously, forcing the prey into borrowing from them with high interests and they’d get trapped in their scheme.

Su Tao had strong observational abilities, it only took a sweep of his eyes to determine the prey, and which of them were in this together. The motive for today's game was meant to probe, so the wins and losses wouldn't be too great. Since Su Tao wasn't too familiar with the Golden Flower, he paid 'lesson fees' for the first two rounds before he grasped the pattern of it.

If you wanted to win at Golden Flower, not only would you require luck, you also had to observe the psychology of others.

When you have a good hand, you must keep calm and let the other party think that your hand was ordinary. This way, you could cast a long line out to catch a big fish. On the contrary, if your hand wasn't good, you had to judge the situation and know when to give up or take the gamble.

Chu Huilin wouldn't believe it, even if you told him that Su Tao has never played this game before. That’s because, not only did Su Tao look steady, his actions made him look like a veteran in the game.

It wasn't because Su Tao was a natural when it came to gambling, but he observed the actions of Boss Leopard and the rest on the table to mimic them.

After three rounds of losses, Su Tao had practically lost half of the ¥4,000, so Chu Huilin moved closer to him and whispered, "If this goes on, I'm afraid you'll lose everything."

With a faint smile, Su Tao responded, "I'll win the next one for you."

Although his voice wasn't loud, it wasn't soft either. It was heard by everyone present, so Boss Leopard laughed out, "Haha, I like those that are confident. Why don't we let this newcomer win the next round?"

The skinny man beside him sneered, "You can lose if you want, wait till you lose till you're naked."

After a brief pondering, Su Tao tossed ¥1,000 on the table, which made everyone stunned. Especially Boss Leopard, who nodded his head, feeling that Su Tao's aura was shooting through the roof with his confident look. He also called, and the rest had also done the same as well. With six people participate in this round, there's about ¥6,000 in the pool.

As the banker, Boss Leopard chose to face his card down. So if everyone else calls, then they would have to put in double. The skinny man was the first to give up after a glance at his own cards before he helplessly folded. A person started to open up their cards and saw a straight, but when the rest saw their bad cards, all of them folded. However, Su Tao showed no intention of giving up. Not only was his card facing down, he even added another ¥500 to the bet. After a brief stun, Boss Leopard called with his eyes squinted.

In the third round, aside from the one having a straight, only the banker, Boss Leopard, and Su Tao were left with their cards facing down.

Taking a deep breath, Boss Leopard realised that Su Tao could really keep calm despite having a few thousand in the pool. The one that had his cards opened up was clearly straight, and the numbers were already so big. Thus, he decided to look at his own cards and saw a slightly lower number compared to the one with the straight. He was, after all, a veteran, so he said with a faint smile, "The newcomer, Little Su, doesn't have much money left. So I won't add too much, just another $500!"

The one with the straight started to hesitate after seeing how Boss Leopard still added to the pool even after seeing his own cards. He was on the same team as Boss Leopard, and he knew that the latter usually did this when his cards were better. With a faint smile, that man with straights replied, "Then I'll fold!"

In the final round, it became a match between Boss Leopard and Su Tao.

Letting his companion give up further added to the credibility of Boss Leopard's cards to put more pressure on Su Tao. Because Su Tao was starting to hesitate whether he should fold if his cards weren't better than a straight.

Su Tao stared at Boss Leopard. No matter how good one's acting was, the eyes could still reveal many things. From the medical viewpoint, eyes were one of the most sensitive parts out of the five senses. It occupied at least 70% of all the senses, and the other four senses paled in comparison.

Take eating, for example. People usually won't rely on their taste when eating, but pay attention to the color, fragrance, and utensils. If a person was placed in a dark room to dine, even if they knew that they're eating a delicacy, they would still feel uneasy, and their appetite would drop. On the contrary, dining in excellent restaurants with exquisite utensils and strong light would open up the appetite of a person. This was how visions could affect the mentality of one person.

Thus, mind-reading could be obtained from deciphering a person's actions with psychological studies. There were a few main points, firstly, the size of the pupils. Humans could control their facial expressions, but they cannot control their pupils. Research has proven that when humans look at a person or item that they love, their pupils would expand a little. When they see someone or something that they don't like, their pupils would shrink a little or when they were nervous. This was a physiological phenomenon of humans.

Secondly, the eyelids. The eyelids would tremble if someone was under enormous pressure. Thirdly, the eyeballs. If one's eyeballs were looking around, that meant that they're processing different pieces of information in their mind. Last, but not least, the eye contact. So a person could look into your eyes even when they're lying, but that was mostly to see if you're believing in them. Thus, making eye contact didn't mean that the person was lying. So even if a person could lie, their eyes couldn't.

Boss Leopard's pupils were a little contracted, and his eyelids were also trembling a little as he looks at Su Tao.

Through his analysis, Su Tao could determine that Boss Leopard was feeling uneasy in his heart. The latter was trying to get Su Tao to believe him. Bluffing Su Tao that he had an excellent hand in hopes that Su Tao would fold.

Su Tao opened up his cards. He had three aces of the same color; it's bigger than straights, so he smiled. "Open your card!" With the current money that Su Tao had, he couldn't add to the pool. Thus, he could only open his card.

Boss Leopard's lips moved before throwing his cards into the pool and showed a fake smile. "You won this round!"

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