Poker is not a single-player game. To be successful you can’t think only about yourself and what you are doing.
Reading your opponents is a vital part of winning the pot. What is their body language? Are they just getting through the hand to get to the next deal? Do they have any poker tells?
A ‘poker tell’ is a piece of information you pick up from your opponent’s behaviour which indicates the strength of his or her hand.
There are lots of ways to read peoples’ involuntary actions and they can provide a good indication of the strength of their hand. But what if you cannot see your opponent?
So many of us now play poker online and reading your opponent is far more difficult. But that does not mean their online poker tells are not still there!
If you want to improve your online poker game, you need to learn a few things.
Timing Poker Tells
The speed of your opponent’s bets can tell you a lot about their mind frame. If they are quick to check, this can often be a sign that they are holding a weak hand.
Or they are trying to get to the showdown cheaply.
However, they may also be luring you into a raise so they can re-raise on you. If there is a thoughtful pause before the check they again may be trying to mislead you.
They don’t want you to bet and could just be scaring the other players into checking along.
It could actually be the case that they are looking to complete their hand.
And they want a cheap or free card to see if they can make a decent hand to continue the game.
However, if there is a long pause followed by a bet then you should be wary.
With money at stake, neither you nor your opponents are likely to have left the game unattended so they are probably trying to psych you out.
In many cases, you will find that they have a pretty decent hand and are trying to sow the seeds of scepticism in your mind.
When the river comes and your opponent quickly raises, they probably do have a good hand.
It is unlikely that they will bet mindlessly when they are bluffing so be aware of the strength of your own cards.
So the timing of how your opponents react at the table can tell a lot. So too, can the size of the bets that they place.
Size Of Bets Online Poker Tells
If players bet strange amounts this can often be to distract the others. Betting £5.63 can confuse players and while they are thinking about the odd amount, the bettor has disguised a potentially good hand.
Likewise with over-bets. This is where somebody bets a ridiculously large amount compared to other hands.
They either have the best hand ever or complete garbage. If you’ve seen them try this play before, you’ll have a better idea if they are bluffing.
Little bets on the turn are also a good indication of the hand your opponent is holding. They usually indicate a weak pair or draw.
They are basically tentatively staying in the game to see if they can make a better hand. Continue to raise and you could force them out of the hand and win the pot.
These are all subjective online poker tells that you should keep in mind while you are playing, not necessarily a strict guideline.
There will always be varying factors but if you keep them in mind you won’t go far wrong.
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