Picking up tells when playing online poker is more difficult than if you are playing in a casino. Mainly because you cannot physically see your opponent. However, that is not to say it is impossible to pick on on some tells that are there for all to see.
Poker Screen Names
Each and every player online has to select a screen name to represent them at tables. Most people will only notice bizarre or funny names being displayed. But take a few minutes to read each of the names when you sit down to play your session.
One of the oldest tricks in the book is to pretend to be female when the player is actually male. In today’s climate, there are some fantastic female players so this is becoming less common with each passing month. The thinking behind pretending to be the opposite sex is that women are perceived to be less aggressive than men. As a result, they are hoping to be given extra credit when they raise or bet.
Watch out for numbers at the end of names as this can give an indication to a player’s age. Someone with the name Bob81 is likely to have been born in 1981 whereas a name such as ProPlayer07 would suggest they have been playing since 2007.
Generally, the older a player the less likely they are to be loose and aggressive and vice versa. You should be less likely to bluff or make complex moves on an inexperienced player such as Tony10 than you would the aforementioned ProPlayer07.
Eagerness to call or bet fast is another solid online poker tell. If a player immediately calls, it means they have ruled out a raise. Players with strong hands want to make sure the pot is as big as possible.
Unless somebody is trying to trap you, players who call quickly are likely to be playing with poor or mediocre hands and don’t want to invest any more money in the hand.
Players who bluff tend to bet faster than those with good hands. If you a half decent hand you tend to take longer to weight up your betting options. With a really good hand you spend time trying to figure out how to maximise the pot.
If a player spends little or no time considering their play it’s because they are bluffing with a weak hand. As a result, they bet quickly.
Most online poker rooms have a chat box facility. Players who are constantly mouthing off are trying to distract their opponents. Likewise, if they are trying to get you to call or bet its a sure sign they are holding nothing. So keep the chat box on when you play but don’t engage. Just use it to see what others are saying as they may inadvertently give away something about their own hand.
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