The moment you’re at the poker table, you want to go ahead and win the pot. However, poker being a game of strategy, you want to observe your opponent carefully before making a making a move. In this blog, you will read about some standard poker tells when you’re playing live or online poker. Next time, look for these signs and ace your game!
What is a Poker Tell?
A poker tell refers to a change in a player’s behaviour, or manner that gives some hints to the other players on the table anticipate their hand or the next move. A player has the upper hand once they automatically understand what the player is about to play- whether it is a strong hand or a weak hand.
Poker tells can be verbal or physical, and gauging the actions of a player, we can place a bet. Some common poker tells are nervous talking, eye twitching, side glancing, hesitant moves, etc.
However, we cannot be definite about the player’s next move in the online world because we can’t see their faces. However, there are some telltale signs in online poker, where you can identify the player’s next move.
How to identify Poker Tells
- At what speed does your opponent call?
The speed of your opponent’s call should be the first giveaway. The opponent might call you for a number of reasons: whether he’s trapping, drawing, or floating (to call an opponent’s post-flop bet with a weak hand to try and bluff later). If the player is a tapper, they tend to convey weakness by pausing before they call. Those on a draw, or those who are unsure, will try to intimidate you by calling quickly. A floater will have second thoughts before calling.
- When the opponent raises preflop very quickly
When the other player raises very quickly, it means that he has a very strong hand. The player likely has K-K, A-A, or A-K in this scenario.
If the player had any other card in hand, he would’ve hesitated to raise the preflop.
- Using the pre-action check/ Fold Button
Know this. When the player uses the pre-action Check/Fold, he is weak. Notice the instant check from the blind preflop, and then on the flop, it’s time to bet, no matter what cards you’re holding. However, he sometimes uses the pre-action check button but raises your bet, be ready, because he has a strong hand. You can use this online tell if you’re in a position to steal smaller pots after an instant check from an opponent. You can also try a reverse tell and check more string hands to confuse your opponents.
- Leading the Flop (Donk Bet)
Donk Bet is a term in poker that means a leading bet made post-flop and from out of position. These bets are usually small and come from the non-aggressor in hand. For example, in no-limit hold’em player on the button raises, and the big blind calls to create a pot of 1,500, then after the flop, the big blind leads for 300. A player would do this because they have a weak hand and would not ask you to continue betting. If you see the other player do this multiple times, you can use it to your advantage. You can raise their bet on the flop, and more often than not, you’ll see the weak opponent fold instantly.
- When the player Overbets
The player has either one of two things in mind: Either he has a very strong hand, or he has nothing at all. Especially in tournaments, players will overbet when they have a strong hand. Poker tells that players are likely to take this decision when they have a full house and hit their flush. Don’t call such bets because they’re legit. Only on rare occasions, they’ll lie. Don’t call unless you know this person well, especially when you’re playing online.
- Tanking- The player taking too long to Act
Tanking is when players take too long to make a decision, and it might be one of the poker tells. It is a surefire sign that the player has the best cards. The player, in this situation, tanks and then bets and raises with a strong hand. You should be careful while calling in such situations.
Sometimes, when you’re playing against seasoned players who are aware of this tell, they may play it in a reverse way. That means the players tank with a weak hold and then a bigger bet as a bluff.
- Opponent’s Betting Pattern and Bet Sizing
Recognizing the betting pattern is one of the key live poker tells. Even on online poker, you’re more likely to win some great pot once you can perceive the player’s beating pattern. You will be able to tell if a player has strong hands or catch him on a bluff. If you can read betting patterns, you can also understand if your opponent is under stress. There is a chance that the player may act more confident than usual means that he is bluffing.
- When the player does a very quick check
It is easy to tell when a player does a quick check in live poker. When you’re trying to read poker, a player doing a quick check shows weakness. Most check-raise attempts only need a fraction of a second to plan. In online poker, the player will take a long pause, and hence you will catch on that the person is doing a quick check.
In this situation, you can bet if you want to, but be prepared to fold to a check-raise and be cautious if your opponent takes a long time, then calls because that could also mean that he has a strong hand.
- Bombarding the Chatbox with Messages or Emojis:
Ranting on chatboxes about a bet, or a bad beat, throwing random insults at the table, indicates that the player is on tilt. When is a player on tilt? It means that the player is frustrated and will make a less profitable strategy. The player is more likely to make a mistake and lose the hand as they chase the win after a recent loss.
Use this move when you have a decent hand, as you’re likely to get paid off.
- Betting an odd number
You will often come across this poker tell when there are no-limit games on the internet, where players are able to play in fractions. Like, I’m talking about those online poker games, where you can play for 9.50 rupees instead of 10. Some players do this on a regular basis to throw off their opponents, to make their bet size look bigger and better.
- Calling Limps frequently
Experienced players don’t call limp often. So, if you observe a player limp call almost every hand, you can assure yourself that they are an amateur still learning the game. You can isolate them into heads up and raise more to earn some money.
How to Avoid Getting Caught in Online Poker Tells
The way to stop giving out poker tells is to simply be unpredictable! Never repeat an action twice and vary your gaming style. This is a tactic that all solid poker players use called ‘changing gears.’ Changing your strategy from passive to aggressive and vice versa should do the trick. This should throw off your opponents from picking up any tells on you.
There you have it! These standard poker tells should help you identify the next player’s move. These can be easily recognizable whether you’re playing live or online poker. Go on MPL Poker right away and begin your game!