Tells are one of the most romantic aspects of poker. A tick that telegraphs the strength of your hand is such a common image associated with poker that the term “poker face” has entered common parlance. A lot of people believe that the ability to read the opponent’s gestures and manners is the main thing that separates a pro from a fish.
These same people also consider online poker to be a less pure side of the game because there are no tells and you can’t tell which hand someone is holding because you can’t see them. Of course, online poker players know that tells are a much more reliable method of reading hands – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any clues to be spotted at online poker tables.
Here are some of the most common:
Bet Size (Bet Sizing)
A bet size tell is one of the tells that can be found in online poker and “real” poker. Some players will bet larger amounts relative to the pot size with their bluffs to avoid a call, while others will bet larger amounts with their valuable hands to get a bigger payout or to make it look like a call. bluff.
Novice players will sometimes bet a particular amount with a bluff that leaves them with an even number in their stack – for example, a new player with $ 43.59 might bet $ 13.59 on the river; the logic is that “if I am called at least I will still have $ 30”. Conversely, others bet non-round numbers (eg: $ 123.63) to make a large stack appear on the table and scare when they have a weak hand.
Here’s another hint that you can use at casino tables as well as online. If a player takes excessive time to act before the flop before raising or calling, you can assume they have a weak hand. If you have a player who thinks a bit before raising, you can assume he doesn’t have a big pair or a total trash and is thinking about the merit or not of playing the hand.
The same logic applies after the flop but the reverse – a quick call often indicates a medium strength hand since a monster hand should consider raising and a weak hand should consider bluffing.
These poker tells are not subtle. We recommend that you never use the chatbox unless you are making a final table offer in a tournament, but if you have the option to hide the chat from players, don’t take it. It’s rare, but sometimes players make the mistake of using chat and telling you their hand.
The old principle of “weak means strong and strong means weak” applies here, and a player who catches in a way that encourages you to call probably doesn’t have a great hand.
A Few Notes To Finish
All poker tells are player-dependent. You can’t sit down at your regular online poker games, watch someone make a certain bet or take a certain time with a hand and then establish that as a definitive, reliable reading. Like all adverse tendencies, it must be observed regularly before it can be relied on to make decisions.
Whether you are playing live poker or online poker, reading an opponent from a tell should not be central to your decision making, but rather a factor to be considered alongside history of the opponent, the dynamics of the table and the metagame.