Do you consider yourself a casual poker player, who merely dabbles in playing cards and occasionally bets something? Or are you more of a serious player, with a level of involvement that rates somewhere between passion and obsession? Or have you perhaps moved beyond this point already, and would you consider yourself an addict? Regardless of the type of player you are – the motivation behind playing poker is as diverse as the players engaged in the game – we all agree that we’re talking about a game of luck but also of skill. Trouble is we can’t train luck so the only way to get better is to improve our skills. What better way to become more masterful at the poker game than learning how to read your opponents, one of poker’s craftsman’s tools? Let’s see what are the most common poker tells to watch out for!

Bet-timing tells

Timing plays a key factor in the poker game and can be a valuable tell especially in online poker where body language is no longer a factor. Taking extra time to act or making your move too quickly will often give away the strength and value of your opponent’s hand.

Players who take extra time before deciding to check are often thinking about whether to bet or check. This shows that they might have a decent hand, like a medium-strength or strong one, or they could be holding a drawing hand and thinking about whether to try a bluff.

On the other hand, we have instant calls. When a player quickly calls a bet, it means they’ve instantly said no to raising. Strong hands usually take more time to make decisions because the goal is to get more money. So, if someone has a strong hand, they usually don’t call right away. When a player with a strong hand does want to call, they usually take a few seconds to think about it. So, fast calls usually suggest that the player has a not-so-great or just a decent hand.

Pay attention to where you’re looking after making big bets

When you’re engaging in the world of real money poker, it’s important to pay attention where you’re looking after making substantial bets. Once you’ve placed a strong bet or raised the stakes, it’s important to be mindful where you’re looking at and strive to keep it consistent.

Lots of players tend to exhibit behavioral patterns that cause them to direct their look in a particular direction after betting with either a strong hand or a weak one.

How Your Opponents Talk

Usually, there are two types of players at the table: the quiet ones and the chatty ones. Pay attention if any of them suddenly switches to the other type. If someone who’s usually talkative suddenly goes quiet, or the opposite, it often means they’ve got a good hand.

How do they handle their chips/cards

The way a player arranges its chips can tell you about the overall approach to the game. Passive and cautious players usually stack their chips neatly, keeping each stack organized and not mixing different chip colors. On the other hand, players who are more daring and aggressive might stack their chips randomly, even mixing different chip values together.

Although you shouldn’t solely rely on this to read someone at the table, it can offer you some hints about what to watch for with a specific player. Pay attention to how your opponent handles their chips over several hands, and you’ll begin to notice recurring patterns.

How a player handles its cards can also be a crucial tell. Watch if a player protects his hole cards – if you’re noticing a pattern for strong/weak hands, you might have one less opponent to worry about!

Bet sizing, biggest online poker tell

Spotting the betting pattern stands out as a vital element of live poker tells. This holds true even in online poker, where your chances of clinching substantial pots increase once you can decipher a player’s betting tendencies. This insight empowers you to distinguish whether a player holds a strong hand or is trying a bluff. By grasping betting patterns, you can also see if your opponent is feeling pressured. If a player seems more self-assured than usual, there’s a possibility they’re bluffing.

Remembering this kind of information can be challenging when you’re engaged in online play with numerous opponents. A smart approach to capitalize on this is by writing down notes, recording both the bet sizes and the revealed cards. You might be amazed at how swiftly patterns become visible through this method.

Final Thoughts

Being aware of the common poker tells we covered in this article will give you a real edge the next time you’re at a poker table – online or live! Not only you’ll be able to better read your opponents, but you’ve also picked up on how to handle your own reactions to avoid revealing too much.

Once you’ve learned the basic elements of poker, mastering the art of knowing how to read poker tells becomes the key ingredient in separating break-even players from players who win regularly.