5 Most Common Online Poker Tells
A crucial element to being a successful poker player at live games is the ability to read your opponents and to pick up various “tells” that allow you to know whether they may be bluffing or holding a strong hand based on body language and mannerisms displayed at the table. Although this part of the game is limited while playing online–obviously because you cannot see your opponents–there are several online tells that you can pick up on to make better decisions against other players on the Internet.
Five Most Common Tells
Keep in mind that online tells won’t be as reliable as tells discovered in your opponents during live games, but they do come in handy on occasion.
Five of the most common playing online poker are: when your opponent waits a long time before checking, waits a long time before betting and raising, checks or calls your bet on the flop and then comes out betting small on the turn card, instantaneous betting or checking, and timing out when it is their turn to act. As you can see, four of the five tells have to do with the time it takes to act. Since you cannot see your opponents, this is all you can go on in the realm of online poker. Let me explain what each tell often means.
Waiting a long time before checking typically shows weakness because your opponent would like you to think that he is contemplating a raise when, in reality, he probably doesn’t have much of a hand at all. If you are in a favorable position in these instances, consider making a raise to scoop the pot right then and there.
Waiting a long time before betting and raising is often the opposite of the previous tell, which means that your table rival is holding a strong hand and would like you to believe that he is attempting a bluff. Don’t fall for it. Players with strong hands sometimes savor the situation when they know they have the best of it.
Such as holding pocket Kings and seeing another King appear on the flop. Poker players live for such hands and often don’t act quickly online on these occasions.
The third common online tell has nothing to do with timing. Its more of a strategical ploy to reduce the amount of money wagered in order to see an additional card. It occurs when a player acting in front of you checks after the flop appears, you make a bet from the later position, and your rival calls.
After the turn card is flipped over, your opponent makes a bet that could be considered on the small side. In such instances, your opponent typically is holding a mid-level pair or a straight or flush draw and is hoping that his meager bet will allow him to see the river card cheaply.
This is known as a blocking bet, as your rival wants to avoid a big bet from you. You should often raise in these circumstances to give your opponent incorrect pot odds in calling your bet and seeing the river card. A small bet should rarely be respected and should be treated for what it is–a sign of weakness.
The software of online poker sites allows for players to make their decisions prior to their turn to act by selecting the check, bet or fold boxes while waiting for other players to act. You should never use these instant buttons because doing so is probably the most reliable of the online poker tells.
An instant check by your opponent shows weakness because he usually has nothing and is looking for a reason to fold, namely, if another player bets. Likewise, an instantaneous bet or raise shows strength because the player has a strong hand and will be betting regardless of what other players acting before him will do. Unless you’re sure of folding a terrible hand, don’t use the insta-betting options. If you see another player doing so, act accordingly.
Playing poker online affords players the opportunity to perform other tasks while involved in a game of poker. Checking emails, surfing the web, chatting on Skype and multi-tabling are rituals often performed by online poker players that takes their focus away from any particular game.
As such, they will be pre-occupied with other activities and may be taking too long to act and sometimes timing out. Players who fall into this category of online poker tells will normally be playing basic poker–checking and folding with bad hands and raising good ones. You can often use this to your advantage when making decisions that involve the “lack of complete focus” online player.
Those are the five most common online poker tells. They can sometimes be used favorably when making a decision as to how to act or react against any such players who may be exhibiting any of these tells.
Keep in mind that you cannot see your opponents and there may be other factors involved as to why a player may be taking too long to act on any given hand. For that reason, you can use these tells from time to time to add to your bankroll. But remember that the best tell is continually watching and observing the betting patterns and the playing styles of your opponents.
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