Poker Tells

Online Poker Tells

Probably the most striking difference between playing poker online and playing in a brick-and-mortar poker room is the apparent lack of tells.  When your opponents are mere icons on your computer screen, you can’t read their body language at all, and the poker tells you’ve come to depend on are no longer an asset.SIMPLE SPIES

Much has been written about Poker Tells – countless websites and more than a few poker books go into a lot of detail about how to read your opponents.  It is explained how hand movement, eye movement, respiration and a whole host of other physical phenomena reveal what a player is holding.   Internet Poker, however, is a different kettle of fish.  How can you read your opponents when you can’t even see them?

It isn’t to say that there are no Online Poker Tells, there just aren’t as many, and it’s mostly in the timing

Signs of Weakness

  • Pause before a check.
  • An Instant check – Huge tip off that this player has a weak hand.

Signs of Strength

  • A pause before a bet – an attempt to appear weak to sucker opponents into calling.
  • A quick bet.
  • Delayed raise (Trying to appear uncertain in an attempt to get more callers).
  • Instant re-raise – particularly on the turn or the river.

Auto Responders

  • A obvious tell is a player who has consistently used the autoplay feature (look for instant responses), then suddenly pauses before responding.

Sill, it is rather hard to get a good read on the strength and/or weakness of the hands your opponents are holding by using tells alone.  Obviously, online poker tells have to be used in conjunction with other observations about each opponent.  A very aggressive player will probably show no pauses until he/she’s about to fold.

Vanishing your Online Poker Tells

One way a player can and should use online tells to their advantage is not to have any. This much harder to do that it appears:  Time each of your responses so that they are all the same.  Another way is to set a slightly different response time according to the last card turned up on the board.  Wait 2 seconds if it’s an odd card, or 4 seconds for an even card.  Mix this up to suit yourself, red vs black, high vs low.  Either way, it’s sure to confuse even the most observant of opponents.


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