Tips on Tells: What Your Opponents are Telling You

Part 1

If you only knew what your opponents had in their hands poker would be a lot easier to win.  Whether you notice it or not other players are telling you what they have, in fact the term tell is an action that a player makes which gives hints as to how strong their hand is or what they’ll do next.  Concentration is key in this mental sport, we’ll show you how to focus in on your opponents and recognize the tells that will give you an edge at the tables.

When playing traditional poker at a casino or at a friend’s tells include body language, reactions to cards, plays and betting as well as patterns in their playing.  However, if you’re playing online you don’t have the luxury of getting a glimpse at the body language and not much to go on for reactions.  But there are ways to read your opponents online in that field of play.

First of all you need to mentally prepare yourself if you’re going to find the tells of other players.  You can never concentrate enough in poker especially if you’re trying to read your opponents.  Keep your head in the game at all times even when you’re no longer in on the hand.  After folding is the perfect time to study the other players at your table.  While they’re busy figuring out what move to make next you have nothing distracting you.

This is when you can take the most accurate notes.  Notes are a powerful feature to online poker that you won’t get in casino poker rooms.  Most all online poker rooms offer easy to use note taking functions.  Bodog for example allows you to utilize the note taking feature either through the notes tab or you can simply right click on a player at your table and quickly make a note of something you recognized.

So what should you be taking notes on?  There are a good handful of tells online players have that give away their playing style.  As you probably well know there are a number of different types of players in poker.  Based on the type of player you’re up against and their style of playing you can make better decisions on how to react to them as well as take control of the game.  Knowledge is power in poker, but you have to be able to obtain it.  That’s where taking notes on opponent tells will help.


The Online Tells to Look For

These are tells that are unique to online playing.  Without physically being in the room with your opponents you might feel you’re at a disadvantage.  However, there is a lot you can figure out just by the decisions they make and more.

To better decide if the player is just wanting you to think they’re on tilt pay attention to what has previously occurred.  This will also be a useful note as to what can put them in a state of mind you can take advantage of. Also watch for player that either never talks then starts chatting it up as well as the reverse, players who won’t shut up that all of a sudden go quiet. 

If someone is chatting away then suddenly goes quiet it’s not bad to assume they are now concentrating on their hand, which most likely means they have a good one. 

If someone who doesn’t talk much suddenly starts trying to get action moving quicker and is not trying to hide confidence in their playing they could very well be bluffing and they’re trying to convince others they’ve got a strong hand.

This in turn tells you if they are a strong player that understands folds need to be made with weak cards as opposed to a less skilled player who’s going to stay in every hand no matter what they’re dealt.  Take notes on how many times they fold as opposed to seeing the flop and you’ll get a good average in a short time.

Ready for more? See our Advanced Tips on Poker Tells


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