Online Poker Tells

Online Poker Tells

It’s true, when playing poker online you can’t see the other players’ faces or body language. There is no glimpse of a smile, or shaky hand to warn you of the monster hand that’s about to crush your set. However, there are subtle hints that will give away the strength of a player’s hand if you know what to look for.

Timing and Bet Size

Timing and the size of the bets made are the most obvious tells in online poker. If a player snaps in with a fast and heavy bet pre-flop, it’s a safe assumption they’ve got a pocket pair of some kind. They already knew what they were going to do before it was their turn. They are either very happy with their hand, or they’ve been planning a bluff… more likely the former.

With weak poker players, usually only the bluffs are slow; they’re afraid to throw out the money and try to steal the pot. Poker players who play Texas Hold’em on Ubuntu, and who take their time with every hand are usually the ones to watch out for. The ones who take very little time to decide what to do are often easy reads.

Real Life Poker Game Situation

Let’s say you’ve been dealt JK. You’re one-off the button and every player before you has folded. You make a standard 3x raise, the player on the button calls, and both the blinds fold. The flop comes out 10, J, Q – you have middle pair with a straight draw. This is not a bad poker hand on the flop. You bet half the pot, and after a moment’s thought, your opponent raises you the full pot. They could have a straight, a pair of kings, or they could just be bluffing, but you’re just not sure.

Texas Hold'em on Ubuntu

Texas Hold'em on Ubuntu

In poker, (both online poker and live games) figuring out your opponent’s hand is the key to winning. So you decide to re-raise and hopefully get an idea of where you stand. If at this point they stall, or start talking to you, asking if you have the straight, they doubt their hand and will probably fold. However, if you’ve been watching and determined this is a decent player, and they call, or 3-raise after pumping you for information… watch out. They’ve probably got at least 2 pair or a set.

Of course, these tells vary depending on the player, and good players will give false tells to try to throw you off. It’s up to you to watch your opponents and figure out how they play. A good online poker player is one who pays attention to their opponents and learns how they play in different situations.


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