Poker TellsWhether you are playing live poker, or playing poker online, there are little things people do that key you into what’s going’ on with the hand you’re in, where you stand, and more importantly where they stand in the hand.

In a live casino poker game, or even a home poker game, those things are usually physical things you can see and hear. When playing poker online you can’t see your opponent, however, so tells you could normally spot pretty easy are not so easy to locate.

So let’s talk about some of those online poker tells. Before we delve too deeply, however, let me point out that the caliber of the player does make a difference. After begin learning to spot these tells, it’s only natural that you’ll also learn to avoid giving up your own poker hands by displaying online poker tells. . .

That being said.. beware the player that’s mastered the art of fake poker tells!

Long Pauses

The Pause/Call Strategy

Online poker play generally happens quite quickly. In fact, it happens so quickly that it’s generally pretty easy to quickly ascertain which players are multi-tabling at other tables because they take that extra second or two to make some decisions. So if a player all of a sudden starts taking a full five or more seconds to ponder calling your raise, before just flat calling it, beware.

In live poker games this may be a normal part of the game, especially with show boating players showing off their newfound abilities to calculate things like pot odds, implied pot odds, and fold equity. However online, a player taking abnormally long to make the call is a sure sign of a big hand, and a player trying to slow play his hand and deceive his opponent.

The Pause/Check Strategy

In both live and online play, players will often pause and ponder their hand for an abnormally long amount of time when they’re weak. The player doesn’t have a hand, may never get a hand, but isn’t really ready to lay it down, therefore to keep you from betting, the player takes a few moments extra to try to convince their opponent that they intend to bet, but then think better of it, perhaps in a fairly tale effort to trap their opponent.

Online Poker Tells: The Chat Box

Watch the chatbox, there’s much to be learned there when it’s in use. Admittedly, the chat box has quieted down over the last couple of years. It’s still fairly lively in the micro stakes levels, however now and then in the low and mid stakes, it does pay off to watch the chat.

Other Simple Tells to Look For

The “Check/Fold” Box

Most people multi-task or multi-table when playing online poker. One of the best tools for this is the Check/Fold box. Just tick that box, and when your turn comes you automatically check or fold, whichever is appropriate. This box can be a major online poker tell. Watch for players folding in rapid fire succession. If you bet even the minimum bet, those players auto-fold.

Be careful here however, more advanced players will tic off the ‘check’ box to throw you off the trail of possible big-time hands.  Analyze this carefully and proceed with caution.

Ranting/”Tilted” Players

The player that just can’t shut up when you beat him. Even if it was a bad beat. They have to tell you how you messed up, they go on and on often calling other players names, belittling, blaming the online poker software, the dealer, and the God of Poker. These players are mad. They are the best, they know they are the best, and their frankly quite ticked off that someone had the audacity to call them in the first place.

This is a big online poker tell. This guy is just waiting to teach somebody how to play poker. When he believes he has a hand, he’s going to bet the hello out of it.

Late Position Raising

If all of the early position players fold a player in late position SHOULD make a stab at the pot. The player will raise and attempt to snag the mini-pot. Raising back into this player should knock him back and cause him to fold, if the player calls your rebluff, proceed with caution, he may actually have a hand.

Should the player reraise back into you, by all means fold.

Player Opts to Not Post

When a player first sits down at an online poker table they are generally asked if they’d like to post or wait for the big blind. Online poker players are generally ready for action, and most of them, even the ones that don’t post when playing live poker games will post online.

If a player sits down and opts to wait for his big blind in lieu of posting, you should be thinking, tight rockish player. This player is likely to play very strong hands, additionally, there’s a strong possibility he lays them down when he misses.

Look to steal many of this player’s blinds.

The “Quiet” Player

Beware the quiet player. In live poker games its the “rocks,” sharks, and other quiet players can be strategically rooted out by simply making a point to say hello to every player at the table at some point during the game.

This way you have assured that no player is playing under your radar. Online, beware the constant folders. The players that are lying quietly in wait, patiently waiting for an opportunity to take a big bite of an unsuspecting fish.  I tend to stay away from opponents who are playing only 1 hand per orbit or two.  When they play back at you, they mean business – and you better have the goods if you’re going to play back.

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