When you read most any poker book or strategy site, there’s a lot about “tells” – how to read your opponent to determine the strength or weakness of a player’s hand. There’s even books about nothing but tells! How someone breathes, facial ticks, the vein in their neck – all sorts of tells that will allow a good poker player to eat a weak player’s lunch day after day. Well, there’s one big problem with online poker – there are NO tells! Or are there?
Actually there are. While there may not be as many, and they may not be as obvious – there are certainly online tells you can look for, and know to try not to do yourself. Since I there’s not much currently written about online poker tells, I kind of just catch them as I play more and more online poker. If you know of some good online tells please email me.
- Position Raises
This is not really so much a tell, just a move. If you are in the small or big blind – and everyone folds – until the person just to your right finally raises – don’t necessarily assume he’s got a great hand. It’s a good move often used to steal blinds. To make sure – raise back.
- Slow Play
While I don’t see people do this as much with medium – strong hands, I do often see them all of a sudden start to think long and hard about placing their bet – or raise. Unless this person is just a slow player or experiencing connection troubles, it’s quite likely an acting job. Paying attention to people’s betting rhythms at all times will help with this call.
- Really Fast Play
Most online poker sites allow a person to pre-select their next move rather than click when it’s their turn. You can check boxes like “check / fold”, “fold”, “call anything”, and “raise anything”… Basically the way you can tell someone has used one of these check box buttons rather than actually wait their turn is it passes by them lightening fast. Basically faster than most could humanly click the button. There are two scenarios when someone has pre-checked their next bet move you should watch for…
“check / fold” – basically when someone clicks this they are saying, “unless I can play for free, I’m folding”. Go ahead and bet to thin them from the callers.
“raise anything” – if someone is using this button they are either really loose AND lazy, or feel they have the nuts. So – watch out for that. This one you won’t see nearly as often as the “check / fold” button.
- Chatting about their hand
Drunk poker players are kings of thinking little sayings like “finally, here we go”, or “thank you dealer”… and actually thinking it scares the other players into believing they’ve got a hand. Well, I see players do the same via chat online every so often, and just like the others, they are generally full of #@$@#$.