Answer this question – how well do you spot online poker tells? Are you able to put your opponents on the correct hand most of the time? If not, you are likely missing some obvious online poker tells. And by missing out on the obvious tells, you are costing yourself money. The good news is most poker players don’t recognize these online poker tells, so you’re not alone. The bad news is if you don’t pay attention for them, you can’t win.
Online Poker Tells – Top 5
Online Poker Tell #1 – Waits long to bet on river and then makes a massive bet
Let’s say you really do have a marginal hand on the river such as top pair with weak kicker or even middle pair. When faced with a bet on the river, you will probably want to think about it for a bit to decide if you should call or fold. But you aren’t going to then throw out a raise because there is no point – you can’t beat a call. So if your opponent pauses long on the river and then puts out a big bet, you better have the nuts or lay down your hand.
Poker Tell #2 – Auto-checking
You don’t have to be Phil Ivey to figure this one out, but many players aren’t paying attention to pick up on this tell. If your opponent instantly auto-checks, you can rest assured they are holding a lousy hand and are desperately waiting for someone to bet so they can fold and move onto the next hand.
Poker Tell #3 – Check from a continuation bettor
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a scenario where a frequent continuation bettor – someone that always bets a flop they raised before the flop – checks the flop and didn’t hit a monster, especially when a Ace, King or Queen is on the board. Don’t fall into the trap of betting the turn after the continuation bettor checked the flop. They’re trying to be sneaky, so don’t fall for the trap.
Poker Tell #4 – Acting weak or whiny in the chat box
I never chat with other players online. I made that mistake a few years back on Carbon Poker and it cost me money. The top players rarely chat, but you should still occasionally glance at the chat box because players will give away some online poker tells. The first tell I spot is the players whining about their cards/bad beats. These players are prone to bluff. The other tell is the “I don’t know why but I’m going to be dumb and call here,” type of poker players. In most cases, these players are trying to disguise their big hand. A good rule of thumb in poker is that weak = strong and strong = weak, most of the time.
Poker Tell #5 – Insta-calling a Bet
When a player calls your bet instantly, you might think he’s holding a big hand. After all, he clearly isn’t showing any fear of your bet because he didn’t even take the time to think about it. However, that’s not what is really going on in your opponent’s head. His philosophy is, “if I call quickly, my opponent will think I flopped the nuts and will be afraid to bet the turn”. Don’t fear insta-callers. Keep betting. They usually hold marginal hands such as draws. Of the online poker tells on this list, this one is the trickiest.
I hope that shed some light on the various online poker tells that you’ll see when playing online poker. If you’d like to learn more winning strategies, check out our free poker strategy ebook where we guide you “through the grind” of playing poker well. Our free eBook should be in the sidebar on the right.