Most poker players would agree that picking up on online poker timing tells while playing online poker more difficult than picking up on poker tells in a live poker game. Once you understand the many types of online poker tells, it becomes easier to notice them. The easiest online poker tells to spot are the online poker timing tells. When you are involved in a poker hand, you should always pay attention to the amount of time poker players take to make decisions because online poker timing tells give major clues as to how strong their poker hand is.
Online Poker Timing Tells Example
You are playing in a $.50/$1 NL Texas Holdem cash game and are located in the cut-off position. You are dealt A(d) 9(d) and raise to $3.50; the small blind calls, but you notice that he calls quickly, so you start paying attention for more online poker timing tells. The flop is 9(h)-2(s)-7(c) and your opponent again acts quickly and just checks. You hit top pair with top kicker, and it is your turn to act. You bet $5 into the $8 pot and get called by your opponent very quickly.
By now, you’re tuned in to watch for more online poker timing tells. Your opponent has acted quickly up to this point, so you’re watching for any change in his timing. The turn card is the 5(h) and your opponent checks very quickly. You think to yourself “my opponent called my raise quickly and after the flop check/called very quickly and once again has checked very quickly.” You think he is being consistent thus far and don’t notice any online poker timing tells. You decide that your opponent is weak and bet $12 into an $18 pot. Now your opponent takes his time instead of acting quickly. This is one of the most obvious online poker timing tells and should be setting off alarms in your head!
Your opponent uses up most of his time and raises, the minimum. More alarms should be going off! You take into consideration that your opponent was in the small blind, called your bets very quickly, and has now stopped to raise you the minimum when a 5(h) appears, which completes a straight draw.
Using Online Poker Timing Tells to Save Money
What just happened is that your opponent was on a draw and hit it. In the example above, he is not taking so long because he is thinking of calling or folding; he is thinking of how much to raise as he does not want to scare you away. Your opponent got involved in the hand because he was the small blind, and many poker players will quickly complete their small blind if there isn’t a raise. He hit a draw on the flop, and it was another easy call for him. Now that he has hit his draw, he has to take time to think (a well known online poker timing tell) about how much he can raise you to get maximum value.
When the flop came out 9-2-7 your opponent could have checked/called a pair or a 6-8 which would have given him an open ended straight draw. After the 5 came on the turn your opponent checked quickly, probably to induce a bet from you since he had made his straight or even two-pair. By raising the minimum, he sucks you into the hand for more money. The best play here would be to fold and save your chips unless you have a lot of outs, and I mean like flush draw and a draw to a higher straight.
There is something to be aware with online poker timing tells: online poker pros know about it and will use online poker timing tells to bluff or extract more money from a pot. Remember to be cautious, know your opponents, and take notes.