When playing online poker, you can n´t take advantage of the poker tells you see in live poker, because you can n´t see your opponents online. For people with Asperger´s Syndrome, exploiting live poker tells can be difficult, though. Many of us can n´t interpret facial expressions well. Luckily, the poker tells online are much easier to spot!
Tells in poker mean a player´s behavior that gives out information on his or her hand. You should avoid giving out tells yourself, but try to read your opponent´s tells.
On today´s post, I´m going to talk about the most common poker tells online. You will learn to avoid giving out information with tells yourself when playing online poker, while exploiting opponents who make these tells.
First, I´m going to talk about different timing tells players make online, and how you can avoid making them. Next, I will discuss bet size and bet type tells. The last topic will be the tells players make on the online poker chat, and how you should use the chat box.
Remember, you need to observe your opponents to find out their patterns. If a player makes any of the tells mentioned on this post, it does not automatically mean the same thing for all players. That´s why you need to see a player go to showdown with some hands, so that you can see, if these tells apply to this player.
Timing Tells And Their Meaning
Timing tells can be seen in live poker as well as online poker. Timing tells online are even easier to spot. The time it takes for a player to make an action is a timing tell.
Instant Checking And Folding
Online tables have an instant check / fold button you can use before the action is on you. Do n´t use it! The players who use it, obviously have a weak hand they are not going to play, if there is a raise before the action is on them. Some players use it on the big blind, so if you raise on the small blind, they automatically fold. When you notice a player is using the auto-fold on the big blind, make a note on them and steal the blinds every time you are on the small blind, when the action is folded to you.
Players may also instantly check post-flop. They are going to check-fold or check-call, but clearly they are not even considering raising, because they would take at least a few seconds to consider it. An instant or quick check post-flop usually means a player has a weak hand.
A quick bet pre-flop usually indicates a strong hand. On the flop, a quick bet may be just an automatic continuation bet, so your opponent may be bluffing. However, they might also have a somewhat strong hand.
Quick Re-Raise Pre-flop
A quick 3-bet usually means your opponent has the nuts. Most likely your opponent has QQ, KK, AA or AK.
Usually a quick call means weakness, because this player is not even considering raising.
Taking Time To Check
When your opponent thinks for a while and then checks, usually this player is pretending he or she considered raising. Most of the time they have nothing.
Taking Time To Bet
If your opponent thinks for a while and then bets, most of the time they have a strong hand.
Taking Time To Call
It is likely your opponent has a strong hand, if they are taking time to call. Your opponent may be planning to trap you or float the flop.
How To Avoid Giving Out Timing Tells?
There is a simple solution to avoid giving out time tells. As you can see, players give away information on the strength of their hand by how much time they take to make an action. Most likely you also instantly raise with pocket aces, but think for a while, if you´re not sure whether to raise or fold.
To avoid this, take at least a few seconds before you make any action, both pre-flop and post-flop. This way, you give yourself time to think about your decisions, when you actually need time to think. By thinking a while, even when you do n´t need time to think, you do n´t reveal the strength of your hand.
Bet Size And Bet Type Tells
Bet size tells are one of the most common poker tells online. Avoid giving out bet size tells yourself. Do n´t vary your bet size according to the strength of your hand. Use the same bet sizes with bluffs and made hands. This leads us to how to exploit the bet size tells other players make.
Using Different Bet Sizes According To Hand Strength
Many poor loose players make a small bet with a weak hand, and a huge bet with the nuts. Other bad loose players try to bluff by making a small bet or limping with the nuts, and making a super-sized bet with a poor hand.
Some players bet one type of hands with even bet sizes like 600, but other type of hands with odd bet sizes like 666 or 632. Pay attention to what kind of hands they play with different types of bet sizes. Often, if they only use odd bet sizes with some hands, they have a weak hand or the nuts.
Half Pot Bets
Some players bet half a pot with a draw, and more with a made hand. Do n´t make this mistake. For example, if there are two cards of the same suit on the flop, bet the same amount whether you have a flush draw or you think your opponent has a flush draw, and you made a set on the flop.
Small Turn Bets
Small flop bets (1/3 pot) are common these days, but a small turn bet usually indicates weakness, especially if the player did not bet on the flop. In my experience, some weak players think a small turn bet means a strong hand, and fold. However, if you use a small turn bet often, your opponents will soon notice you have nothing when you make it.
If you do have a made hand, you want to grow the pot, so the small turn bet does not make sense. So I would not recommend making small turn bets, but pay attention to your opponents making it. Mostly they do n´t have much of a hand, so you could successfully bluff them out of the hand by re-raising.
Making a bet bigger than a pot usually means either a monster or total air. If a player bets all-in on the river, it is very likely this player has the absolute monster hand. However, only an opponent with the second nuts, who thinks he or she has the nuts, would call an all-in on the river.
On this video, on the WSOP Main Event in 2017, Gaelle Baumann bets all-in on the river. Baumann had quads, and she most likely knew Vanessa Selbst had a full house she could not fold. The only reason Baumann bet all-in on the river, in my opinion, is that she knew Selbst had a full house.
Betting all-in on the river as a bluff would be quite risky in a tournament, because you get eliminated, if the bluff fails. Be careful of calling over-bets, because most of the time the players making them have a monster. Some players do over-bet as a bluff, but make sure you know your opponent.
Donk betting; a player who did not make the last pre-flop bet leading on the flop, usually means the donk better is just bluffing and has nothing. In my experience, this is especially true if the donk better is a loose player. However, some players, especially tight ones, donk bet when they hit the board and do n´t want to give the pre-flop raiser equity by checking. A common hand to donk bet with is 2 pair, when the board is draw heavy.
I would say, most of the time, especially if a loose player donk bets, this is a bluff. You should raise on these donk bets. Beware of the donk betters catching up with what you´re doing, though.
Do n´t Chat.
Let´s make one thing clear; you should NOT say anything on the chat box available at online poker tables. You should only say ´thank you´, if someone says ´nice hand´ to you. Most serious and good online poker players do n´t chat at the table.
The last thing to do on the chat is rage at a bad player who beats you with a terrible play. First of all, you do n´t want everyone at the table to know you just went on tilt. Second of all, you do n´t want to tell the fish how horribly they play. You want to keep them playing poker, and you want to keep them playing horrible poker, because they bring you money in a long run.
Another reason, why you should not waste time on the chat box is obvious; you should focus on playing poker. Especially if you have ADD, you should minimize distractions while playing. This certainly includes nonsense like table chat.
While you should say next to nothing on the table chat, you can gain information from what other players write on the chat. If a player is constantly writing something on the chat in the first place, it is very likely this chatter is a fish. Moreover, if the things they write is total nonsense, you might be lucky enough to have a drunk fish at your table. Even better, if a player starts raging and cursing on the chat, blaming other players for being fish. This player is tilting hard; get ready to take over their chips.
Despite not being able to see your opponent´s facial expressions or body language, numerous tells exist in online poker. A timing tell is a time it takes for a player to make an action. You can take advantage of the timing tells players make online.
You can avoid making timing tells yourself by always taking at least a few seconds, before making any action. This way you give yourself time to think about your decisions, when you need the time, without giving out information.
Bet size tells often reveal the strength of a player´s hand. Do n´t give away bet size tells; use the same bet size for different types of hands.
Players ranting on the online poker table´s chat box about how unlucky they are, are likely on tilt. In general, only weak players write a lot on the chat box in the first place. Do n´t waste your time on the chat box. Only say ´thank you´, if someone says ´nice hand´ to you.
Do you agree with the poker tells online mentioned on today´s post? Are there any other ones you have noticed? Please share in the comment section below!