Select Page

Reading Opponents: Common Poker Tells

Poker tells exist both in a live game and online games.  To be successful, it is essential for you to learn how to read your opponent tells while hiding your own.  Every look at the chips, looking comfortable or uneasy, a blink of your eyes can reveal the strength of one’s hand in live play.  Some online players claim to be able to read their opponent by how long they take to bet or call.  Sometimes the size of their bet may indicate a tell.  These are just some of the examples of poker tells.

Poker Tells in a Live Game 

Looking for poker tells takes time, especially for the inexperienced.  For a player that is new to a live game, it can be nerve-racking.  Experienced players know the routine, they will instinctively find their seat and look around to find out who else is on their table.  If you are a new player, it probably is a good idea to keep to yourself and just observe other players.  Just make sure to keep your ears on, you never know what you might pick up.

Watch the eyes of your opponent when the flop comes.  Many times if he takes a quick look at his chips, he probably has a strong hand.  He subconsciously is thinking of how much he should bet.  Make sure to keep note of your opponent habits, like talking loud, tapping their foot, what are their hands telling you and their posture sitting down.  When a two card flush or straight cards come out, if a player makes a quick call, this can indicate a drawing hand.  After the flop, when a player reraises after a bet, that will usually indicate top pair or better, or a courageous bluff.

When facing an opponent that you considered as an inexperienced player, takes time to think, he is probably debating whether to call or fold with a mediocre hand.  But if he took a short time to think, then raises, he probably has a strong hand and is not bluffing.  Applying pressure to a weaker player usually has positive results, and remember that they generally don’t bluff.

Dissecting the Face

In 2012 Joe Navarro’s Dissecting the Face on Twitter


Poker Tells Online

When playing online poker tells will differ slightly from each player.  What needs to be observed closely is the duration of time that your opponent takes during their turn to act.
If the same player raises frequently pre-flop, then folds after the flop when another player bets, this opponent could be on tilt.  If the player doesn’t calm down, it will most likely be a short session.

Distracting Tactics

Some poker players will engage in small talk while playing a hand This may be distracting for many players and if you are not able to do this, it’s better to keep quiet.  When you become a successful poker player, you will have learned how to either block it out or use it to your advantage.

Articles of Interest

Strategy For A Live Poker Tournament

Thinking About Playing Poker Online

Poker Etiquette Key Points