Top Three - Online Poker Tells

Many 'old school' poker players will claim that playing online poker is not playing 'real poker' because of the fact that you can't pick up on your opponents tells. Yes granted you can't see that bead of sweat running down their forehead or watch their hands shake because they're holding the stone cold nuts but if you know what to look for, your online opponents will tell you all that you need to know.

Let us take a look at the three most common online poker tells.

Timing Tells

Timing tells are exactly how they sound, you're watching your opponents to see how long they take before making a desicion.

We're going to assume in these examples that our opposition is average to bad on the whole, playing low stakes games. A good player at higher stakes could use any tell and reverse it to confuse other good players (food for thought).

Every read you make on a player can change some what from each individual and you should be watching closely to the action at the table to better help and reinforce your reads on an opponent. However, on the whole when it comes to timing tells the most common you'll come across are these.

The Stall

When an opponent stalls before making a move it's generally either very strong or very weak. If your villain is stalling and then checks he is normally weak and is trying to make you think that he has a decision to make between betting or checking. When you see this, you can just take it as a green light to bet until your opponent gives you a reason not to.

If the player that you're in the pot with stalls for a long time before betting or raising, then this is quite often a big hand so beware.

Instant Bet

When your opponents decide to fire instantaneously at a pot, it's more often not a super strong holding. As we have already discussed, when a lot of players have a big hand, they normally take their time to try and figure out how to get the most money from you. When these guys insta bet, it's normally because they decided they would fire a bet no matter what happened. So knowing this, if you pick the right board to do it on (a flop that looks like it missed their raising range) then you can make big check raises and look to take the pot away.

Donk Betting

Firstly for those that don't know what donk betting is, it's simply a bet made by a player who didn't have the initiative pre flop. So for example let's say that you raise from the button with a hand like AQ and a player in the blinds just flat calls. The flop comes down K 2 9 and your opponent just fires out a bet at the flop without checking to you first, that is a donk bet.

Now a donk bet isn't always a bluff as such but it's never normally a sign of strength either. Lets go back to our example hand and assume that the guy donk bet with a hand like 88. So as you can see, he has the better hand because all we have right now is ace high. However what we do have is position in the hand and infomation on his hand strength (not too strong). So we can raise here a lot as a bluff and force our opponent to fold as the king is a scare card that could easily have hit a hand that we raised pre flop and our opponent is generally making this bet as a 'feeler' bet and won't feel too great now that we've raised him.

The problem with his feeler bet is that sure, he has the best hand but has no real way of knowing for certain as we'd make the same play with KQ, AK, AA and all hands that beat him.

Again very good players can reverse this against other good players and will make donk bets with super strong hands like sets, in the hope that their good, observant opponents decide to spazz out and bluff off a load of chips. But if we are facing regular, fishy type players then the donk bet and how we can take advantage of it usually holds true.

Sitting with less than a full buy in & Posting out of turn

I feel that these two go hand in hand as far as spotting the weak players at the table goes. Most good players realise that they should sit at a poker table with a full stack in order to maximise their value from big hands and as such will keep it topped up. So if you see a player with say between 70 - 90 big blinds in their stack they are normally not great players but have enough chips to make it worth your while to sit down and play. In a real life casino, players don't just wear signs saying that they are bad players, but online they do.

When players sit and post the blind out of turn this is also a pretty clear indication of a bad player. Any good player will know that over a long enough period of time, posting the blinds out of turn is just wasting money as you pay that much more for an orbit at the table. As well as realising that they are weaker players, the fact that they want to get started so quickly is generally because they are action junkies and want to get involved.

Action junkies are normally loose and you can beat them easily by picking up a good hand and value betting them well.

Good luck at the tables.



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