Online Tells

Tells include acts, gestures and other mannerisms that a poker player displays when trying to disguise the strength of their hand.

While many tells may be subconsciously executed, they are nonetheless subject to interpretation by opponents.

A lot of players exhibit the same kind of tell, so the trick is learning to distinguish its implications accordingly since it's meaning for one player can easily differ from that of another player.

In a live game, players can say various things, act weak when they are strong, throw chips in the middle, look away, stare at you, and so forth, but all of their actions say something about their hand.

How can you pick up on these subtleties when playing online? The answer is: you can't. Nonetheless, there are a few tells that are useful to know when playing online.

The Most Common Online Tells

Online tells are almost always related to the speed with which an opponent acts. For example, online it is possible to use the "in turn" buttons or you can wait until it is your turn to act and click on the desired button.

When using the "in turn" buttons, a player can select "check/fold" or "bet/raise" before the action gets to them. There is clear distinction in speed between these two methods of acting and, in certain situations, it can provide you with advantageous information.

Here is a list of the most common online tells:

The insta-call after you bet: Most players who call your bet immediately have a weak calling hand. These players want you to believe they have a stronger hand and hope that you will not bet into them again.

The delayed check: Most players who take longer than normal to check to you do not want you to bet. They are attempting to display strength because they want to see the next card for free.

The delayed bet: When an opponent thinks for a long time and then bets, they are usually holding a strong hand. They want you to believe they are weak so that you will call/raise.

The insta-bet/raise on the river (Texas Hold'em): The player who utilizes this move will usually be holding a very strong hand. By raising or betting so quickly, they are trying to make you think they are bluffing. This move can also be used on the turn and generally, though not as frequently, denotes strength.

The insta-check: A player sitting in late position who uses the "in turn" check/fold button is usually weak. Often, they are playing at multiple tables and are hoping to save time by using the "in turn" buttons.

The bet into on the turn (Texas Hold'em): When a player has checked and called on the flop and then bets into you on the turn, it usually indicates weakness. This type of bet often means that they picked up a draw or that they are semi-bluffing with a draw they picked up on the flop. Strongly consider raising even though you might be bluffing yourself.

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