Online Poker Tells, Part 3

In this three-part series, we’ve been looking at online tells—ways that you can see through you’re opponents’ hand and get a clue as to what he holds. The first two parts contained tells that will help you make your good playing great. Here are the last five tells you’ll want to be sure to watch out for...

Online Poker Tell #11: Big Bets Fast

A lot of online poker rooms let you see a table’s percentage of players who see the flop. If the percentage is high, this usually means you have a table of limpers, who want to see the flop no matter what they have in hand. If a good player sees that you’re at such a table, many times he’ll come in, sit down and, after everyone limps in, he’ll go all-in or raise the hand, hoping that everyone will fold. If you’ve got a good hand, it may be worth it to challenge this fast, big better.

Online Poker Tell #12: Folding Instead of Checking

Though most online poker sites have prompts to save you a mistake, some amateurs will fold a hand instead of checking it, when the check would have been free. This is usually the sign of an amateur player. However, a good player may fold instead of check on the river if he’s been bluffing and doesn’t want anyone to see his bluffing hand. This is also a good tell, since you’re getting a read on a good opponent’s bluff.

Online Poker Tell #13: The Turn and River “Instant” Bet

While Online Tell #2 warned you that instant playing usually signifies weakness, the opposite could be true at the Turn or the River. By now, a player usually has a stronger indication about whether they can beat their opponents. And if the person you’re playing against instantly bets at the Turn or the River, they most likely think they can beat whatever you hold. In this case, only hold on to a strong winner…otherwise you might want to consider dropping the “second best.”

Online Poker Tell #14: Time of Day

Though this isn’t as much a tell as it is a hint to catching the fish, watch what time of day you play. If you play in the US, early morning play usually means you’re playing people from Europe. Evening play usually means you’re playing other US players. Middle-of-the-day play happens during business hours in the US and sleep hours in the UK, so it usually means you’re playing those who aren’t there just for casual play, so your games will turn more serious. Most players find Friday and Saturday night the best times for catching fish, plus right after the US airing of the most recent World Poker Tour.

Online Poker Tell #15: You Name It

Finally, take a look at your opponent’s names. As a general rule, serious players use their real name, a clever alias or a non-descript alias for playing. Fish many times have silly names or “rude” names. Though this isn’t always the case, it’s a general rule that can many times give you a read on the maturity level of your opponent. Some sites allow for personal avatars that can provide clues, too. Again, however, watch out for those who are hoping you’ll suspect this and are playing the opposite.

Knowing online poker tells can be crucial to making or breaking your game! And of course, if you know what the tells are, you can make sure you do the opposite. Or, even better, you can keep your game play erratic so no one can get a read on you!