Reading Online Poker Tells - Revealing Your Opponents' Cards
Playing poker online provides you with some opportunities to understand your opponents in ways that are simply not available in the real world poker environment. If you think that staring at a computer screen allows you no opportunity to understand what your opponent is doing, you are missing out on a surefire way to improve your game, and therefore your bankroll. Online professionals understand that there are traits and "tells" subconsciously delivered by online players, just as there are in physical games. Let's take a look at a few basic online poker tells, and how you can exploit them to make for the most favorable financial opportunity.
Since you cannot see your opponent's physical and facial gestures and behavior, you need to turn to other things like betting speed, online poker button use, and other areas where people subconsciously develop a pattern of play. The number one thing you need to start doing immediately when you play poker online is take notes. While it is virtually unheard of in the physical poker environment to pull out a pen and paper and begin jotting down notes on your opponents, it isn't illegal, but will fly over like a lead zeppelin. However, in the online poker environment, note-taking is the difference between spotting betting patterns you can exploit, and blindly hoping you will win.
One of the same tells that is available in the physical poker world is present in the online environment as well. Players who chat in the chat box a lot generally are the same type of players who would be "talking a blue streak" at the physical table. If someone is constantly chatting, and they instantly stop as soon as they receive their cards, take note of how that hand plays out and whether they had a strong or weak hand. This goes back to the note-taking tips, and when you do it enough, you can get a good handle on exactly what type of hand Chatty Kathy has.
Super slow betters may just have a really horrible Internet connection. But many times they are intentionally slowing the pace of play to give the impression of having a poor hand. You know this is true because you may have done it yourself on occasion. And checking very slowly often means the same thing. Your opponent wants you to believe they are considering folding, and they take an extended period of time before checking. Again, noticing these patterns over time is where you can exploit them.
Checking very quickly is also often a signal that a weak hand is being played. A lot of undisciplined online poker players will hit the check/fold check box to speed things up when they have a poor hand. And even when they play their hand manually, players like to check quickly to see if they can sneak in for a free look. This by no means is a 100% guaranteed tell, but it often times shows weakness.
Now that you know some of the more common and easy to read online poker tells, you need to take one more lesson away from this article. Critique your own play. Do you always use the check/fold check box when you have a weak hand? Have you ever attempted to hide a very strong hand by slow play? While spotting online poker tells of your opponents can deliver some really big paydays, there is only one person's online poker betting behavior you can change, and that person is you. Exhibiting the same online betting behaviors no matter what your situation is a great way to make sure that you don't develop any financially costly online poker tells yourself.
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