Online Poker Tells are when your body language just can't keep it's mouth shut! Any little sign or gesture by a poker player that might indicate what cards he or she has is called a tell.
In a real-life game at a poker table there are many tells that you can use to try and read what cards your opponents have. Eye movements are probably the biggest giveaway of all, that's why a lot of amateur and even professional poker players wear sunglasses at the table.
There are other signs peculiar to individual players, some may have a twitch or even sweat when they are in a spot. If you put a top class professional poker player at a table of amateurs, the pro player would be able to read the cards by the players' tells, almost as if the cards were sitting face up.
Playing poker online however is a completely different matter - there is no way to see your opponents so the normal poker tells are lost.
However there are a few things you can watch for in the other players that might just give you a read on what they have.
1. Speed of response This is the main tell you have on your opposition when playing poker online. In particular look for players who take a while to check, this is seen as a weak play and indicates that the player does not have a good hand.
You should beware of this in your own play - if you are going to check with a poor hand, don't hesitate before you do.
2. Chatting. This is the other big online poker tell. If someone is constantly chatting at the table it shows weakness. These players normally come along and tell you why they folded or tell you their hand after they've mucked it, basically copying what they've seen the pros do on the TV. These players normally don't do very well, there's not a great deal of time when you're playing poker online and if they are typing out chat then they aren't concentrating on the game.
3. Maniacs. These are players who live on a do-or-die basis and often go all-in with almost every hand, especially in the early stages of a tournament. They are of course very easy to spot, and equally easy to stop. All you need to do is wait for a good hand and call their all-in, you will probably find yourself very strong favorite to knock the maniac out. If however the maniac is left unchecked to do his work, he can turn very dangerous as he will have built up a leading chip stack by being unopposed and can then sit back and play only good hands.
4. The Limper. This player is the opposite of the maniac. He will try and see every hand for free but will fold as soon as the betting starts - unless he has a really good hand. This is another very good tell you can use, just simply fold if the Limper starts to bet, unless of course you have a really good hand too.
These four online poker tells should stand you in good stead and you will now be able to sort out the wheat from the chaff among your opponents.
Article by Ian McIntosh, Check out the latest poker articles at Love-Texas-Holdem.com as well all the latest information on Texas Holdem tournaments and freerolls.
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