Online Poker Tells (Poker Dominator)

Tells are a big part of poker. If you want to be a successful poker player over time you have to be able to read your opponents. This skill will give you an edge at the poker table and help you make the right decisions in difficult situations.

In a live poker game a tell can be pretty much anything. One player might scratch his ear when he's bluffing, another player might start shaking whenever he's holding a really good cards. When you're playing online poker the tells aren't as obvious, but they are still there. Naturally you have to study the betting patterns in every single hand; when and how much did the other players bet? The speed with which your opponents act is another significant factor.

Tells to look for when playing poker online:
  • When another player calls a bet right away, he's likely to have a weak hand, like second pair or a small pocket pair that didn't hit. He might also be on a draw. He makes the quick call to imply strength and to conceal his weak position. His aim is to save money by stopping you from making another bet against him in the upcoming betting rounds.
  • When another player check-calls you on the flop and then opens the betting on the turn he's normally in a fragile position. In these cases you should suspect a drawing hand that didn't hit, and that your opponent might be semi-bluffing (of course you have to consider the cards on the board in these situations). The best action in these cases is to raise, regardless of what hand you're holding. If you have read your opponent's actions correctly he will be under a lot of pressure, and it will be expensive for him to see his draw down.
  • When another player bets or raises right away on the river you have to be careful. This is usually a sign of a really strong hand. This seemingly reckless play might very well be an attempt to make you think he's on a bluff. Your rival is hoping that you will swallow the bait and make a raise or re-raise. If you do, he will certainly re-raise, and you will be in a lot of trouble. You should also look out for instant bets or raises on the turn.
  • When another player takes a long time to make a bet, you have to watch out. Normally this is a sign of strong cards, and that your opponent is trying to maximize his winnings by slow playing. The player using this strategy wants you to think that he's holding week cards in order to make to you call or even raise.
  • When another player in late position checks right away (with help of the "in turn"-button), his hand is probably rather weak. This type of play is often a sign of multi-table play. These players normally don't want to waste any time on miserable hands.
  • When another player waits for a while and then checks his cards are probably not very strong. This strategy is frequently used by players with drawing hands that wants to get a free card. By delaying his check your rival wants to make you think he's holding good cards, and that he is planning to check-raise. He's hoping that the fear of a big check-raise will keep you from betting and that he will get to see the next card for free.

Keep in mind that this is advice on a general level - it won't be applicable in every single hand. A poker hand is a puzzle you have to put together piece by piece. The other player's every action in the hand, and their actions in previous hands always have to be considered.

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