Easy Online Tells
Obviously there are not as many tells when playing on the internet as there are when playing in person. You cannot see the other player in order to read his/her expressions and emotions. But believe it or not, there are times when you can pick up on the playing habits of another player online. For instance: Players that frequently push the check/fold button before their turn. This is very common among NOVICE or uneducated players.
This is an easy tell, they have no hand worth playing and only hope to see free cards - or fold if a raise is made. A GOOD player will take some time off of the clock even when they have nothing. This keeps the other players guessing at all times. Sometimes it will even frustrate an experienced or frequent player causing them to make a hasty decision. If you see someone checking quickly hand after hand, play them aggressively, unless of course you know the player and they are using this as a method to fool their opponents.
Here are some more tells you can look out for:
- Long delays before betting: Usually the sign of a strong hand since the player is trying to figure out how much exactly to bet which takes a few seconds especially if he is calculating what the potential pot will be on river if he calls and he wants to make a pot sized bet on river with the nuts.
- Insta-calls: This is usually a draw or medium strength hand.
- Insta-raises: Signs of a strong hand since it is likely that the opponent has clicked the raise any button. This does not happen very often in NL but it is common in limit.
- The Chat Box: The chat box will rarely ever give clues about a particular hand but it will give you clues about the opponent’s state of mind. If he is constantly whining and berating other players there is a good chance that this player is on a tilt and you can take advantage of that.
Some veteran players will try to use the clock as a “timing” tool to their advantage. For example, a player may take the full “time out” before they make their decision to check/fold/raise. If they use a large amount of time to simply check, odds are they have nothing. If they come back with a large raise or an all-in raise – watch out! Unless you know this player very well it is wise to be cautious and back down. Regardless of the outcome use it to your advantage by taking mental note of the player’s style and use this knowledge for the next showdown. A novice player will consistently play their hand the same way every time.