Although other players at the table cannot see us, this does not mean you aren't giving away information, often involuntarily, about the strength of your hand. In the world of online poker, these implicit and subjective sources of information are called, tells. And, they manifest themselves in two major groups. Timing tells and betting tells. So, let's break down each of these and are the best options we have available to hide them.
How to Hide Timing Tells?
As you probably already know, timing tells refers to a fixed amount of time a player takes before taking a decision at the tables whenever often linked to the strength of their hands. Moreover, regardless of whether you have a strong hand or you're bluffing. In any case, you need to be aware of this and make the proper adjustments. Timing tells can evidence themselves whenever we take either an aggressive or a passive line and, whether we do it fast or almost run out of timebank. So, What to do?
The best way to fix this is by taking the same amount of time each time we're facing a decision online. I know this is not very easy to accomplish, especially if we're playing multiple tables at the same time. But to achieve our primary goal of hiding our timing tell we need to make an effort NOT to take a certain amount of time whenever we are holding a specific hand. If we're instant checking/calling and then folding on a later street, we're sending information to the rest of the table we're doing this with marginal/weak hands and, on the contrary, if we almost run out of time bank while holding the nuts and take this hand to showdown. Well, I am sure by now know what I mean.
Being able to take the same amount of time (it doesn't have to be exact) in making a decision regardless of the strength/weakness of our hand takes a lot of practice and discipline. But the end up result is worth it! By doing this, we make sure we don't offer any additional information to our opponents that could potentially cost us a lot of money. How do we do this? One thing I used to do is to take time-bank as reference. In the sense that when it was time to almost activate the time bank, make the decision. This helped me almost always to keep the same time I took when having to make a decision at the table.
How to Hide Betting Tells?
This online poker tell group refers whenever we start relating our betting to the strength of our hand. Please don't lie to me, I am sure you've been there as well. How many times have you bet less than a ¼ of the pot when holding close to the nuts? Or over-betting the pot whenever bluffing? This is a common mistake among new players. Why? When taking these as your default line, you can be easily by missing value or leaving a lot of money at the table by unsuccessfully attempting to bluff someone out of the pot by launching a big bet.
Let's get something clear here. By no means am I stating taking these lines are a mistake, not by a long shot. I am merely saying taking these lines as your default lines in those situations you open yourself to be exploited by more experienced players. I Ask Again, What Can I Do? Easy, start balancing your sizing. There are a lot of resources online that can teach you about this. But pretty much what balancing means is to take the same line regardless of what you're holding.
By doing this, you protect your bluff range at the same time you maximize your value range. And, the best part is, will make it very difficult for your opponents to exploit you.