Let´s get something out of the way right now. Regardless of whether we are playing live or online poker, a tell is an action that the opponent performs, and that gives us information about his hand. Simple enough, right?
The big difference between the two worlds is that; in live poker games, we have the opportunity to actually see our opponents at the table and be able to draw conclusions about his general behavior at the table and obtain first-hand information. What type of “first-hand” information are we talking about here? Everything that has to do with, not only their behavior and body language at the table, but also their betting patterns. These are the two main variables we can use to extract valuable information about our opponent´s hole cards.And even though, we don´t have the “luxury” in the online felts to have our adversaries sitting across the table. We do have the opportunity to analyze their betting patterns.
Poker tells it doesn't only apply to the live poker world.
What Tells Do We Need To Be On The Look For Online?
Let´s see what we got! Delayed Action, Ending With a Raise.
I see this so often it´s just borderline ridiculous. Often players taking this line online means they have a very strong hand but wants you to believe they´re facing a very tough decision (holding a marginal hand instead). So, next time you see a guy taking almost his entire time bank and raising you. Be very careful about how you proceed. Especially if the board is really dry. Most often than not, they´re holding something close to the NUTS!.
The “Almost” Click-Back Raise
This one gets to me every time! You often see this on really new players just starting out to play poker online. It usually means, they are excited about having a monster hand and can´t wait to build up a pot. Again, be very careful when you see this type of move. If you´re drawing, you´re usually getting great pot odds to continue and even better-implied odds.
The Instantaneous Check
When some decide to “thick” the checkbox on their end, this usually means a very weak/marginal hand. And it makes sense if you think about it. If I have already decided the best line for my hand Is to check and not bet or raise for value, it means I am mostly holding middle pair, or I am drawing.
Opponents Often Call Very Fast
This is very similar to the above with the exception that villains are holding a slightly stronger hand. Otherwise, they would´ve just folded. Most often than not, if the hand ever makes it to showdown, you will also see busted draws or medium-strength hands.
They Are Betting Too Small
If there´s a tell I can state with 100% certainty is this one. The vast majority of the time whenever you see someone betting too damn small, you can rest assure you´re facing a polarized range. Meaning, they either have a monster hand, or they are completely bluffing.
So, if you´re holding a medium-strength hand then, I am sorry to say, you will be facing a very tough decision. But given the pot odds, you´re getting, it usually will be “correct” to call. Don´t beat yourself too much if you´re struggling to spot these tells. As with any other ability, it takes time, patience, dedication and self-discipline to develop a skill and turn it into an ability you can profit from in the real world.