Poker tells are basically verbal or physical actions made by players at the table that might give away the strength of their hands. In lower stake games, it’s very common to find people who make such actions unknowingly! They’re completely unaware of doing such things and you can always take advantage of that.
Some Most Common Tells In Poker
Looking Away or Making Eye Contact
Well, generally when people look straight into your eyes, they are conveying strength. Having the nuts or the winning hand usually makes people more relaxed. This makes them comfortable enough to make eye contact.
People who have weak hands or are bluffing will not feel comfortable to look you in the eye.
But for poker to work, you’ll have to observe them as a larger pattern of behaviours that have proven to be reliable indicators of hand strength.
Some players look straight at you or look completely away in every hand. For such players, using eye contact or a lack of eye contact cannot be used as a tell really.
Acting Quickly or Taking Extra Time
Sometimes players who are good at hiding tells give away information by varying the amount of time they take to act on their hands. This is one of the most common poker tells you’ll experience during a live game.
Players who tend to take longer and eventually check, they’re usually in a spot with a drawing hand, a medium pair and are looking to figure out a semi-bluff. Players who make instant calls tend to have drawing hands/weak hands but not necessarily complete air.
Players betting quickly can be identified as weakness. The action just seems intimidating and crying for a fold. Whereas tanking and betting usually represents strength as they’re figuring out how much to bet in order to extract value.
Handling Chips And Cards
Watch your opponents hands when they’re betting. Inexperienced players feel nervous and their hands may tremble when they’re trying to bluff. It’s almost impossible to fake shaky hands!
Also See: How To Play Poker
Players with strong hands are eager to place their bets and reach out for chips almost instantly. Players who don’t tend to keep their hands away from their chips.
Level of Attentiveness
People tend to peak at their phones when they aren’t interested in taking part in the hand. Even after the flop, players seem to be interested elsewhere like calling a waiter or following the game showing up on the TV screen.
These are easy tells to realise that they’re probably going to fold. If someone isn’t paying attention at the table, that player is missing out on all of that information that you, the attentive player, are constantly gathering.
People talking between their hands is usually a sign of strength. They’re relaxed enough to get into a conversation. This especially applies to players who generally do not talk at the table.
Sometimes players give “disclaimers” or statements that are completely opposite to the strength of their hands. An example would be a player exhaling and saying “Well, I guess I have to play this hand” or something similar before calling or betting — kind of the verbal equivalent of a shrug.
Often this is an attempt at appearing weak when the player is actually strong. All these common poker tells will help you to make better decisions at the live felts. However, these aren’t 100% true and it’s always better to play your hands on their merit and not what the other player is doing.