How to Read Tells Online

A poker 'tell' is a sign given by a player that indicates the strength of their hand. It may be fairly easy to read tells during live games by players' expressions, steadiness of their hands, or their shifty gazes. However, it can be a bit more difficult to read others when playing poker online.

What to Look For

Knowing what to look for in others playing habits is the best way to anticipate other players' hands. Online game players can vary the amount of time they take to make moves based on the strength of their hands. In addition, those with strong hands may tend to be more talkative through the chat boxes. Also, look for the use of 'auto raise' or 'auto call' features, which may signal that players are carrying decent cards.

Tips to Follow

Follow the same advice when playing online that you would when playing live. Be observant of those around you and take notes on their behavior. For example, keep track of how long players take between moves and notice when they begin to play more quickly or more slowly. The easiest way to keep track of players is to target those who play often. It is also advisable to stay at specific tables for long periods of time to get accustomed to reading players actions.

It does take a bit more effort to decipher tells of online players than live opponents. However, strong observation skills and a bit of practice will go a long way to making you a better investigator of tells.