Poker, played in either an online or offline setting, is one of those games that comes with masses of enjoyment. Of course, it can also be a game that comes with its own range of surprises, especially if a player has been bluffing and playing smart tactics. Fortunately, there is a set of tells that you can watch out for when it comes to this part of playing poker. Tell tale signs that you need to be on the lookout for, so to speak, so you can catch other players out at their own game. If you’re not sure what you need to be searching for though, then perhaps this guide to some of them will be of use. Here are some useful poker tells for you to try and spot during your next poker session.
The fact remains in poker, that immediate calls are probably the most useful type of bet-timing tells to take notice of when gaming. This relates to both online and offline poker games. Should a player instantly call a bet, it probably means that they have ruled out the possibility of a raise. Players who have strong poker hands usually tend to focus on maximising the value, it makes it quite unlikely that an immediate call is one that is made with a strong hand. Normally, a player with a strong hand deciding to call will take a few seconds to decide on doing so. That’s why it’s important to watch out for sudden and immediate calls. They will more-often-than-not relate to weak, bordering on medium-strength hands.
Being Defensive with Chips
If you’re not sure about this one, it basically relates to when a player handles his or her chips in a way that gives the idea that they may be interested in calling or even betting. Generally, this is done in a defensive way. When a player has a weak poker hand, they may look at discouraging their opponents from increasing the bet. This one is clearly visible in offline poker games, where a player will rest his hand near to his chips, or even place a hand on top of his chips as though waiting to push them forward.
Just because someone is acting in such a way, does not necessarily mean that they have a good hand to play with. Instead, it could just mean that they’re looking to halt you from proceeding on with your own hand. Keep a close eye out for this.
After immediate calls, the immediate bet is quite a big tell when it comes to things to watch out for. Most players tend to place faster bets in an attempt to bluff, rather than when they have a strong hand. If you’re holding a strong poker hand, then the likely procedure is that you want to maximise the profit that you get from that. Therefore, a certain sense of caution needs to be taken. However, anyone with a weaker hand won’t be quite as careful, so immediate bets can be quite the tell that they’re looking to throw you off.
If you’ve seen bluffers in action before, they can often tend to look exceptionally confident in the hand that they have, despite it being weak. This can lead to them making immediate bets, so as to appear like they’ve got everything in the bag. The important thing to remember here is not to fall into the pit.
Offline poker players aren’t known to be people who make much eye contact while seated at a table. Nobody wants to give anything away when they’re playing such games, so it frequently means that players are only looking at their cards, their chips and the table. If a player is making eye contact once they’ve placed a bet, it’s a sure-fire way to figure out that potentially, there’s something amiss. Two major eye-contact behavioural patterns exist which you need to keep an eye out for.
The first is when a player makes more eye contact after betting a strong hand, due to the fact that they are confident and comfortable with the hand they hold. Less eye contact is usually made when it comes to bluffing over a weak hand. The same is true in a vice versa mode – if you have a weak hand but want to appear strong, more eye contact could be made. Of course, the trick is trying to figure out when a person is using this eye contact to throw you off your game, or if they genuinely do have a good hand in play.
Staring at the Hole Cards
When you think about it, the hole cards are there to try and assist you with forming poker hands. Any player that you see staring at the hole cards for longer than is really necessary, is probably figuring out a way of being able to use those cards to give them the best kind of advantage. It’s likely that they don’t have a strong hand, as players holding such tend to look away so as not to attract attention to their cards.
If you notice another poker player at your table fixating on the hole cards, then potentially, they’re not holding anything so special in their own dealt cards. For this reason, it’s appropriate to approach gameplay with a certain level of caution. Don’t forget though, some of the more-experienced players could be using this or any of the other tactics to throw you off course when they actually have a good hand.