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Poker Tells: The Twitch And The Basics Of Catching Your Opponents

Written by Jason Frakk. Last updated on
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Poker is one of those great games which you can play with your friends and try to win a few bucks.

There is a lot of strategy and thinking involved in the game with a whole lot of bluffing and slick moves to ensure you catch other players when making bets or calling out the hands when the cards are dealt.

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What is a tell?

Poker tells take place when the normal behavior of one of the player’s in the game changes once he or she is dealt a set of cards.

Tells are giveaways that give you hints what cards the other player has.

Identifying tells give you an advantage regardless of who your opponent is.

Finding poker tells is more like playing detective at the poker table.

Understanding tells is not easy because your opponent can bluff, which can become really confusing.

Here are some ideas of what tells could be and how you could interpret it.

Remember, it is the change in the behavior of the person at the table, so be careful. There are some really smart and wily players who come to the table bluffing and go out winning.

Different players, different tells

Different players, different tells

Different players, different tells

Every player has own tell while sometimes there is a common tell for a group of players.

It totally depends on situations and individuals.

Body language is a huge way to check out tells.

Some common mistakes that players do is moving back and forth on their chair when they receive their cards, this is a sign of tension, so it is possible that they might not have been dealt very good cards.

For example, a player who moves backward and rests his back on the chair after a dealt hand can be a signal of a weak hand. His/her moving backward general means he’s/she’s no longer interested in the hand.

Some other tells are playing with the chips, not making eye contact at all or making too much eye contact at the poker table, pushing the chips in with force, a change in the facial expressions or change in the vocal tone.

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All these are tells but which tell can be construed as what? That can only be done when you are at the table and have had some experience in playing these games.

One proverbial tell is the adage “When a player acts strong, he usually has a weak hand.”

More often than not, if a player acts tough at the table, makes aggressive bets are signs of a weak hand.

This player is more likely trying to lure people into making false high bets or make opponents fold before a showdown.

In poker you don’t have to show the cards if everyone folds and this is also the reverse if that person starts acting weak and is conservative in their betting and is just trying to keep quiet.

That person could have a good set of cards and will reveal the same once all bets have been done and will win the hand and the pot of chips which have been bet by the other players.

Body Language is a huge giveaway

body languageLooking at a player is often a giveaway also of what kind of player they are.

Common knowledge dictates that if players dress conservatively they are also conservative in their playing style. If the player fumbles with the chips then in all probability they are amateurs when it comes to playing the game.

Playing with chips

Another tell is if the player knows what they are doing with all the chips on the table, ie are they calculative or are they just flinging the chips around and hoping for some luck.

These are signs that you should look into, of course some players will bluff at the start, that can only be found out once you are at the table.

Body language is a huge tell in poker.

Hence, the key is to keep your cool at the table and keeping a poker face, you should not give away any indication from your body language about what your cards are.

If a person is dealt with some cards and you can see their eyes widen or their eyebrows raised, that is a giveaway that they have been dealt with some good cards.

poker chipsEven constantly looking at the cards when they are kept face down is a sign that the person might have been dealt with good cards.

Any body language which shows a person is in stress, like eyes squinting or sweating a lot or biting of the nails is a giveaway that they would have been dealt with a weak hand and are trying to cover it up.

Remember these can also be reverse bluffs to try and give you a false tell so that you fall into the trap.

Remember another thing, beginners will not go through so much trouble in providing tells or fake bluffs when playing these games, they are more worried about the cards at the table and you should then pay attention to what they do when they are dealt with the cards.

You can get a lot more information on physical tells from the following link to help your game.

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Tells on online poker?

Online poker is one tough bird, since you don’t actually see the players, the only way to deal with it is seeing the betting pattern.

If there is a surge in the amount being bet then you can be sure that the player has been dealt with a good hand and if they don’t bet too much then you can be sure that they have a weak hand, tells are hard to get in the online game.

Play more, tell more!

The only way to work about regarding tells is to practice, poker is a big and hard game when playing with professionals and the only way you can learn about tells is to constantly play against opponents.

Each and every opponent is different in the way they play their game.

Poker is a game not only about strategy but a lot about bluffing also, tells are a huge giveaway and if you can learn about the tells and what players do when they get their cards, you can end up winning a lot.

Practice makes perfect.

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