22August2017

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Identifying an internet tell

When you play offline, you will come across people that have strong physical tells, but this is something that you instantly lose when you play online. When you are playing live, players may scratch their head when they are on a monster, or act nervously when they are bluffing, and while this type of obvious tell is rare, you always have the chance to factor in body language when you are sitting at a physical table. However, online players may also act in a certain way that may allow you to gain additional information. Here, we will explore some of the most common ‘generalised’ tells with internet poker.

A delay followed by a bet or check could indicate a strong hand or weak hand respectively

Now, it is important to remember that if somebody is multi-tabling, then this point could be irrelevant because the player in question could be active on several tables, which would obviously delay their time. However, if somebody is playing on just the one table and has been playing at a good speed throughout the tournament, and they wait for a while before checking they may have a poor hand. Generally, if somebody wanted to check-raise, they would check quickly before coming over the top. If somebody waits for a long time before betting, this is often a sign of strength because the player is trying to indicate that they are weak by giving the impression they have to put a lot of thought into making their bet.

An instantaneous check often indicates weakness

Barely any decent player uses the check/call button, or at least they should not. This means if you are faced with an instantaneous check the person will often have selected the check/fold button. If this is the case, then this is about the biggest sign of weakness you can come up against. If you are up against somebody that has checked instantly, even if you do not have a strong hand, you should put out a small bet to try to take down the pot.

There are some people that use the check/call any button to slow roll the nuts, but this is not common, especially if you are up against an experienced player. If you think that you may be falling victim to a slow roll, work out if you could realistically be up against the nuts (based on how the hand has developed) if you have any doubt, then it is probably best to check to fold.

Remember, it is important to keep in mind both points above are general tells that any good player will be well aware about. Therefore, not everybody will fall into the same patterns. In fact, if you are playing a good player, they will use these against you. As this is the case, it is imperative that you always pay attention and keep notes on players to see if they fall victim to the most common online tells as detailed above.

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