Online poker is a totally different ballgame to your typical favorite online casino games. While there’s certainly money to be made on reputable online casinos like Guts.com, playing online poker presents some very different and very interesting opportunities, and that’s because you’re trying to beat real people as opposed to the casino.
Whether you’re meeting up with your group of friends Friday night to play dealer’s choice or going to your local casino to test your luck against a more talented crowd, one of the hardest aspects of playing cards isn’t knowing when to call or fold, rather it is picking up on the physical tells people have to know if they have a hand or not before they even touch their chips.
Although not a necessary practice, picking up on tells could save you money in the long run and is definitely an advantage when other players at the table don’t pick up on another player’s tendencies. Despite this, if you think picking up on physical tells is hard, imagine picking up on virtual tells when playing poker online.
Yes, there is such a thing as having tells when playing cards online. There are subtle instances in someone’s game that can say a lot about whether they have a hand or not. If you haven’t tried playing cards at an online casino, you wouldn’t know that the pace and overall feel of the game are entirely different.
The rules remain the same, but the environment of online casinos change the way players play. Picking up on virtual tells is even more difficult than seeing physical ones, and here we’re going to list some of the most common ones to help you either save your money or make a lot of money in tough situations.
When a player takes a long pause before they either check or raise can say a lot about what they have. The overall pace of an online game is much faster due to the fact that there aren’t theatrics involved. You can’t physically stare someone down to get the read you need, nor can you act out that you’re thinking about calling when you have absolutely nothing just to keep everyone on their toes. Online, long pauses generally mean that the person either has a monster hand or a weak hand.
A general rule of thumb is that is when there is a long pause followed by a large raise, usually that indicates that the player has a strong hand. For example, you’ll see this when there is a possible flush or straight on the board. You, possibly having the straight or flush, may be betting into it to either to get him to fold or to feel him out.
Now, if there is a long pause and then a re-raise, expect that the player knows what he is doing, meaning that he recognizes that you bet into him with the flush/straight possibilities and that he believes he has a higher hand than yours. Sure, there will be those times where he thinks he’s just calling you out on a bluff you’re making when he has nothing, however in most cases it is because he also has monster that is probably better than yours.
On the other end of the spectrum there is the long pause followed by a check. This, in terms of online play, shows a lot of weakness on their end. Sitting there, waiting a while for the other player to check is just the other player trying to get you to believe that he is possibly considering a bet, but then merely checking. You shouldn’t be afraid of this tactic and should think about raising big to get this player out of the hand.
Similarly to waiting a long time, instantly making a move also says a lot about a player’s hand. In the same vein as waiting a long time before making a raise, instantly raising also usually means that the player making this move has quite a good hand and that should be approached with caution if you want to hold onto your chips.
Again, all cases have their exceptions, however majority of the time this type of move signals strength. A wise decision would be a call and then a check the next time around to see how they act. Treading carefully is definitely the key in this situation.
Juxtaposed with this tactic is the instant checker, a player who is merely trying to skate by to see the flop or the next card, trying going unnoticed. This move is either used by veteran player who simply doesn’t care to play out their big blinded 7 2 off or by inexperienced players afraid or unsure of their hand. If you’re at a table and it gets auto-checked to you, have a decent bet ready regardless to have these players fold and improve your chances of winning dramatically.
Other Moves to Look Out For
This is obvious. Seeing if a player has VIP Status should get your attention immediately. They didn’t get to this spot because they are bad at cards. Use this to gauge how often they play a month and tread carefully when playing in hands against them because they’ve probably read articles just like this and know how to counteract these tendencies to their advantage.
A fast call is the best example of using reverse psychology. With a quick, instant call the player wants you to be under the impression that they have a very strong hand when in fact it is probably the opposite. If you make a bet with two pair and get an instant call, don’t be too afraid, in most cases the best they’ll have is mid-pair. In this situation it would be best to be consistent in your betting to either let them fold or gain a steady profit from the hand while they hopelessly reach for one of their outs.
The chat box says so much about a player, even when they aren’t even talking poker. This is the only instance where live poker and online poker really coincide with a player’s tendencies. Be sure to pick up on when a player decides to talk about their hand/what they are talking about because that usually speaks volumes in regards to how they play or their state of mind.
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