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10 Tips On How To Master Reading Poker Tells.

Introduction To Mastering Reading Poker Tells

Picture the last time you sat in a poorly lit room with your buddies or with strangers. Cards faced down on the table, next to a sweaty bottle of beer or scotch with a cloud of smoke ascending the room, or you were just laid back on your living room couch with your device playing online poker games. Today we are going to share tips that will help you read your opponents like an open book and attain status amidst your fellow player as a dominant player.

  • ‘The weak pretender.’
  • Change in posture
  • Abrupt Silence or flood of words
  • Sound of their voice
  • Impatience
  • Hole-card protection
  • Splashing Chips
  • Fumbling and Glancing
  • Bet sizing
  • Freezing

1. ‘The Weak Pretender’ Means Strong Hand.

This is one of the most widely used poker tells, and it’s seen very often among amateur players. Players that pretend to have weak hands usually have a very solid hand.

More frequently, they often give up the feeling of having weak hands. You’ll probably hear them sighing or see them shrug their shoulder as a sign of bad fortune or a display a gloomy face which serves as their plot and can be very indicative of how strong the cards they hold. Just like in most movies, the actor that serves the plot, has to appear overwhelmed by his opponent till he shows a gallant display of strength and inner courage. Don’t fall into that trap.

2. Change In Posture

You’ll often see this move used by most amateur players; they’ll straighten their posture to play a hand or recline back after pretending they’ve dealt with something they’re least interested in playing. Picking when to play versus when to fold in cases like this can still be considered a tricky play. It boils down to how experienced is the person sitting across from you. In most cases, though, these players are often seen with a very strong hand.

3. Abrupt Silence or Flood of Words

A good player knows that his opponent, who usually talks a lot and is suddenly silent, probably has been dealt a good hand. The same principle applies to players that don’t often converse and suddenly begin babbling after getting dealt a hand.

4. Sound of their Voice

Players often believe covering their eyes with sunglasses or wearing hoodies protect their tells. This is, however, false as the sound of their voice may indicate the type of hand.

Players with a strong hand have a more relaxed tone, speaking with much ease and answering questions. Players that bluff may sound unconfident and insecure due to fear of giving away a tell.

5. Impatience

A player suddenly becoming impatient during a hand often indicates a good holding. This type of player may prompt the dealer to continue or indignantly ask whose turn it is.

Vector illustration on a casino theme with color playing chips and poker cards on dark background.

6. Hole-Card Protection

Some players may actually try to protect their hole cards by placing a chip on top of them indicating that they have at least a decent hand.

This tell is easily spotted and easily exploited.

7. Splashing Chips

A player who is vigorous with his dealings, like hurling chips on the table, very often has a bad hand and overcompensates with a show of strength to hide this fact.

A player who uses a little more force than usual when placing his chips is probably making a bluff.

8. Fumbling and Glancing

Some players, after seeing their hole cards, glance at their chip or fiddling them. This generally indicates a very strong hand as they are anticipating the upcoming bet sizing and so involuntarily look at their chips.

The same principle applies to players that look at their chips right after the flop has been dealt. It indicates that the flop helps their hand, and they are anticipating the action.

9. Bet Sizing

This tell is perhaps the most simple. Inexperienced players have an issue with bet sizing and bet based on the strength of their hand.

Strong cards mean large bets, weak cards mean small bets. Easy.

If a player continuously bets a small fraction of the pot when his hand is weak, you can be sure he has a beast of a hand when he pulls out the big guns.

10. Freezing

A player that freezes after placing a bet is usually bluffing.

He often refrains from talking and limits his movements, sometimes even breathing to prevent triggering a call by something he says or does.

This tell also works in the opposite way: a player who is loose and talkative after placing a bet usually has something good. He’s trying to trigger a call and keep you interested in your own hand.