What are Online Poker Tells and Reverse Bluffs and Using Them
Poker players who have for years taken their game to live casinos or in their weekly home games constantly say that they dislike online poker because you can’t “see” your opponent and look them in the eye. Many players claimed they can pick up tells in their opposing players and that online poker gives players none of this human contact to pick up nervous twitches or strained breathing. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, online poker definitely has tells to be learned and used.
Understanding Online Poker Tells
Online poker has a set of features that help players understand what their opponents are thinking as they play. One under used featured to glean information from opposing players is the chat box. Very few players use it because they want to focus on the game, but by asking questions and introducing one’s self can lead to understand your opponent. Try asking your opponents how they are doing, what kind games they usually play, that sort of information can be invaluable because you can use the information to figure out how far you can push the right way whether to bet hard or fold quickly. The key is to not chat too much and annoy the table, and also try to be funny.
The next type of poker tell comes from betting considering it is the only action that is seen on the computer screen. There are a number of betting features to understand like the automatic fold button, or the call button that can be engaged well before the betting gets to your opponent or to you. The speed of the bets and how the chat that can accompany them are hands down the most important tells and reverse tells a player can use to their advantage.
Examples of Using the Chat Box
Say you’re playing in a $20 buy-in tournament and you start up a light conversation and find out that 2 or 3 of the players at the table satellited into the tournament, which means they normally do not have the bankroll to play $20 games regularly. This is interesting because this means that the player will be less willing to take chances such as chasing straight and/or flush draws. With these particular players your hand range can open up and help you put pressure on them even if you don’t have an overly strong hand.
As started above the key is to be friendly and funny if possible. Say you bluffed a hand you folded. This could go a long way. Try bluffing on a 3-bet with nothing and if you get re-raised again and then fold be sure to let them know that they played a nice hand. You might have folded two pair on a flush draw board, but it looks like you were bluffing to try and steal the pot, and without the chat box you wouldn’t be able to push this idea.
Examples of Using Betting for Online Bluffing
Betting is by far the best tool in online poker to show reverse bluffs or determine a person’s tell. The first example that we will look at is after the flop has come out and you’re last to bet on the button. Three other players saw the flop with you. The first player took their time checking, while the second and third opponents checked instantly. This is usually an online tell that the player completely missed the flop and has let the hand go completely. In this position it would be good to bet out and isolate the one player that did not insta-check, or you could even steal the blinds with a larger bet. Remember that table position is everything in poker.
The speed at which bets come out are very telling. Of course bet sizes have the same poker tell value on and offline, but the speed at which they come out have a lot of value to be learned. For example, if after the flop you hit a monster hand like a 3-of-a-kind or a full house and your opponent bets out first. Take your time in calling or raising. Of course you would want to extract the right value out of the hand so you would call, but take your time calling. Let the time bank drop down a bit before calling. Make it look like you are really torn on whether you should call or not. This strategy goes well at any street in the game whether it be the Turn or the River too.
These are just a few of the important and easy to use online poker tells and reverse bluffs. When betting or trying to figure out your opponents try putting yourself in their position when making decisions. How will your opponent read your actions? Basic poker how to and statistics will only take you so far, figuring out the subtleties of online poker like reverse tells and reading tells is very important. Try find an online poker school to learn more about the game. There are lots of free schools out there with great information.