In our previous article about online poker tells we discussed how it is more difficult to pick up a tell when playing poker online and listed a few of the easiest to spot tells in online play. Bet size and decision speed were prominent among those examples. In this follow-up article, we will show a few more online tells and how you may go about using them to your advantage.
1. Chat Window: When playing poker in a casino, you can sometimes visibly tell when a player is getting frustrated and prone to ill-thought out decisions. There will also be times when you hear them bemoaning their luck and griping about all sorts of inconsequential matters. When this happens you are basically getting a green light to take advantage of a player going on tilt.
It is more difficult to see when a player is going on tilt in online play, but paying attention to the chat window can help you do so. Players will frequently comment on their luck, call someone else an idiot, or in some way give a view into their state of mind, whether it be calm and collected or upset and outraged. You must be able to pay attention to gather all possible information, so keep an eye on the chat box in addition to how your opponents are playing.
If an opponent took a bad beat, made an unrestrained comment in the chat box, and their playing style seems to have changed, you can assume that they won’t be playing their best poker. Or, if an opponent is commenting on how they can’t get any cards, you might want to try and steal their blinds if the opportunity presents itself.
Paying attention to the chat window can help you gain an edge over your opponents by understanding what is going through their minds.
2. Screen name: A person’s screen name can tell you a lot about how they play, although their screen name may not be accurate. In fact, any screen name that is self-describing is probably not accurate. For instance, if you see a person with a screen name of ‘CaptainBluff’ he probably does not bluff that often, but instead wants you to think that he does. He may play loosely when first joining a table to build an image of a wild bluffer and then pull back and wait for a big hand to make those who think he’s bluffing pay.
Many players like to misrepresent themselves, claiming to be a bluffer as in the example, or pretending to be a player of the opposite gender. There are many different ways that players misrepresent themselves, but as a general rule it is best to believe the opposite of whatever another player is claiming. If you make a decision about what another player is like, do so only after observing the play and don’t make a snap judgment based off a screen name or picture.
A lot of players like to fake tells and deceive their opponents, so always pay attention to how the other players are battling and whether they deviate from their playing style. Trust your observations and instincts, and don’t let your opponents pull the wool over your eyes.
Do you think you’ve learned what it takes to spot an online poker tell? Try your new skills out and find an online poker room now!