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Poker players are always trying to get an advantage over their opponents, and spotting a tell is a great way to do so, as you have an idea what your opponent is trying to do and what they are thinking. This allows you to make the correct decision to take advantage of your opponent’s momentary weakness that allowed you to gain an edge. Players are always striving to spot a tell, and while it is more difficult in online play, it is by no means impossible.

The main reason why it is more difficult to spot a tell in online play is simple; you cannot actually see your opponent, only a graphical representation of them in the form of either an avatar or a static image. Sometimes your opponents are represented only by a small box with a name.Because you can not see your opponent physically look at their cards and handle their chips, you have to look for other ways of spotting a tell.

How to Spot an Online Poker Tell

1.Decision Speed: One tell that frequently pops up in online play is the speed of your opponents decisions. By gauging how fast they make their decision you can ascertain what sort of hand they are holding. If their decision is quick, that is an indicator that they are confident in their hand and are committed to going forward with it. If they think for a while before making their decision, they are unsure about whether their hand is the strongest and doubt reigns in their mind.

Normally you’d want to put pressure on the players you make slow decisions and be careful with the players who make fast decisions. However, there are always exceptions. A player could make a snap call if they have a nice drawing hand, but be willing to fold if they don’t hit their card. Also, a player could be feigning having a difficult decision to make in order to entice others to put pressure on them. This is a tactic that I am personally very fond of and use it to my advantage whenever I see an opportunity.

2.Bet Size: Another tell in online play can be the size of your opponents’ bets. Do they have a standard raise they make pre flop? If not, does the size of the raise indicate the hand’s true strength or is it a random decision? Do they bet more on the flop to force out any draws that could beat their hand? Do they bet small on the flop to entice calls and raises or just to see who will fold? Are they overbetting a dangerous flop? Why? All these questions require careful observation of your opponents, but could lead to you having a tell on them for future actions they take. This is where note taking proves its worth. By recording their actions and what they mean, you are armed and dangerous for any future encounters you have with them.
These are just a couple of tells that frequently pop up in online play. Be alert and ready to take advantage of them when you see them. Like tells in live games, you will occasionally have to observe your opponents for some time before you can be sure of what is a tell and what isn’t. Also, both of the tells listed here can pop up in live games as well, so keep that in mind when you are playing at a felt table and not just at a pixilated table.