Poker Tells

The Art of Poker Tells: A Guide to Taking Your Game to the Next Level

Poker is one of the most popular games around the world and has been around for centuries. In recent years, poker has become even more accessible and popular with many new audiences as the online world has transformed the way we play poker and even interpret it. New and continually evolving technologies have helped transform the poker experience into something that’s fun, interactive, and accessible to players that never would have thought about playing before.

However, poker isn’t one of the easiest games to play, in which poker gaming requires a great deal of strategy and know-how. As such, there are a variety of different poker tells that players need to become versed in and be able to recognise in an instant. The good news is, there are so many resources today to help you learn these poker tells that you can become an expert in no time.

Below, we’ll take a look at the art of recognising poker tells and help you to become a master at recognising and using them in no time at all.

Why should you learn more about poker tells?

If you’re ever wondered how you can take your poker gaming skills to the next level, learning the physical tells of a player is incredibly important, yet undervalued by some many players and particularly in the online world where that physical aspect can sometimes feel more removed from the game.

Poker is well known for being an emotional rollercoaster, in which it can quickly spiral out of control if you’re not trained on how to master and depict your emotions throughout the game. For example, you could be feeling a variety of emotions throughout the game, from joy and excitement when you’re doing well, to anger and even panic or despair when you’re not doing so well.

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Yet, being able to control these emotions and read these poker tells on others will determine how successful you are in playing and in evolving as a player.

The two forms of poker tells

Poker tells can come in two forms, in which it is essential to be able to recognise them. These include betting patterns and physical tells too. Let’s take a closer look at these below.

Betting patterns

Betting patterns are the most dependable form of poker tells as by working out how a player has bet in the past and how they bet now, you will have more information on them and be able to judge what their next move will be. This will remain as your main tell throughout the game.

Physical tells

On the other hand, physical poker tells are a different kettle of fish entirely. Physical tells can be hard to pick up on, in which Hollywood has been misleading with this as physical poker tells have often been dramatised in television and movies.

Learning and analysing someone’s physical poker tells is not something you can simply learn to do immediately and will take considerable time and practice. However, once you have mastered this then the poker world is your oyster. Obviously, this only applies to live games too.

The most common poker tells to spot

Poker tells are not a uniform thing that can be recognised in each and every player as every player is unique and while some tells might be strong to see in one player, they may be weak in another and could be completely misleading.

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Here are some of the basic poker tells to get started with.

  • How does a player buy in? Are they buying in full rack or just a short one?
  • If a player buys their chips in a loud and flamboyant way, they will usually act that way for the rest of the game.
  • Fluid speech, full relaxed lips, a full ear to ear relaxed smile, and indicators of blood pressure being up such as a pulse in the neck and being red and flushed can all indicate a strong hand.
  • A sloppy chip stack can often indicate sloppy play too.
  • A conservative approach to dressing can often indicate a conservative player in the game.
  • Watch how the player handles their chips. Are they well-rehearsed or are they fumbling around like they don’t have a clue what they are doing?

Overall, by learning to recognise poker tells you will be able to become a much stronger and more successful player in the long run. While learning poker tells is not something you can read about and suddenly become skilled at, if you persevere and keep practising at building up this skill then you will soon see the rewards from it.

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