Tells in poker – how to read an opponent online by his behavior

In a live game, poker players pay attention to the behavior of each opponent and comprehensively evaluate his gestures, facial expressions, and speech. With certain skills, it is possible to build accurate guesses about the strength of an opponent’s hand in this way by identifying various Tels or clues.

In online poker players do not see each other and cannot use such tricks. However, they can make assumptions about the strength of the opponent’s hand based on other data, which we will discuss in this guide.

Tells in poker are the behavior of an opponent or habits that reveal the strength of his hand or intention. By identifying them, an experienced poker player can make assumptions about the strength of the opponent’s hand and choose the best tactics for playing against him.

However, they can also have the opposite effect! An experienced opponent may deliberately demonstrate Telses to mislead you. Despite this, various general features of the behavior of players in different situations should be known. Knowing them, you will be able to read the hands of inexperienced opponents and hide your true position from experienced players.

Delay in making a decision

One of the important temporal signs in the behavior of the player is the delay in making a decision. Of course, before relying on this feature in behavior, you should evaluate how many tables the poker player plays at. If the opponent is playing a multi-table game, a long decision-making can only mean one thing – he does not have time to switch between tables.

In addition, if the opponent always thinks for the same length of time, the Telsa data should also not be taken into account. If the player behaves differently than usual and the number of tables allows you to quickly make decisions, delays in their announcement can be clear markers of the strength or weakness of the hand:

Check – the absence of a bet after much thought, most often indicates the weakness of the opponent’s hand. He, most likely, immediately decided that he would not bet, but delaying time, he tries to show that he has a combination, but is not sure whether to place a bet. In reality, he doesn’t have a hand, but he wants Villain to also Check that street to see the next card for free.

If his decision is the last, then he can hope that his opponent checks on the next street. If the board doesn’t improve his hand, he gets to see another card.

Bet – if the opponent thinks and then bets – in most cases he has a strong combination. Time spent thinking was required to decide on the amount of the increase. Villain wants to get the maximum value from his hand and is careful when choosing the size of the raise.

In some poker rooms, if you hover over a player’s avatar, you can see the stability of his connection. You should pay attention to this, because if the poker player has a bad connection, delays in the decision can be caused by technical problems – these are not Telses in poker.

Instant Decisions

In some cases, opponents can make decisions very quickly, which may indicate that the participant in the game used the functionality of the application, which allows automating some actions.

Of course, this can also mean a multi-table game – when multi-tabling, players sometimes make decisions very quickly in order to quickly switch to another table where an action is also required. However, if you have studied your opponent and noticed unusual behavior, pay attention to the following Poker Tells:

Checking the Blind

If the opponent immediately announces a Check in the big blind – this indicates that he has previously ticked the “Check or Fold” or “Fold to any bet” box. So he has a mediocre hand that he wasn’t planning on playing. By evaluating the board cards, you can make the right decision.

Most of the time, your opponent will fold unless he gets lucky and the board doesn’t turn out to be a strong hand on trash cards. Sometimes it’s enough to bet on the Flop to win the pot. You need to do this quickly so that the opponent does not have time to remove the tick from the “Fold to any bet” field.

Small 3-Bet

If your opponent raises a small preflop without hesitation after your raise, he has strong cards. You raised, so with any hand other than pocket Aces or Kings, he would have to consider whether to call the bet or what Raise to make.

The instant decision indicates that he has a strong pocket Pair and has decided in advance to set up a trap – to make a small raise to provoke you to Reraise or All-in or take you to the next betting street.

Continuation bet

Villain raised Preflop and after you called his Raise, Raised without hesitation on the Flop. The board did not suit him, otherwise he would have thought about various questions – what range of cards did you catch up with, did the board fit you, what size bet should you make. In reality, he didn’t get the hand and made a continuation bet to take the pot, a move he’s used to and often uses when he’s not getting a strong hand.

A bet on the River

There can be two cases here – a strong hand or a bluff. In the first case, he had a combination already on the Turn and thought about the size of the bet, or it came on the River, and he was waiting for it and also thought about the size of the bet for Value.

On the second occasion, he also planned the bluff ahead of time. One thing can be said here – he does not have a medium strength hand, since such a situation would make him think about how to act.


Comparing your continuation bet without thinking, your opponent has a mediocre hand. If he had a strong combination, he would consider whether to compare or raise.