One very important aspect of poker strategy involves figuring out online poker tells, or actions by an opponent that tip you off to their hand strength. Unfortunately, online poker is not like live poker where people give off physical tells that help you out – i.e. somebody picking their nose when they have a great hand. Instead, online poker tells are much more subtle and hard to read.
Now most people will advise you to look for how long it takes an opponent to make a call or raise. For example, if a player makes a quick call, they might have a great hand, and didn’t need to think twice about doing so. On the other hand, a marginal hand would require more thought on their part.
However, the truth is that you can’t really tell much from the time it takes a player to perform an action because there are too many variables. For instance, somebody could be multi-tabling, and their decisions are lengthy.
So instead of relying on the amount of time a person is taking or what their avatar looks like, a better online poker tell is to watch their poker betting patterns. For example, if a player frequently calls from late position with marginal hands, but makes huge raises when they have a big pocket pair, you can use this as a tell. Likewise, if a player makes a two-thirds pot-sized bet when they’re bluffing, you can also store this information away.
Of course, you’ll need to spend some time observing opponents in order to figure this information out, so don’t come onto a poker table and start making snap judgements. Instead, watch how each person is playing, and try to figure out online poker tells based on their betting actions. The more time you spend doing this, the more successful you’re going to be with the game.