Before sitting down at a poker table there are some poker tells that you need to know. I’m not talking about the poker tells that you see in the movies like when somebody scratches their nose and it means they are bluffing. Those types of poker tells, for the most part, are just like the movies themselves – fantasy. I’m here to tell you about some actual poker tells that you will definitely see in a live poker game.
It is important that you understand exactly what a poker tell is. A poker tell is any physical reaction or behaviour by your opponent that gives you information about the strength of their hand. Certain poker tells may indicate that a person’s hand is strong while other poker tells may suggest that their hand is weak. It is very important to understand that any particular poker tell is never 100 correct. Very few things in life are. However, picking up on a player’s poker tells can help you make more correct decisions at the poker table. Since poker is a game of decisions, by making more correct decisions you will be a much better player.
Now to the actual poker tells. One of the most consistent poker tells that you will see at the poker table is the “shaking hand”. If you ever notice a players hand shaking at the poker table you can be confident that they are holding a strong hand. If you are ever involved in a big pot watch your opponent’s hands when they are handling their poker chips to see if their hands are shaking. Believe it or not people are more likely to get nervous or anxious in a big pot when they are holding a big hand as opposed to a weak hand. So when you notice your opponents hands across the table from you are trembling when making a call, bet, or raise you can now be confident that they have a monster hand, and quite often the nuts. This is an example of a physical poker tell.
Let’s take a look at a common poker tell based on a player’s behaviour. If you have played a lot of poker you have probably encountered a loud mouth at the table. Many players give away poker tells at the table from their behaviour and don’t even know it. For example, if you encounter a player who is being rude to you at the table in the middle of a hand more often than not this is a tell of strength. The player is being rude to you because he wants to get under your skin and try and “goat” you into playing your hand with him because he has a strong hand. Conversely, if a player at the table is being overly nice to you in the middle of the hand this indicates that they are weak or are holding a marginal hand at best. The player is being nice to you because he doesn’t want you to make or bet or raise. Keep in mind that some people are always rude or overly nice at the poker table. These poker tells would not be as reliable for these types of players. Again, we must remember that poker tells are never 100 accurate and must only be used as a guide with all the other information that we acquire while sitting at the poker table.