Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Do you ever feel like some players at the poker table are a few steps ahead of you? Ever caught yourself wondering how they do it? What are they seeing when they look across the table that you’re missing?

Chances are they’ve caught onto something called “tells” – subtle physical or verbal clues from your opponents that can provide insight into their hand strength. In this blog post, we’ll be looking at the common tells in poker and what to watch for to give yourself an edge in-game.

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Betting Patterns

Knowing your opponents’ betting patterns is one of the skills to have in poker. From the amount that is bet to the timing and frequency of their plays can give you an edge and help you understand what kind of hands they may be playing.

By observing how opponents react to different kinds of bets, from pre-flop to post-showdown, you can gain valuable insights into their style of play and game strategy that will set you up for success.

Paying attention to betting patterns is something all experienced players do—it’s just one more way to improve your game by playing against professional players.

Table Talk

Table talk can be part of your poker strategy. When observing your opponents’ table talk, listen to their tone, tempo, and word choices for clues about the strength of their hand. Listen out for accidentally revealing words like “unfortunately,” and look out for any changes in a player’s countenance.

Doing these things may give you insight into how they feel throughout the game and help you gain a tactical advantage over them. Remember that even little tells like this can significantly affect the game’s outcome.

Bet Sizing

Bet sizing is an often overlooked indicator of the strength of your opponent’s hand. Players tend to increase their bets if they have strong poker hands, and conversely, they diminish their bets if they are bluffing.

While this isn’t always true, seeing the betting patterns can help you determine what your opponent is up to. For example, someone who bets heavily on certain streets but check-folds after facing aggression might need to be stronger than someone displaying more balanced action.

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Timing Tells

Knowing how a player pauses before making a move or the time it takes for him to take his turn can reveal a great deal about their intentions. Sometimes, you can detect fake confidence from an opponent due to long silences that compensate for doubt and lack of decision-making.

Furthermore, players who make quick decisions may unconsciously expose themselves as having knowledge or simply bluffing with few cards. The timing of your opponent’s moves can be immensely useful in gaining the upper hand in any game.

Table Image

Noticing the subtle table image of your opponents during your poker game can be a significant advantage. Being attentive to the unique traits of each player at the poker table can help you make more informed decisions and give away less about your style of play.

For example, attempting a bluff may not be wise if an opponent at the table has been playing conservatively up until that point. On the other hand, betting aggressively could create confusion among those same players who are used to more passive betting from you.

Body Language

A player’s posture, gestures, and facial expressions can reveal a lot about their hand type. If someone is leaning forward in their chair, has a smirk on their face, or is making any kind of physical movements indicative of excitement, this could mean they have something powerful. On the other hand, if someone appears relaxed and doesn’t show much emotion, this could indicate that they are bluffing or don’t have a strong enough hand to stay in the game.

Eye Contact

Eye contact is one of the most overlooked tells in a poker game, yet it can be the most informative sign that your opponents are giving you. Experienced players can read an opponent’s intentions by watching their eye movements during particular moments of play.

When a player’s eyes dart up after a bet is placed, or they suddenly break their gaze and look away while thinking, this can signify that they are holding a strong hand. You don’t have to catch every twitch of the eyes either; something as simple as maintaining eye contact during aggressive betting usually means they are bluffing.

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Chip Stacking

Chip stacking is a key skill to understand if you want to be successful in poker. This often-overlooked feature of the game involves organizing your poker chips into neat and logical stacks of different values.

Not only does this make counting simple, but it can also give players insight into an opponent’s mental strategy and intentions during each hand. Because of this, the subtle art of chip stacking can reveal much about the other players at the table- such as how well they can read their opponents and how serious they are about taking risks.


Reading your opponents’ tells is crucial to becoming a successful poker player. By paying attention to the clues and information your opponents give away, you can get an edge in online poker or live and improve your strategy simultaneously. Of course, it’s important to remember that not all tells are reliable, and some players may intentionally try to deceive you. As such, it’s always best to practice caution when interpreting other players’ actions.