Poker Tells: Spot & Interpret Opponent Behaviors

Master Poker Tells to enhance your game! Uncover common tells, learn to interpret them, and conceal your own for a winning edge. Read now!
Poker Tells

Poker tells are involuntary or intentional actions or facial expressions that players exhibit during a game, which can reveal information about their hand or serve as a means for bluffing. While experts recommend focusing on your own strategy, learning to spot, read, and interpret poker tells can be beneficial in crucial moments of the game.

Observing and Identifying Poker Tells

To distinguish someone’s poker tells from their regular behavior, you need to observe them for some time and learn their default actions. Defensive movements, like reaching for chips when it’s not their turn, can indicate a weak hand. Impulsive or hesitant decisions that deviate from a person’s usual behavior could also be tells, such as quickly calling a bet or hesitating before betting.

Quicker-than-usual calls could be a bluff, while hesitations and pauses when betting are signs of a strong hand. Players who double-check their hole cards probably don’t have a strong hand, while those who take longer to make a decision might be bluffing or have a strong hand.

While these are all indicators, they’re not always true, so it’s essential to observe a person and find multiple tells before drawing conclusions. Understanding the difference between a player’s default profile and their poker tells can make your knowledge of tells more reliable.

Common Poker Tells

One common tell is hesitation. When a player hesitates before making a bet or a call, it can indicate that they have a weak hand and are unsure of what to do. Conversely, a player who quickly makes a bet or call may be confident in their strong hand.

Another tell is weak-hand statements. Players with strong hands may use weak-hand statements to throw off their opponents and make them think they have a weaker hand than they actually do. Bluffers, on the other hand, are less likely to use weak-hand statements.

Online Poker Tells

Poker tells in online games are not as significant as in traditional poker games, but you can pay attention to the bet size, the time a player takes to make a move, or what they write in the chat. If you notice that you have poker tells that you would like to mask and hide from your opponents, you can try not to create betting patterns that other players can spot. You should also use the time after placing the blinds to look at other players’ reactions when they first glance at their cards.

Improving Your Ability to Read Poker Tells

Reading poker tells is a skill that can make you a better poker player. However, it is not an exact science, and it is more likely than not that you could get some tells wrong. Many professional players believe that the value of poker tells is greatly exaggerated by people and that reading them is more of an icing on the cake rather than a core ingredient.

To improve your ability to read poker tells, practice recognizing them when playing with your friends or in your next game. Additionally, try to spot your own tells so you can mask them and ensure your opponents don’t read them too easily.


In conclusion, understanding poker tells can improve your game, but it should not be the sole focus of your strategy. Instead, build your tactic around your own game and use this skill as a bonus feature. Keep in mind that poker tells are not always reliable, and relying solely on them can lead to misinterpretations and poor decision-making. Focus on developing a strong poker strategy and use your knowledge of poker tells as an additional tool to gain an advantage over your opponents.