Live Poker Tells
Live poker players get lots of favor on their side over their online poker counterparts and it comes in the form of poker tells. Poker tells come in two forms: betting patterns and physical tells. Obviously, physical tells are only possible to get when you’re playing live poker.
A poker player is giving away plenty of tells without even knowing it. The common physical and non-verbal tells can be easily judged, and that is why live poker is a different beast when coming from a Bovada online poker background.
Experienced players can easily read live poker tells since they’re consciously looking for them. You want to compare the strength of your hole cards with the read you have of your opponents and if you find them weak then you should hero call. If you sense your opponent has a strong hand then folding will be the best course of action when you don’t have a strong enough hand to call.
With poker being a game of limited information, a player is trying to tell a convincing story in a hand. For the most part, in a live poker game against recreational players, you should stick to the “weak is strong and strong is weak” principle. In other words, when a player acts weak they are strong; when they act strong they are weak.
Body language can tell you a lot about the strength of a player’s holdings. An unconscious change such as leaning forward is often a sign of strength. Similarly, shaking hands and legs is often done when a player has a good hand. Furthermore, these acts are hard to fake when done voluntarily. A lot of the time, it is because the player is genuinely excited about their hand.
The way a player places chips into the pot can often be an accurate tell. If a player forcefully puts chips into the pot, it can be because they’re trying to be intimidating, as they have a weak hand. Similarly, if a player passively bets with their chips, it could be because they don’t want to give off the impression they have a strong hand.
Interpreting nervousness is where things can get a bit tricky. A player can be nervous because they’re worried their bluff will be called, but it can also be because they are holding a monster and want to get paid. If a player has been playing conservatively and hasn’t been taking many risks, it is safe to say they likely just have a strong hand when they come out betting aggressively.
As a matter of fact, a lot of the time, it’s not the body language of live poker players, but mannerisms that give a good indication of the strength of a hand. A common live poker tell is when a player counts his or his opponent’s chips. The player might be assessing how much he can win when holding what he expects is the winning hand.
On the other hand, verifying your own holdings is most likely a sign of weakness. Often times, the player may not be having a good hand right now, but is drawing to the best hand. In this situation, you want to bet aggressively with your strong hands for protection.
Keep in mind, however, that experienced players are all too familiar with all of these common live poker tells, and will give what is known as “false tells” to try and fool players. However, thankfully this is not a common occurrence at low stakes live cash games, since the majority of the player pools are beginner players who are only thinking about their own cards.
You can also use the face-to-face interaction in live poker games to your advantage. Players will often tell you a lot about their hand, hence the reason you always see pros in TV poker games try and engage in conversation during hands to try and get information from their opponents.
In a live poker game, you want to start profiling your opponents as soon as they sit down at the table. You can’t do this as effectively when playing poker online at sites like BOVADA You can often quickly get an impression about the playing style of live players just by looking at how they dress and act. Is it a young guy wearing a hoodie and sunglasses? It is probably because they’re a “grinder” that is focused on making money, and you can assume they are an aggressive player.