Three Common Poker Tells

Poker is not a game of chance but also a game of skill and deception where bravery plays a big part, as the old saying goes "you have to be in it to win it".

What are Poker Tells?

Know your enemy! Poker is war and every hand is a battle, you can retreat or fight on, getting to know your opponents is key to the game. Let them make mistakes, get to know what hole cards they have and then read them like a book. The most successful players in the world will agree that to know your opponents "poker face" is a huge advantage.

A player's ability to detect a Poker Tell will give that player a big advantage over the other players. Here are some common Poker Tells that you should watch out for from the other players and from your own behavior. Some Poker Tells are obvious; however, you need to pay close attention in order to detect it.


A person's reaction time after the deal or the flop can be a Poker Tell. Reaction time after the deal is not in itself a Poker Tell but can be one depending on the situation on the table. If you have been consistently following a certain pattern of behavior in the game and you suddenly revert to a new one naturally the other players will sense it. Like for instance, if you are quick at checking on the first few times and then you suddenly took your time on one hand. This is a very clear Poker Tell because the other players can clearly establish that you want to think more on your hand and all they will do is fold.


The manner by which the player said the bet can be a Poker Tell. There are Confident and Nervous bets. It may sound the same to a novice Poker player. However, to somebody who is an expert player, there is a difference between a Confident and a Nervous bet.

The way the player positions the chips on the table can also be a Poker Tell - if it is far or near and the manner by which the chips are placed on the table. It spells a whole lot of difference if you place the chips with confidence or if you place it limply using a nervous hand. Needless to say, if the person places the chips with confidence, he may have a strong hand and if he places the chips nervously, he might have a bad hand.


The player's eyes can be strong Poker Tells. Where a player looks tells a lot about their hand and their bet. A player can play with his eyes in order to deceive other players on their hand. Most of the time players who have a strong hand will not look at other players because they are afraid that the other players will read their reaction.

The Key

The 3 Poker Tells discussed above are some of the common ones. A player's knowledge of the Poker Tells will increase his likelihood of winning. The key in order to deceive the other players and to not give out a Poker Tell is to be consistent and deliberate.