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Articles

The Modern Poker Face

All the traditional means of figuring out one's opponent disappeared with the invention of online gaming; you can no longer look for the poker face, detect a twitch or a side wards glance, or perceive a subtle smile. What therefore do we have, in order to understand our faceless opponents? I would suggest that there are two main ways of being able to gain the information that one would have once gotten through a visual clocking of your opponent's face. The first is more traditional, and is to do with reading betting tactics and habits; the second is more to do with using the tools at your disposal, particularly the chat facility of a casino site. Not everyone uses chat, however if you do find yourself at a table where chat is supported you may be able to use it to your advantage. If for example you come across a player who complains regularly, who feels he's constantly drawing bad hands, this might be some-one who is easy to bluff; after all, if he thinks his cards are rubbish, it shouldn't take much to convince him that yours are good. Equally, a few sly comments on your behalf may indicate to your opponents that you have a weak hand; an impression that could be very easily twisted to your advantage.

Don't forget though that this is all manipulation, and if you don't want to be caught out you must not become predictable. Reading your opponent's bets is not so far from traditional poker instinct; it simply got promoted to primary importance with the eradication of other means of reading your opponents; this eradication has also made bet reading more difficult because suddenly your assessment of a bet is based on itself and its timing alone, rather than any body language that may once have accompanied it. However, here's some possible tells to watch out for. If someone instantly calls your bet they probably have a weak hand, but are trying to show you they have a strong hand; a pause before a check may indicate that they want you to think they have a strong hand and therefore you won't bet. A pause before a bet may be indicative of a strong hand, and the pause is either genuine or a ploy to make you think it's weak and so will stay in.

A bet on the flop almost certainly indicates a strong hand, and may be used in order to pretend a bluff, or as a genuine means of increasing the pot. With the exception of using chat and reading the bets there is little that one can do to duplicate the advantage that comes with a game involving human interaction. Having said that, if you play on a site with a private room facility, or indeed if you see the same player time and time again at a table you may be able to learn something about individual's playing methods.

Will Win is a professional gambler, ex casino dealer and author. Play online casino games at the top online casino!



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