10 Poker Tells You Must Learn

Knowing how to spot poker tells give a player a big advantage. Reading another player is like knowing what your opponent has in their hand. Master these few tips and you'll hold an advantage at the live poker table. Before I begin, let me give a suggestion or two. If you spot a tell on an opponent and win because of it, never brag or boast about it. Keep the information to yourself and keep winning.

Also, poker tells require you to be observant. That means you need to be focusing on the competition while they're focusing on themselves. When the flop comes, do not look at the cards; look at the players' reactions. Those community card will still be there in a few seconds, so give it time.

1. Style of Buying Chips - If a player is calls out loudly when buying chips, this person is likely to be an aggressive player. When a player is shy and retiring while buying chips, peaking into their wallet, this opponent is likely to be a conservative, cautious player.

2. Neat and Messy Chip Stacks - When a player has a neat chip stack, they tend to be a tight player. A neat chip stack means the player isn't likely to bluff a lot. A messy chip stack means they're likely to play loosely, bluffing more often.

3. Messy Bets Show a Bluff - When a player knocks their chip stack over when making a bet, then straightens the chips up, they're bluffing. They don't want to show anything like a messy chip stack. When they have something to hide, they overcompensate.

4. Hesitation or No Hesitation - Playing on that last tip, this tell requires you to initiate the action. When your opponent start to make a bet, make like you're reaching for your chip stack to make a quick call or raise. As you do, notice how your opponent reacts. If they hesitate, they're bluffing. If they hurry to get their chips in the pot, they don't want you to change your mind, so they have a strong hand.

5. Nervousness Betrays Strength - New poker players assume nervousness means a player holds weak hand. This is just the opposite. When holding a weak hand, people steel themselves to appear strong. When they hold a strong hand, adrenaline kicks in. This can cause a release of tension, a sudden shaking which seems like nervousness. If a player shakes or their voice quivers, they made their hand and you're seeing their adrenaline rush.

6. Negative Means Positive - Don't believe sighs and shrugs, though. Players know they're being read, so they overcompensate and send out signals when they're holding the nuts. If they sign, shrug their shoulders, or seem unnecessarily sad, they're trying to deceive you into thinking they don't have the cards they wanted.

7. Smacking Sounds - Remember, people usually use their voice to deceive. When the flop comes, if they make a sad sound, they're bluffing. This is a voluntary response. Once again, they're trying to sound sad by smacking lips or making a sad clack. Audible sounds are usually intentional.

8. Follow the Eyes - Eyes are a different story. A player's eyes often betray their thoughts. When a player hits the flops, it's an involuntary response to look away from the flop. Those who stare at the flop tend to have missed it.

9. Eyeing the Chip Stack - Those who glance at their chip stack when the cards just got the card they wanted, too. When they glance at their chips, this says they want to make a bet. They're thinking about the wager they want to make.

10. Double-checking the Hole Cards - A player who glances back at their hole cards is telling you a specific piece of information: they're probably checking for a flush. Gamblers tend to remember their card rank, but they are more likely to forget their card's suit. If a player has to look back at their hand, that means you need to watch out for a flush. This bring me to another tip: memorize your cards and never take a second glance. The act gives you opponents' information.

This brings me back full circle. Remember to be reading your opponents during play. It's your first instinct to tend to your hand and your cards, but it should be the other way around. The best information is when the flop comes, so look at your opponents instead of the flop. That's one of the things experts are talking about when they say, "Play your opponents, not the cards."