As a poker player you should be well-versed in the art of body language as it can reveal much about your opponents’ intentions. With careful observation, you can discern whether a person is out to make love to you or to lop your head off.
This art applies to online poker in that you can read “tells” on everyone around the table. Poker tells is a repetitive signal which divulges a players hand and intentions. Apply your knowledge of body language to a situation relevant to the environment. Distinct gestures may be repeated in distinct circumstances. For example, a player who fiddles with his chips before a move intending to force you into a check. He can disclose his hand (or narrow the options down) as well as his thought pattern.
There is nothing magical about body language and how to read it. When you think that professional poker live players rely heavily on their keen observation of their opponent’s body language, you can bet there is something in it for you too. As you improve your skills at both poker and reading other’s gestures, you will earn yourself more money. And of no less importance, you will become more aware of this facet of the game.
As you become aware of opponent’s tells, you will become more observant of your own body behaviour and be able to hide your gestures, if you can, strive to remove your revealing body language gestures altogether. You may do this by converting them into something else entirely, thereby causing utter confusion in your opponents who fancy themselves adept at observing the nuances of body language.
The most expert of poker online players will always use what seems the least likely; body language reading comes in here. We expect the pros to be highly skilled players; less expected is their intense observation of the environment where a specific table is located. The person constantly in the lead may not be a logistical whiz, he undoubtedly has taken the time to become an advanced reader of body language, which is actually intuitive not purely rational. These winners can predict opponents’ moves by observing the shrug of his shoulders or the way and when he looks at the ceiling fan.
Online poker is another thing entirely. Obviously one cannot read an icon’s gestures. What can be read though is the speed with which a decision is made. Buttons are key to the online game, you place bets, make calls and raise by clicking a button. Your opponents are very aware of how much time is involved before you press that decisive button. They will know whether your decision was instant and automatic or somewhat faltering and indecisive.
These moves you make are not typical for you and your game. You do not appear to be dull-witted, you are just taking the time to make the right decision, thinking before you press that check button as if saving the good cards for a future larger bank. What you want is for your opponent to push the check button also and you won’t have to play a weak hand right at this moment.
After a while you will learn to distinguish between natural pauses and bluffing. The next step is to learn in greater detail the pause-patterns of specific players.
Happy playing poker!