When playing poker for the first time, you may not realize that your behavior during the game can be just as important as the cards you hold when trying to outwit an opponent and win a hand.
A “tell” is a visual clue or piece of information about a player that you can use to better assess the strength of their hand. It works both ways so all of the players in your game will also be analyzing you to see whether they can pick on tells that will help them.
Know the rules
When you first start, you should understand the basic rules for the variant of poker you are playing, whether that is Texas hold’em or five-card stud. Any confusion or lengthy pauses during the game will signal to an opponent that you are a novice and could more easily be bluffed. Being confident in your actions during each round will prevent you from giving away your relative inexperience.
Other players usually pick up on tells when they are out of character. If you are consistent in how long you take to bet and with the behavior you exhibit during each round, you will make yourself harder to read. You can even use this to your advantage when trying to bluff someone. But if this is your first game, just focus on being the same player in every situation.
Wear sunglasses and sit up
When playing in actual poker rooms at physical venues, you can hide some of your tells by wearing sunglasses and assuming the same posture throughout the game. Sitting upright will make you look more alert and ready for action compared to being slumped and disinterested. The latter is a tell that you may be struggling in a hand.
Take some time before acting
One of the benefits of playing at one of the many card rooms at an NJ Online Casino is that your opponents will not be able to see your physical tells. However, they can still manifest in digital form via bet timings and amounts.
The more experienced players often see instant checks and calls as a sign that you have a weaker hand as you are not taking the necessary time to decide whether there is value in what you are doing.
Don’t be too fast with a strong hand
However, for general actions during a game, faster reactions from a beginner usually showcase strength compared to slower actions. That is because it is easier for a novice player with a big hand to play fast and loose.
Again, you can use this to your advantage if you think this is what your opponents will believe, but beginners should just try to be calm, steady and measured, during each round. Some players time themselves to keep up this consistency.
Opponents will also be looking out for frequent checks of hole cards, shaking hands, vocal behavior, betting patterns and facial expressions to try to gather tells they can use against you. Being aware of how others perceive you will improve your game even if you are only a beginner.