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Spotting Bluffs and Tells in Online Poker

Bluffs and tells are usually very present in your mind when you play poker in the real world: you are more aware of your facial expressions, the other players are in front of you and you try to "read" them, and you rely on behaviour to reveal their intentions while you try to conceal yours as best you can. Poker pros, however, will always tell you that bluffing is not about the other guy's face; it is all in the actions. This article on behavioural bluffs and tells will teach you how to play poker at Bovada or at any other of the best online poker sites with more confidence and insider knowledge - a great place to start your poker strategy makeover!

Raise your online poker game strategy with! 

On the Internet, nobody knows you are sweating

 Before we go into the substance, it is important to lay some myths to rest. Yes, we often give our emotions and thoughts a physical display, but that does not mean we can automatically decipher each gesture and tick, as the BBC report on liar-spotting teaches us, too. Even if your online poker game has live video, how can you know whether the head-scratching or blinking of your opponent signifies a good or a bad hand? Intuition may be one of your strong suits, but why shoot in the dark when you have a list of reliable tells right here? Read on!

Narrow the focus for the bigger picture

When you cannot see the other players, their in-game actions remain your only clues. You would be surprised, however, how powerful a tell the speed and magnitude of an opponent's action can be if you read them right and compare them to his previous pattern. Here are some typical scenarios and what they mean for you and your opponent in most cases. There are no surefire tells and strategies such as those in baccarat, but these are true often enough for us to recommend them to you:

·        Raise which comes either after a prolonged pause or instantaneously usually means your opponent has a strong hand. In the former case, he is trying to trick you into thinking he is uncertain of his hand and gives folding a thorough consideration; in the latter, he is so sure of his crushing hand that he is raising automatically. In either case, you should have a little alarm bell ringing in the back of your head. Folding or check-calling is a viable option here.

·        Instant checking is a strong hint that your opponent does not have faith in his hand. So much so that he is auto-checking. On rare occasions, he will call afterwards, but most of the time you can be pretty sure you are collecting the pot here. Watch the professionals do it on Full Tilt or Cake Poker to get a taste of this strong tell.

·        Instant calling often hides a mediocre or a weak hand. Your opponent is trying to convince you he is not scared of your bet by calling quickly and effortlessly, but this little intimidation game is plain to see: if he had a strong hand to make him feel truly secure, he would raise instead of call. You should keep on betting here.

 Pattern recognition

 The best way to develop your pattern recognition skills is to play poker online free a lot and practice in a no-risk environment first, like Texas HoldEm on Facebook. During a free game, your stress levels are low and you can concentrate on honing your skills. There is one basic rule: humans reacts to change with stress; a poker player is more likely to change his patterns (and, thus, self-induce more stress) if he has a strong hand rather than a weak one (which would bring too much stress). If you follow this basic rule and practice it in a free poker game or two, you will begin understanding the significance of shifting patterns.

How can you bluff then?

The best way to stonewall your opponents is to be consistent in the timing of your actions (i.e., always take approximately the same time to decide) and inconsistent in their nature (i.e., vary your game and avoid patterns) and not just leave everything up to luck. This will confuse and even scare many players - and you will cash in on that!