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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Online Tells (Part 1)

I read an article a year or so ago about online tells. I think is was written by Ryan Fisler, who is a successful online player and is also an instructor at, but I'm not positive that it was him who wrote it. The article was broken down into three areas, timing tells, bet sizing tells, and pattern tells.

Today I want to look at timing tells and highlight some of the major points in the article. I'll discuss bet sizing tells and pattern tells in future posts.

1) The Insta-call of a Continuation Bet

This indicates a weak calling hand, such as second pair or a draw. If the villain was strong, he or she would take some time to consider a proper raise amount to induce a call from you.

If your hand is strong, make a small bet on the turn (40-50% of the pot) and hope for a call. If you're weak, bet strong (70-80% of the pot) and push the villain off their hand.

2) The Delayed Check

A player that almost times out before checking is usually weak. Bet 60-70% of the pot and start stacking chips.

3) The Delayed Bet

If your opponent almost times out and then bets 1/2 pot or more, look out! It is an indication of strength. Unless your hand is strong, fold 'em and move on to the next hand.

4) The Insta Preflop 3 Bet

If the villain throws out an instant re-raise, he is very strong. His range here is AK, QQ, KK,or AA. In this case, fold if either of your stacks are less than 20BB or if you are out of position. However, if both stacks are over 20BB and you are in position, the implied odds allow you to call and set mine with underpairs, or to call with suited connectors and hope for a favorable flop.

5) The Insta Continuation Bet

You see a flop and your opponent instantly throws out a continuation bet. This usually indicates weakness. I was railing the Mookie last week and saw this tell several times at the final two tables. If you have a strong hand, call. If you have a weak or marginal hand (draw, second pair, etc), raise them off their hand with a 70-80% of the pot bet.

6) The Insta River Bet

Just like the insta continuation bet, an instant bet on the river usually indicates a weak hand. If your opponent has a made hand, wouldn't they take some time to figure out the correct value bet? If you feel your hand can beat a bluff, call. If you are also weak, this is a good opportunity to raise and take down the pot.

There are a couple tourneys tonight where you can look for these tells. One that is called the "Donk" (or is it Dank?) or the "Monkey" (Mookie?) will draw a lot of players if you want to rail it.

But the Very Josie Tournament on Full Tilt is where all the cool kids will be playing tonight. It's a deep stack tourney with $3,000T starting chips. Be there or be square! Click the link below for more info. I hope to see you there!

Very Josie Tournament


  1. Thanks Ducky!

    Very interesting stuff here. I'm going to be have this post open when I play tonight to see for myself if these tells work. God I hope they do. Cannot wait for the next batch of online tells. Hopefully before this sunday's invitational.

    Hope to see you tonight!

  2. Josie-

    I'll be there.

    Good luck tonight... I hope you get 2nd!

  3. Those are great online tells.

  4. Thanks Coop.

    They certainly help when you have a borderline decision.

  5. Good info and good joke of the week. I had heard it with little Johnny at Sunday dinner - his first words were "Take this shit away; it's terrible."

  6. Thanks G-man.

    Enjoyed playing the tourney with you last night. See you next time!