Reading Poker Players

Lack of Body Language

If you have only played in live poker games before and wondered what makes online poker different, than the number one answer would be reading your opponents. Opposed to playing in person online poker games do not allow you to see the body language of the other players. Body language in live poker can give you a potent advantage, which is lacking in the online environment. There are ways that you can interpret the actions of different poker players if you know what you are looking for. Just like in live poker the trick is to use your head and eyes.

Reading the Board

You must be able to read the board to determine your best potential hand. You should be able to identify all the combination of hands that could be made by the cards that are shown on the board. With this information you will be able to determine how your hand may compare to the other players on the table. Without knowing what hands you can make you will not be able to figure out or guess what cards other poker players at the table may have. If you understand the board you will have a better chance of putting other poker players on weaker or stronger hands.

The Stall

The most crucial detail is paying attention to the amount of time it takes a player to place a bet. This is what is best-known as the stall. On the other hand, lots of experienced poker players are now using this technique to try and fool other players. To be effective using the stall method you must first know the players at the table. After you have played in a poker room for awhile, you will start to get to know the patrons and learn who the skilled players are. Once you have this information you will be able to use the stall to know and recognize the new players. Unskilled players frequently stall because they do not understand how to bet the pot even if they are holding pocket aces. You will still want to be cautious, remember that some skilled players are starting to use this same strategy to throw you off.

Understanding Betting Patterns

Ever player has different betting patterns, even the pros have them. Understanding the patterns of other players is the most significant factor in online poker. You will want to focus on the method with which each player uses to bet compared to the size of the pot. In view of the fact that you cannot observe their faces, you will still be able to examine their betting, calling, and raising patterns. Many online poker players play often, they possess their own strategies and patterns, just as they would at a live table. Understanding these patterns will give you an advantage over the players that are not looking for them.

Avoiding Traps

Watching out for traps is important. You will want to watch for players that are playing slow then quickly bet because they have been dealt a good hand. The opposite is also true, you will also want to look for players that have been playing fast and then decide to stall. Both of these tactics might suggest that they may be holding a very strong hand. It does not make a difference if you are playing online or live you can discover the behavior patterns of other players to create an advantage.

Taking Mental Notes

A great way to read other players and being able to put them on a hand is taking mental notes and scrutinising the players games. There are a number of questions that you should ask yourself while you are observing the other players at the table. Questions to ask yourself: are they playing a lot of hands, what cards have they shown, how often do they raise before the flop, have they been caught bluffing, what position have they played most of their hands in? Make sure to make these mental notes after ever hand and they will become handy
down the road.


Online poker is a different animal then live poker. You do not have the feel of the felt or the bad body odor of the man sitting next to you. You may not be able to see the other players at the table when playing online, but with enough practice you should be able to use the strategies above to start understanding how to read other players while playing online poker.

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