One of the more-glorified aspects of poker is the thought that you can somehow tell an opponent’s hand strength by looking at their face. Furthermore, little tells such as somebody rubbing their nose when they’ve got a good hand or trying to stare you down when they’re holding a poor hand is supposed to be the secret to knowing your opponents.
So is there any validity to the idea of a poker face? Or is this just some kind of pre-2005 poker strategy that people used before the game became more advanced? Let’s take a closer look at the subject to find out.
Information vs. Physical Tells
While some poker players may give off some slight tells with their face or body, the idea that you can become a pro poker player simply through reading somebody’s actions is, for the most part, over-hyped. So rather than watching your opponent to see if they pick their nose while holding pocket aces, a much better idea is to concentrate on collecting information.
For example, it’s quite useful to see what range of hands each opponent is willing to play based on their position. An extremely tight player might only raise from early position with pocket aces, kings and queens, which means you have to be careful when they do so. However, a loose-aggressive player may raise from EP with AA through TT, AK, AQ and even KQ.
Gathering Online Poker Info
Based on what we’ve just discussed, you don’t have to see an opponent just to profile them. This being the case, you can effectively find out what type of hands players are willing to play in certain situations. For instance, if somebody is in middle position, you might have observed that they’re most likely playing AA through 88, AK, AQ, AJ, KQ, QJ, and JT from this position.
You can use a number of online poker tells like this to understand opponents’ hand strength, and make more profits in the process. So the key point to take away from all of this is that, by studying your opponents and their actions, you’ll be a lot closer to beating other players than by looking at their poker face.