When playing poker online, you’ll want every advantage you can get. Let’s take a look at how to read poker players when playing digitally.
Speed of play
The speed at which a player makes moves offers major insight into their intentions. Fast play can indicate that they have default settings on, and they’re checking in the dark. Slow play can indicate that they’re taking time to think and make careful moves. Keep in mind that players can be aware of these factors, and deliberately change their speed of play to throw you off. Nevertheless, speed is always important to consider, especially if you can notice patterns in your opponents’ behaviors. Many poker rooms come with timers and clocks that show how much time is left to make a move. Glancing at these can help you feel the rhythm of the table and notice if something is out of the ordinary.
It may seem like a silly thing to analyze, but the chat can give you valuable info about your opponents. If someone is rambling and seemingly on tilt, you know they will be playing recklessly and making huge bets. A savvy player can take advantage of this by punishing the disoriented player’s mistakes without ever responding in chat. On the other hand, players might be excessively talkative in chat. This could signal that they’re not fully focused on the game, and you can pull off sly bluffs without them noticing. Don’t let the chat distract you too much, though; remember, you have to focus on your own hand!
Even though you can’t see your physical opponents and their poker faces, betting patterns can be clues as to what players are about to do. Pick up on patterns of large or small bets, which will let you anticipate future pots. If you’re going to be at a table for a long time, it’s not a bad idea to take notes on your opponents with a pencil and paper. These patterns are applicable to string bets, three bets, and raises alike. This is why it’s particularly important to consider pot size when playing online. You’ll want to be one step ahead of players who deceive you via pot size.
Reading your digital opponents is guaranteed to give you an upper hand. Think carefully about the mathematics of the game and adjust your play accordingly. Remember—in poker, the strategy is half the fun!