The following is a list of some of the most common poker tells I've run
across in my poker playing career. Each player has a unique set of
tells, and these will certainly not apply to everybody. But these
should get you started in compiling your own playbook of poker tells.
* A Shaking Hand
This tell is very common for newer poker players. It occurs when the
player bets. There hand will shake when they put their chips out. This
is not an intentional tell... and it almost ALWAYS means a huge hand.
They have hit big and are excited.
* Checking Their Chips
This is another very common poker tell. Right after the flop, a player
glances down at their chips. It's very quick and subtle... to catch it,
you have to be watching the players eyes right when the flop comes out.
It means they connected.
* Staring Through the Flop
This is the opposite of the above tell. If a player glances at their
chips when they hit big, then they will often stare at the flop when
they miss. If a player is looking at the flop like he's trying to find
some sort of hand in there, it means he missed.
* Checking Their Holecards
This occurs most often in texas holdem when a flop comes out all of the
same suit. The player checks their holecards. They are checking to see
if one of their cards matches the suit on the board. It usually means
that their cards aren't suited, and that they do NOT have the flush...
but they may well have a flush-draw.
* Asking for Clarification
Anytime you hear a poker player ask the dealer for clarification, it
usually means they have a big hand. Questions like "My bet?", "How much
is it to me?", or "What's the bet?" usually indicate a strong hand.
* Excessive Rudeness
Anytime a player is rude to you right after a bet, it almost always
means a big hand... they are trying to piss you off enough to call them.
* Being Too Polite
The opposite of the above tell, anytime a person seems nice or polite
to you right after a bet, they are probably bluffing.
* Choppy Conversation
If a player is having a conversation during a poker hand and his talk
is choppy, as if his mind is on something else, it usually means he is
not too confident in his hand. This correlates to a weak poker hand.
* Smooth Conversation
Conversely, if a player is talking without missing a beat while in a
hand, it means he is not overly concerned about the hand he is playing.
This is because he feels comfortable and usually means a big hand.
* Raising the Dealer
This is one of my favorite tells, so I saved it for last. Sometimes,
play with someone who will sometimes stare right at the dealer and
raise and other times just put chips out there. When they are "raising
as I call this tell, they usually have a super weak hand. It's a
classic case of acting strong when they are weak. Of course, it can
mean that they don't have the right denomination of chips, so look at
their stack before
you reraise them!
To contact Dutch, visit
player blog at www.dutchboyd.com.