In poker, the term “tell” refers to a change in a player’s behavior that gives clues as to what type of hand he or she might be holding. Observing and understanding tells allows you to have an edge, especially whenever they are unconscious and reliable. However, please note that some players tend to fake their tells hoping to force their opponents to exercise poor judgment and make costly mistakes in response.

Furthermore, it’s important to realize that not all tells have to be physical. In fact, tells like speed of play, betting patterns, player chat, and the number of chips that your opponents bet tend to be more reliable and may be quite revealing in online play.

 Usage Example

“Marcus always bets more whenever he gets AA pre-flop and he’s surprised that people notice and fold. He should work on avoiding giving out those tells if he wants to get more action with the strongest hands.”


In a famous sequence from the 2006 James Bond movie “Casino Royale,” Bond notices that the terrorist financer Le Chiffre tends to hide an eye twitch whenever he bluffs. However, Le Chiffre realizes that Bond knows his tell and utilizes this knowledge against 007 to call an all-in bet.