Want to play live poker? Understanding your opponents' body language and facial expressions helps in winning poker games. Understand the following poker tells or poker body language cues.

You can then be more careful about not giving out information of your cards to your opponents.

The most typical poker tells include, trembling hands, chip glances, table banter, and eye contact. Knowing how to read poker players and recognize any of these indications will help you determine whether a player is bluffing.

A poker player benefits if he notices and interprets the meaning of another player's tell. Sometimes a player would even make up poker tells to fool his opponents into thinking something else. 

Learning about poker tells makes it a good playing experience, so let’s have a look at some common poker tells.

Once you know them, you can master the poker body language with greater ease.


1. Table Impression

Look at your opponents' clothing style, how they carry themselves, and the conversations they have at the poker table. Is your opponent more conservative or loud?

Where are they coming from? Observe your opponents closely, perhaps you’ll make a few guesses about their playing style.

Stillness and movement can say a lot about an opponent’s feelings. In general, folks who are relaxed will move around more than those who are anxious.

Anxious players tend to look a bit still and tensed. This is also frequently the case when a sizable wager is involved.

2. Eyes Movement

Many poker players wear sunglasses to hide their emotions. Eyes don’t lie and give out information about your cards to an observant opponent. That is why even the pros wear sunglasses in live poker games.

It is said that if a person is lying, they are more likely to look in the right eye. If a person blinks slowly and then blinks fast suddenly, they are probably lying or stressed about something. Interesting, isn’t it? You can wear black sunglasses to conceal your emotions.

3. Breathing Patterns

The way a person breathes says a lot about their hand. If a person is stressed, excited, or anxious, they tend to breathe shallowly. Or else they’ll breathe rapidly. Probably they have a weak hand.

Or they are bluffing with weak cards. Or they have a great hand. Watching how a person breathes may give away some information about their cards.

4. Fake versus Real Nervousness

Did you know that nervousness isn’t always negative? It isn’t because someone has weak cards. You can detect if a person is genuinely nervous or is faking nervousness. If someone is faking nervousness, they’ll most probably exaggerate the situation.

Players sometimes put on an act of nervousness because of holding a strong hand and sometimes behave the opposite.

A person who is at ease may display more looseness in how they gather their chips after making a little bet, how they place the bet, or how they act afterward.

They might have more eye movement. While in the case of bluffing players, this is the opposite. Understanding whether a player is really nervous or faking it involves finding a good comparison point.

You’ll have to analyze the situation and find a good point for coming to a conclusion.

5. Quick Look at Poker Chips

If a poker player looks at their poker chips and then quickly looks away, they are thinking of betting. Probably they have a good hand and that’s why they decided to bet.

A player may also take a quick look at their opponent’s chip stack when they are thinking to bet.

6. Quick Look at Cards

If a player quickly looks at cards on seeing the flop, they are unsure about something. Let's say there were three spades on Flop. If the player looks at their private cards after seeing the flop immediately, it doesn't seem like they have a flush.

How can you guess that? If you have two suited cards, you'll know you have two spades. You don't have to look at your cards again to confirm the same upon seeing the flop.

7. Grasping An Object

If a person grasps an object suddenly, like the handle of a coffee cup or a pen, they are trying to make themselves comfortable. What may have happened before that? Probably they bet heavily or went all-in.

They are not confident about their move clearly, and it indicates that they don’t have strong cards.

8.  Over-Protecting Cards

If a player is dealt good cards at the beginning of the game, they are protecting the cards. If you see someone is extra careful about not showing their cards to others, it indicates they have good cards.

9. Bets with Poker Chips

If poker player places their chips on the table without any exaggerated movements, they want others to bet and invite their opponents to bet. On the other hand, if a player has a weak hand, they may do things like show dominance at the table.

They may announce their bet to intimidate their opponents. Or they may stretch their fingers and forearm to show how strong their cards are and intimidate other players.

Any wager that seems repulsed or hesitant indicates a powerful poker hand. The player is attempting to imply doubt on the wager. However, if it really were a bad hand, that opponent would use every trick in the book to hide it.

When an opponent appears uncertain or reluctant to wager, you should avoid taking risks and fold if your cards are weak.

10. Time taken to Bet

If someone looks at their cards and takes time to bet, they are probably thinking of a strategy. If someone bets immediately after seeing their cards, they are probably being real. So, the time taken to bet reveals quite a lot about a player’s cards. 

11. Quick Decision Made

With new players, it is a sign of honest play when someone checks their hand before placing a wager.  What if you are playing live poker with experienced live poker players and they make a quick decision?

That may mean that they are being honest. If a player is thinking to bluff, they will take more time to think. They will be thinking of how to bluff and how to intimidate the players in front of them.

Additionally, they'll strive to avoid making any notable movements to avoid inspiring suspicion. In case a player is taking some time before making a decision, they have something going on in their mind. That means that you need to be careful with such players.

12. Hand In Front of Mouth

If a player is keeping their hand in front of the mouth, they are trying to hide their emotions. They are covering their face because probably they hold a weak hand. They do not want to give out any information about their cards to you. 

Hope you know about poker body language now. Some of the poker body language is conscious, whereas, some of it is unconscious.

You can read people and others better when you are focused and observant during table situations. So, stay in the moment and be neutral and you’ll make some good guesses and master poker body language!

So what are you waiting for? Download Poker app on your phone and start playing poker daily on Spartan Poker now!