If you ever watch poker, whether at a live game or on television, you may see players studying each other as they play. They are looking for what is called poker “tells.” A tell is a sign from another player than gives away the strength of their hand. Some tells will signal a player has a weak hand and others may tell that a player has a very strong hand. There are also tells that will give away the fact that an opponent has caught a piece of the action and they may have a flush or straight draw in their hand. It should be noted that experienced players can give off fake tells, which may be able to fool some people. While you don’t want to spend all of your time at the table looking for tells that might not appear, knowing what signs to look for when players have good cards or nothing in their hand can be helpful. Tells that some players give off showing that they have a good hand may include acting nonchalant while they are playing, tremors in their hands, taking rapid breaths, taking a quick look at their chips after they see their cards or they may exaggerate a shrug or sigh to appear unsure as to why they are playing their hand.
Some of the tells can be hard for players to control. If players are dealt a big pocket pair of cards like aces or if they hit a great hand on a flop, adrenaline may take over. It can cause them to breathe rapidly or their hands may shake slightly. If you see these tells and your hand is marginal, you can fold and save your chips. However, tells can determine if a player has a draw. They may glance at their cards before betting to make sure they hit something on the flop or they may take time betting.