Just because your opponents may show any nervous twitches, that does not mean they have any tells that can help you make a decision.
Sure, body language can give you clues but there are certain timing tells that can suggest the strength of their hand.
The term “timing tell” refers to how long it takes for your opponent to do something. It’s just as important to pay attention to this as it can help you lay down a strong hand or making a hero call.
Here are 7 timing tips for a professional gambler to help them improve their win rate at the poker table.
1. Auto Flop CBets
When players make an auto flop cbet, they typically have a medium-strength hand at best.
Think of it this way. Players with a very strong hand will often take longer to decide what to do as they want to get as much value as possible.
The same applies to a bluff.
For this reason, you should look to be raising against auto flop cbets.
Players will also make an auto flop cbet if they don’t know what to do next. If you think this is the case, float the flop a little more often or put in a bluff raise more than you would against tougher players.
If you happen to be playing online, check how many tables they are playing at too. If they are playing lots of games, they likely just want to make a fast play while they focus on something more important on another table.
2. Auto Turn CBets
Similar to the auto flop cbets, players that make auto turn cbets are likely to have a medium-strength hand.
This becomes more apparent as bets tend to get larger on the turn compared to the flop. Again, if they have a strong hand, they will try to work out how they win the most money from you. According to DailyGamblesDigest, If they’re bluffing, they’ll think about how to get you off your hand.
An auto turn cbet usually represents a medium top pair, small overpair or they’re on a draw and not sure what to do next.
Like on the flop, you should be looking to raise auto turn cbets frequently, even if you have complete air. However, as mentioned by Lucian Marinescu, partner at OnlineCasinoGems, if your opponent likes to call down, think twice about bluffing:
“It’s always risky business bluffing a calling station. Most of the time, they have no idea where they are at in the hand and will simply call you down with a hand they should have folded on previous streets. If you decide to bluff, it needs to be big”.
3. Long Pause Before Bet/Raise
This timing tells for a professional gambler usually signals that your opponent has a very strong hand. Often, they will want you to think that they have a decision to make when in reality they’re just thinking about Vegas and the f*cking Mirage.
Unless you have a big hand, just fold, especially if it’s on the river. Most recreational players or beginners to poker don’t have it in their locker to pull off a big bluff after going into the tank.
However, if they are playing online, look at the number of tables they’re playing. A long pause could mean they are involved in a pot on another table.
4. Preflop Auto Call
This is massive timing tell. It’s almost always a sign that your opponent has a mediocre hand at best. They typically just want to see the flop.
If they have a strong hand, they will not be flatting the bet so promptly. At the very least, they’ll consider it or just 3bet as standard.
Auto call hands tend to be in the range of small and middling pairs, weak broadways, one-gappers, and small suited connectors.
When in position, you should be reraising strong here. There is always a chance that your opponents will play, and when one person calls, the odds become better for the remaining players to come along.
If you’re out of position, play post-flop tight aggressive. If you flop good, you want to bet big and get a lot of value.
5. Postflop Auto Call
According to WeeklySlotsNews, this next timing tips for a professional gambler indicate that your opponent has hit the flop with a weak pair or they’re on an obvious draw like an open-ender or flush draw.
Make sure that you are betting aggressively here and applying maximum pressure on your opponents on later streets.
Auto callers will overvalue the strength of their hands too. If they have a top pair, they probably won’t lay it down, no matter if the board favors your range over theirs.
6. Long Pause Before Check
This timing tell applies at any point in the hand, from preflop action to river play. This is hardly ever a trap.
Most of the time, your opponent has a weak hand if they take a long pause before checking. They want to see the next card or get to showdown without putting any more money.
If you see this, take advantage of their weakness and make a bet.
7. River Insta Check
This final timing tip indicates that your opponent has a weak hand. Again, it plays on the fact that if they had a good hand, they want to work out how much you would call. And if they were bluffing, they would think about how much you would fold for.
River insta checks are a sign that your opponent has middle pair, top pair with a weak kicker or they’ve missed their draw and didn’t want to bluff.
This is a prime spot for you to start betting (unless your opponent is a calling station).
If you do decide to bluff, over betting the pot or simply shoving all-in is usually the best play, particularly if you think they’ll call with standard bet sizing. You can balance this out when you have made a monster hand and looking to get a maximum payoff from a station.
Photo by Omar Houchaimi from Pexels