How to keep a Poker Face when grinding online ?

online poker face

When you think of the term ” poker face ” , you probably imagine high stake pros staring down each other ‘s soul , while making decision for huge pot.

While the term poker face usually is associated with live poker, nowadays it is  part of everyone’s vocabulary. Keeping straight face in tough and dangerous situations, is something we do in our daily lifes.

Experiencing pain, misfortune or regret can  be masked with poker face, in a bid to show strength of will and iron nerves.

HOW POKER FACE HELPS YOU WHEN PLAYING ONLINE POKER ?

For live poker players, keeping poker face and not giving tells, is crucial. It helps them run  successful bluffs or getting paid when they have strong hand.

Playing online is no different. You will want to give as little information as possible to your opponent. Some regular grinders bring this one step further by implementing manipulation and playing with opponent’s mind. But how you can do a poker face, when you are behind the computer screen  ?
Just start implementing these quick tips below and see your bluffs called much less.

DO NOT GIVE TIMING TELLS TO YOUR OPPONENT !

You probably heard this before, but believe it or not, this single piece of advice, can save you a lot of money.

Each time you select the check/fold mark on the big blind you give your opponent  information. He immediately puts you in a certain range of hands. Not to mention you miss opportunity to bluff, if you follow closely the action before your turn.

Timing tells you convey while playing online poker  are countless. Quick checks, calls, raises and all ins are  immediately noticed by solid players. Especially when recreational players do them. 90% of the time ;

  • Quick Check – weak hand
  • Quick Call  – drawing hand / low pair
  • Quick Bet/Raise – premium hand
  • Quick All In – bluff

Of course online poker has been around for so long and many online grinders try to confuse you by implementing these timings, on exactly the opposite occasions. Checking quick to trap you or raising quickly with air.

With enough experience when playing poker you will easily spot those players who play ” tricky” . Trying to misguide someone with timing tells is so complicated , that many players will just keep trying to confuse you, but will end up with giving away information themselves.

You probably heard the term ” bet is now the new check ” –  meaning many players attempt trapping  with quick check on the flop when they have the nuts. All these things convey information. Either you face player who does the usual timings listed above or ” trickster ” who looks to confuse you. Both these type of players have bad online poker face.

PRO TIP :  When you spot player with perfect stats or if the poker room do not provide statistics, you notice he plays “GTO” poker, he almost surely follows hands range tables or use some kinds of software. 

Lets say there is a 3/4 bet or some other tricky spot pre flop and player takes long time to act, he is at the bottom of his range, trying to figure, if its correct play to continue at this point.

Next time observe someone who is playing  from UTG position . If he is taking long time to act, its highly likely he is holding some marginal hand like 88 or  AJ.  Another spot which is easy to spot is the small blind. If there is mini raise from cutoff and call from button and he takes forever to 3 bet from small blind you can easily put him on A5 , A4, A3, A2.  He is maybe thinking or calculating if this 3bet is profitable in the long term.

OTHER WAYS YOU RUIN YOUR ONLINE POKER FACE

Here is other ways you give away information. If you are recreational player, playing for fun, please join cash tables with 100 big blinds entry.  For example, when playing 0.3-0.6 blinds , it is suggested you buy in with 60 USD.

Nothing shows that you play from time to time for fun, like you entering the game with 30BB, 50BB or 200BB. You are flagged immediately as ” fish “. If you are pro, you can use this to misguide , but for recreational players it is a no – no.

Another piece of information to look for and avoid giving away, if you do it yourself, is by taking forever to call small river bet. Whether the decision is right or wrong, thinking 2 minutes if its correct to call 80 cents is ridicilous. This immediately alerts other players, you are playing afraid. 

Another way you show weakness is by  chatting a lot. When playing live, it is nice way to socialize, but in online poker, it is not recommended. Writing few words and jokes is one thing, but engaging in long conversations make you miss hands, do missclicks or shows others you are not playing multiple tables = recreational player.

If you look to win and bring your A-game poker face, avoid doing these mistakes.

ONLINE POKER FACE CHEAT SHEET

Fixing these small leaks in your poker game, unlike strategy and math, can be done instantly.   The simple way of fixing this is by  taking exact same time before each decision. It sounds harder that it is in reality.

You have into account the average time you take quick decisions and long decisions. So that you do not wait too long when facing no-brainer or not having enough time for tough situations.

Let’s suggest you need 3 seconds for quickest plays and 50 seconds for long ones. From this point on just wait 20-25 seconds, for each move you make. This way your opponents will have 0 information, forcing them to guess.

With little self discipline you can make this simple adjustment and reap the benefits from it, in the long term. Also do not forget to try spotting timing tells yourself. After all, exploiting opponents is the single most important aspect of poker. Playing fundamentally sound poker is not enough, if someone can spot your tendencies , he can exploit you, no matter how skilled you are.

Make yourself a favour and avoid giving away your ” poker face ” when  playing online. Because it is just as easy to do it, as playing live.

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