Definition of Tell

What is a "tell" as it applies to the game of poker? What is the definition of the term "tell"?

A "tell" is something that a person does to unknowingly indicate the strength of their hand or what one of their future actions might be.

Players like Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey are so good because they are able to process and use information that other players give off with "tells".

Definition of Tell - Poker DictionaryHere are a few examples of "tells":

1) A player leans forward every time that they have a good hand

2) A player touches their face when they are bluffing

3) A normally talkative player becomes quiet when they have a strong hand

4) A player uses a certain type of bet sizing when they have strong and weak hands

5) A player physically bets their chips differently depending on whether or not they have a strong hand (for instance, they toss their chips into the middle with a weak hand and carefully place their chips in the middle when they have a strong hand)

A good player will spend a good deal of their time at the table trying to figure out the tells of their opponents. A good player will also be extremely mindful of the possible tells that they are giving off.

There are "tells" in online poker as well. These tells usually present themselves through bet sizing and the speed at which a person plays. Great online players will also be very mindful of the "tells" that their opponents give off.


You can have a full knowledge of all of the math that comprises the game of poker, but if you are giving off tells to your opponent, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to a really good player.


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