Body Language in Poker - How to Reveal Your Opponents at the Table

Body Language in Poker - How to Reveal Your Opponents at the Table


Live Poker is a terrific game of strategy and skill that reaps the greatest rewards for those who pay attention to the small details. When playing against real opponents, body language plays an important role. Many players have certain signals that they produce based on what is happening at the table. These signals (tells) can be subtle and difficult to detect, but you will notice them well if you know what to expect. Understanding what a signal means will help you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents. You'll also get some insights into the strength of their hands, which is important for making good decisions. However, before you can read body language, you have to interpellate a particular signal correctly. In this post, we will look at 7 basic tells that will reveal a lot about your opponents. 

Where Body Signals Matter

Choosing a good Arabic online casino will give you access to a wide variety of poker games. However, not every version of online poker allows you to use bluffing techniques. And if bluffing isn't possible, then there's no point in reading the body signals. So, below we'll cover the two main types of poker games you can play at an Arabic online casino. 

Video Poker

Combining a slot machine and a poker game, video poker is highly popular with Arab gamblers. It's essentially a computerized poker game that uses five-card draw rules and is played over terminals that look a lot like online slots. However, unlike the latter, there is a skill element to the game, as you can hold or discard your cards depending on what game situation you are in. So, here's how the video poker game works, no matter which version you choose:

  • Place a bet using the dedicated buttons on the control panel. The betting range can vary from version to version of video poker.
  • Click Deal to get your initial poker hand. Estimate where you stand to make the best decision.
  • Discard cards you deem irrelevant to create a strong poker hand. In return, you'll get new cards from the virtual deck.
  • You have now got your final hand, and the payout will accrue according to the payout table, which is essentially a poker hand ranking. 

So, video poker is a game where your success depends on how well you know the poker hand rankings. What's more, in some versions of the game, the hunt is always in front of your eyes. What makes video poker so special is the low house advantage of only about 1% (assuming you make the best play decisions). But the important thing here is that you have no live opponents at the table because you only play against the computer. There is no one whose body language you need to read, and that can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. In our opinion, video poker can be a great starting point in the world of the awesome card game. When you play poker machines, you don't have to apply a bluff and recognize it from your opponents. However, if you want to experience the thrill of the game to the fullest, the next online poker option is just what you need.

Live Poker

The best thing about live poker is that you'll be playing against real opponents. Although the table is virtual, the players are real. When playing live poker, you will see the faces of your opponents which gives you a sense of being physically present in the poker room. More importantly, your opponents can show different emotions depending on what is going on in the game. In addition, they can use bluffs to deceive you about what cards they are holding. And if live poker is what you want to play, then knowing how to read your opponent's body language will come in handy. 

Poker Signals Worth Paying Attention To

As soon as you sit down at a poker table - virtual or physical - you need to check for signs of discomfort in your opponents, as you are most likely seeing them for the first time. Pay attention to the seating position at the table, hand position, facial expression, blink rate and so on. The advantage of live poker over playing in a land-based casino is that you will not feel the stress knowing your opponents are far away from you. And it makes you more focused to pay attention to the small details. So, gathering information on your opponents before the game starts is something of a reconnaissance. Here are a few things to look out for at each stage of the game action:

  • During the first round, monitor your opponents' reactions as they look at their cards. Also, pay attention to how they feel about their loss or gain.
  • The second round brings new data into play, and you need to notice how your opponents are perceiving these changes.
  • During the third round, the information gathering can be considered complete. 

So, you have noticed some behavioral changes in your opponents. How do you use this new information to your advantage? This is where poker body language comes into play. 

Watch the Hands of Rivals

Poker players may make involuntary hand movements depending on what cards they have now. If a player - after getting acquainted with his cards - holds his hand on the table or lowers them, it's a sign that he's ready for action. If your opponent is shuffling his chips or moving his hands erratically, it's likely he's confused and his cards are weak. Hands are the most informative part of a poker player's body, so always pay attention to them before making game decisions. 


The lips are another part of the body that can tell you a lot about a person's thoughts if you understand how to read these signals. For example, your opponent may be pursing his lips, nibbling or licking them. Or his/her lips may be in a normal, relaxed state. Pressed lips are a clear sign of stress, while nibbling indicates that the person is thinking. The more stressed a poker player is, the longer he keeps his lips pressed together. 


Your opponent may involuntarily touch his nose, sniff his nose or take deep breaths. The important thing is that you mark such signals in the context of the game. For example, a deep breath is usually taken when gathering strength to give bad news. A wrinkled nose may indicate that the person is disgusted with what's happening (e.g., they're not happy with their current poker hand). Note any changes and pay attention to the noise (breaths) made in order to get an idea of the emotional state of your opponents. 

Eyes and Blink Rate

Before you start the game, look carefully at the eyes of your opponents. You will probably find that their eyes are relaxed. However, as the game progresses, the skin around their eyes may become tense. Also, remember that our pupils dilate when we like what we see, and vice versa. Squinted eyes indicate that the poker player wants to focus on something. We usually squint when we don't like something. 

Blink frequency is another thing to pay attention to. On average, people blink 16-20 times a minute. If the blink rate has increased, it indicates that the person is interested in what they are seeing. Also, an increase in the blink rate may indicate concern about something. Pay attention to eye reactions and blink rate to understand what your competitors are thinking. 

Face and Forehead

Touching the face can be a natural action. However, some people have a habit of soothing themselves by stimulating the facial nerves by touching their chin or cheeks. If facial touching has become more nervous and intense, this is another signal that should not be overlooked. Also, the context of the game plays an important role in drawing the right conclusions. 

A few additional clues about your opponent's emotional state can be given by his forehead. Sudden muscle tension, resulting in a furrowed forehead, is a tell-tale sign of stress. Does his forehead tense after looking at cards or dealing with a community card? Consider the moment the forehead tensed to understand why the poker player is stressed. Also, some players are touching their forehead, which is an even stronger sign of stress. 

Closing Thoughts

Playing poker in an Arabic online casino can be an even more exciting and potentially lucrative experience if you learn to spot your opponents' body signals and draw the right conclusions. In fact, there are many more poker body signals, but we've given basic ones that you shouldn't ignore. Put your new knowledge into practice and you'll see that being able to read body language brings a new dimension to the game of poker.

Please open website in Safari to install the App.