Timing Tells

• Bronze
Joined: 15.06.2009
However insignificant they may seem in FL...

I think they may flip a decision or two per session. Sometimes I get the impression that an opponent has placed a brick on the bet/raise pre-select button. They don't bluff.

Do you use them?
• 4 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 28.04.2010
no.. simply no. I mostly go for patterns. limp/3bet , check flop instabet turn = KK
• Bronze
Joined: 02.01.2009
In Physics we talk a lot about something called "signal to noise ratio". This is the main idea:

When you measure something, there might be a lot of things that make that signal you try to measure go crazy. That is the noise in your measurement. So, when you have a very low signal to noise ratio, you need to make a lot of measurements to be confident in the actual value you measured. Something like that happens in poker, with our winrate. The signal to noise ratio is too low, that's why we get upswings&downswings and we cannot be sure of our true winrate after many many hands.

About timing tells, the same things happen. The signal to noise ratio is extremely low. If someone is multitabling, he could have taken a lot of time because he was playing other tables. If he isn't he could be very well watching TV or browsing, and that's why he takes time. So you should need a very VERY VERY large sample in order to give those timing tells a true meaning.

If you catch him on a certain pattern, you could very well need a smaller sample to do that, but variance here is also extremely high.
• Bronze
Joined: 18.07.2010
Very rarely and only one situation comes to mind where I actually change my decision which is against a very rare type of 1 tabling, poor playing, frustrated/tilted/hyper aggro opponents when villain is snap-check/calling the flop and the turn and hits his straightdraw on the river and takes time to realize his hand and to decide between donking or checkraising and being frustrated they are always greedy and want to checkraise which leads me to check behind.

Other than that some weak regulars have a tendency to tank a LOT with the absolute nuts on later streets, but that's so rare that it doesn't affect my decision.

Generally I think this topic is not worth spending time with, and I don't recommend deliberately looking for timing tells, but if you pick up on it by accident, note it.
• Bronze
Joined: 15.06.2009
Thanks for the replies, and also for stopping me from using them excessively.

I especially like the physical explanation. (Some years ago now) I wrote my thesis on finding weak real signals drenched in various kinds of noise. They can be found in very noisy data if and only if one knows exactly what to look for - and then only with some luck in any particular sample. Nice example JLeitmotiv!

I have noticed too that at higher levels (highest), some players tend to wait a split second regardless. I do that too, but not on purpose. I am just slow in my mind. People hate to play HU Sit&Go's versus me for that reason. They tilt because of that split second

/Johan =