Using Check Boxes to Gain Information - from the online poker tells section of playsolidpoker
Online poker rooms offer the use of check boxes for actions such as “Fold”, “Check/Fold”, “Raise”, or “Raise Any”, etc. While convenient for those of us who lack the patience to focus on the game for extended periods of time, the use of checkboxes can be very damaging to your overall winnings. You can determine when a player has used a check box, because their action comes immediately after the player before them acts. You can use this knowledge to your advantage if a player consistently uses checkboxes.
When a player has pre-selected “Check” or “Check/Fold”, it should be obvious that he doesn’t have a strong hand that he cares much about, and is likely on a draw or just waiting to fold, so you can determine the player likely has no hand or a weak hand. If their hand is immediately folded after the prior player acts, you know they are using checkboxes and can begin watching this more closely. When they don’t use a checkbox, then they’re taking more time to consider how to play a better hand…
Similarly, a player who uses the “Call Any” check box is likely to be on a draw and not yet made a good enough hand to bet or raise with, but is definitely not ready to fold at this point.
Poker tells are not 100% accurate, yet they often provide us with enough additional information to help us confirm what we may already suspect. Over time you can get a sense for how these players use checkboxes and begin to draw conclusions about your opponents hand strength and mode of operation as a result.
If you detect that someone is on a draw, for example, you can often bet or raise the pot a bit and push them right out, since it’d be too expensive to continue with their draw without free cards or calling minimum bets.
The fact that a player feels so strongly about a hand (good or bad) to make a decision before even seeing the how other players will bet or act is a poker tell about this person’s inexperience with online play and often about their hand strength.
If you use checkboxes, be highly self-aware of how they’ll be perceived by the other players and use them to your advantage. If you have a good hand that you’re wanting to slow-play, use a check-box to quickly “Check” or “Call” with, feigning weakness. If you have a weaker hand, are on a draw, avoid using the checkbox altogether and act like you’re really thinking about how to play that hand.
If you’re bluffing, make a raise quickly and confidently (using a checkbox, if applicable), to signal confidence in your hand. Of course, it’s always best to mix things up a bit so players can’t predict your actions. The idea is to keep opponents guessing or throw them off in the wrong direction so you can profit from their mistake - that’s how winners operate, through carefully orchestrated deception and mixing things up constantly.