A tell is an involuntary action that provides an indication of what someone's hand may hold or if they are bluffing while they bet.
In Poker Night 2, the frequency of tells from a given player will increase if you have ordered them a drink during that tournament.
Poker Night at the Inventory
- If the Heavy slams his fist on the table, he has a bad hand.
- If the Heavy looks furious after looking at his cards, he has a bad hand.
- If the Heavy adjusts his ammo belt, he has a decent hand.
- If the Heavy checks his cards and nods, he has a good hand.
- If the Heavy rubs the bottom of his nose, he has an amazing hand.
- If the Heavy stretches his neck after betting, he is bluffing.
- If the Heavy's nostrils flare immediately after betting, he has a great hand.
- If Max checks for several turns, he has a bad hand.
- If Max smacks himself when the flop is dealt, he has a bad hand.
- If Max begins to shake his head after the cards are dealt, he has a bad hand.
- If Max has a crazed look on his face, he has a very good hand.
- If Max's right hand quivers while betting, he has a good hand.
- If Max stands on his chair and looks triumphant, then he has an amazing hand.
- If Max's left hand quivers while betting, he is bluffing.
Strong Bad's Tells
- If Strong Bad repeatedly bangs his head against the table, then he (obviously) has a very bad hand.
- If Strong Bad throws his arms up in celebration and looks at the other players, he has a very good hand.
- If Strong Bad only shows the bottom half of his eyes (pictured above), he has a good hand.
- If Strong Bad only shows the top half of his eyes, he is either bluffing or has a good hand.
- If Strong Bad lightly taps his fist on the edge of the table after raising, he is bluffing (easy to notice)
- If Tycho subtly shakes his head, he has a bad hand.
- If Tycho smacks himself in the face, he obviously has a bad hand.
- If Tycho checks for several turns, he has a bad hand.
- If Tycho looks at his cards, diverts eye contact, and smiles, he has a very good hand.
- If Tycho gets an evil look on his face and his eyes start glowing red, he has an amazing hand.
- If Tycho smiles awkwardly before betting, he's bluffing.
- If Tycho has a worried look before or after he bets, he's either bluffing or has a good hand.
- If Tycho looks up to his left and right toward the ceiling, he has a good hand.
Poker Night 2
Serving drinks will increase the number of tells, so it is advisable to buy drinks for every character before beginning, unless you do not have enough Inventory Tokens. In that case, prioritise.
In a more realistic fashion, the tells in Poker Night 2 typically display the general mood of the character rather than a specific situation: if Brock shows anger, it could be in response to his cards, or displeasure with another character's fold or raise.
Furthermore, characters display much more uncertainity this time around. A raise that follows a long period of indecisiveness is usually less threatening than an immediate one. It may also indicate if a player is on the edge of being forced into folding.
- Brock will scratch behind his head if he is happy, yet deep in thought. Since Brock is aggressive, this is usually followed by a raise.
- He'll slam his hand into the table and his eye will start twitching if he either has a bad hand (high-card hand) and/or waiting for a straight/flush draw.
- After being dealt, Brock may have a big grin on his face. This usually means he has a good hand.
- At times Brock may play with his chips when he is about to make a big bet.
- Brock may sometimes briefly, lightly tap the table with the knuckles/fingers of his right hand when being dealt (barely noticeable); this tell is ambiguous but it often signifies he's unsure or has a mediocre hand.
- At times Brock will furrow his brow and check in an intimidating tone when unhappy. If he does this on the flop though, he's probably hiding a killer hand. However, if he does this on the turn and/or river, he's most likely got a bad hand.
- Brock will lay down on his hand if he is uncertain about his hand. If he bets after this, he's bluffing. If he folds, it's a high-card hand. If he calls, he's on a straight/flush draw.
- When Brock says, "I will not fear, fear is the mind-killer" as he plays with his chips, it's a sign that he's in over his head. Due to Brock being Brock, this will still likely result in a bluff. Don't take him lightly, though - mediocre hands have the potential of turning into something good enough to beat you, so don't take it as a guarantee you will win against him, and he has used this tell on pocket faces.
- Brock will whisper/mumble when he has a bad hand.
- Brock cracking his knuckles means he has a good hand.
- Brock will occasionally mumble a tune (bum bum buh buh something), at least one person has only seen him do this with midrange hands (needs confirmation).
- If Claptrap's central 'eyebrow' flap pops up in surprise when he is dealt in, he has a bad hand. He may try to cover up in these situations by bluffing.
- If Claptrap slumps forward when he is dealt in, he is unhappy - not necessarily with his hand, but also with something others may say to him.
- When Claptrap tilts forward and his antenna droops, he is very unhappy - the former also applies.
- If Claptrap adjusts his eye, he is deep in thought, usually with a good hand.
- If Claptrap's "ears" flap excitedly/surprisedly, he probably has either a good hand or a bad hand respectively.
- If Claptrap hums "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" he is in over his head.
- Ash may occasionally pick his teeth, which is a sign that he is unsure, but overall pleased with his hand. It also may indicate that he's on a straight/flush draw.
- When Ash brings both hands to his head while leaning back and then slams the table with one hand, this means he's displeased or might have a bad hand (high-card hand), therefore he will most likely try to bluff. It may also indicate disappointment and/or frustration of a straight/flush draw.
- Ash may wiggle his fingers on his right hand either when dealt in or while generally thinking before betting. When he does this while thinking and just before betting, it is an ambiguous tell but it either signifies a good hand or a bluff. It may also mean that he's willing to push you with a risky big bet over a mediocre one-pair hand.
- If Ash looks to the right nervously, he's possibly bluffing.
- If Ash grins and clenches his fist when he is dealt in, he has a great hand.
- If Ash clenches his fist and grimaces, he is displeased.
- When Ash grabs his chin in thought, he is deep in thought. Due to his behavior, this typically means a bluff is to follow. However, he also does this when he's at an even probability during a showdown.
- If Ash makes a slashing motion with his right hand, he has a good hand.
- If Ash goes all in, he typically has a good hand. However, in most instances, he will go straight all in over a mere one pair hand which is a mediocre hand at best so it is also likely that he's bluffing and/or encouraging the other players to fold. Either way, he's making a huge risk. He will even go straight all in or make aggressive bets on the flop if he has a good hand; he may hide his killer hand, other instances he may not.
- If Ash leans back slightly on his seatback, sits up and slowly nods with a smarmy facial expression right before betting, he's probably got an amazing hand and is very certain of it.
- If Ash hangs his head down with a worried facial expression right before betting, he's very uncertain (with a high-card hand) and is possibly bluffing; either way, he's taking a big risk here.
- If Sam growls when he is dealt in (quite obvious), he is deep in thought, which in Sam's case, typically indicates an excellent hand. Expect aggressive playing.
- Sam droops his head down on the table when very displeased. This almost always indicates a terrible hand (high-card hand), but also occurs when facing 0% or otherwise miniscule odds in a showdown. It also may indicate disappointment during a straight/flush draw.
- Sam will furrow his brow when unhappy or when he's about to make an aggresive bet.
- Sam's hat will pop off his head in surprise when he has either a great or very poor hand.
- Sam will tug at his collar if he's bluffing with a high-card hand. If he already has a bet to call, he may either fold or call, the latter applying to a straight/flush draw.
- Sam will yell out "Yes!" after being dealt when he has a good hand.
- Sam will straighten his tie when he has a good hand before tossing in chips.
- Sam will adjust his hat before making a large bet when he has a good hand.
- When Sam smiles while betting or raising, he is either pleased or bluffing. Either way, he will be more resistant to another's bluff.
- When Sam annouces his moves in an uncertain manner like "Call?" or "I think I'll bet..." while making an unsure face when he says it, he displays lack of confidence - which probably means he has a bad hand.
- When Sam flips one of his chips in the air like a coin, he is very unsure.
- Sam will often frown his right eyebrow when unsure of himself.
- Sam's betting is his biggest tell. If he has a good hand, he'll bet aggressively and isn't shy about going all-in. If it comes down to it, try to take him on when you have an very strong hand of your own or fold if he gets into a betting war with other characters.
- Be warned, though - Sam has been betting aggressively with bad hands - even with everyone sitting at the table - usually after obtaining much more money than others. It can be easily told if he bets much more often at consecutive hands than you'd expect of a person who usually plays it safe, ie. doesn't make big raises unless pretty confident in their hand (needs confirmation).
- If Sam has a big bet to call, Max will usually say something about hamdingers. However, if Max also says "You gonna call that?" - whenever Sam goes all-in while calling - then Sam usually has a very good hand.