This is a discussion on Ashley Adams discusses poker tells within the online poker forums, in the Learning Poker section; While poker players may exhibit certain unconscious behaviours that may help their opponents determine whether they are strong or weak, tells are rarely consistent nor
While poker players may exhibit certain unconscious behaviours that may help their opponents determine whether they are strong or weak, tells are rarely consistent nor frequent enough to give the typical player in a typical game much of an edge. Ashley Adams reflects on what are the biggest tells in poker.
This is a nice and concise article regarding overthinking tells.
The point being most people are generally not bluffing in poker and when they raise they will likely have the goods. As a tight player I usually do not play back against strong raises (unless strong myself) and have never got hung up on defending my blinds at all costs.
What I will do from time to time when comfortably stacked is find an opportunity to test an active/lag player in a smaller pot. See the hand to the river and where we stand. I find it a fifty/fifty thing. Sometimes my ace will 'high card' the pot and at other times the weak second or third pair the villain will have bet on holds.
As noted, I am naturally inclined to TAG play so am never shy of folding but witness in every session hands that are costly due to people misreading their opponents strength...specifically against LAG players when clashing egos tend to get involved.
People need to understand that tells can be a deciding factor only amongst equally good players, where little things matter. Lets say final table of a huge tournament, you can say most of them are on the similar level of skill and its up to luck and small factors as tiredness, tells, getting into a guys head, are what can give you an edge over your opponent.