Monday, January 28th, 2013
Freerolls are a great way to gain tournament experience without having to put your own money at risk. You will find that the beginning of these types of tournaments can be dicey, though, for precisely this reason. You’re not risking your own money and this persuades people to take risks that they otherwise would not take. This style of play operates on the assumption that if they are lucky enough to win big on the first few hands, they will be in a superior position later on in the tournament. This strategy might work out occasionally, but not as often as you would hope.
The reality is that a cautious yet aggressive approach will suit you much better. One of the great things about tournaments—especially online tournaments—is that your opponents will never get a true handle on your ability as a poker player. If you set up an early reputation as someone that only plays the very best hands, later on you can exploit this image if you don’t change tables too much. This will allow you to play more bluffs and win bigger hands.
In other words, you don’t want to play a lot of hands, but you want to play the ones that are worthwhile aggressively. As the tournament progresses and the stakes get higher, then you can start playing more hands, depending upon the situation you are dealt and the people at your table. This is especially because at later stages in the game your opponents will naturally start playing fewer hands under the impression that this will carry them deeper into the game and into the money. When people start playing tighter, you should loosen up your game in order to take advantage of their weakness and steal more hands away from them.
Many online poker sites sponsor freerolls on a regular basis. A simple search within your site’s tournament section will let you know when the next one is and what you need to do in order to qualify. Some freerolls require you to have a certain number of points to be eligible while others are completely open to those that sign up first.
You don’t even need to deposit money into the site to take advantage of some freerolls. In these instances, you can place in the money in a few free tournaments and go on to win money and thus start playing for higher stakes without ever having to use your own money. Only a few poker players have the talent to sustain their playing in such a manner, but it is possible. If you are just playing for fun, this can be a great introduction to poker and a lot of fun at the same time.
Monday, June 4th, 2012
Binary options and poker share a few similarities, actually, and the people who succeed in one of these fields might have what it takes to succeed in the other. The concept of betting an appropriate amount is something that translates between poker and binary options. The biggest and most important similarity between these two activities is the concept of risk. A good poker player knows just how much of a wager is too much, and when a wager is just the right size.
In poker, there is a concept called pot odds. This is important to the poker player who has not yet completed their hand. For example, if you have a four card flush in Texas Hold Em with the river still to come, you have about a one out of three chance of hitting your hand. Therefore, if the wager coming to you is more than one third of the size of the pot, you are risking too much and over the long run, this will cost you.
The important thing to remember is the phrase, “over the long run.” Both poker and binary trading are long term investments. You want to ensure that your money making ability in either of these is going to continue down the road. So in binary options, you want to make your decisions based upon just how the success rate will affect you one hundred transactions from now, and longer.
Calculating your edge or your odds of success is much more difficult when it comes to binary options. There are tools that will allow you to do so, however, if you know where to look. For example, trends continue more often than not. If you can estimate that a trend has a 75 percent chance of continuing, you can use the Kelly Criterion to calculate just how much you should risk when trading binary options. This knowledge can help you to risk just the right amount of your cash, in much the manner that pot odds help a poker player to know whether they should continue seeing more cards, or if they should back out of a hand.
The great thing about binary options is that you don’t have to put in money if you don’t feel that the outcome is in your favor. With poker, there are often forced antes and blinds so you have a vested interest in more hands. If you are not careful, this can ruin you in poker. Thanks to the higher degree of freedom in binary options, you can elect to participate in only the trades that you feel are going to go in your favor. This should increase your earnings over the long run in a way that you can only try to compensate for in the game of poker.
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
Calculating the number of outs you have in order to win the hand is extremely important. An out is a card that will improve your hand enough to win the pot. So for example, if you are dealt two hearts in Texas Hold ‘Em and there are two hearts on the board after the flop, you can account for 4 of the 13 hearts in the deck. This leaves you with 9 outs. As you know, a deck has 52 cards in it. After the flop, we now know the identity of 5 cards total (your 2 plus the 3 on the board). This leaves us with 47 possible cards left to deal. If you have 9 outs to hit your flush draw, your odds of winning the hand—assuming you will win with a flush—is 9 out of 47, or about 1 out of five for the next card. If that is not a heart, your odds increase with the river to 9 out of 46, again, slightly worse than 1 out of 5. Add these together and you have about a 38 percent chance of winning the hand.
The thing to keep in mind is that you want to get better pot odds than your actual odds of winning the hand. So in this instance, if there are six other people in the hand with you and you have all put in $100, the pot odds you are receiving will be 100 to 600, or 6:1 odds. This is a higher number than what you are expected to win the hand at. So if you were to play this hand a hundred times, you would lose $100 62 times and win $700 38 times. This equates to a loss of $6,200 and a gain of $26,600. You would be wise to play this hand since over the course of 100 hands in the same situation your total take home will be over $20,000. Knowing your odds at any given moment for both your likelihood of winning the hand and the return in pot odds is a valuable skill. It all starts with being able to correctly identify your outs.
Saturday, December 17th, 2011
In the past year we have seen a lot of changes in the online poker world. Unfortunately these have all been not in the positive direction. The latest poker news includes the re-branding of the poker room Bodog.com. This site is now known as Bovada or Bovada.lv. Not the greatest name, but over time it will become a house hold name to poker players, casino guys and the sports junkies.
At this point, all we can say is you are getting the same exact thing as Bodog. Site, Customer Service, Games, and everything else. The only noticeable difference is the name of this site. I think it will take a few months to gain some traction, but if you are worried about cash outs and what not, you will most likely be dealing with the same thing as you had with Bodog.
You can still setup a free account and play some free games at Bovada, so it may help you become more informed when you make your decision. US players are accepted, so this might be one of those silver linings we look for in a website.
Monday, December 5th, 2011
There exists a great debate amongst poker players regarding what the better version of Texas Hold Em is: limit or no limit. Both of these games are beatable, but as you well know, they are totally different games. The factors that separate these two games are not just in the betting limits, it is in the psychology as well. Let’s examine these two games and try and pinpoint which version is best suited for your poker playing strategy.
Limit poker is best suited for those poker players who are risk-aversive. There is a cap set per each hand of how much money you can wager, in most structures the maximum is four times the original bet size per round of betting. In no limit, you can bet as much as you want as long as it is above the minimum amount which is usually double the original bet size.
The strategies that arise from this discrepancy also differ. In no limit, it is quite easy to give your opponent bad pot odds with a large bet—forcing them out of the hand if they are on a draw. This is next to impossible in limit poker because you can only bet small amounts. This makes limit poker a much more suitable form of the game for people that like to chase straights and flushes.
If you are worried about losing a lot of money, try limit poker. This is a much different game and will relieve a lot of the stress of facing reckless opponents. With limit poker you can focus more on your fundamentals and worry less about the psychological aspect of the game.
Monday, October 3rd, 2011
Selecting the right stakes level when you sit down to play poker is absolutely crucial. You need to make sure that you have invested enough to care about the game you are in, but little enough that you won’t be sweating after you lose a few big hands. Choosing the right stakes level is of psychological importance; the more comfortable you are, the less your emotions take over. As any professional poker player will tell you, emotions in this game will ruin you.
Losing too much money is sure to put you on tilt—a poker term for when your emotions cloud your judgment. Tilt can ruin the best player by making them make the wrong choice. Poker is not just about outsmarting your opponents—there is a mathematical basis to the game at BetOnline.com. If you forget the math behind the game, you can easily lose sight of where you want to be in this game.
Choosing the right stakes to play at will help you to avoid the tilt of losing too much. It will also help you avoid the tilt of not caring—this can damage you just as much since you will most likely lose money if you play this way. If you have the right stakes level, you will be playing at your best, both mentally and statistically. Don’t forget to reevaluate your game every now and then. Checking to make sure that the stakes you have been playing at is still appropriate can sometimes spare you from the losing streaks that everyone experiences at times.
Thursday, September 15th, 2011
Many new poker players want to know if it worthwhile to hire a poker coach. The answer to this question poses several other questions, the most important being what you hope to gain from having a poker coach. If you simply want to learn the game and how to perform reasonably well, hiring a poker coach is probably not worth the investment. But if you want to turn poker playing into a career and you want to skip over the headache of doing a lot of research on your own, a poker coach might very well be the best way to improve your game.
A good poker coach should have the following qualifications: they should be a poker pro themselves, have a proven track record of helping other players become pros, and they should also be able to illustrate difficult concepts quite easily. Poker is a game of statistics and nuances, making it part luck and part skill. A poker coach can’t teach you the luck aspect, but they can teach you how to make luck as small of a part of the game as possible. Ideally, your poker coach should teach you how to quickly decide what the probability of a hand materializing for you is, and when it is worthwhile to chase those odds. They should also be able to show you the warning signs of when your opponents have you beat. Tells, or signals given off by another player that reveals what he is holding, are a big part of the game and your coach should be able to introduce you to the psychological aspect of the game that revolves around reading other players. Have a look at our latest Reviews of BetOnline.com and our new Penny auction review at Beezid.
Monday, August 22nd, 2011
As you know, it is only going to help your home poker game if you learn to read people. To begin with, start by playing against people you know well. You will be surprised at how differently they act at the poker table than they do in real life. For many people, this is done as a mechanism to fight against betraying their hands. Little do they know that by acting differently at the poker table that they are actually giving away quite a bit of information; it is your job to decipher that information.
Nervous behavior is oftentimes a result of having a good hand, but not always. This is where it gets tricky. Sometimes people will act differently when they have a strong hand, but when they have nothing, they act normal. This is all dependent upon the type of friend you are playing with. For some, the exact opposite is true—they will act naturally when they have a good hand, or at least they will try to act nonchalantly. If you don’t know the mannerisms of your opponents, it really doesn’t take long to pick up on the signals that amateurs give off. By being observant to a player or players over the course of several hands, you can easily figure out what type of hands they have just by their mannerisms. This, of course, only works on newbies and other weaker players. Don’t expect a professional to be easy to read at all. Most of the time, a professional will be misleading you with their (seemingly) nervous habits at the table when in fact they are only lying a trap for you.
Check out more Poker Tips online here all the time.
Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
Poker is as much a game of psychology as it is a game of mathematics. If you have a good hand, it means absolutely nothing if you fold it because you think your opponent has a better one. If everyone were to play mathematically correct poker, it would be a negative sum game for everyone because of the house’s cut out of the pot. But not everyone plays correctly, and even more people let the element of psychology elude them. This is what makes poker such a great game for those of us that can capitalize upon these two pillars of the game.
Creating an image for yourself at the poker table is important. You do not want your opponents to know that you are actually the shark you have spent years perfecting. You want opponents instead to think you are a big fish, perhaps even a whale. This means that you need to appear foolish at times. Simply winning pot after pot will give away your image as a good player, therefore you will want to avoid this.
One method of not appearing to be an adept poker player is to bluff occasionally. This is going to be most beneficial in small pots since your opponents are more likely to fold. This way, you can create an image of being a fool while winning! When you flip over your inferior, yet winning, hand, you can let everyone know just how risky of a play it was. Bluffing in a big pot is not as successful since a strong player would make the same move to try and win the bigger pot. A big bluff on a small pot will be sure to turn some heads, however.
The craziness in the poker industry with both FullTiltPoker.net and PokerStars.net still continues. We will see how these things unfold over the next few months.
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Stealing the pot now and then can add a small gain to your bankroll. Many small gains lead to big gains over time, thus making a steal a very valuable play. However, stealing the pot is a very dangerous and risky method of play. It works only under certain circumstances, so you need to either have perfect timing or be willing to face great risks. Stealing the pot consistently will also lead to an awareness amongst other poker players of what you are doing, thus causing them to react aggressively. This is an indication that you should not try this strategy regularly.
So when is it appropriate to steal a pot? For one, the pot cannot be large. Large pots offer good pot odds to other players so even if they have only a few outs, it will be correct for them to call your bet. A small pot, then, is the only time you should attempt a steal. You also want to make sure that you at least have something in your hand. Making a large steal bet with 2-7 off suit can be a disaster unless you are attempting a stone cold bluff. With a steal, however, it is much more to your advantage that you have at least ace high in your hand so that you can gain some credibility if you are called. Remember, a steal is not the same as a bluff. They serve the same outcome, but by two different methods. In order to make a steal reputable you need to have more than junk cards. This will allow you to replicate the steal at a later time. If they have seen that you would only make such a play with an ace high or low pair, they will be more likely to fold. An exposed bluff, on the other hand, will only encourage people to call your bets more often and the pokerparty will turn dark quick.
Saturday, April 16th, 2011
It looks like the US Government dropped a big headache on the poker world yesterday blocking all the main poker sites that US players play online. By arresting several founders and owners of these companies there are a lot of rumors floating around at this time. Without speculating too much it is safe to say we are going to see a massive change to the poker industry both online and offline.
Could this be a coincidental event for land casinos to get in on the poker action online. Locking out US players from most online poker rooms levels the playing field for the once saturated market. Players will find a way to play, but if the legalization and taxation of online poker comes to fruition this would be another milestone for the poker community. New regulated rooms could be created.
PokerStars.eu and FullTiltPoker.co.uk seem to be the only way to communicate with support staff at these sites. They assured players that their money is safe, but who really knows what’s going to happen. At this time, as a poker player, you may want to write your local congress person and voice your opinion. It’s very frustrating that a dozen or so people can make this decision for the millions of people who want to play poker.
Keep a positive attitude and hope for the best.
Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
One major thing that sets online poker apart from traditional poker venues is that you are able to play at more than one table at once. This is a popular trick amongst professional poker players that allows them to multiply their win expectancy. This is a difficult task and it takes quite a bit of poker skill to be successful. Still, if you are an action junkie, this will allow you to play at a faster pace and will multiply your winnings if you are a long term successful player.
If you wish to begin multi-tabling, it is best to start slow. Start with two tables and work your way up once you are comfortable with the previous number. Some pros can play up to 20 tables at a time. This is extremely dangerous for beginners to do since you will get automatically folded if you are not fast enough to respond to a hand.
If you are playing four tables, you can watch up to all four at once if you tile the tables on your screen. If you want to play more than this, it becomes necessary to stack them, thus making it difficult to monitor them simultaneously. Consider mastering the tiling method prior to moving to more screens.
It’s not unusual to see a drop in profits when you first start multi-tabling. If you notice that this streak continues over a longer term though, it is time to go back to just one table. Don’t try and push your luck just because it is successful for a handful of people.
Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
Your play during the opening stages of a sit and go tournament is crucial to your success later in the tourney. For one, you want to avoid playing marginal hands early on because everyone else will be playing their marginal hands as well because the blinds are low here. You should only play either the very best hands or hands that stand to easily improve on the flop. Let’s look at these two scenarios separately.
Your monster hands are the ones that you should not be afraid to move all in pre-flop with. These include pocket aces, kings, and queens, as well as suited ace-king. These are premium hands that will win for you the majority of the time. You want to be the aggressor with these cards, though; you would much rather win the pot right away than have someone with a better hand gain control over you. If someone bets before you, consider folding queens and ace-king, but be prepared to play aces and kings strongly unless the board indicates that you are beaten.
Hands that stand a good chance of improving on the flop include medium pocket pairs as well as suited connectors like 7-8 or 9-10. These are hands that can either help you catch a flush or a straight if the board goes the way you want it to. For these hands you will want to be the aggressor yet again; if someone bets big before you though, these hands need to be folded as they will not win as often as the big hands will.
See more information about Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker. Get your head in the game.
Monday, March 7th, 2011
Playing in a freeroll tournament is a great way to build a bankroll without risking too much. A freeroll tournament is a multi-table tournament without an entry fee but still awards cash prizes to the top finishers. If you are on a limited bankroll and still wish to play poker for cash prizes, these are for you. Most of the bigger sites offer daily freerolls that you can enter without ever depositing a dime.
Many people treat these freeroll tournaments with reckless abandon—they will shove their chips all in with just about any hand, creating havoc for the players that try to take these tournaments early. By simply waiting to play until later stages of the tournament, you will advance quite a bit further than these maniacs will. Only play monster hands, such as pocket Kings or Aces, early in the tournament. Once the dust settles and the vast majority of the maniacs are gone you can ease back into the tournament and play as you regularly would. Tournaments are all about survival; the longer you stay alive, the more money you will win.
Many people look at poker freeroll tourneys as a challenge. Wouldn’t it be cool to create a vast amount of wealth without fronting a single dollar? It has been done before, most notably by poker pro Chris Ferguson. He turned absolutely nothing into $10,000 in less than a year. This shows that freeroll tourneys can be quite lucrative to a budding poker professional looking to make it big with very little risk.
Friday, February 25th, 2011
Have you ever thought of how great it would be to see your opponents face when playing online poker? This would bring back the psychological aspect of poker, something that has largely disappeared since the advent of internet poker. This has forced poker players everywhere to develop a more technically sound game or perish to the sharks roaming the internet poker rooms. It seems there is no room for psychological analysis during the game.
At least, that’s how it was before 888 Poker (www.888Poker.com) introduced the poker cam. This feature has revolutionized online poker yet again. The way it works is quite simple. You just need to have a web cam for your poker playing station and a good internet connection. You can choose to play against friends or strangers; all the while you can see your opponents and their faces. This introduces a new aspect of online poker—one that you cannot find anywhere else. 888 Poker has added this option in order to make its social atmosphere more complete. 888 Poker has prided itself on the social experience it provides its players, and this web cam poker takes social poker playing to the next level.
The poker cam is not the only facet of 888 Poker’s marketing strategy. The site re-launched itself last year in order to give players a more beneficial experience at the poker table. This includes a 3D poker option and team play, two unique concepts that have allowed this popular poker site to stay ahead of their competition.
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
A sit and go is a ten player, single table tournament. These tournaments require a specific kind of strategy separate from a regular multi-table tournament. For one, the blinds go up very quickly in this type of tournament. The typical structure involves a raised blind every ten hands. This makes it very difficult to bide your time and wait for others to knock themselves out of the tournament. It seems like you need to be an active participant within the tourney from the very beginning in order to be successful.
Still, you do have a tiny bit of room to wait. The first ten hands involve a nominal blind only, so unless you have a monster hand during the first few rounds, you should simply let others do the work here for you. Taking a commanding chip lead early in the tournament is nice, but that will not necessarily make you the tournament champion. You need to be the last person standing, not the chip leader after a few hands. This is a fact that many players ignore. Unless you have a phenomenal hand, you should not play the first few hands you see.
Once the blinds are raised, you can begin stealing blinds and playing your typical game. A sit and go tourney is different from a multi-table tourney because they are typically less expensive to enter and they always end more quickly. Playing mathematically correct is essential to your success in sit and go tourneys because you will play them much more often than you would a multi-table tourney. Stick to your proper play, and you will see success over the long term.
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Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
Going all in is one of the most popular actions in the game; it is right up there with bluffing. But going all in is also a very misunderstood part of the game. An all in is a powerful play because you are seeing the hand to the end no matter what. This gives you plenty of opportunities to draw to the cards you need when otherwise, you may have folded prior to the end of the hand. Going all in is much better for you than calling an all in play because you are given the advantage at the table. This means that you do not have to do anything else to win the hand—the decision of whether or not to challenge you is placed upon your competitors. If you have a big stack of chips you have an even larger advantage since small stacks will go bust if they lose to you. Unless they have a phenomenal hand, they will most often fold to your aggression.
The biggest problem when going all in is when you are the short stack in a tournament setting. Because your opponents stand a better chance of winning a tournament when you bust out, the large stacks will call you in order to eliminate you more quickly. They will oftentimes have marginal hands that can catch a few good cards to improve and beat your good hand. This is something that can be avoided if you pay attention, though. It is best to go all in during a small pot since people are more likely to fold when the stakes are not as high. It is also advantageous to go all in against other small stacks, since they will sometimes bust if they lose to you.
Make sure you check out our new section about Live Casinos which includes Live Roulette, Live Blackjack and Live Baccarat which can be played at many of the online establishments.
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
Besides the basic three reasons to raise, there are a few other sub-reasons. Bluffing is perhaps the most obvious of these. If you do not have the best hand, but you want to create the impression that you do, a raise can sometimes get this done for you. For a bluff to be effective, you will want everyone to fold so that you can win the hand instantly, therefore, it makes sense that a bluff is most effective when there are only a couple people in the hand, and you have intuited that they have weak hands. This is when people at Bodog.com are most likely to give you the hand.
Another reason to raise is to get a free card. If you raise a bettor in an early round of wagering, they may check around to you during the next round of bets, enabling you to see the next card for free. This makes sense when you are in the last position. If you are in an early position, there will be action after your turn to bet or check, making getting the free card much more difficult.
The final reason why you may want to raise is to take away pot odds from people. If someone has a draw to a good hand and no one bets, they will be getting infinite pot odds, thus making their decision to stay in the hand very easy. But if you put in a large bet, their pot odds decrease dramatically, and they may have to fold in order to play correctly. Even better for you is when a drawing hand incorrectly calls your bet. Even though they may win occasionally, they will lose often enough to make it a worthwhile venture on your part.
Sunday, January 16th, 2011
Poker is as much a game of psychology as it is a game of mathematical averages and probability. Because there is a human element to the game, it is possible to win a hand, even if you have a worse starting hand. By varying your bets and your actions, you will want to disguise what you truly have and are seeking as far as cards go, and try to create a false illusion to your opponents. Since each person has a different mentality, there are countless ways to achieve this. In order to be a successful player, you need to learn how best to mask your hands and maximize the chances for your opponents to make errors in judgment while playing against you.
The main trick to be aware of when playing online is your response time. Usually, people will instantly raise a hand only if they are bluffing. Other times, raising requires a bit of thought while you determine just how much you want to raise by. Another instance where time comes into account is when you are checking. An auto-check, where you check instantly, usually means that you have a marginal hand and will fold if raised. Now that you are aware of these tells, you can use them to confuse and abuse your opponents. Remember, you want to lead your opponents to believe that you have something other than what you truly do have. This is the basic premise of poker: when your poker opponents play incorrectly against you, you will make money.
Friday, January 7th, 2011
Suppose you are in a multi-table tournament and you make it to the last table. How should you alter your play to account for the potential prize money up for grabs? The first thing to consider is your chip value. Once you reach this stage, if the tournament is large enough, you are guaranteed prize money, but the amount will vary depending on the place that you finish. Obviously, you want to maximize your winnings, so you will need to adjust your playing strategy appropriately so you can stay alive in the tournament for as long as possible.
This means taking advantage of situations where your plays have a positive expected value. The last table is all about survival; the longer you stay alive, the better. This can mean letting other people fight your battles. It can also mean exploiting situations where you have a larger stack in one-on-one situations. Because players with short stacks tend to try and preserve their chips by playing only their very best hands, you can play more hands against them. They are less apt to see a hand to its end because of the fact that they do not want to waste their precious few chips. Playing more hands and playing them more aggressively will give you an edge over your opponents.
Similarly, you will want to play more cautiously against large stacks at Bodog.com. These players will want to treat you just like you are treating other short stacks. They will try to take advantage of your weakness, so it is best to avoid the larger stack players unless you have a bona fide powerful hand.
Saturday, January 1st, 2011
Tournaments are a great way to vary your poker playing. The basic premise is that you want to be the last person with chips, thus making tournaments more about survival than they are about playing correct mathematical poker. Although many factors are the same, you will want to alter your strategy a bit in order to maximize your chances of winning big money.
Tournaments are different because you are eliminated if you lose all of your chips. Rather than being able to replenish your cash at an ATM, tournaments, for the most part, are lose and you’re out affairs. So you will want to avoid instances where you are not a favorite. Because poker is a game of averages, you will want to make sure you have a definite edge if you are going to bet a significant amount of chips, such as with an all in play. Playing averages is just not enough in a tournament situation. You want to only enter situations where you have a very good chance of winning.
Another big difference is that action between other players matters. You want others to be eliminated, but you also want to remain as a chip leader. The more people that are eliminated, the better you will finish in the poker tournament, and the more money you will win as a result. This happens more and more frequently as the tournament progresses because of a rising ante structure.
Inevitably, you will find yourself with a short stack. This makes playing hands difficult since you will be bleeding chips away with the blinds and antes. You will need to make a decision on which hand to risk the rest of your chips with in an all in situation. This is a tough position to be in, and the end result is very much a product of luck.
Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
In the early rounds of big tournaments, the blind structure is usually small enough that you can play a bit more reckless than you normally would. Not only will this keep your opponents on their toes, it is good strategy for setting up later play, especially if you will be at the same table for a while. First round action is generally not representative of how the final table will look; in other words, the chip leader at the end of round one seldom makes the cut for the final table.
Why is it correct to play more loosely in the first round? For starters, the risk is smaller. If you lose a few small hands, it won’t affect you too much for later play. It is much better to risk your chips when they are more plentiful and less meaningful. Also, it is much easier to come back from a deficit should you lose chips in the first round. By playing more loosely here, you stand to have more to gain than you do to lose.
The second reason is advertising. If your table stays together for a while, the others at the table will remember your reckless play and many will have a lasting impression of this. For you, this means more callers and re-raisers in later rounds when you have monster hands. By risking a little bit early in the tournament, you stand the chance of winning a whole lot more in the latter rounds.
Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
The free card is any card that players receive without having to put any chips into the middle of the table. It is a round of betting that goes by without any actual betting. Players essentially pass on wagering so that they can see one more card for free.
There are two sides to the free card: getting and giving. Depending on your hand and your strategy, either of these strategies can be effective. If you have a marginal hand, you will want to get a free card. This can be accomplished by betting in an earlier round of betting, when the amounts wagered are smaller. Usually you must be in last position for this to work. Having opponents check around the poker table to you will give you the opportunity to check yourself and see one more card; hopefully a card that will take your have from marginal to competitive.
Giving the free card is a much different story. This is done to create a false sense of security amongst your opponents. By setting the trap of the free card, you are trying to establish the thought that your hand is not worth betting. This is generally not to your advantage if you have a great hand. If you have a great hand, you will want to get as many bets as possible into the middle so that you can win a greater amount with your monster hands. Giving a free card then is hardly ever a sound strategy, except when you have a hand slightly better than marginal and wish to confuse your opponents.
Monday, November 29th, 2010
It is much easier to manipulate the pot odds that others are receiving in no limit or pot limit Texas Hold ‘Em than it is in the limit version of the same game. This is because you can easily make the pot odds so poor for your opponent, that unless they have a monster hand, they should immediately fold. For example, if someone is chasing a fifth flush card on the river, they have a 5.1-1 chance of making their hand. If you realize they are chasing a flush draw, you can instantly make their bet a losing proposition by doubling the size of the pot: a $50 bet into a $50 pot will make your opponents pot odds 2-1 ($100 in the pot with the opponent having to call an additional $50). Since the effective odds they are receiving from the pot are large than the odds of their making the hand, they will lose 5.1 times for every time that they win. Again, this does not guarantee that they will lose every hand. There is always a roughly 16 percent chance that they will win (1 / 6.1 = .163). But the times that you win will greatly outweigh the times that your opponent wins over the long term, thus ensuring a profit over a large enough sample.
The big bet into a big pot can backfire, though. Oftentimes people will employ this strategy as a bluff. If you have no hand, this can be disastrous since you will most certainly lose if you are called. If your opponent suspects that you are bluffing or will bluff, they can set this up to trap you if they have a strong hand. Remember that bluffs work best on small pots since there is less incentive for others to stay in the hand if their investment and return will be minimal.
The semi-bluff is an important distinction. If you have a realistic chance of improving your hand to the winning one, sometimes a large bet can pay off. Be careful that you have a good read on your opponents, though. You most certainly do not want to hit the hand you were hoping for only to lose to a better one.
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
The term “pot odds” refers to the odds you are getting with your calling a hand. For example, if you are involved in a hand where there is $50 in the pot already and it is $10 for you to stay in the hand, your pot odds are 5-1. This is what is called your effective odds. In addition to your effective odds, you will need to know the odds of hitting the hand you are trying to make. If in Texas Hold ‘Em you have a four card flush after the flop and the turn, there are nine outs for you to hit your hand within the remaining 46 cards that you do not know. 46-9 breaks down to roughly 5.1-1 odds for hitting the flush on the river. If the pot odds were 5-1 as in the example above, you should fold this hand assuming there is no other way for you to win the hand since your effective pot odds are paying less than the amount of times you will actually complete your hand. Over the long term, folding such hands will save you money.
What about instances where there are more rounds of betting ahead of you? Effective odds are great, but how do you use them to predict the future? This is where your “implied odds” come into play. Implied odds take into account future rounds of betting and are vital in determining whether or not you should stay in the hand. Let’s go back to the example above. There is $50 in the pot after the turn and it is up to you to call a $10 bet. You are chasing that fifth card for a flush again and you know that you have a 5.1-1 chance of making the hand. If you call the $10 bet, your play is incorrect—for now. If the pot has the promise of growing larger, it might actually be a good idea to play the current hand. If you suspect that your opponent will bet another $10 the next round of wagering, and at least three others will call besides yourself, your implied odds are actually 110-20, meaning that by risking $20 (two rounds of $10 bets), you are standing to win an additional $110. This breaks down to 5.5-1, meaning that your implied odds warrant a call. In other words, one of your nine outs will hit often enough to make you money over the long term.
Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
PokerStars.com boasts that it is the world’s largest poker site and there is good reason for this. PokerStars offers many promotions, including some live events such as entries to the United States Poker Championship in Atlantic City, the EPT London Charity Event, and even a seat in the Big Game. The Big Game is a live nationally televised cash game that you can qualify to be a “loose cannon” on. The round one qualifiers took place starting in March of this year, and go all the way up to December 20th. There are three rounds for qualification into the main event. If you finish in the top 300 of a round one qualifier, you advance to round two, which is held each Saturday up until the end of the tournament qualifiers. A top 1,000 finish in round two gets you into round three on Sunday, where you need to finish in the top 200. These 200 players will be put into a casting pool, where they must submit a video outlining why they should be featured as a loose cannon on the show. Not only do you need poker skills, then, but charisma and a camera-friendly attitude to win the loose cannon spot on the show. PokerStars will stake you the $100,00 necessary to play on the show, anything you win beyond that is yours to keep. You must however, survive the minimum 150 hands in order to keep your winnings.
If you are not currently a member at PokerStars.com, you can sign up today and earn a 100 percent bonus, doubling the money you put into your poker account with as little as $10 or as much as $600. The choice is up to you and your bankroll requirements. Because PokerStars is such a popular site, you are sure to find a game in which you can make money. And with PokerStars frequent player program, you are sure to be rewarded for the countless hours that you will play on the site. The more you play, the more points you earn. These points can be redeemed for tournament entries, apparel, and electronic equipment.
Thursday, November 11th, 2010
In a tournament setting, your chips change value as the game progresses. This might not make sense at first, but it is true. Let’s use the World Series of Poker as an example. When you first buy in to the tournament for $10,000, the chips you are given are worth $10,000. However, as you advance through the tournament and your chips wax and wane, the monetary value of them fluctuates. If you have $10,000 in chips and you are the second to last player left in the tournament, those chips are now worth almost $1 million since this is the prize money that is won with a second place finish.
The chips that you gain early in a tournament are not worth as much as the chips you lose. Think about this in terms of proportions. If there is $100,000 in prize money available, and there are ten players starting out with $10,000 each, chips start out being 1/10th of the total prize money, holding their true value of $10,000. As people leave the tournament, the chips will change in value. With five people left, $10,000 is now worth only $5,000 in chip value. Because the average amount of chips held by each player is now $20,000, or 1/5th of the total amount up for grabs, your $10,000 is now worth only half of what it once was.
The true value of your chips is related to the prize value that you are immediately capable of earning. If you have only $1 in chips remaining and you are the second to last player in a tournament with a second place payout of $500,000, that one dollar is worth just a shade more than $500,000. This is because of the fact that there is an extremely small chance that you could still win the tournament and take home the bigger prize. Remember the saying “all you need is a chip and a chair”? The implications of this statement are that given enough winning hands in a row, all you need to win a tournament is to be still alive in it. So if someone wanted to buy your seat for some odd reason, in order to get the true value of your chip, you would need to charge a minuscule amount more than half a million.