Could You Ever Make This Fold?

I recently got in a big hand at Caesars in Atlantic City where I had to make a really really tough fold but I am almost 100% positive it was the right decision. I think a lot of players might have lost their whole $1400 stack on this hand.

Here’s the setup:

I had been playing at the 2/5 NL cash game for about 6-7 hours already and had been stacking up all night. The game was very loose and weak and I got a few good hands in good spots and was sitting with a $1400 stack from my original $500 buy in. The game also had some very good players who were very solid aggressive but never getting out of line with any big bluffs, every showdown had strong hands against slightly weaker hands. Most of the fish in this game already lost all their money and the game was getting a lot stronger with all the good players sitting extremely deep stacked. At this point, I have solid reads on each player at the table, I know what they will be doing with certain hands and I know when I can get them off a hand and also what to bet to get paid off on my big hands. The game had been playing very tight and solid when I got involved with a monster hand, but knew it could not have been the best hand. Continue reading “Could You Ever Make This Fold?”

Bluffing

I debated, whether or not, to include an article on bluffing in Texas Holdem, only because every poker site has covered it to death and it has been so over glamorized. But then I thought some players, especially the newer ones, will be interested to hear our take on the ‘mighty’ bluff. So let’s see if we can add something fresh to the stew…

Most new players think bluffing is a big part of being a great Texas holdem player, not true. I think people think this because it has been represented to them in this romantic fashion through movies, television shows and good old storytelling. If you’ve played Texas Holdem, how many times have you heard players telling you a great story about somebody getting away with a gutsy bluff and winning a huge pot (second only to, players whining about their bad beats). Because of the incredible drama that comes with a successful bluff it is what people tend to remember.

Its human nature to create a hierarchy in one’s own mind about what is worth remembering and what just fades away, and a good bluff it seems is always what people will remember.

It’s dramatic; it’s what legends are made of. It’s what people will talk about for a long time when remembering Chris Moneymaker’s thrilling win over Sam Farha in the 2003 World Series of Poker.

But these legendary bluffs are few and far between. A good Texas Holdem player will use a bluff from time to time, but if overused you surely will go broke. Like every other skill a good Texas Holdem player needs to possess, bluffing should just be another bullet in your gun. There are times, especially in multi table Texas Holdem tournaments, when you’re going to have to steal some pots in order to stay alive, but it’s better to bluff at the small pots to keep yourself hydrated until something bigger and better comes along.

Remember bluffing is only successful if you can show winning hands. What this means is good solid play early on sets up your ability to pull off a bluff. Also, a great Texas Holdem player always seems to know the right time to pull it off. That my friends, is a sixth sense that some players are just born with.

Let’s talk about one time when bluffing can work, but it takes nerves of steel and again, should be used selectively. Bluffing from up front. These days most Texas Holdem players are familiar with the obvious bluff situations, for example, when your first in from late position, when the board pairs, when a third suited card flops on the river, when you bet pre-flop, miss and bet right out on the flop, etc.

Bluffing in early position or under the gun, particularly in a short handed Texas Holdem game can work for you. All the other players will give you credit for having a real hand and unless someone has woken up with a monster they will fold to you most of the time. The distinction being, in the earlier, obvious bluff situations, the other players are suspicious of your motives, where as here, they are far less likely to be. This is a very important point because if the hounds smell blood you could be bluffing all your money away…

Learning How to Play Poker

Playing poker online is a fun hobby that many people all over the world enjoy. If you’ve seen the TV shows and movies about poker, then it becomes tempting to join in on the fun. However, many people worry about learning how to play poker because they don’t want to end up losing a lot of money. Thankfully, there’s a way to play poker without spending a lot of money to do so. The best way to learn how to play poker is by visiting an online casino. The beauty of playing online instead of going to a neighborhood poker club is that you have full anonymity and privacy. You’re going to make a few mistakes along the way of becoming a seasoned poker player, and it can be helpful to be able to make those mistakes in an environment where nobody really knows you.

Going to an online casino doesn’t have to mean playing for actual money if you’re not ready to take that step. Many online casinos have realized the benefits from letting new poker players try their skills out for free before they have to put money into the game. There are plenty of online casinos that offer new poker players free chips that they can use to play for free and hone their skills. If you are a very competitive person, this may be a boring step for you but it’s necessary. You don’t want to blow the money you have — called a bankroll in poker circles — by making beginner’s mistakes. It’s better to take your poker journey slow and make sure that you have the game firmly understood before actually making real gambling bets.

Thankfully, it doesn’t take that much time to actually become a skilled poker player. What it does take is practice and being willing to review each game to figure out what you did wrong. Everyone has that feeling that comes over them after they’ve made a decision that perhaps the decision they made wasn’t really the best one for their needs. Playing poker online means being able to tap into that feeling and use it to fix any mistakes that you make along the way. In addition, you will need to be patient with yourself if you really want to grow your skills in the game over time. The losses you will experience at the beginning can hurt a great deal, but they’re necessary in order to grow and get better at playing the game.

Overall, learning how to play poker is best done online where you can play for free, make new friends, and learn from some pretty skilled people. As always, you can’t win if you don’t play so get started playing poker online today!

The Best Way to Improve Your Poker Game

Even if you’re just starting out playing poker online, you’ll eventually run into a time where you’ll want to work on improving your poker game skills. There’s nothing wrong with that — after all, getting better means making more money as well as earning the respect of your fellow poker players.

There’s a few ways to improve your poker game, but one of the best ways to really get good fast is to step back and look at your actual playing style. For example, many beginner players try to get in on every piece of the action, playing hands that they really shouldn’t. As the song says, sometimes you really do need to know when to hold ’em, and how when to fold ’em.

You will also want to watch when you play as well. Many beginner poker players play when they’re stressed out or upset, which means it too easy for other  players to take advantage of their mood. The best time to play is when you’re feeling confident and sure of yourself. However, the reality is that nobody feels that way all the time. So if you find yourself getting upset, try walking around and getting a glass of water before joining the action again. Your chances will be much better if you’re thinking clearly through each hand than just coasting along.

While poker is definitely a social activity, you may want to limit your alcohol intake if you drink while playing. Alcohol can slowly  cloud your judgement and keep you from making the best decisions about each poker game.

These are just a small handful of tips to help you improve your poker game. Through experience and yes, even a bit of failure, you’ll pick up even more ways to improve your game — get started playing poker online today in some of the best poker rooms!

How to Read Your Opponents in a Poker Game

To be an exceptional poker player, not only do you need to know the deck like the back of your own hand, you must be able to read the thoughts and intentions of your opponents. We’re not advocating espn, but instead, get to know the minute behaviours and gestures that give away what your opponent is thinking. These are known within the industry as ‘tells’. Having a great ‘poker face’ is mastering the art of not giving away your reactions on your face.

1. The way the chips are stacked

A messy stack of poker chips indicates that the player is loose – that they’re likely to bet in an aggressive manner. A neat stack of poker chips says that the player is on the tighter side e.g. they’re not going to bet rashly and raise stakes unless they have to. Conservative players do not bluff a lot. Interestingly, if a player makes a messy bet (they push the chips into the table in a sloppy way) and then takes the trouble to stack them properly – that’s usually a sign of a bluff! They are anxious not to draw attention to themselves.

2. Staring at a bad hand

If a player is dealt a really good hand, their first instinct might be to look away. This is because of an ‘embarrassment of riches’ feeling and an attempt to shield their hand from attention. By contrast, a player who is dealt a bad hand might stare consistently as their deck. A sort of ‘stare of disbelief’ if you will.

3.Double-checking

Players normally have to double-check cards to see if they have a flush, as they are double checking to see if have more of the same card. One of the best things you can do to improve your own poker game is to practice memorising your cards just the once and then never looking back at the cards.

Poker is as much a game of behaviour and psychology as it is a game of chance. Learning how to read the behaviour of your opponents will save you money as you begin to learn the ropes of the game. Remember that every aspect of your conduct and presentation defines you in the eyes of other players – so learn to exploit your advantages!

Swim, Fish, Swim! More Tips For the Newbie Poker Player

Hello, fish. OK, so we’re being sarcastic, and you’re probably already steaming. Fish? How dare we call you such a thing! Just because you’re new to the world of poker and all doesn’t mean that you’re an idiot that other people should be targeting. That’s just not fair!

We hate to break it to you, but life isn’t fair and the truth is that when you’re a newcomer to the world of poker, you’re going to be the first on the hit list. Poker players are going to aim at you because you don’t have as much experience with poker strategy as they do. Don’t let it get to you — it’s just part of the game. As you rise in the ranks, you’ll probably target a few fish in your time too.

Usually when people are teasing you for being new, they don’t mean anything by it. Sure, there are people that assume that all newbies are donkeys that will make stupid bets, but that’s not the way it has to be. If you’re really trying to get things done, there are a few things that you need to know if you’re really going to get serious about playing poker.

Of course, that’s another point that needs to be raised before we go any farther. If you’re not serious about playing the game, then you don’t have anything to worry about. Hang out on Pogo or another site where you don’t have to risk any money. You’ll be able to chat with some great people and get in a few hands here and there. It’s not anything life changing, but it is a great way to pass a lazy summer day without going outside in the heat. Yet if you want to make money, it’s all about strategy. It’s all about getting as much money as you can, and it’s all about building the best strategy that allows you to keep making money for the long haul.

Poker takes time — that’s the first lesson you have to get your head around as a newcomer. A lot of newbies have read about Chris Moneymaker’s super win in 2003 at the WSOP and they think that they’re going to follow suit overnight. It takes years and years to develop the skill necessary to play that type of high stakes poker. There’s a lot of money at stake and you don’t want to end up striking out before you get any money of your own, get it?

So the next lesson is that if you really want to become a stellar poker player, you’re going to have to learn from the bottom. There’s a temptation to play high stakes poker right from the beginning, as much as your bankroll will allow. However, this is a mistake of massive proportions. You don’t want to do this because all it means is that you run the risk of running out of your money sooner. The low stakes don’t sound fun, but they’re the perfect way of really polish your game. It’s a great way to build the card playing history you’ll need later to refine your poker game. Also, as you play you’ll develop more questions about the game. The ones that can’t be solved by a simple Google search will need to be taken to the forum of your choice. There are plenty of poker playing forums out there, so it’s not like you have to learn to play better on your own. Continue reading “Swim, Fish, Swim! More Tips For the Newbie Poker Player”

Poker, Poker, Poker – Why The Best Poker Rooms Online Are Red Hot For the Holidays

If you’re intrigued by poker, you’re not alone. We’re completely spellbound by poker, and we don’t believe there’s anything wrong with that. When you think about it, poker is a casino game that addresses the “whole brain”. It’s not just about being good with numbers and making your comparisons. It’s also about the psychological warfare aspect of poker, about the thrill of playing against all odds and still winning. There’s a tight knit community around poker, and it’s broken up into a few groups. You have passionate players, newcomers, and people who are getting back into poker. If you’re looking at the best poker rooms, you might wonder why we’re so excited about them. Allow us to explain real quick.

You see, there’s a lot of fish that congregate around the best poker rooms. They know that promotions are going to be thick during a time of year where people spend money. This is going to mean that it’s a great idea to really have a good time. You don’t have to be someone that is a high roller so to speak. You can still shoot fish in a barrel, collect winnings, ad have a good time. Of course, you might be one of those new players that are looking for a poker room with a bigger amount of money circulating. There’s risk involved, because the “sharks” are going to be swimming pretty fiercely. Yet if you have the guts to step up, there’s a lot of money that can be in your pocket at the end of the night.

This is also a great time of year for tournaments. It’s tempting to believe that there’s no reason to get too caught up in tournaments, but you are mistaken. There are plenty of benefits to be found in the world of tournaments, because you get to bump out players that really don’t understand the format. They don’t know when to play tight or when to play loose. Lack of timing can really cost you a tournament, and experienced players understand this. Continue reading “Poker, Poker, Poker – Why The Best Poker Rooms Online Are Red Hot For the Holidays”

Learning Poker Online

With so many companies offering online poker these days, it is not surprising that there are  a lot of places where you can get guidance on how to play the game. There are a lot of sites offering hints and tips and there are also places which have tutorials and demonstrations. If you have never played before, then this can be a great way to learn all about the aspects of the game. If you have only played certain versions of poker, then it can be a great way to learn about other ones.

It can also be a good way to learn tactics for playing online, as these can be quite different to when you are playing offline. Even if you know how to play the game, it can be a good idea to refresh your memory by looking at some of these, especially if you have only played offline games before or it has been a while since you played. If you are trying to learn how to play because you want to play offline games then learning online can be good too.

However, it is important to realise the differences between playing online and offline and how important body language can be when playing offline. You may not learn much about this on most online tutorials, but it may be a good idea searching for information on it as it could be extremely important to you and may help you to win games. It is a good idea to look at several different websites for help because they may vary and you may pick up different information form each one. This could be really useful for you as you will learn little things from different people and their combined advice could help you to put together a winning formula.

Playing Poker

Many people enjoy playing poker because it is a game that can get really exciting. Often groups of friends will get together and have a friendly game and sometimes the games can even turn quite serious, especially after everyone has had a few drinks and wants to bet a bit more money. Some people prefer to play in the casino and play against people they do not know.

This can be more skilled in a way. When you play with the same group of people all of the time, you will get to know their mannerisms and how they act when they have a good hand or a bad hand. Even people with a really good poker face will let a few things slip every so often and even the way that they bet will become a way to predict what they have. However, playing in a casino against strangers will mean that you have to guess from their body language and this can not always be a good way of knowing what is on their mind. They might be bluffing or just be very good at hiding their feelings. However, if you are not good at hiding your feelings or no good at reading others, you may feel like you are at a disadvantage when you are playing poker.

This is why many people turn to playing online poker where you never see the faces of the people that you are playing with and so there is no need to try and read their faces and they will never see yours either. It could be a really great solution. If you are not sure then give it a go. You may find that eliminating this aspect of the game could make it a lot less complicated for you and it could really help you to win more often. Without having to think about this you can concentrate more fully on the actual game.

Understanding What Rakeback Can Do For You in Online Poker

Jargon isn’t just for business — the world of online poker seems to carry plenty of jargon that could get you confused before you even really have a chance of getting comfortable with the game.

One of the first terms that you’ll ultimately run across, especially if you end up playing poker for real money, is the concept of rakeback. Rakeback is connected to another term — the rake.

You have to understand that rake is unavoidable in online poker. If you want to play at an online casino, you will pay a rake charge. Rake is simply the amount of money going into the hands of the casino for letting you play there.

However, casinos aren’t stupid — they know that players hate fees of any and all kinds, and if they can get you to play in their casino and spend more money, they certainly will set that up in a heartbeat. One of the first things that they do is set up something called rakeback, where they give you back part of your rake costs. The rake you pay to the poker room might be unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean that you have to pay full price. You can think of rakeback as a sort of coupon that the casinos use to get you to visit them more often.

A good casino review guide can show you the best rakeback offers, including who pays out a bonus on top of the rakeback. The more money you plan to spend on your online poker play, the more you should look into bonuses and rakeback offers. There’s no reason why you should just let free money sit on the table if you ultimately don’t have to, right? Right!

Generally speaking, not all rakeback offers are created equal. For example, if you have a site that gives you back 40% of the rake, that’s definitely a good thing. Just make sure that you look at how the rakeback is calculated and credited back to your account. You don’t have to feel like there’s no reason to pursue rakeback, especially when it really is a return of the money that you would have paid out.

The best online players are definitely looking at the type of rakeback that they can get. You might find that a certain site attracts a lot of skilled players because of the rakeback, which is another reason why rakeback is put into place.

Overall, there’s no reason to feel like it’s impossible to really enjoy the best that online poker has to offer just because of a rake charge. Check out rakeback offers, and really think about other aspects of the casino play as well. You don’t want to just go with the highest rakeback offer if there are other aspects of the experience that just don’t appeal to you. That’s really all there is to it in order to really make the most out of your online poker experience — why not get out there and play a few games today?