Poker Lingo

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

When you’re sitting down at the poker download tables, most poker players will use lingo that you might not be familiar with. I suggest learning the popular poker lingo used so that you can keep up with the conversation at the poker table. You also don’t want players to know that you’re a new player and by not understanding common poker terms you’d be a giving them a huge clue to your experience in poker.

* Bet – To be the first bet made into the pot on any betting round.

* Call – To call the initial bet that has been made by an opponent.

* Fold – To throw your hand away into the muck of cards.

* Raise – Raising is when a player bets at least double the previous bet.

* Ante – An ante is a pre-determined amount of chips every player puts in the pot every hand.

* Draw – A draw is when you need certain cards to make your hand.

* Flop – The flop is the first three PokerStars net community cards revealed which all players can use.

* Check – Checking is a move you can make which requires no bet and you stay in the hand.

* Turn – The turn is the fourth community card which again all players get to use.

* River – The river is the fifth and last Full Tilt Poker.com community card that players can use to improve there hand.

* Freeroll – A freeroll is a tournament with no entry fee, but where you can still win real money.

* Fish – A term used to define a player who isn’t good at poker.

* Cooler – Multiple good poker hands going against each other in an all-in battle.

* Slowroll – To Slowroll your opponent is to suck them into a pot by acting weak.

* Rake – Rake is the term used for how much the poker room takes from every pot.

* Rakeback – Rakeback is the term used for how much the player receives back from there rake.

* Flip – Term used when two players are all-in and both have close to a 50% chance of winning.

* Chip Dumping – Term used to describe cheaters who dump there chips to friends in tournaments.

* Omaha Poker – A poker game where players receive 4 cards and 5 community cards like Holdem.

* Bluff – Betting at the pot with a weak hand in hopes of all your pokerstars opponents fold.

* All-In – All-In is a term used in poker and it means you’re pushing all your chips into one pot.

* Preflop – Preflop is anything that happens in the hand before the flop takes place.

* Position – Your position is relative to how far the dealer button is from your hand.

* Pockets – Pockets is when you have a pair in Texas Holdem with your two hole cards.

* Pocket Rockets – Pocket Rockets is used to describe when you have two aces in your hole cards.

* Pot Limit – A pot limit game means the maximum bet can be equivalent to the size of the pot.

* No Limit – A no limit game means the maximum bet can be any amount.

These are just some of the pocker terms that you need to learn to be able to understand the lingo that players are talking about on the poker tables.

Things not to do at the Poker Table

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

Poker players always discuss proper player etiquette and what players should and shouldn’t do at the poker table. It’s a widely discussed topic and many players have there own guidelines that they follow to ensure that they don’t anger any other poker players. Although you’re playing to take your opponents money there are some things that a poker player shouldn’t do when sitting down at the Full Tilt poker table and we’re going to look over some of those things in this article.

* When you fold your cards in a hand this means that you’re out of the hand and you should not talk about the hand to anyone at the poker table. Doing so will frustrate your opponents and you’ll have an entire table gunning for your chips.

* When you’re playing online poker don’t multi-table unless you know you can handle the action. Slowing down the games you’re involved with because you’re multi-tabling with ruin the game for a lot of players and you won’t make any new friends.

* If you lose a hand whether it is because a bad read or a bad beat don’t let it get to you. You should never become angry with an opponent because you lost a hand. Don’t the beat like a man and get your chips back in the next hand that you play.

* When you lose a pot just muck your cards and don’t show them no matter how close you we’re to winning the pot. It doesn’t do you any good and it only gives your good opponents an edge because they get to see how you played your hand.

* If you get lucky and put on a bad beat on your opponent at PokerStars com take the chips and be grateful that you won the pot. Don’t talk about the bad beat at the table for the next ten hands because you’re only going to get your opponents upset with you.

* You should never use any swear words at the poker table no matter what the situation is. There are always older women and men playing and you need to show some respect at the table.

* Although showing your bluff in a big pot is sometimes alright you shouldn’t show every single bluff you make at the table to your opponents. First off you’re going to attract callers next time you do it, and you’ll also start getting under the skin of your opponents if you keep betting and then showing nothing. If you bluff the pot just throw your cards into the muck once you won and keep your opponents guessing about what you have.

* Don’t ever persuade an opponent to call another opponent because you’ll not only get the one player mad with you, but usually the entire table will want you gone.

Playing internet poker isn’t nearly as fun when the entire table dislikes you and no one talks to you. You want to make sure you have fun at the poker tables, but at the same time you need to respect the fact everyone else is trying to have fun as well. Keep the fun clean and you’ll be fine, break any of the golden rules above and you’ll have your opponents wishing you we’re gone.

All In Poker

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

The “All-In” Poker Mentality

The all-in poker mentality isn’t always a good strategy to play on Full Tilt Poker, and you need to know when you should and when you shouldn’t go all-in. There are plenty of times when an all-in bet will take down a pot no matter what two cards you have, but you never want to risk your chips on a complete bluff. We’re going to walk through some tips that you need to analyze when you’re debating on whether or not to go all-in. Don’t just take these tips and think you can implement them and that’s all, you’ll also need to spend time analyzing your opponents. You need to know the playing style of the opponent that you’re playing against so that you can make the best decision. The tips below are just questions you need to ask yourself before going making the all-in bet.

* Ask yourself whether or not you think anyone is going to call you if you make an all-in bet. Your cards don’t always matter and you need to play the players rather than the cards. If the hand is you and two tight players then you can steal the pot with an all-in bet most times.

* Analyze the chip stacks and if you have the biggest stack on FullTiltPoker.com then you’re going to be able to bully most players simply because they won’t want to play against you. A player with a big stack who isn’t scared to bet with any two cards is a scary image at the poker table and one that you want to adopt when you can.

* If you’re a short stack on the table you need to ask yourself whether you think you have a good enough hand to go all-in. You also need to ask yourself whether or not you think any of your opponents will make the call. Sometimes you’ll be able to steal the pot by making an all-in move because your opponents have nothing.

* Take a look at your opponent’s chip stacks and find out how the players left in the pot fare to the rest of the table. If a short stack is in the hand and barely hanging on then it might not be a good time for an all-in bet unless you want the short stack to call you. If you’re semi bluffing though then you’re going to want to be careful against the short stacks at FullTiltPoker.net because they’re prone to calling.

* Although I mentioned that you can go all-in with any two cards at some points in a hand when there is only 1-2 players in the pot, but generally you don’t want to bluff an all-in. You want to at least have some options for a straight draw or flush draw that could win you the hand if someone we’re to call you. You never want to be all-in and drawing dead to your opponent’s hand.

When you push your chips all-in the pot at PokerStars.de you’re putting the pressure on your opponent and taking the pressure off of you. It can be difficult to call an all-in and it’s much easier pushing your chips into the pot rather then making the call. Implement these tips into your poker game and you should be able to target better positions to make your all-in moves.

Seven card stud tournament: The basics

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

Does tournament strategy vary from Hold ‘Em to Seven-Card Stud? Let’s take a look.

First thing to note is that in many stud tournaments, it’s high/low. This means the high hand wins half the pot and the low hand wins half the pot. If you have both in the same hand (called the Wheel), you win the entire pot.

Most of the basics for a stud tournament are the same as Hold ‘Em. There’s a buy-in amount that’s equal for everyone. Some tournaments will offer a re-buy within a certain period of time if you go out, blinds rise at time-intervals, etc…

One financial difference in most stud tournaments, and one that might scare some poker players off this style, is that in larger tournaments, usually only the players who make it to the final table will be “in the money.” No prize for 10th place.

Bet increases (blinds and/or minimum/maximum bets – depending on the rules) can either be through time intervals or number of hands played – again, a specific house/tournament rule that varies.

As in Hold ‘Em, your position at the table is extremely critical in a stud tournament. If you’re going to fall asleep on something at the table, don’t let it be this. If you’re paying attention, you’ll be able to spot situations like whether to play a pair of Queens if players before you are already playing with an Ace up – especially if you’re kicker card is of no help. In fact, knowing when your kicker is worthless to your hand is just as important as knowing what your odds are of hitting that particular hand (odds I discussed in a recent blog entry).

Position can also help you determine risk. If you’re in a later spot at the table, and higher cards behind you are betting and raising, even if you hit your “out” card, if your range is under the range of your opponents, it’s not worth the risk to continue with that hand. They may catch further cards for a higher pair, two-pair or a set, while you’re still chasing the second-best hand. Makes no sense. Fold.

Also, in stud, your up-cards are your fuel for bluffing and power play. Nobody shares cards in this game, so use that to your advantage. And don’t think you always need a face card or Ace to throw your weight around. An eight or a nine can be just as deceptively powerful if played correctly.

Heads Up Poker Strategy

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

There has been a lot of action in the online poker rooms on the heads up poker tables lately and this is in large part due to several reasons. The number one reason they have become so popular is because they are generally quick and you only need to beat one opponent. It’s a lot easier to learn the game of one opponent then it is to learn the game of a whole table of poker players. We’re going to go through some simple heads up strategy which will help you when you’re playing in heads up tournaments online. You can find tournaments starting as low as $5 and going all the way up to $1000+ if you’re a high roller. Another major reason is because of the NBC Heads Up Poker Tournaments that are going on right now every Sunday morning on NBC.

* You need to be willing to raise the pot often when you play heads up poker. You don’t need to raise the pot preflop that often unless you want to, but after the flop you need to bet and raise the pot to find out where you stand in the pot. Often when an opponent leads out with a small bet they’re just trying to steal the pot, so put in a small raise and find out where you stand. If they fold then you win the pot and if they don’t you know they probably have a hand.

* Since any two cards can win preflop I don’t recommend raising preflop that often unless you’re just trying to steal the blinds that round. A lot of players will call a raise preflop with almost anything so you don’t really need to raise the pot when you have a good hand. You only do this on a full table to make most of the marginal hands fold, but heads up you won’t scare many opponents out preflop with a raise. Save your betting until you see the flop and find out how well your hand stood up.

* If you try and execute a bluff and your opponent calls you or raises you then just give up on the idea of bluffing that hand. A lot of players will fire another bullet in this situation which is just what your opponent wants you to do. When you’re beat you need to be one of the first to realize it so that you can save yourself some money in the hand.

* If you like action then heads up poker might not work for you because most of the game is spent betting or folding. You’ll either bet and win the pot or your opponent will bet and win the pot. Not often will you both get mixed up into a hand, but when you do it will usually determine who will win the heads up tournament.

* If your opponent is winning a lot of small hands don’t become discouraged because all it takes is one big hand to get back into the game. Often the player who wins heads up matches will win less pots then the other player, but the pots the winner wins are much bigger then the pots his/her opponent wins.

Bankroll Management for Tournament Players

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

If you play poker satellite tournaments and sit and go tournaments instead of cash table games then managing your bankroll is going to change a bit. I typically recommend buying 10x your tournament buy-in fee as then you have some chances to win some money. You don’t want to buy $100 and then play in massive tournaments with huge buy-ins because then you might get to only play one tournament if you don’t win.

Depending on how much you can afford will reflect the stakes you play in. If you can spend $100 then you should only play $10 tournaments until you can increase your bankroll significantly. You never want to risk more then 10% of your bankroll on any given tournament so always keep that as a rule of thumb when managing you bankroll.

One thing that all poker players have problems with in tournaments on sites like PokerStars.com is that if they play a $10 tournament and don’t win any money in it then they want to suddenly jump into a $20 tournament so that they can win more this time around. The only problem with this philosophy is that if you lose again then you’ll be down an extra $10 and which is 10% of your starting bankroll which you can’t afford. You need to stay consistent when you play tournaments and you should only increase the limits you’re playing if you reach 10x the next buy-in amount. If the next highest tournament costs $20 to enter then you need to wait until you have at least $200 before you start playing these ones.

Managing your bankroll in tournaments and sit and go tournaments on FullTiltPoker.net is a lot easier then cash table games because you know exactly what you need to risk every time you sit down at a table. This makes doing the math a lot easier and there is absolutely no excuse for mishandling your bankroll if you’re a tournament player. If you want to play more conservatively or you play with a larger initial bankroll then you might only want to use 5% of your bankroll each tournament. For instance if you have $500 in your account then you might not want to play $50 tournaments and you could move down to a $25 level so that it’s more feasible. Your initial bankroll will reflect whether you should play with 5% or 10% of your bankroll in each tournament and you should stay consistent.

In sit and go tournaments there is a 33% chance of winning some money in the tournament which is very high so by using only 5% – 10% of your bankroll you shouldn’t run into a bad streak where you lose everything. Those of you who play consistently at the stakes your bankroll can afford should realize profits from your play as long as you know what you’re doing when it comes to playing internet poker. Managing your bankroll is easy to follow in tournament play if you want to, so the only decision you need to make is whether you’ll follow the proper bankroll management techniques or do your own thing.

Beginners Guide to Playing Online Poker

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

If you have never played online poker before then there is no doubt you’ll get confused easily. There are a lot of poker rooms operating online right now and therefore it can be hard for a new player to choose a room that is right for them. You want to make sure the poker room you play with is one of the best poker rooms out there. In order to find out whether or not a poker room is good you need to ask yourself several questions while visiting the poker room’s website.

* The first thing you should do is check out the design of the poker room. Ask yourself whether or not the design competes with other poker rooms. The design is a very small indicator as to how good a poker room operates, but at the same time you don’t want to play in a poker room that spent $100 on their design. When you’re looking at the design you should also check and make sure the poker room has all the appropriate labels on the bottom of the homepage.

* Another factor you should consider when joining a poker room is what size of bonus you’ll receive when you sign-up to the poker room. You should also check the terms and conditions of the bonus though, so you can ensure that you’re not getting a bad deal. Some online poker bonuses have huge play-through requirements and it can take months to earn a bonus for a casual player. Try and find a poker room with low play-through requirements so you can earn your bonus money as soon as possible.

* Before you deposit any money into a poker room you should download the software and check out the poker room. Make sure you like how everything looks and also look at how many players are online. You should go to the specific games you want to play. For instance, if you want to play NL Texas Holdem sit and go tournaments you should go to that specific area in the poker room and see how fast tournaments fill up. You don’t want to deposit money in a poker room to find out there is nobody playing the games you want to play.

* Make sure the poker room you choose is secure and also make sure that they offer you a lot of deposit options and deposit options that you can use. This is especially important for international players because you don’t have that many deposit options to choose from in the first place. Most poker rooms list the deposit options they offer so you can go through them and make sure they offer ones you can use.

* The last thing you should do is test out the customer support to make sure that the poker room you choose actually offers the support they say they do. Many poker rooms have excellent support, but there are some poker rooms that don’t answer questions very quickly and this can be a nightmare for a new poker player learning the ropes. To ensure you’ll receive support when you need it I recommend testing it out before depositing money to your account.

Tips for Playing Online Texas Holdem

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

There are hundreds of different tips and strategies that you will learn as you gain more experience playing poker and learning about the game. Texas Holdem is a game where you will continually learn new things and if you ever stop learning you need to figure out why that is. Even the best players in the world are constantly learning new things to improve their game. We’re going to go through some beginner tips that for new online poker players.

* You want to make sure that you play at the limits you’re comfortable with and have proven to be profitable at. If you’re a new poker player then I don’t recommend playing $1/$2 NL right away because you could easily lose a few thousand dollars in a week. You need to gain experience at each of the levels so that you gain confidence in your game. As a new player I would recommend playing $.25/$.50 at most until you have proven to be profitable at that level over a period of time.

* Don’t assume everyone online is bluffing you when they go all-in. A lot of players automatically feel that the other player is bluffing them. In some cases the other player might be bluffing, but I would say about 80% of the time you aren’t being bluffed. Make sure you don’t talk yourself into calling an all-in when you have a weak/marginal hand.

* Everyone talks about playing multi-tables when you play online poker. Multi-tabling will allow good poker players to make more money generally because they can play more hands per hour. For a new player you don’t want to multi-table until you have posted consistent profits over several months playing a single table.

* Generally the poker rooms with lots of traffic such as Poker Stars have a lot of new players in them playing on the low limit tables. It’s wise to play with a poker room like Poker Stars since you’ll be playing with people at your skill level for the most part. In some of the smaller poker rooms you’ll do fine as well, but you might also find the low limit tables filled with regulars.

* Don’t become a calling station when playing online poker. The game runs a lot faster then a live poker game does and you play a lot of hands per hour. If you start calling a lot preflop so you can see some flops you’ll notice your stack decrease at a rapid pace. You should wait for your big hands in a cash game and try to get your chips all-in. If you’re playing tournaments then you can play however you want since you’re only risking the tournament buy-in and not your entire stack.

* When you play online poker you can analyze your own hand history so that you can find out where your weaknesses and strengths are. It’s important to read over your hand history data once every month so you can find out where you lose your money that month. If you can fix your mistakes the following month you should notice that you’re making more money. By slowly eliminating flaws from your game you’ll be improving your bottom line which will go along way in terms of how much money you’re actually making from playing online poker.

How to Beat the Bully at Their Own Game

October 28th, 2009 Comments off

You won’t always find a bully on your poker table when you’re playing poker, but when it does happen you need to be able to react appropriately. A lot of young poker players pride their poker games around being aggressive. Whether you’re playing poker online or in a casino you’ll run into table bullies. The best medicine for beating a table bully is sitting tight and picking your spots against the player.

What a lot of poker players seem to not understand is that you can win a lot of small pots and it won’t add up to very much. You need to win the big pots that you play in generally in order to walk away from the session up money. If you sit patiently when there is a table bully on your table and pick your spots wisely then you’ll often win the big pots you get into with the player.

One thing that table bullies don’t like is when another player starts calling their bets or re-raising their bets. Of course you need to be really careful when you’re debating about re-raising a bet from an aggressive minded player, but at the same time you can’t leave it out of the equation. As long as you aren’t continually popping up the pot on the player just because of the fact you have him pegged as a fish you’ll be fine. Often table bullies will fold to a re-raise unless they have an awesome hand or the nut draw. A table bully has one style to their game in most cases and that is simply stealing small pots all day long.

If you can manage to steal a couple hands off of the table bully early in your session then you should find that the rest of your session will be a bit better. Often when you take a table bully for a couple hands they will begin thinking twice about betting hands when you’re in them. This will allow you to start seeing some more flops without having to commit a lot of chips into the pot.

One thing you don’t want to do is completely bluff an aggressive table bully because there is that potential that they could re-raise you all-in. If you’re going to make a stand against the bully on your table you need to make sure you have a great hand or at least be calling with a nut draw. Don’t start calling down hands when you have top pair against the table bully very often unless you have a great read that you’re winning that hand. Although table bullies play a lot of hands they can also be holding good hands a lot of the time and burn you if you call down with marginal hands that you would never call down against another opponent.

Beating a table bully isn’t all that hard and you should find that you don’t have any problems doing it if you follow the tips above. The main thing is to remain patient. I’ve seen many players show no patience against a table bully and it has cost them a lot of money. Pick your spots and wait until you have the player in a dominating position before committing your chip stack.