Pot odds, odds and outs

Poker is a game requiring a keen mind and good judgment. The essence of poker is perhaps best reflected in the concepts of pot odds, odds and outs. It is these important issues that we’ll talk about today. Regardless of the poker variant you prefer, understanding odds and outs will help you make the right decisions. In layman’s terms, your actions must be entirely determined by the following factors: the probability of winning, the size of the pot and the amount of chips you need to accumulate in order to continue playing. The key here is to minimize the risk while maximizing the potential gains.

Odds & Outs

Before we begin discussing poker odds in detail, it is necessary that you know how to calculate your outs. The idea is very simple, so you just have to learn how to do it. Basically, outs are the cards that help you in finishing the poker combination you desire, which in your opinion would be stronger than your opponent’s hand. For example, if the board is composed of a few cards and you hold a 5-6-7-8 straight draw while being sure that your opponent has pocket aces, the only cards that will save your skin are 4 and 9. These cards are your outs to form the nuts.

Consider a real-life example:

You are holding a suited Q ♦ 9 ♦
The board is composed of A ♦ K ♦ 7 ♣ 4 ♣

You know that your opponent is a careful player who wouldn’t consider betting if he did not have at least a pair of kings. A more likely scenario on this board is that he has already made a pair of aces. When he makes his next bet, you realize that he holds the top pair (kings or aces) and your only chance of winning this hand is a flush. Basically, the only thing that can save you is a fifth card of the diamonds suit.

The deck holds 13 cards of each suit. 4 of the diamond-suited cards are already a part of the board and your hand. This means that there’s only nine diamond cards left in the deck and each of them will allow you to complete your winning flush (if you disregard the fact that some of the cards could be held by one of your rivals). Consequently, you have 9 outs. Continue reading

Host the perfect poker party

Want a perfect idea for a get together with friends? What better way than to host a poker party where you and your friends are guaranteed to have a night of fun.

Firstly before you even begin planning to host a party it is highly recommended you check with the local law. There is nothing worse that to have the long hand of the law to slap you with a huge fine for breaking the law. If it is not legal to gamble, it is highly recommended that you obey the law and do not play for money (we have to say this, but seriously…. ).

poker party

One of the first things you need to take care is the guests list. Everything that follows depends on the number of guests attending. For up to 10 players, 1 table will suffice. Anything between 11 and 17 will require 2 tables and if your guests list has above 17 people you will require 3 tables. Remember that as the number of tables increase the press sure on you as host also increases.

To host a poker party you will require a lot of drinks and snacks. However it is a good idea to impose a no food at table rule. Or else soon your cards and chips will smell of shrimps and sushi. Also it would be a good idea to arrange a small table next to the main game table to keep the drinks.

The first thing you need is casino chips and cards. Plastic chips are cheap. But if you are out to impress get hold of clay chips that definitely is better than the plastic ones. Make sure you have at least 50 chips per person. It is going be embarrassing to run out of chips even before the party starts.

Don’t bring out your torn and worn out deck of cards. Buy new cards. Get at least 2 decks per table.

Go over the rules before game starts for the novice players. And remember to have fun.

How big is your opponents chip stack?

Obviously, this can be an extremely important factor directly related to the time a person will play. You can consider a persons stack in relation to table stakes and/or a rack of chips. For example, a medium stack could be considered a rack of table stake or small blind chips 500 count,a large stack is 1000 chips or more, a small stack is 250, and a short stack is 100 or less count. Let us look at each type:

POKER STRATEGY – The poker player with mounds and mounds of chips is most likely having some good luck. They won’t leave until there is a sign that the luck is changing. They are probably at or above their financial goal for the evening. However, no one wants to leave when they are on a good run. Therefore, this person will usually wait to leave until they lose a close hand or lose the small stack that was off to the side of the large mound of chips.

poker chip stack

POKER STRATEGY – The poker player with the medium stack of chips may have just bought in or have been playing tight and not catching cards. They will probably play until some determining factor of winning or losing comes their way. If they double up, they will probably leave, if they lose half their stack, they may walk as well. It is rare to see this person re buy chips unless they are very aggressive players and you should be able to tell that quickly. Continue reading

Online Poker Tips for the Beginners

If you are brand new to the act of playing poker at an online poker site, you will more than likely have a lot of questions regarding how things work and how you can go about playing in the best manner possible so you will see the results you are hoping to see. Here are some tips for you to follow if you are a beginner that will really help you out along the way:

Before you do anything else you want to become familiar with the better online poker sites. Read through some reviews, talk to other online poker players, and do some looking around on your own. The more familiar you get with the different sites, then more you will know what you want to get out of the online poker site you decide to join. Read the poker news so you are staying up to date on the industry. You want to do all you can to find the best online poker sites available.

Poker Tips

Once you have chosen the online poker site you want to join you should start by going in to all of the different sections and verifying it is definitely the one for you. Some of the most important sections for you to pay attention to are the games section, promotions section, and banking section. However, the more you get to know all of the sections, the more you will be able to take advantage of a lot of great opportunities.

Once you have downloaded and installed the software and you are filing out the required information to register, you want to pay attention to what you put and make absolutely sure you are putting everything in correctly. If you put incorrect information it could cause you to lose out on a reward or it could even cause you to be banned from the poker site. It would be a shame to go through all of the trouble of finding the best online poker site for you and then be banned because you put some false information. Continue reading

Choosing the Right Online Poker Room

Choosing аn online poker room now а dаys is а much more difficult tаsk then it wаs а just а few yeаrs аgo. Online poker hаs grown by leаps аnd bounds just in the pаst few yeаrs аnd the number of rooms hаs grown аnd is growing аt а rаpid pаce. When choosing аn online poker room you should tаke into аccount аt the very minimum the following: sаfety, quаlity аnd comfort. These аre the 3 things thаt you should take into аccount before beginning аny of our online poker leаgues.

Sаfety

By sаfety it is meаnt аs to how sаfe is it to move money in аnd out of the poker room. Tаke this into аccount first аnd foremost whenever trying out аn online poker room. Since the industry is not heаvily regulаted by governing bodies аnd is mostly self-regulаted you need to know you cаn trust the poker room you choose to hаndle your money.

For this reason it is best to stick with poker rooms that hаve estаblished themselves in the industry аnd hаve built а solid plаyer bаse. Poker rooms hаve proven to be stаble online poker rooms thаt аre going to be аround for the long hаul. Аll of these poker rooms not only hаve proven to be reliаble, but hаve аlso not rested on their pаst аccomplishments. Eаch of these poker rooms аlso hаs а 3rd pаrty check their poker аlgorithm to mаke sure it is working properly аnd deаls fаir hаnds time аnd time аgаin. This quаlity check mаkes sure these poker rooms remаin аt the industry forefront.

Quаlity

Quаlity cаn meаn different things to different people when discussing online poker rooms. In this cаse it refers to а couple different things. Here it is referring to softwаre quаlity. Choosing аn online poker room which is sаtisfying visuаlly, in gаme plаy, аnd in reliаbility is importаnt. Most online poker rooms now offer versions of their softwаre to downloаd аnd try out plаying with plаy money before commiting to plаying for reаl money.

Most poeple recommend choosing а room which is sаtisfying visuаlly in order to mаximize the online poker plаying experience. Some rooms tаke extrа steps to mаke the tаble seem more life like. For exаmple poker rooms such аs Pokerroom.com hаve аdded people аs аvаtаrs to their tаbles. Other rooms such аs Pаrаdise Poker do not hаve people аt their tаbles, but hаve аdded options where а plаyer cаn order а drink or snаck from а menu.

This is something thаt personаlly keeps plаyers entertаined, however so slightly, while wаiting in between hаnds.

Аnother option to bаlаnce into the equаtion is the quаlity of the gаme plаy. Mаke sure thаt the room choosen offers аll of the feаtures you need to mаke gаme plаy fun аnd eаsy. Decide if it is eаsy to follow the аction going on аt the tаble. Some rooms such аs Pokerroom.com highlight the plаyer whose turn it is to аct. This seems obvious, but some rooms don’t offer this option. The plаyer must keep trаck of the аction in the chаt diаlogue box. If however, you аre plаying multiple tаbles, then you mаy wаnt to be аble to quickly click bаck аnd forth between tаbles аnd find out where the аction is visuаlly without hаving to scroll through а chаt box to find out.

Finаlly, tаke into аccount softwаre аnd server reliаbility. This is listed third here, but mаy be the most importаnt fаctor in choosing аn online poker room. It is definitely no fun to hаve to be constаntly disconnected from the room during plаy, especiаlly when а cruciаl decision must be mаde. If you find you must bаttle this problem often with your online poker room it will аdd аdditionаl stress to the online poker experience.

Comfort

Most importаntly you need to feel comfortаble with the poker room you hаve chosen. This meаns you must tаke every element from аbove into considerаtion аnd decide if the online poker room you hаve chosen is right for you. If you don’t feel comfortаble with the poker room in аny of the аbove cаtegories then I would suggest finding а new plаce to plаy online poker. Whether you аre logging on to plаy for poker for fun or to try to mаke а cаreer out of plаying online poker, you need to hаve confidence in the poker room to deliver your money, give you best poker bonus, deliver аnswers to your questions quickly аnd аccurаtely, аnd deliver аn enjoyаble plаying experience.

Bar Poker Is Entertainment – Have Fun With It!

Recently at one of my tournaments a player got upset by the payout that day. The numbers were down due to the weather, and only the top 2 places were paid out. The player that finished 3rd asked, upon being eliminated from the tournament, “What does 3rd place get?” and was answered with “8 points!”. The reply was “And you wonder why I don’t play all the time. You don’t pay out enough!”

I guess I was wrong thinking that bar poker is a form of entertainment!

Actually I’m not wrong. Most people fail to realize that bar poker IS entertainment. It’s not meant to be serious poker or competitive poker. In fact I’ve seen places advertise their bar poker tournaments as “for entertainment purposes only”. Well that’s exactly what they are!!! ENTERTAINMENT. It doesn’t have to be advertised as such! Yes anytime you play a game, whether its poker, darts, pool, or softball, competitive juices will flow. We’re humans, we can’t help it. I know I’ve gotten on people before, and usually when I do I apologize later. I’m competitive by nature, but I realize what bar poker truly is.

Bar Poker

People should be playing bar poker as entertainment and for entertainment. Have fun! Loosen up! Have a drink or 2! Enjoy the night! Some people complain about people having too much drink sometimes at poker tournaments. The ones complaining are the ones not having fun and the ones getting complained about are having a blast! If you can’t lighten up just a little bit and have some fun, perhaps you should find a different game to play. Try Bingo. They take that game way too seriously!!!

And as far as payouts go, if you’re really playing for the prizes, you’re playing for all the wrong reasons. Sure, we all like to win something. It’s an incentive for you to show up. But if you’re walking in with the mind set you need that $100 to pay a bill, maybe you should get a second job. It’s one thing to want to win. You can still have fun. It’s another to need to win. You’re not having fun and chances are you’ll ruin it for other people.

So everyone, let’s remember to have fun when playing bar poker. You go to a bar to see a band or hear a DJ and have fun right? Let’s do the same with poker!

Playing Suited Connectors

Suited Connectors: Any two cards of sequence that hold the same suit.

A huge (and I mean HUGE in the biggest way) aspect of No Limit Texas hold’em is playing suited connectors. In limit hold’em, betting is secondary to hand selection because one’s stack is not in jeopardy at all times. Things change in the No Limit version, where implied odds (the amount of money you can expect to win if you make your hand) are a large factor in decision making at the tables. Played properly, suited connectors hold great value and the best chance of taking down big hands and, consequently, big pots.

Let’s look at my personal favorite in this category, the 7,8 suited. There’s several ways to play this hand, and one of my favorites is raising in late position with it.

Suited ConnectorsIf you’ve played a tight game thus far and an opponent credits you with big cards and it’ll be hard for him to put you on a hand when the flop hits you. Certainly you could get a dream flop of 6,9,10. Obviously this is a great flop for your hand, since you have the nut straight.

It’s hidden strength is that many players will feel that if you raised preflop, you’ve gotten unlucky and missed or they got lucky and hit. Consider the hands an opponent would call your raise with: any pair, AK to A9, KQ to K10 and maybe even Q10. This is a good flop for almost all of these hands for even if they missed, they at least have to overcards and might be willing to chase you a street or two.

On the other hand, if they hit top pair on the flop and you’ve been playing the game aggressively you’re likely to be check-raised on the flop, and bet to on the turn where you can then raise and take down a big pot. Perhaps what attracts me most to these kinds of hands is you almost always know where you stand. Continue reading

Improving Your Poker Game

Many people love playing poker online but wish that they could play better. It is always nice to be winning more often, especially if you are making more money that way.

It is also less fun if you do not win very often and it can start to make you play less often. You may get cross as well, if you keep losing money and if you are feeling this way it is definitely an indication that it is time to stop playing for a while and see what you can do. It is therefore a good idea to keep trying to improve your game.

One way to improve your poker game is of course by playing the game more often. If you are a MAC user like I am – then the first thing you need to do is to find mac poker sites so that you can be sure that the poker client will work perfectly on your mac laptop.

Playing will help to improve it to a certain extent but it is always a good idea to do other things as well. There are a variety of poker sites which give tuition on poker and how to improve.

Even the most basic ones might offer some worthwhile advice and be worth considering. There are a lot of free guide around but once you have explored all of these you may then wish to pay for something. It could be a good idea to get some books from the library if you can or even buy some.

You may find that there are online ebooks and things like that, but these need to be looked at with caution. With a  physical book, you can look at it before you buy it and see what it is all about, you cannot do this with an ebook. You will not know whether it is written in a style that you like or whether it has worthwhile content for you. By all means read the blurb and then decide and if it is cheap then that should be fine. However, if you are not sure, then it is probably better to not buy it.

The importance of position

Whether you’re completely new to the 888 poker game or playing in the World Series, the importance of your position at the poker table is something that should always be at the back of your mind when you’re considering your next move.

In this article we’re going to look at the various positions you’ll find yourself in when sat at the table and the risks and benefits of playing in each of them.

position at the poker table

The diagram above outlines a typical poker table with ten players sat around it. The orange circle represents the dealer. The red positions (including both blinds) are described as being sat in the early positions, the blue buttons represent those players in middle position, with the players in late position being shown in green.

Early positions:

The first players to get involved in any pot will be the two people sat in the small blind and big blind positions. Their contribution to the pot will be made before the hand is even dealt meaning that the person sat to the left of the big blind will be the first person to act once every one has seen their cards.

This person is at a huge disadvantage because they can only guess at how the other nine people around the table are going to behave. Without any other chips being thrown into the middle of the table, this player has no idea about the strength of his opponents hands and it’s for this reason that it’s important to only play premium hands when you find yourself being the first to act. Continue reading

Win Money Playing ABC Poker

The term “ABC Poker” refers to a type of poker playing that is not sophisticated or complicated but simple solid, good poker. This type of poker is excellent for the lower limit games and through the ability to multi-table by playing many low limit tables just playing ABC poker you can make a tidy profit.

The main things to remember when playing ABC poker include:

  • Never Bluff.
  • Never Slow-Play.
  • Only call on a draw if the pot odds can justify it.
  • Always Check/Fold when you have a weak hand.
  • Always Bet/Raise when you have a good hand.
  • Play tight preflop and only every play with good, solid hands.

    Playing ABC Poker

Whilst ABC poker probably wont work very well against good poker players on high limit tables this method of playing will work perfectly on low stakes tables as (more often than not) you are playing against bad poker players. These players will play way too many hands so all you have to do is wait for your good hands to appear and you are in the money, now think about how much money you can make playing this style of poker if you multi-table!

The great thing about ABC poker is that it is dead easy to learn and it’s an extremally safe way to play poker online, especially for beginners who have a small bankroll. By playing like this you will be able to increase your bankroll significantly.

Sure you could be missing out on some money by not playing your absolute best but that is not the point of ABC poker, it’s a system to just take down the fish on the low limit tables – and believe me it works.