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.

Chaos Theory and Poker – Getting Mathematical For Higher Profits

A few people have asked about poker math, and more specifically, chaos theory. Now, we don’t like getting too technical on here, because poker is about settling back to have a good time. However, we also want to give you any type of information that you’re going to help you be more profitable.

Simply put, chaos theory is a whole field of study that revolves around the “butterfly effect” — the idea that small inputs have bigger effects than we know about. Chaos is actually all around us. You might think that poker is a set of static conditions, but it’s not that way at all. You will have more factors affecting your win-rate than you can even imagine. It’s going to be up to you to figure out how to weave in what you’ll learn about chaos theory into your regular poker games.

chaos theoryChaos theory also deals with error — we have to estimate a lot of the data that we use all of the time in the world of poker, and sometimes we’ll get it wrong. So we have to assume that our strategy will be thrown off not just by the luck of the cards, but also that the assumptions we make about the players around us can be wrong. This includes misreading players. You might think that a player is being passive, when they’re actually switching into a tight play. If your strategy is completely based on that player going loose passive, you’re going to be thrown for a loop when they start trying to shove their weight around the game.

This is also where leaks come into play. You might think that as long as you’re coming out positive in terms of making money, that everything is alright. Not only are you leaving money on the table, but your poker leaks are actually making your strategy erode on its own over time, according to chaos theory. This is definitely not where you want to go.

This is just an opening introduction to chaos theory. Given that this is a highly technical topic, we’ll try to break it down into multiple sections. This is just to get you thinking in the right direction. For now, take the time to really look at the data behind all of your poker games. Reviewing your statistics coupled with hand history can give you insight that you might not have considered before. Good luck!

Betting on the River Without Blowing Your Stack

River, river, river — there’s something about the river that makes a good poker player go absolutely nuts! We see it time after time — chasing the river, and trying to bet hard on the river. It’s two different situations, but betting on the river isn’t a good thing at all. What you really want to do is make sure that the river bet is as profitable and plausible as possible. Does the bet make sense? That’s what we’re trying to find out.

It’s all about value — you want to hope for better hands to fold, or for worse hands to call. Worse hands no longer have time to get better, so a good bet can actually add money to the pot that wouldn’t otherwise be there.

The problem is that against decent competition, the bad hands will just fold, and the better hands may actually raise you on the river as a way of goading you into spewing chips into a pot that you just can’t win. If you sense this is happening to you, you definitely need to make sure that you fold out as soon as possible.

Betting on the RiverDon’t think that you need to surge forward when it’s better to back down. That’s a good way to lose a lot of chips. Protecting your stack is more important than being right, you know.

Player image does play a role into the type of hand that you should be betting at the river on. If you are going against a calling station that will call any bet, then betting on the river means that you’re adding more profit into your pocket. However, if you’re going against tight aggressive players, you’re not going to add anymore profit \into your stack.

Looking at all of your options is important. There’s nothing wrong with not betting on the river and just going into the showdown. Mixing it up will also keep the other players guessing. If they know that you’re going to always bet on the river when you have something good, then they’ll just fold.

Experiment in real games and see what happens. Good luck!

Game, Set, Match – Making a Roaring Comeback to Poker

Hey, tiger. Remember that post where we told you that if you’re really feeling burned out and stressed from playing too much poker that you should go ahead and step back? We remember that post too. However, if you’re ready to finally go out there and do some big things with your poker game, the time is right to get back in the game. We’ve made a few posts like this before but since we’re going into Spring hardcore, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Just in case you’re new to the game, we’ll explain a few things here and there, but we also expect you to do your homework. Poker ain’t for lightweights, you know.

So, let’s get into it.

The first thing has to be mindset. If you’re groaning as a newbie, worrying that we’re going to get into some New Age stuff, the truth is that you aren’t going to have to worry about that at all. We’re just trying to tell you about the power of your own mind. When you sit down at any modern poker table, they’re going to be trying to get you to freak out. If you’re emotional, you’ll play emotionally. That means extra chips in the hands of your opponents. If you’re stressed out about something, you need to make sure that you get over it. If you can’t, then you shouldn’t be playing.

play pokerStrategy will be one of your biggest areas to improve before you can truly make a good poker comeback. You might think that it’s going to be all fun and games, but why should it be? Shouldn’t it be about getting the biggest outcome possible for your poker game? You are playing competitively for real money. Act like it. Don’t freak out just because things aren’t going your way. Study the competition. Look at how they’re playing.

Far too many poker players get into situations where they just assume everything should work a certain way, all of the time. You could play by the book and still get a bad beat. It’s perfectly fine.

Practice is the name of the game. A few people always write in, trying to get us to help them with strategy. They don’t seem to realize that they aren’t going to be able to just adjust strategy based on a few plays here and there. You’re going to have to play tens of thousands of hands before you can make big decisions. Moving up to higher stakes would be a decision best made after you have more information. Otherwise, it just looks like you’re trying to play far out of your league. Move up slowly and protect your bankroll.

The final piece of advice we’d give you is to remember that poker is about community. You need to make sure that you’re going to have a lot of people that have different opinions. Instead of thinking you have to be an island, why not reach out and embrace the thoughts of other people? You can take the things that served you and leave the rest behind. You will gain more out of poker if you treat it like a social exchange than if you assume you have to always be on your guard. Good luck!

Going Double Barrel Without Giving Yourself Away

Well, here we are again with some more poker tips and theories. A few newcomers have already emailed with fresh advice that they need for an ever changing poker field. They want to know about double barrel poker, so we figured that we would oblige them.

This is easily classified as preflop strategy — the flop came down, now what to you honestly do? Some players know that they really need to work on their postflop game, but they’re just not sure how.

The double barrel is where you continue a bluff or a semi-bluff after the flop. If the flop failed you and the continuation bet failed you, you might throw out one more bet, sure that your opponent will go ahead and fold.

preflop strategy

It’s all about image here when you start thinking about whether or not folding is a good option for you. If you’re playing a very passive and not aggressive player, then this might not be a bad idea at all. On the other hand, if you know that you’re playing against someone that will see through the bluff and even push you hard, you might want to skip this technique and fold accordingly. You’ll just end up wasting money and throwing off the wrong signs. You don’t want to become somebody else’s piñata.

You also want to think about what type of poker you’re honestly playing. $1/2 stakes is one thing, but does the barrel theory apply when the stakes jump to 10/20, or even 50/100? You have to make sure that you’re adjusting your excitations based on the field you’re working with. Tournament vs. cash games come into mind here as well. Since you’re playing the same 9 people to the “death”, you want to study their images carefully before you try to double or triple barrel it up.

This is not a technique that you’ll want to pull out over and over again. If you are a new player, you honestly want to avoid bluffing for as long as you can. Why? The truth is that the more you bluff, the more likely it is that someone will call you out. Bluffers when they are obvious tend to attract a lot of negative attention. Focus more on giving the best poker game you can. It’ll all even out in the long run.

Going Head to Head With Tilt

Facing tilt is a big deal. You want to face it as soon as possible so that you can definitely overcome it. The more that you play poker, the more that you will run into the possibility of tilt. What is tilt, then? It’s a loss of control that makes you play really bad poker. You know that you aren’t supposed to rush into that hand, but you do it anyway. You think that everything will be okay. You think that things will get better. We’re here to tell you that if you don’t straighten up, poker will be a bad experience for you.

Playing for real money? Tilt is your enemy. It will suck the cash right out of your bankroll and not ask you what you think about it. When you start getting angry, stressed, hurt, or otherwise frazzled, you need to STEP BACK. A lot of players think that they can just keep going but that’s not really the attitude that you want to take at all. You want to actually realize that there’s a time and a place to play poker…and a time and a place to just sit back and relax.

Dealing with tilt will be difficult for each and every player. Some people feel that they really need to look at tilt, while others throw it away. They’re not playing for real money, so what’s the point?

Poker TiltThe point is that you should always be playing your best version of poker. You never know who you can connect with when you do. You also need to realize that poker is something that will help you evolve your skills over time.

People get into tilt when they feel that the current game outweighs everything else that they’re doing. So they want to really play and have a good time, but they just aren’t sure how to pull that off. They want to win at all costs. The truth that every gambler accepts is that you just can’t win all of the time. There are just going to be points of life where you’re going to have to accept this truth. You will lose money and that’s point of the thrill, oddly enough. If it were guaranteed that you win all the time, the challenge would be gone. You owe it to yourself to make absolutely sure that you’re thinking continuously of playing poker. You want people to be impressed with your super awesome poker skills instead of feeling like it’s impossible to get your attention. Playing great poker means that you’re letting your skills shine.

There’s no need to talk if you don’t want to. Let the cards and your gameplay speak for themselves. And if you feel like you’re taking things too seriously — step away from the table. You’re in the business of poker to make money over time. Let the fish have their moment of glory. They’re going to be down further than you. You will last in poker because you have self discipline. That’s what really matters in a poker match anyway. You have to be able to outwit, outlast, and outplay anyone and everyone that gets in your way. Yes, kind of like Survivor, but hey — we never said it would be easy! Good luck!

Poker for US Players is Alive and Well

The thrill of chasing the river, the rush that comes from bullying an aggressive player and the sweet sensation of victory — all of these things come together when you’re talking about poker. Many US players think that they’re out of the action for good, thanks to a few less than pleasant pieces of legislation that were passed. That part of poker’s history can be skipped over now — we don’t need to dwell on such a dark and sad time. Things are definitely getting better, thanks to continuing support from professional poker lobbies and general American support for online gambling in general.

The truth is that legal poker for US players is indeed alive and well. According to this article, legislation to introduce better online gambling prospects is indeed in the works, but it’s still got a ways to go. Despite the ongoing issues with US legislation, there are indeed online poker operators that have opened the doors to US players. The trouble now is that US players have to go out and find them.

Poker for US Players

Thankfully, it’s not difficult to find what you’re really looking for. You can look online for sites that don’t just tolerate US players — they are welcomed with open arms. Naturally, you don’t want to spend all day combing through hundreds of online poker websites. You can skip that heavy researching and connect directly to a site that has done all of the hard work for you. One site that immediately caught our attention is www.cardschat.com. They have a very informative page that will help US players find the action they crave. They’ve done all of the work for you and have plenty of sites for you to check out. You get to look at each site knowing that it has a focus on not just a quality experience, but a fair one as well.

Worried about security? You’re actually not the only one. Quite a few US players are concerned about this issue. The truth is that online casinos have truly gone above and beyond to ensure that you have an enjoyable experience that’s as safe as possible. Attracting US players is important to many online poker rooms and casinos. They want to make sure that you have such a great time that you’ll want to tell your friends all about it. The casino industry as a whole takes steps to really make sure that all players get a fair environment. In this manner, everyone wins! The casinos get players that truly love the game of poker, and the players get a place where they can actually play as much poker as they would like.

If you want to jump into the action, you’ll find that the steps ahead of you are pretty straightforward. You don’t have to skip out on the gambling experience that you deserve. You get to enjoy the experience that European poke players have, right from the comfort of your own home. Start with the site that we’ve featured here in this guide, and look at their recommendations. You’ll find sites that real US poker players count on day in and day out. Why not make a little extra money on the side if you can help it? Check out the action today, and good luck!

Behold, the Power of Suited Connectors in Poker

Suited connectors can definitely make a difference. They are small; you might be tempted to throw them away. But if there ever a time where we really don’t want to throw them away? You want to consider 54s and 87s to be good hands in no-limit poker games because you can get a decent flush as well as a straight. If you really get the right flop, you could get a straight flush. That’s the perfect situation to lure someone into your pot and then bust them out from the table. It’s completely up to you figure out how you’re going to make it work.

You want to make sure that you’re playing form the right position. You don’t want to be in early position for something like this. Pot odds need to be amazing, and you want to have t least 4 other people in the pot with you. While you don’t have to slowplay this type of hand, you really want to make sure that you don’t do any wild raises. Be prepared to fold if things get too hot. Just because you have suited connectors doesn’t mean that you’re going to get what you automatically win. Remember that we think about poker in terms of long term value. So if we find that the odds are looking good long term, then that’s the decision that we make.

Suited connectorsLet’s say that you’re calling big blind and you have 54s in the last position. You have a total of 5 in the pot. The flop might come down like:

5d-4-s-Tc

At this point, you have two pair. The big blind bets about 75% of the pot. Everybody else gets scared but you decide to hang in there. That means that you’ve got some choices to make. Do you bet again? In this case, you do. You can do 3 times the pot fairly safely.

But oh no — that big blind is ALL IN.

The showdown comes to you and the big blind. At this point, it doesn’t matter what the other 2 cards are.

Let’s say the big blind has the best pocket pair he can possibly make — AA. You still have two pair. No matter how scary the pair looks, the reality is that you can beat them. That’s something that you really do need to pay close attention to. It might sound tempting to ignore this, but it’s in your best interest to follow a set strategy.

You also want to be willing to fold — it cannot be stressed enough. If you don’t get it on the flop, fold and let it go. Likewise if someone raises heavy pre-flop, let your suited connectors go. The long term odds just aren’t in your favor.

Keep playing, and enjoying your games. It’s supposed to be fun, you know!