Are You Really Ready For Higher Stakes in Poker

Ah, poker limits. If there’s one thing that everybody’s curious about, it would have to be poker table limits. A lot of people wonder when the right time to move to a bigger game is. While a bigger game means more cash, it also means a lot more risk. What you have to do is make sure that you’re balancing all of the facts at play before moving on.

At first glance, the answer looks easy: just move up when you’ve got the money, and go back down when your bankroll tells you that you don’t have enough. But you have to go beyond what looks simple and dig into the issue. Don’t worry; we’re here to help you do just that.

One of the first things that you have to look at is whether or not you’re winning. It’s tempting to believe that you can just “wing it” — and many poker players do. But you’re trying to be a professional, a veteran, someone that newbies look at and admire… right? If you’re trying to win consistent money, you have to do other things very consistently. You can’t just wing it and hope everything moves along the right way for you. That just wouldn’t make much sense at all. You have to think instead of the bigger picture, your goals, and how to get there one day at a time. Rushing is actually what hurts a lot of people, but there’s nothing that says that you have to be part of that number.

Beginner Poker Tips

You have to track all of your money from session to session. Don’t lose sight of this — even if you’re playing a lot of hands, you need some way to look at the data. It’s also a good idea to set aside a certain day that you’ll review this. Every week should have an analysis day just to make sure that your overall strategy is where you need to be. Statistics matter. In fact, you should automatically avoid any person trying to tell you that poker statistics don’t matter. It’s a losing game if you ignore them, and that’s not something that you want to get into at all.

You have to review your playing history so you can look at how you’re doing per house, and per buy-in size as well. You want to look at your win rate to see where you’re going. In a nutshell, your win rate is really the number of big blinds per 100 hands for no-limit Hold’Em. We’re going to assume that you’re playing NLHE because that’s the most popular form of poker around.

If you’ve played 20,000 hands of $25 no-limit and made a profit of 2,000, then your win rate would be 6.66 big blinds per 100 hands. That’s $1.66 per 100 hands (.25 * 6.66). The hourly rate can depend on how many hands you play each and every hour. 500 hands per hour? This is a big number, but it’s not out of reach for certain players.

If you’re more of a tournament player (we’re big tournament people, but we’ll try not to be biased…), then you’re going to look at the return on investment (ROI). You might recognize this term from the business world, because it’s all about looking at what you have coming back to you based on what you put in.

The net profit you’ve earned from playing poker is the ROI. You have to divide the profit by the amount you’ve invested and multiply it by the number of games that you played. 0% ROI means that you’ve broken even. And yes, it’s possible to have a negative ROI.

If you’ve played 1,000 $10 SNG’s, this means that you’ve actually spent 10 grand. Your profit might be 1500, which would be an ROI of 15%. That’s not terrible, because it’s at least positive. You could move up based on that.

We have to also consider the amount of play. You don’t want to just go off 500 hands before you make a move. You actually want to get a good data field to look at — 30,000 hands or better. That’s a lot of hands, but not really: if you’re playing 500 hands an hour, and you only play 8 hours of poker a week, that’s only 4,000 hands a week. So you need to play for a few months in order to get the sample size necessary for study.

Moving up is serious — there are people lurking at every level to take your chips. You need to make sure that you think about your competition. If you’re having a hard time keeping up with the competition at the lower stakes, moving up is only going to make you more frustrated. Master the lower game before you move to the upper game.

What about your playing style? You might think that your playing style doesn’t matter but it definitely does. More experienced players will be trying to figure out if you’re a rock (a very tight player that barely plays anything) or if you’re super loose (and can be lured into more pots because “you might get lucky”.) The psychological game heats up, and that’s something that you have to consider as well.

We wanted to give you a fair and balanced article, but we have to be honest — there are so many poker players that it’s hard to give advice across the board. You might not pass the data tests, but you feel that you can still rock it out. If you truly feel that confident, go for it — it’s not our money, after all. These tips are designed to help you put more money in your pocket, as well to keep the money that you have where it belongs…with you and not the sharks that are gunning for you!

Setting Great Poker Goals in the New Year Around Us

Look, the New Year might already be in full swing but hey… it’s only February at the time of this post. So that means that you have plenty of year left to tighten up your poker game. You just have to actually want it. You have to want to do better in poker.

The truth is that poker is often thought to be very random, where you can just go with your gut. That’s what newbies think. They do have blind luck — who hasn’t caught a full house with a 72o? That’s one of the worst starting hands you could play and yet… you can get lucky with it.

Poker is a game of odds, and you have to play those odds. Sure, you can get lucky with that awful 72o, but the truth is … you’re better off folding it. Don’t hold out for that mystical point where you’re going to get lucky with it. You have to make sure that you’re always thinking about trying to do your best in poker. You’re better off waiting for a better hand like A9s (ace-nine suited, for the newbies) than trying to make something out of that awful 72o.

Poker GoalsYou have to set real goals for yourself in poker. Sure, it’s tempting to think that you’re always going to win in poker no matter what you do. But you have to have goals to get better, and you definitely need to make sure that you have a system in place that’s going to work for you. To do anything less is just going to make you upset. You have to make sure that you stay realistic. Nobody becomes Doyle Brunson overnight. Even the great poker champs lose and they often lose big before winning big. Everything balances out. Don’t make yourself feel like you have to necessarily go with a lot of poker theory. The goal here is to have fun and play hard. Sometime you can take poker so seriously that you never do anything else than play poker.

If you’re one of those people that can’t handle losses, then you really have no business playing poker. You will just end up making yourself feel like there’s no way that you’re going to rise higher. You will rise. It’s only a matter of time. But in the meantime, you’re going to have to keep playing. Consistency is actually what takes you higher in the world of poker. Just wishing isn’t enough. Watching all of the old WSOPs isn’t enough. You’re going to have to go out there, play, and look at different scenarios. There’s no substitute for live action. Don’t get mad if things don’t flow the same way that the poker theory guides tell you that they’re supposed to. You have erratic players, people that play with no strategy at all… the list goes on and on. Not everyone is going to be as gung ho about poker as you. Even when the stakes being to rise, some people are playing mostly as a hobby. If you’re trying to win big money in the world of poker, you have to figure out what you’re ultimately going to do and then proceed from there.

Getting help along the way is a must. Don’t think that just because you play at an online casino that people aren’t going to want to talk about it. They most certainly are going to want to talk to you about just about anything and everything that you can think of. What more can you expect than that? Good luck!

How to Choose a Best Online Poker Site!

A decision related to the playing online poker is really an exciting one. Playing an online poker may be just for fun motive for few people, while for few it may be a serious attempt to earn some additional bucks. However, no matter what motive one has in his mind regarding opting for this game, a careful analysis of diverse criteria may help him in choosing a right poker room and best online poker site, which in turn may enhance his chances of winning the game.

Criteria related to the sign-up: In case, if you merely want to experience fun, it is better to opt for those sites that are willing to offer free sign-up to the interested players. In case, if you want to earn money, then only it does make sense to opt for the sites asking for subscription amount or deposits.

Playing mode: If you are not bothered about the disk space of your computer, you may opt for downloading the poker client software because that does offer a good speed. A decision of opting for web-based interface may slow down your computer speed.

Best Online Poker SiteDeposit and withdrawal methods: If earning money is your main motive then a careful analysis of diverse kinds of deposits and withdrawal methods is must. A reputed site will always offer convenient methods of deposits like bank transfer, wire transfer, ACH transfer, checks, etc. In case, if a site also has an association with the companies offering third-party eWallet facility, then that offers more convenience to the players.

Support system: Carrying out an analysis related to the support system of a site, also does make a lot of difference because all players may not be well-versed with the knowledge of the game. You should check that whether the site is providing diverse kinds of support or no, including fax support, live-chat session, toll-free support and Email support.

Varieties of games: All sites don’t offer all varieties of the game so you should choose a site by taking into consideration the knowledge possessed by you, your gaming skills and your interest.

Varieties of Bonuses: Diversity of Bonuses is undoubtedly the major attraction for players. You should take a careful look at the varieties of the bonuses, offered by various sites, in order to determine that which bonus would be more relevant to you.

Design and usability of a website: Few players are merely concerned with the money and don’t give importance to the graphics of a website and its usability aspect. Few players do desire for quality-oriented graphics, so if you are among them, don’t forget to ensure that a website chosen by you is competent in offering you an effortless navigation. A best online poker site is one that has a mix of excellent navigation plus mesmerizing graphics.

Is It Bad Karma to Hunt Fish Poker Players?

Fish. Swimming the big open seas of poker, waiting to be caught…wait, what? If you thought that fish only belonged in the ocean, then you haven’t played enough poker. Or maybe you’re currently a fish right now and you want to move up to being a shark. There’s nothing wrong with a fish phase, as we were all once newcomers to the great world of poker. However, that’s not what this guide tackles, actually. We want to explore the classic question: is it bad karma to hunt fish poker players?

If you aren’t a fish, you know the type — they make wild, swinging bets only to come up with nothing of importance during the showdown. You can take their chips very easily because you take the time to learn strategy, while most fish only see that they have a little paint in their hand and a fat stack of chips to start with — so why not put everything on the line. All in, dealer!

Whoa. We’re a little critical of fish players, and we apologize. For every fish that dreams about learning good strategy and proper form in the world of poker, there are five others around him or her that just want to make fast money and become the next Gus Hansen. In order to become that good, you’re going to have to make poker your life for a little while, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that at all. You have to make sure that you really think about the strategy of poker through everything you do. If that means that you sit and obsessively analyze all of your previous hands, then that’s what you need to do.

But again, this guide isn’t about breaking out of the fish barrel, it’s seeing about what you can do in terms of taking advantage of the fish barrel. More specifically, we’re asking whether or not it’s right to hunt players that really play that badly.

Sure, you can hang out in the lower stakes games where a lot of fish tend to congregate. Because they’re just starting out, they don’t want to run through their bankrolls too quickly. They’re nervous about losing money — after all, the old saying is that fear of loss is higher than the promise of gain. You can indeed run a good psychological game against fish players, but should you really walk down that road?

In a word, yes — let’s face it, poker isn’t a fair game all the time when it comes to the battlefield of the mind. You will still need to make tough decisions and choices along the way that are going to leave you frustrated. You’re going to have to make choices that are going to be a little shady — but very, very profitable.

Think about it from this perspective — if you’re not taking the money from fish players, someone else is. In the world of poker, whoever has the bigger bankroll can afford to set up longer plays and thus collect more money. Those that have larger bankrolls can practice their game a bit more than people that don’t. Finally, people with larger bankrolls can simply play more — and who doesn’t want to play as much poker as they possible can?

It makes sense to go after fish players if they’re going to swim in the same waters as you are. If you want to play the lower limit games in order to build up your bankroll against weaker players, you can do that. However, as you move up the ladder you’re going to run into less fish and more competition. Of course, there are bonus hunters from other gambling pools that jump into poker looking to make “fast money” — they can be pretty “fishy” and make silly poker calls. Since the World Series of Poker is televised and a lot of people watch it around the world, a lot of people feel that they can go out and make money in poker. When you think about it, it makes sense — why would you want to work at a 9 to 5 job when you can become a poker player and make a hell of a lot more money?

We may never have a real answer to the question, but if you really ask us, we think that it’s perfectly okay to play against fish and take their chips. However, a word of caution — today’s fish might be tomorrow’s sharks, so make sure that you keep a tight strategy — good luck out there!

If You Want a Play Bonus, Head Over to PlayPokie For the Scoop

One of the suggestions that we got from a couple of readers was to be more direct with our suggestions. If we’re going to be a bold place to talk about gambling, then it’s time to give you good option s for your gambling fun.

Slots are alive and well within the world of gambling, and you have a lot of different choices. But until you go and look at the promotions, you might not know which casino will be right for you. Is it really all about the bonus? Not at all. You just need to understand that when it’s time to really search for the right casino, the ones with the highest bonuses tend to stand out. If you have two high quality casinos, why wouldn’t you go for the one with the biggest bonus? That’s free money in your hands, and that means that you will have more money to play with. You will stretch your bankroll with the bonus.

Are you going to still have to read the fine print? Absolutely! You want to make sure that you start thinking about things like this as you go through your gambling career. You absolutely want to make sure that you’re thinking about anything and everything that could take away your fun.

Thankfully, the casinos really strive to give you a great experience.

But it really is about getting the most information possible. This means if you want a play bonus, Playpokie is really where you want to go from here.

High quality information sites that lay out exactly what you need to know aren’t always in big supply. You might wade through a lot of sites on your won without really finding out what you need to know.

Playing the pokies will definitely set you up nicely to win big money. It’s not guaranteed, but really, when you think about it…what’s really guaranteed in life? What can you honestly lose by checking it out?

You can also look into free play if you’re not ready to take advantage of the bonus offer. It’s up to you to figure out how to play this on your own terms. Good luck!

All About Poker Hand Ranking

Covering the fundamentals of poker is a bit dry, but if you’re reading this right now — you definitely need it. Why should you have to go through your poker career not grasping the things that other players seem to know by memory?

If you’re someone that gets into the WSOP, you’ll find that those players definitely rely on strong poker theory and fundamentals. While everything looks chaotic and by chance, it’s anything but. There’s just way too much money on the table. Now, you might not be someone that’s playing at those stakes, but that’s no excuse to just let good theory fly out the window.

It doesn’t get more fundamental than understanding the ranking of poker hands. If you’re going to play any type of poker, you need to know what your rankings really are.

There are 52 cards in a standard deck, and the ranking of the cards starts high: ace, king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. There’s no suit ranking in most online poker games, which means that the King of Hearts and the King of Spades are equal.

In Texas Hold’Em, you get two cards to go with. Those are your hole cards.

The first three cards dealt are known as the flop. And that’s where the other rankings come in.

First, you have the straight flush. This is the highest type of poker hand — five cards of the same suit in sequence. If you get two players that both have straight flushes, the one that has the higher top card is the winner. Keep in mind that an ace can be counted as low and high, so it’s important to look — 5-4-3-2-A is not a high flush — it’s a low flush, as the ace is played “low”. A-K-Q-J-10 would be a high flush, where the ace is played “high” (though, this is technically a Royal Flush, and is higher than the standard Straight Flush.)

Keep in mind that your flush cannot “turn the corner”, so 4-3-2-A-K is not valid at all. However, 5-4-3-2-A (all the same suit) is a valid flush.

Make sure that you have all of the same suit, otherwise it’s just a straight.

Next, we have the four of a kind. It’s pretty straight forward — four cards of the same rank. Four queens, four kings, four jacks. To break a tie, the 5th card is known as a kicker; Between two fours of a king, it’s all about who has the higher set. So 5-5-5-5-2 would be beaten by 7-7-7-7-3. If two players have exactly the same “best hand” in community games, then the kicker decides. So if there’s J-J-J-9 on the table, the player that has K-7 will beat a player that has Q-9 — the king obviously beats the queen. But what if one player has say, 8-2 and another has 6-5? The 9 kicker on the board makes the best hand for both of them. Continue reading

Slow play – pros and cons

All of us dream of being dealt monster hands or hit marvelous flops. What can be nicer than see the “pocket rocket” in your hand, or matching you 8,9 pocket cards with a 6,7,T flop? In many cases, your pre-flop raise will face a massive fold and you’ll end up collecting the blinds with your pocket aces.

To get the most from a monster hand, both online poker players and live players slow play their hands sometimes. Slow playing a hand means checking/calling although you believe you have the best hand. The slow play might be used in the pre-flop with a monster hand, or after the flop is dealt. I’ve seen at many online poker rooms players who slow play their hands even on the turn and river, just to get some more chips from their opponents.

Advantages of slow playing

There are two big advantages of slow playing a monster hand: your opponents won’t have a clue about what your whole cards are and they are more likely to join the pot instead of folding. This means that you can gather a higher pot before attacking it. Let’s consider you have pocket kings on early position. You call the big blind and a player from late position raises. You only call, and the flop brings 4,7,Q.

If your opponent hits the high pair with his J,Q he will think he is in front of you, because you just called pre-flop and you’re most likely not holding high cards. This is the situation where you can make a lot of money. In the early position you are the first to act, and your check will be followed by a raise. Call again, and your opponent will put you on a draw.

He will become more confident in his hand and will throw more money in the pot.

What would have happened in the same situation if you would have risen pre-flop? Your opponent with J, Q would have probably folded, since an early position raise indicates a very powerful hand.

There is also a drawdown of slow-playing. You risk having your monster overpowered by a weaker hand, if it hits the flop. You should not slow play your hand from a late position if nobody raised. You don’t get a bigger pot, you just give them a free glop/turn. Your KK can turn into garbage if an ace shows on the table.

Once I have beaten a player holding KK with my 2,3 big blind. He just called pre-flop, and I was able to see the flop for free and I hit two pairs. If I would have not hit the flop, I would have still folded, so he wouldn’t get anything. He just risked for nothing. And you may imagine that he strong played his KK after a 2,3,T flop.

Poker sharks slow play their hands in certain situations, mostly when holding the nuts or a hand that is very hard to overpower.

They usually slow play only made hands on the flop, like straights, flushes, trips or higher. I wouldn’t recommend slow playing on low stakes tables or on limit games. You should also pay attention at draws before slow playing your hand. Written by: Abscident

Poker mouth corners

Practice may not make perfect, but it can make you money. Reading expressions, is a skill that can be honed to function almost automatically just as opening and closing your hand. That is to say, you don’t think it, then do it. You, what I call for fun, “thinkdo“.

I have only been working at this for a couple years, and as a result or side effect; I sometimes even read things in people I’m talking to normally. As in, way outside of the realm of poker, without even being conscious of trying. You’ll notice if it starts to happen, because at some point you’ll see something in someone, and say to yourself ‘Wow he/she just lied to my face…’ At that point you want to explain to the people closest to you that you have been developing this skill to avoid a lot of fighting and conflict.

Its been proven that on average, people lie, or omit something about 6 times per 30 minutes of conversation. Trust me. For the sake of both your personal, and poker life. The last thing you need is to bring emotional stress and baggage with you to the table.

That being said, I would like to get into another entry level emotional tell involving the mouth. I only say entry level because I’m going to explain how a person’s mouth reacts to when they are attempting to hide happiness; and the mouth can’t be kept from sight consistently.(as opposed to sunglasses over the eyes) The only way to hide the mouth, is to cover it. Usually with their hands, and they can’t continuously do that because it increases the amount of carbon dioxide that’s re-inhaled when they breathe. This causes a 10-20 bpm heart rate drop, and a minor deprivation of oxygen to the bloodstream, and eventually to the brain. The side effects of that definitely shows in their judgment over the course of a session, and to some extent their stamina.(These players tend to get up and take more breaks. *Note:When they come back they feel refreshed from breathing the casinos oxygen rich air, and increased blood flow from walking around).

The mouth is very unique in how its controlled. The old wives tale that says it takes more muscles to frown, than to smile is not 100% true. There is more muscle INVOLVMENT in frowning, because when talking about a natural unexaggerated frown, most of the muscles are relaxing. The muscles that control your upper lip, is the only ones actually functioning here. When you smile, the muscles tighten, therefore are ‘worked out’ more and in turn are firmer. This is why a young person can get ‘frown lines’ and not smile lines. (not working your muscles anywhere in your body can cause them to weaken.)

When somebody feels the emotion of happiness, it is a natural reaction to smile. Obviously at a poker table, you don’t usually see that happen before the end of the hand. Well, most people don’t, because most people are looking at the center of the mouth, when they should be focusing on the corners. If you look a little closer you‘ll see the movements(you’ve probably been mistaken them for meaningless, or unhelpful twitches to this point). Different things *WILL* happen depending on the expression they are trying to hold. In my experience, this is how I have been successful in breaking it down. Continue reading

Hot Poker Babe Melanie Weisner Combines Beauty and Real Poker Skill

When most people think of poker, they often think of middle aged guys that are balding and getting on in years. However, there is a lively section of poker that is filled with hot chicks. What could be better than that? Hot chicks, strategy, and playing for real money?

Of course, there are a lot of women associated with poker. Casinos have gotten smart and used a lot of models to interact with players for a very long time. However, there’s a world of difference between a poker playing babe and just a hired model that can’t tell the difference between a 3 bet and true power poker.

Let’s talk about one poker babe that definitely needs to get highlighted. Melanie Weisner is a seriously good poker babe that is starting to catch a lot of attention. Why?

That’s easy, check out her picture:

See what we mean? She’s definitely a hottie, and she can play real poker.

Weisner is a born and bred Houston native who used to pursue singing before going head first into poker. Like many, she was lured into the sport after seeing other people hit it big. Her brother was a poker player and showed her it was possible to win big in poker as well.

Get this: she earned 400 grand playing just part-time while being a student at New York University! Not only is she hot, but she clearly has talent for the game.

Online tournaments are her favorites, because it gives her a chance to shine. She took 3rd place out of over 10,000 entrants in the Pokerstars Turbo Takedown. She netted 40 grand from that little tournament — which is more than some poker players ever see in a lifetime! You don’t make that type of money hanging out playing on Facebook poker, right? Right.

That was in 2009 — the next year she hit two tournaments and got 24 grand and 50 grand respectively. Her other specialty seems to be heads-up sit and go tournaments, where she can hold her own against even some of the toughest power poker players around. Continue reading

Give Yourself the Power to Play Poker Well

If you’re looking for ways to improve your poker game, you are definitely not the only one. Many people find that they really do need to make chances to the way they play poker, because they’re losing a lot of money. This is generally new players, but veterans can find themselves on a losing streak as well.

Now, your first thought might be that you just need to practice more. This is also a safe bet. Most people don’t really practice enough to become professional poker players that can handle their own. Do you really think that Doyle Brunson didn’t play a lot of poker before really becoming great? That’s just not the case at all.

So the real issue here is making everything connect together. You can definitely do that if it’s something you truly wish to do, but are you mentally ready for it?

The Case for Mental Preparedness in Poker

Poker is honestly what you make of it. If you just assume that poker is going to be some mean game that you’re never going to win, your brain will never let you become a winning poker player. Everything starts within the mind, all of the time. So if you feel that there’s no point in even studying the legendary poker matches or anything of the sort, you might want to think again. It’s so easy to feel like there’s no point at all in getting involved with poker on such an intimate scale. After all, there are players that are better at the game than you are.

Back up and ask yourself this — are you smarter than them? Are you going to be doing something that is impossible, since no other human has done it? Not at all — it’s just a matter of conquering your mind.

What you’ll ultimately find about fear is that it’ll make things sound worse than it might be in reality. You’re probably a good poker player, but you’re letting yourself get caught up in the losses. You need to focus on the wins. What did you do in order to get those wins? Where you looking at pot odds and planning around stupid moves? Or were you the bully of the table, using power poker techniques to really show everyone what you’re made out of?

Give yourself the power to play poker well, and you will start playing better poker. Yes, it will take practice. Yes, you will have to avoid getting bullied by other players. Don’t back down. Know when to go all in with good cards and when to pull back and let someone else lose all of their chips. You will always have another day to play poker, so don’t take it seriously. At the end of the day, it’s all just entertainment!