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Online Texas Hold’em – Cash Games verses Tournaments (Play Video Poker)
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Online Texas Hold’em – Cash Games verses Tournaments

August 22nd, 2006

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I received an email recently from a reader who was bragging that her Texas Hold’em game play has greatly improved, since she started playing in online sit & go tournaments. She went on to say that not only does she feel like she is a better player, she enjoys playing a lot more now that she’s gotten over her initial fear of sitting in at a poker tourney. This is not uncommon and there are a couple of logical reasons why.

First, when you’re playing in a cash game, it’s possible to lose your entire bankroll on a single hand. When this happens, you’ll have to make an additional deposit before you can play again. In tournament play, your entry fee buys you a certain number of chips (1,500 is a typical amount), if you go all in and lose, you’ve simply lost your entry fee and you most likely will still have some money left in your bankroll. Also, in most tourney’s multiple players will finish “in the money”. For example, in a typical single table sit & go tourney, the top three finishers will earn something. Meaning, if you make it through to the final three, you’ll win back your entry fee plus a little something extra.

Next, when you’re playing in a cash game; players tend to come and go. It’s frustrating to just start getting a read on a particular player then have them simply up and leave the table. Further, a new player is usually pretty quick to hop in and take their place. Now, you have to start watching this new player and hope you can get a read on their style of play before they also take off. This doesn’t happen in tournaments as players who leave prior to the end of the simply lose. Also, tournaments are closed once play has begun so there is no worry of a new player sitting in.

Finally, just as you’re trying to get a read on the other players at your table, the other players are trying to get a read on you. It takes time to cultivate the appropriate table reputation. It makes sense for your opponents to head for an easier table, if they see you dominating the table in a cash game. Once again, this is not an issue in tournament play as leaving the table means forfeiting any chance of winning.

So as you can see, if you’re a “thinking player”, it makes perfect sense that your game will improve once you try tournament play. I’d advise any newbie poker player to first study the basics of the game then learn a tight Texas Hold’em strategy, then jump in to the exciting world of tournaments.

Posted in Pokerrooms, Gambling Articles, Poker School | No Comments »

WSOP Strategies

August 18th, 2006

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Robert Tedone

Over the last four years, the popularity of poker has exploded as evidenced by the many crowded brick and mortar poker rooms world-wide, the numerous online poker rooms, the free poker, and the frequently televised WSOP tournaments.

Although a number of poker games–Holdem Poker, Omaha Poker, and 7-Card Stud Poker to name just a few–are available to play in WSOP tournaments, Holdem Poker has emerged as the most popular poker game. Therefore WSOP players must hone their Holdem Poker skills.

The popularity of Holdem Poker is partly due to its simple basic rules. And therin lies the paradox: On the surface, Holdem Poker appears simplistic; but below the surface, Holdem Poker is rife with subtleties, probabilities, and decisions.

WSOP Holdem Poker players must first decide which starting hands to play. That decision is crucial, because if they err, it is a mistake that will only worsen exponentially as the hand progresses.

WSOP Holdem Poker players must predicate their decision on which starting hands to play on their starting position before the flop.

Seats 1, 2, and 3 are Early Position. In Early Position, WSOP Holdem Poker players will play only superior starting hands: AA-77; AK-AT, suited and unsuited; KQ-KT, suited, KQ-KJ, unsuited; QJ-QT, suited and unsuited; JT-J9, suited; T9, suited.

Seats 4, 5, and 6 are Middle Position.

In Middle Position, WSOP Holdem Poker players will play all of the Early Position starting hands and these additional hands: 66-55; A9-A6, suited; K9, suited; KT, unsuited; Q9, suited; J9, suited; JT, unsuited; T8, suited; 98, suited.

Seats 7 and 8 (button) are Late Position. In Late Position, WSOP Holdem Poker players will play all Early Position starting hands, Middle Position starting hands, and these additional hands: 44-22; A5-A2, suited; K8-K2, suited; K9, unsuited; Q8, suited; Q9, unsuited; J8, suited; J9, unsuited; T9-T8, unsuited; 98-97, unsuited; 87, suited and unsuited; 86, suited; 76, suited; 75, suited; 65, suited.

Seat 9 is the Small Blind. In the Small Blind, WSOP Holdem Poker players will call a half-bet with Late Position starting hands or better.

Seat 10 is the Big Blind. In the Big Blind, WSOP Holdem Poker players will check as they have already placed a bet in the pot before the start of the hand.

WSOP Holdem Poker players should now have a general understanding of the proper starting hand selection.

When to raise or reraise before the flop and other advanced strategies will be covered in subsequent articles.

WSOP

Posted in Gambling Articles | 2 Comments »

Online Poker Rooms — Rapidly Growing in Popularity

August 11th, 2006

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kitsolutions@comcast.net

Playing online poker is fast becoming the most popular form of Internet gambling. You can play Texas holdem online, and match your gambling skills against players from all over the world, playing live poker games, with real people, right on your computer.

Texas holdem is by far the most popular online poker game today. This means that every poker room will have a good selection of Texas holdem games available. You can even enter texas holdem poker tournaments, and win a seat at the WSOP (World Series of Poker).

If you think its a stretch that you could be playing in the just by playing poker on your computer, consider this; Hundreds of people qualified for the 2004 World Series of Poker just from playing in texas holdem tournaments on their computers.

Online poker, if you haven’t tried it yet, can be an awful lot of fun. It’s not as intimidating as a private game, much less intimidating than playing in a Casino, and there are many free tables you can sit at until you are comfortable enough to play for real money. The software does all the work for you, and will tell you when it’s your turn, and how much you can bet. Games are available any time of day or night, so you can choose when you care to play.

You can play on line, and chat with people from all over the world, while enjoying the comfort of playing in your own home, in an atmosphere you are comfortable with.

With over 2,000 online casino, and poker rooms to choose from, trying to pick one that is trustworthy, reliable, gives you the best odds, and that you feel comfortable with, is challenging. Many sites offer advise about playing and betting online, and information about selecting a poker room. You should however, visit one of the sites that offer Casino reviews, to find out what some of the independent experts say about the most popular online poker rooms, before you join. Remember that while online poker is safe, and is a lot of fun, there are some things you need to know before putting down your hard earned cash.

Since it is not possible to know the track record of each and every online casino today, it is my recommendation to stick with the older more established, and well known ones.

See my (Top 12 Best Poker Rooms List). Most of them use software that is leased from the larger gambling software companies such as, Microgaming, Work Gaming, Boss Media, and Playtech, and have a reputation of being reliable, and trustworthy.

Most poker rooms offer instructions on how to play poker. For the beginner, Paradise Poker has created one of the best FREE poker instruction available, enabling you to learn how to play poker, at your own pace, while sitting at your computer. This is the most simplified, easy to learn, 10-minute poker instructional tool available.

If your new to poker, or would like to brush up on the game, invest 10 minutes of your time watching this very well done video.
Poker room.com have another excellent free Poker School. If you know a little about poker, and would like some help improving your game, you should visit this site, where you can try out a few lessons that should help improve your poker game. The intention is not to turn you into a pro, (to do that requires a lot of study and massive experience), but rather to give you the confidence to play low limit poker for real money, and enjoy the excitement of it.
Many very good books about how to play poker have become very popular recently, and I have compiled a list of some of the best available, at very reasonable prices, from Amazon.com. Gaining a little knowledge about the game and its many strategies can be a useful and wise investment of your time.

You will find my lists of the 12 Best Poker Rooms, and Poker Books from Amazon.com along with links to the all the places mentioned in this article at http://www.budsbestcasinos.com

Have fun playing poker online, and good luck.

Posted in Gambling Articles | No Comments »

A Matter of Suits

August 9th, 2006

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There are so many variables to , and so many different aspects to what many people first assume is just a simple card game. Texas Hold ‘Em is one of the great games because the rules are so simple, but the game itself is complex. There are players who make a successful living because they know every mathematical equation backwards and forwards. There are players who make a living because they have no tells and play a solid game, and there are even players who make a living who are only okay with the math, but they can read every tell of every person at the table. Many times the small things, just as much or even more than the large, can make a huge difference on whether or not you are a big winner at your table.

One of the small details that can pay big is if you can locate a player’s tendencies. This sounds simple and basic, but this goes well beyond the basic tells that virtually every poker player knows by heart. Certain people have tendencies that they may or may not even know about. One of the major tendencies that is overlooked by people is how a player will play suited cards. There are a lot of “rules” on how to play suited cards. Virtually any player will play high suited cards, but the low cards are a different story. What is unusual is that there are some basic patterns that can prove profitable–if for no other reason then that they will tell you when to throw away a beaten hand before you lose much more.

One of the small details that, though not used often, can often be very valuable is a person’s preference towards suit. Who would keep two small suited cards? Which suits? Surprisingly, there are differences. For some reason, spades are the most common suit where someone will keep two low, or two middle, cards to chase the flush. It might be something psychological, but for some reason more players will take a chance on suited spades than any other hand. That means that if there are a lot of people, and the river flops three spades, unless you’re holding the ace then it is time to get out.

Other players have a preference. If you study long enough, you may be able to detect a pattern. Many times this is a conscious thing. My friend, Jeff, had several table games in a row where he seemed to hit a heart flush every single time he played them. As a result, he will always play two hearts, no matter what the cards, long enough to take a look at the flop. He will always consider chasing hearts, where if they were clubs or diamonds, we would simply throw the junk cards away.

For other players, the preference is actually subconscious. I generally play conservatively, but I like to chase flushes, so I will make a lot of cheap calls to see cards. There’s one exception. For some reason, I found I always threw away diamonds. While for many people their minds are wired to think well of spades, mine was actually wired to throw away junk diamonds, and even some mid-ranged ones. Knowing this pattern has made me realize that others can also have the same trait.

Since this is a preference that involves hitting, or running away from, a flush, though rarely used this type of information can be extremely valuable. Look for it, and when you finally use it to make a good call or a good lay down, remember that the money not lost is just as good as the money won. Every pro thinks so, and you will be grinning ear to ear the first time this keeps you from being busted by a river rat!

Posted in Gambling Articles, Texas Hold'em Strategy | 1 Comment »

Turn the odds of online casinos in your way

August 4th, 2006

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Copyright 2006 Michael Heighen

Online casinos, also known as virtual casinos, are online versions of traditional (”brick and mortar”) casinos. Online casinos enable gamblers to play and wager on casino games through the Internet. generally offer odds and payback percentages that are comparable to land-based casinos. Some online casinos claim higher payback percentages for slot machine games, and some publish payout percentage audits on their websites. Assuming that the online casino is using an appropriately programmed random number generator, table games like blackjack have an established house edge.

The payout percentage for these games are established by the rules of the game.

Playing the games with better odds can help you win more often and collect more money. In games like roulette, there are many different types of bets all offering different odds. The best bets can sometimes be the one?s with the worst payout. In roulette betting on many numbers lowers payout, but increases your chances of winning. Games like craps can have worse odds than others, so it is advisable to stay away from those types of games.

The best games to play in online casinos are the games of skill like poker and blackjack.

In poker, you are playing other players, so if you have higher skill then you can make quite a bit of cash. Tipping the odds in your favor is easy in games of skill because all you need to do is study up on how to play the game better. In blackjack you are playing the dealer. Blackjack is slightly tougher than poker in terms of odds because you have to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. Even the odds in blackjack can be tipped in your favor if you are smart with when to take a hit and when to stay.

Online casinos also have slot machines.

The odds in slot machines are pretty bad. The payouts can be great, if you know exactly when to press the buttons, but there are still odds against you, one of the bad things about online casinos is that you are not physically present in a casino. Therefore, games that you usually have a physical impact on do not serve you as well. Video poker is also not as good because you are simply playing against a computer. You only win if you get certain hands, so skill is not as important.

In online poker where you sit down at a table against other players, you can bet well, and make a lot of money. is completely random.

Online casinos are great places to have fun and make money. It is important to know a lot about every online casino game that you play. Stay away from games that you have no impact on, and try to play the games that require a certain level of skill. Following these suggestions will tip the odds in your favor and increase your chances of having a very successful and fulfilling online poker experience.
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Posted in Gambling Articles | No Comments »

Folding pocket Aces pre-flop. Are you crazy? Not necessarily.

July 28th, 2006

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Andy Machin

Do you have the discipline to before the flop?

Imagine the scenario. You’re playing Texas hold’em poker in a single table sit-and-go tournament. It’s getting towards the latter stages, five players are left and you can smell an in-the-money finish. But you need to get in to the top three and stay there - while your chip stack would be nice if it was bigger. The blinds are becoming significant and you know you’ll have to make your move soon.

Out come the cards - miracles of miracles, you look down at your cards and see the magic AA looking back at you.

Now, surely this means it’s you right to win the hand. Announce “I’m all-in” and become the chip leader.

Now, under most circumstances there’s no doubt that you should either push in a tasty raise or even all-in with those big aces. Although remarkable as it may seem, there are times to fold those “pocket rockets” and not see a flop. It takes discipline to do and is all about risk versus reward.

If you’re playing single table sit and go tournaments you must finish in the first three to get a return on your entry fee. We all know that the great starting hands don’t come along too often and when they do, a lot of players become married to the hand and can’t put it down under any circumstances.

The savy player knows when to fold.

And that includes folding AA pre-flop. Here’s when to consider very carefully when to muck those aces before the flop.

Back to the scenario. Five players left, you’re in fourth place with those Aces screaming at you to push your chips in. But you have the advantage being in last position to act. Two players with bigger stacks than you throw enough chips in the pot to force you all-in if you decide to play.

And now the small stack in fifth place takes his chances and goes all-in.

The action is now on you. The urge to splash your chips in to the middle is irresistible. But before you do - this about it for a moment. As things stand, you can fold your aces now with the chance of moving in to third place and a money finish without risk.

If the player in the hand with the biggest stack wins it, he’ll take out the other two with smaller stacks and you instantly get bumped up to third place and guaranteed money without. And without risking any of your chips which you still have to fight with.

Risk = zero.

Reward = third place at least and a guaranteed prize money.

That’s when to fold anything pre-flop, not just aces. Throw anything away at any stage if it means you can move in to the money without risk.

Posted in Gambling Articles | No Comments »

A list of the winners so far in the 2006 World Series of Poker…

July 27th, 2006

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  1. $500 No-Limit Hold’em Casino Employee - Chris Gros
  2. $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em - Brandon Cantu
  3. $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em - Rafe Furst
  4. $1,500 Limit Hold’em - Kianoush Abolfathi
  5. $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em Short Handed 6/Table - Russ Boyd (Dutch Boyd)
  6. $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em - Mark Vos
  7. $3,000 Limit Hold’em - William Chen
  8. $2,000 Omaha High-Low 8/OB - Jack Zwerner
  9. $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em - Jeff Cabanillas
  10. $1,500 Seven Card Stud - David Williams
  11. $5,000 Omaha High-Low 8/OB - Sam Farha
  12. $1,500 Limit Hold’em - Bob Chalmers
  13. $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em - Max Pescatori
  14. $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em w/ Rebuys - Allen Cunningham
  15. $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em - Mary Jones
  16. $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha - Lee Watkinson
  17. $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em - Jon Friedberg
  18. $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em - Eric Kesselman
  19. $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Seniors - Clare Miller
  20. $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. - David Reese (Chip Reese)
  21. $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em Short Handed 6/Table - William Chen
  22. $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em - Jeff Madsen
  23. $3,000 Limit Hold’em - Ian Johns
  24. $3,000 Omaha High-Low 8/OB - Scott Clements
  25. $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout - David Pham
  26. $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha w/ Rebuys - Eric Froehlich
  27. $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha - Rafael Perry
  28. $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em - Mats Rahmn
  29. $5,000 Seven Card Stud - Benjamin Lin
  30. $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em - John Gale
  31. $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Short Handed 6/Table - Jeff Madsen
  32. $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em - Justin Scott
  33. $1,500 Seven Card Razz - James Richburg
  34. $5,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em - Jason Lester
  35. $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em - Phil Hellmuth Jr.
  36. $1,000 Seven Card Stud High-Low 8/OB - Patrick Poels
  37. $5,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball - Daniel Alaei

This list is from 2 hole cards

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Certain Poker Rooms May Be Unsafe

July 26th, 2006

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Here’s an important post from Bill’s
about how certain poker rooms store your username and password in a plain text format on your computer. Have a look

Posted in Pokerrooms | No Comments »

How to Play Pocket Kings

July 26th, 2006

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Pocket kings are a hand that requires a lot of strategy to play correctly. The only starting hand that is more powerful is pocket aces, though some players, including some pros, are strong believers that A-K is just as good. Still, when you start off a round of Texas Hold ‘Em, there aren’t too many hands that you would rather see. Pre-flop, pocket kings are considered a dominant hand. It is correct to always raise or re-raise no matter where you are sitting at table. This is true of no-limit games, and always true of limit games.

The biggest general concern you have with pocket kings is having an ace land on the flop or during play. Should you worry about pocket aces? Generally, no, and here’s the reason. The chances of being dealt pocket kings are 1 in every 222 hands. That is the same odds that someone will receive pocket aces. They are great hands, but the chances of both being in the same round are really slim to nil. What happens if you fold your kings only to find that pocket queens or pocket jacks end up winning the pot? You won’t feel good about that decision then. The odds of your pocket kings winning against any two cards (other than pocket aces) is 70%! This means that if you play it out ten times, on average you will win against that hand seven times.

The general odds are that one of every three boards (this is all five cards—including the flop, fourth street, and the river) will have an ace appear. That ace is the bane of a existence, because several of the strongest hands someone will play you all involve an ace (A-K, A-Q, A-J, A-10), as well as suited ace-something, or bad players will even play A-4 or A-5, which suddenly could be better than your kings if that board hits badly. So how do you play pocket kings? There is only one basic rule, then there are some general guidelines. Like any type of poker game, the players involved in the game and playing styles have a lot to do with how you should react.

The Rule: Pre-flop you should raise and re-raise. In a no-limit game if a short stack goes all in you should actually raise over that to discourage others from calling. Always raise and re-raise pre-flop with the kings. Your chances for winning the hand are so good that you want to put in as much as possible.

Next time, we’ll look at the guidlines for playing your pocket kings!

Posted in Pokerrooms, Poker School, Texas Hold'em Strategy | 1 Comment »

No Limit Texas Hold’em Tournament Strategy

July 14th, 2006

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Pre Flop Decisions

Let’s start out by saying the perfect Hold’em strategy simply does NOT exist. There is no magic bullet, or plan that will take you from absolute beginner to WSOP champion in 30 days or less. If you see things like this advertised somewhere —avoid them.

Ironically, one big reason why there is no perfect strategy is that there are just too many bad players out there. Bad players don’t fold when they should, they can’t be intimidated because they often simply don’t know how good or bad their hand really is. They come to play and that’s what they do —play. To the frustration of those of us who actually try to learn and improve our games, these loose cannons occasionally win. Not because of any real skill, but simply because they picked up a few lucky cards.

With that said here’s a simple strategy that I use at the start of a tournament. It is a very tight strategy of play; I’ll wind up folding most of my hands pre-flop. However, when I do play, I almost always play aggressively. So Here goes:

1) Play any pair 2,2 to A,A.

2) Play A,K (big slick) and A,Q

3) Play Ace, anything suited (Ace of Diamonds And 3 of Diamonds)

Sounds pretty simple right, well it is but there are a few other guidelines that I follow…

First, I’ll (almost) always come in for a raise when I have a high pair (9,9 or better) A,K or A,Q. The only exceptions to this are when other players keep raising. If I’m holding A,A or A,K, I’ll probably stay in no matter what. However, if I’m holding 10,10 and facing a raise, re-raise situation, I’ll probably fold.

Next, Lower pairs (8,8 or lower) and A, anything suited. If the players before me are calling, I’ll usually come in for a raise on this hand. If there is a reasonable raise on the table, I may call just to see the flop. However, I’ll usually fold this in a raise, re-raise situation.

Bet Size: I try to be consistent with my pre-flop betting. It’s not a good practice to base the amount of your pre-flop raises on the hand you’re holding. This will obviously give your opponents too much information about how good your hand is. When I go in for a raise, it’s usually for around three times the big blind. I’ll bet this amount whether my hand is A,A or 7,7.

Table Position: If I’m in one of the blinds, I’m more likely to stick around to see a flop. If I have a bad or marginal hand, I’ll obviously check when I can, or call if I’m small blind and no one else had raised.

That’s about it. Remember this strategy assumes it’s early in the tournament and the table is full or almost full. Things change later on, when there are fewer players and the blinds are higher. Read about that in the next installment of the Texas Hold’em Pre-flop Strategy.

For an overview of an Online Texas Hold’em Tournament Click Here!

Posted in Poker School, Texas Hold'em Strategy | 11 Comments »



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