Category Archives: Poker Strategy

How to Avoid Going on Tilt While Playing Poker

We’ve all seen it before—a good player gone bad. Usually it’s a bad beat that puts them over the edge, but really just about anything can start tilt: hunger, exhaustion, frustration, or a big loss. If you play poker long enough, it is inevitable that one day you will experience tilt for yourself. There’s a good chance you already have and may or may not have even known it. The real problem with tilt is that your mindset makes it impossible for you to play smart. There are a small handful of players who can play through the condition, but a far better approach to tilt is one of prevention.

Acknowledge the Situation
If you’ve just taken a big loss and can’t seem to get over it, or if you feel yourself becoming distracted and your play is erratic, then there’s a good chance you are close to going on tilt. Tilt isn’t a condition you can “shake off,” so when you recognize the warning signs the best thing you can do is take action.

Reason with Yourself
For some players, a quick reality check is all they need to get their mind back on the game. Remember that even the best players don’t win every hand, and that bad beats are just the ugly part of playing a game of odds. Letting yourself dwell on the negatives will in turn let the negatives continue to affect your game.

Get Something to Eat/Drink
When you’re way up or way down, sometimes it’s hard to see anything beyond the game. It’s this mentality that gets a lot of players in trouble. You might sit hours at a table with no concept of time or the fact that your body is tired, hungry, or thirsty. If you are in a situation where you absolutely can’t leave the table, a pick-me-up can usually hold you over. Likewise, if you’re playing in an online tournament, make a quick caffeine run to the kitchen. If you’re tired or hungry, eventually it will affect your ability to concentrate on the game.

Stand
If tilt is imminent or you’re already in it, the best thing you can do for yourself and for your bankroll is to stand. Because tilt impairs your playing skills, you will continue to lose hands you know you shouldn’t have which only increases your frustration and feeds the condition. For most players, a short break and a brisk walk is all it takes to clear their mind and get them focused again.

Try not to go on tilt while playing poker online.  Try your luck at cake poker.

Heads up NL Hold em Strategy

For those players unfamiliar with the term, “heads up” is when there are only two players remaining in a hold ’em tournament. The dealer button rotates, and the blinds rotate with it. The player with the dealer button will post the small blind and bet first pre-flop, while the other player posts the big blind and best first on all streets following the flop.

Statistics show that most players play heads up too tightly. Maybe it’s exhaustion or maybe it’s the tension of being in the final two, but a lot of players drop their aggressive strategy in this final game. The irony of course is that now more than ever before it is important that you call your own shots. Because you will always be posting one of the blinds, folding becomes a far less appealing option. You should instead do your best to limp weak hands into the flop and should bet aggressively on any face card or pair.

This strategy may seem counter-intuitive to everything you’ve learned about playing a hold ‘em tournament, but remember that heads up is a whole different ballgame. For one, with only two players drawing from the deck middling hands become much stronger and the top starting hands become much rarer. This means you’re going to have to take more risks than the usual basic strategy allows. The upside to this is that your opponent is trying to protect their chips. Having already fronted a blind, they may be reluctant to forfeit their chips, but alternately do not want to blow their stack on their own weak hand.

To summarize, you must use betting whenever possible to optimize your hand, whether you’re trying to limp a weak hand through on your mandatory small blind or whether you’e trying to take your opponent’s stack with a truly rare and truly good starting hand. At this stage in the game, position has become especially important and should also be utilized to its full advantage on your alternating last position turns. Likewise your ability to read your opponent during the rest of the tournament will come into play as you do your best to manipulate and beat them.

Teaching yourself to focus on your method, on using your position, and on reading your opponent cannot only improve your playing style but help to distract you from your own natural tension. The best heads up NL hold ‘em strategy is one that combines not only an aggressive playing style and observation but that incorporates a cool head and calculated risks too.

Final Table No Limit Hold em Strategy

Making it to the final table of a no limit hold ’em tournament, big or small, is already an accomplishment to be proud of, but if you want to make the most out of your position then it’s important to make some minor details to your strategy. Typically no limit hold ’em tournaments pay out for places 1-10, but the payout for each of these placings rises significantly with the rank. For example, at a small online tournament you may only win $30-50 for 10th place, whereas first may be several hundred dollars. At a larger tournament, the top prize grows significantly and may be in the thousands (or even tens of thousands). This makes having a good strategy more valuable than any other playing situation.

Remember when coming to the final table that your opponents have already withstood the test of time and less competitive tables. There are not likely to be any fish here. Also remember that players with bigger stacks are going to use them, so if you are going to survive the growing blinds then you need to use your stack wisely too. Folding is still an important skill, but folding too frequently can chip away at your stack pretty fast in these last few hands. Depending on how many players are left, you’re going to have to take some calculated risks to stay in the game.

For example, most players as a general rule only play with the top ten starting hands. At this point in the tournament though—and especially as it progresses and the playing field is further whittled down—a pocket pair or any Ace can give you a serious advantage pre-flop. If you are sitting on one of the smaller stacks, don’t let the big boys or the blinds push you around. It is better to go all in with one of these marginal hands than to let someone else force you to take a risk on a weak hand. If however you are lucky enough to have the big stack, continue playing tight; many of your weaker competitors will feel the need to challenge your lead, essentially doing your betting for you, which will give you ample opportunities to call bluffs, collect pots, and eliminate more players.

Big risks should not be taken until you’re in the top five. You’ve given your opponents the impression that you only play when necessary, so few will question your bets giving you key opportunities to semi-bluff and steal the blinds. This is the best time to play aggressively, as weak hands get stronger with every player eliminated. By now your payout significantly exceeds your buy-in, so you’re only going to gain from this point on. With more experience, a better knowledge of poker rules, and a good amount of patience, you will be making more final tables in no time.

How to Read Moves in Online Play

A big part of playing poker well in any environment is being able to read your fellow players. Many players new to online poker make the common mistake of assuming that if you can’t see a player then you can’t read them. More experienced players know that this assumption is not only untrue but will put you at a serious disadvantage. Just as with live poker, with careful observation in online poker it is easy to discern the betting patterns, playing style, and even personality of some of your opponents.

Betting Tells
Betting tells are the best way to size up your opponents online. Many players both on and offline make the mistake of playing their cards too straightforward. After a few hands, you can get a pretty good idea of what they’re holding based on what they bet, as they have a betting system that dictates they bet the same exact way for hands of specific values. These types of players are not only easy to read but are also usually easy to push around.

Another online betting tell is how quickly they bet, call, or raise. Unique to online poker rooms are automated features that allow you to choose your move before your turn. You yourself should not use these unless you want to intimidate your opponents. A common mistake even experienced players make is to use these while playing multiple tables, but what they fail to realize is the clear message that an automatic call gives their opponents. You may notice patterns in speed of betting also.

What You Can Learn from Their Talk
Virtually all online poker rooms have forums and a lobby, and most tables will also have a dialogue box. It’s tempting to close this box, but sometimes an obnoxious chatter can tell you something useful. Hang around the lobby for a few minutes, and you’ll be amazed by how many fishes reveal themselves. Likewise, many of the players using the chat box at a table are revealing more than they realize. For example, most of these chatters only use the box when they are nervous or are trying to distract their fellow players. This may be a sign that their hand is not as strong as their bet might imply.

Player History/Statistics
This is an excellent feature that many online casinos now offer. You can view your opponents’ win/loss statistics and in some cases even their last few hands. If you have the time and initiative, tracking these statistics is a great way to pigeonhole even some of your fiercest competitors.

Official Poker Rules for Pot Limit Holdem

Pot Limit Holdem is just the same as No Limit Holdem except for the betting structure. Holdem is a great poker game played with 9-10 players per table. It can be played with poker chips or real money. The overall goal is to have the best poker hand from 2 down cards and 5 community cards. The best 5 card hand wins.

Check out the official rules for pot limit holdem:

First thing is determine who is the dealer. Deal out a card to each player. The player with the highest card will be the dealer.

To start each hand the player to the left of the dealer plays the small blind and the player left of the small blind plays the big blind. You can choose the blind amount bases on the amount of chips you begin with. Blinds can be increase on a certain time interval to keep the game moving.

Each player is dealt 2 down cards to start. The first round of betting begins with the player to the left of the big blind. They can call, fold, or raise.

In pot limit holdem you can only raise what is in the pot. You first will need to call the bet. Then you can raise what is in the pot.

Next the dealer will three face cards up as the community cards, the flop. Any player can use these cards to make the best 5 card hand. A new round of betting commences. Pot limit is in effect for all rounds.

Next the forth card is placed face up called the turn. Another round of betting commences.

Finally the last card is dealt face up, called the river. The last final round of betting begins. Players decide to call, fold, check, or raise. Players do not have to show their cards if no one calls their bet.

The best 5 card hand for the players whole card and 5 community cards wins.

Thanks for checking out the official poker rules for pot limit holdem. You can pot limit holdem online at one of the top online poker sites.

Omaha Hi/Lo Strategy – Top Starting Hands

Omaha Hi/Lo can get to be a very complicated game that involves alot more skill than Texas Holdem.   Since you are dealt 4 cards and have to use two of the cards along with 3 of the community cards, there will be more chasing than any other poker game.

You want to be selective when choosing which cards to play with.  Here are some of the best starting hands for omaha hi/lo poker:

AA23
AKA2
A234
AKK2
AK23
AQQ2
2345

Remember when raising and going all in it is recommended to have at least 2 low cards.  This at least give you an opportunity to hit low if you do not get the high.

Poker strategy: Drawing or not in Stud

Ok, so we are making a bit of progress with the Stud Poker strategy, that is all good, but we have a long way to go yet, for the beginner player there is loads to learn, and if you are reading to polish up your style well then, you will have to see if this is going to be helpful to you, however, you will get a load of good information here to help you become a better player.

 

What we will be looking at today is something that every stud poker player need to know, and he has to know this like he know that he needs to take a bath. It has to be second nature to him, and what I am talking about is knowing when to draw a card in stud poker and knowing when just to fold. This is a very important decision and will be the thin line between you winning and losing the pot. This is a very important decision especially when it comes to the pot doubling, so you will need to know when to do this by instinct.

 

There are many ways that one can do this sort of strategy without setting out the card in front of you, but then it will not make a lot of sense, so to keep it sort I will give you a brief explanation if how to do it. Keep your eyes open, know what cards have go from the time the first card is dealt, keep a memory record of this, just like we did in the last strategy blog, you need to know what goes at all times, so you know what is coming, or at least you can make a very close guess, this is your best bet, if you know the cards, you are half of the way there. The best way to hone you skill in doing this is to make use of the computer based stud games, where you have nothing but time on your side, and before you go into a real game, be sure that you are sure.   

 

Stud Poker strategy volume 3

Ok, so the last time we spoke we went over the stud poker strategy and excise workouts before you get to a game. This time we are going to tackle the in game exercises that you can do to up your overall game. So we will star with isometrics, yes, is sounds bit funny, but we all need to keep in shape, and with isometric you are able to exercise almost every muscle in your body without anyone noticing, with simple resistance. Just make sure you are seat at the poker table before doing it, otherwise you will look a bit funny walking while doing it. Start with on body part first, we find that it always helps working your way up, so start as low as possible. Start with resistance against something, like the floor, or the chairs leg or even the able leg, just make sure that you do not push the table over, oh, and start with sets of three with counts of five. The next part of the physical exercise will be the leg lifts, remember that you are doing all of this at the poker table before the game is started. Okay you then want to go to neck rolls then you want to do your abdominals.

Now we will move on to the mental exercises that you can do at the poker table. We will start at memory, you will need to start with watching each card as they get dealt. Try to do this even when you are not in on a hand, keep a close eye on the cards and try to form a sort of rank order as they are folded on the turn. You will need to keep in mind how many cards of each suit you see, like if you see three heart cards, remember that you saw three hearts, and then you will know later on what your opponents are planning down the line with which suits. Once you have done this you want to keep track of all the pot sizes. This will help you with betting sized down the line.

Stud poker strategy volume 2

In the last post we found out that there is a strategy for all poker games, no matter which one you decide you want to play. The tricky part comes when you have to figure out the strategy, and it gets worse when you have to master it. We said that we will, over the next few posts, show you a bit of strategy that will help you become better at the game of stud poker. That is if you can remember everything you read when you get to the poker table. Today we will be taking a look at exercising your poker body, so here we go. 

In a game of poker you always have to be on your… well… game. More so with a game of stud poker, you must have your wits about you, you must be sharp and on the lookout all of the time. So we found a way that will help you with staying sharp all the time, whether you are at the table or not. You might be thinking why you would need to be sharp away from the table, but think of the very unlikely situation where you are one day walking down the street and you are suddenly dragged into an unmarked car and forced to play a hand of poker with a very bored millionaire. You will have to be sharp then, you could win a million bucks.  

In the below bit we will look at how to exercise away from the poker table. And then, in our next post, we will look at how to stay sharp at the table. Okay, we have all come across the time where we just cannot play poker, reasons for this will be your own, you might not have money, or your wife grounded you or something. You will however still need to stay on top of your game, and the best way to keep practicing, is by this great new software called Turbo Seven Card Stud, made by Wilson. This is a great tool, not only to polish up on your skills but also if you are a new player and want to get into the game. The Wilson game has a very useful tool that allows you to track through all of your completed games, so you can see where you went wrong. The software also helps you by telling you the move that it would have made and that would probably have won you the hand. The great thing about software like this is that you are able to check your mistakes, and rectify them in the next round without having to lose any money. You can change strategies and see how that fairs up against your computer opponents and even change difficulty level if you need a quick polish before a real table game.   

The other exercises that you will need to do to help with concentration is almost like the game where you need to remember pictures on overturned blocks to match them up on other overturned blocks. It will help if you played this game with the cards, start with eight cards first, face down. Turn them over and see how many you can remember in order, then try it with more cards once you have the eight in a row until you eventually end up playing with the whole deck. The next thing you probably want to do, and this is something that most of the pros do, is read a lot of poker books. Books on strategy, books on playing and things like that. Finally, along with mental stamina and exercise, you want to keep in physical shape. Because as we all know, the two go hand in hand don’t they?  

Is there a stud poker strategy?

Mostly, when playing against your average stud poker player, you can make much of your money from playing in a simple and normal way. Your money will come from your opponents mistakes, because he is either not concentrating or because he is not that good of a player. The simple rule is: bet as much as you want when you see that you are the chip leader, however, when you are falling behind of the pack, then well, just simple give up, before you lose it all.

The next thing you want to do is chase when you see that you have the pot odds to make the moves. That is where you will make most of your money, well at least most of the time. Sometimes, however, you will have to get a bit tricky in your approach. This is only the first of many stud poker strategy blogs for this site. Later down the line we will cover bluffs, and we will cover semi bluffs. We will then move on to things like raising on the come, and then raising again to knock a opponent out of the game. Also we will include free card buying, and playing with the pot sizes. So if you where asking if there really is a stud poker strategy, the answer is yes, and you will learn all about it right here. 

If you want to learn these and other strategies in the complex game of poker keep it locked here to Poker Bonus Time. We will be posting one strategy blog for the next few days, all linked to the game of Stud poker. So to be a Stud at the game, read on and you will surely win the next game you play in.