Three Virtues You Can Lean from Poker Professionals

June 15th, 2010  |  Published in Inrodution

Any aspiring poker player knows the value of looking up to the poker professionals. They are after all, professionals. Becoming a poker professional is not an easy task. It takes years of training, years of developing skills, and years of practice. Poker professionals win big and they do it with style, which is probably why so many of us aspire to join their ranks.

You can learn a lot from a poker professional, and not just from their techniques. To get the most out of the experience, you need to learn from their style as well.

Three Virtues You Can Learn From Poker Professionals

Patience

Patience is not just a virtue in life, it is a virtue in poker. When you are playing poker games like Texas Hold ‘Em, that require many rounds and many hands to win, patience is a virtue. Learning patience will help you keep your head in the game, make smarter moves and place better bets.

Logic

A mark of an amateur poker player is letting the game get to their head. When an amateur is winning they tend to get overzealous and make rash decisions with their cards and their bets. When an amateur is loosing, they can let their anxiety get the best of them, which leads them to make some bad calls with their hands. Keep your cool when you are playing and always remember that sometimes you are ahead and sometimes you are behind.

Calm

Poker professionals are calm individuals. While some poker professionals are known for their outlandish behavior and wild character traits, most professionals play their game of poker in a calm and rational fashion. Playing it cool has many upsides. It makes it harder for other players to read you. It helps you focus on your game, and it makes it easier for you to make the right decision with your cards.

Learn everything you can from the poker professionals, after all, they got that title for a reason. When you are playing, try to play like your favorite professional. With practice you can learn these important virtues.

Tags: , , , ,

What You Should be Doing to Improve Your Poker Game

April 21st, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Most poker players, even the occasional weekly home game player, wants to improve his or her poker game. After all, the more you know, the better you play, and the better you play, the more hands you win. It is a simple formula, play better, win more hands, and walk away with more money. The problem is, there is so much information about every poker game out there that is can be hard to know where to start. What advice should you listen too? What should you ignore? The best way to improve your poker game is to develop a learning strategy you can use for years to come.

How to Master a Poker Game

Step One: Learn the Rules of the Game

The first thing you should always do is to learn the rules of the game, and not just the basics. You really need to know the game inside and out to play it well. One way you can do this is to take an instructional class at a casino. Most casinos offer these courses for free for their patrons. However, another option is to read. Hundreds of books have been printing on every poker game. Most of these books were written by big time winning professional poker players. Read several of these books to get an understanding of the game from every angle.

Step Two: Practice

The saying “practice makes perfect” holds true with most things, and with poker. To fully understand the game, you have to play it. Play as often as you can. Visit the casino, play online, start a weekly game with your friends. However you do it, just make sure you do. The more you play, the better you will become.

Step Three: Read Some More

Even if you have the poker game down, you should still give yourself a refresher from time to time. There are several ways of doing this. Subscribe to one of the many poker blogs. These blogs provide a constant source of poker news. Join Twitter and start following some of the many professional poker players that use the social networking site. They frequently offer tips. You can also go the old fashioned route and keep up with those books. New books are constantly coming on the market, get your hands on them when they come out. Keeping on top of the poker scene will keep you in the game.

Tags: , , , ,

Top Three Razz Poker Tips

April 5th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Razz poker got its popularity in poker tournaments, frustrating professional poker players left and right. Since then, Razz poker has quickly become a requested game at poker tournaments and casinos alike. Razz is a lot like other poker games, the player pays an Ante to be in the round and the dealer hands out the cards. Razz has one noticeable exception to the rules, however. In Razz, the player holding the lowest card hand at the end of the game wins the round. It is more challenging then it sounds and players could use a few strategies to help them in this game.

Top Three Razz Poker Tips

1. Look for the dead cards. In most poker games, such as Seven Card Stud, the player is on the look out for live cards- those cards that let him know a good hand is on its way. In Razz poker, any good player would know to look for the dead cards- or rather those cards that guarantee his hand is not going to start showing pairs. If you have an Ace, four, and six card and you see two Aces, to fours, and two sixes- chances are you are holding a good hand. After all, the likelihood of you drawing any of those cards while three are already present on the table is slim.

2. Play your hand quickly. Razz poker is best played on the aggressive side. If you are holding a good hand, or rather a bad hand in this game, you want to jam the betting at each opportunity. The goal is to have a high pot on third street so by the time you get to fourth street you can call that terrible hand of yours. It may be tempting to play slow bets in Razz, since there are so many betting opportunities. However, by shooting up the betting you will force other players out of the game early and raise the pot. Words to the wise though, do not play too aggressively or you may wind up spending your entire bankroll before you realize it.

3. Know when to fold your hand. Like any game of poker, it is vital that you know when to play and when to fold. Learn to read the table and your opponents. If you are holding a questionable hand, and it seems like your opponents are not, then it may be best to fold.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Common Mistakes Online Poker Players Make

April 2nd, 2010  |  Published in Inrodution

Playing poker online and playing poker in a casino were not created equal. The games and the rules may be the same, but the environment is different. Not noticing these differences can cost online poker players big in the long run. Remember that the two are not created equal and bear the common mistakes found among online poker players in mind the next time you enter an online casino.

The Top Three Most Common Mistakes for Online Poker Players

Forgetting How Fast the Poker Game Moves

In a traditional brick and mortar casino there is a lull between hands where the casino changes dealers or the dealer converts chips for new players and shuffles the cards. This means that the poker game overall moves at a slower pace. Therefore, a player who sits at the table for three hours may only play twenty hands. In an online casino, the poker game moves much faster. After all, there is no need to change dealers and the shuffling and chip counting is done automatically. This means that more hands are played in an online casino in the same amount of time. For example, a player who would have played twenty hands at the brick and mortar casino can pay forty or sixty hands in an online casino. Not noticing this time difference can cause you to eat at your bankroll if you are judging your playing by time and not hands.

Forgetting they are Spending Real Money

In general, people are much more likely to spend more if they are putting it on their credit cards and not paying in cash. The same is true of online casinos. As the online casinos typically only accept credit cards and the chips and monetary amounts are all virtual credits, it can be easy for a player to forget they are playing with their actual funds. This has on occasion caused an online poker player to spend more then they intended.

Not Reading the Other Poker Players

Online casinos take away the face-to-face interaction you get with your opponents in a brick and mortar casino. This does not mean, however, that you cannot read your opponent. Look for virtual clues about your opponents betting style and bluffing tactics. For example, has the player been very chatty in the chat window until the last hand was dealt? Chances are they have a high hand and are too focused to chat.

Tags: , , , ,

Three Tools You Should Utilize at the Poker Table

April 1st, 2010  |  Published in Casino Tips

Poker players often look for ways to improve their skills and get the edge on their opponents. Reading about your poker game, developing new techniques, and practicing are all important maneuvers to mastering the craft. However, poker players often overlook the three most important, and simplest, tools at their disposal. A great poker player knows that to win, you must use every tool at your disposal. Make sure you are using everything you can, especially the most common weapons.

The Deck of Cards

While it may seem simple, the cards are the most important aspect to any game of poker. How the cards are dealt, and how you choose to play those cards, is what determines if you win or loose the hand. Learn everything you can about the different hands you may be dealt. Study rankings and odds for every type of poker game you play, and remember that without that high hand, you wont likely win the pot.

The Chips

Not only are chips vital to betting in poker, they can be used as an intimidation tool against your poker opponents. For example, if you are sitting at the table with a high stack of chips, throwing in more then the minimum ante for every hand you play the other players are going to think one of three things. One, you may be a high roller. Two you may be doing very well in the game and are an experienced player they should take notice of, or three, you are serious about your game and they should keep an eye on you. The reverse is also true, if you are playing too modestly with your chips, then your opponents are likely to see you as a tight player and an easy target.

Your Position at the Poker Table

Where you sit at the poker table plays an important role in the game, especially in Texas Hold ‘Em. If you are the first position in the table, you have the disadvantage of having to make the first move in every round before you see your opponents moves. If you are in the middle position, you have the advantage of seeing the players before you move, and the disadvantage of not knowing what the players after you will do. Every position at the table plays a different role in the game, and it is important that you learn how to play the strengths, and deal with the weaknesses, of each.

Tags: , , , ,

The Different Styles of Poker Players

March 10th, 2010  |  Published in Inrodution

No two poker players are created equal. Each player will have their own strategy, betting style, and set of codes that they live by at the poker table. However, there are certain recognizable types of poker styles. These styles play heavily in to your poker game. Can you spot the different poker styles at your table?

The Shark

A shark is a common term to describe a highly skilled poker player that can weed out the less-skilled players at the table and quietly eat away at their bank roll. Sharks tend to play a very conservative and aggressive game of poker. On average, a shark only plays 20% of the hands they are dealt. When they do play those hands, they play them very aggressively, raising bets and calling frequently.

The Passive Player

A passive player is completely non-aggressive in their playing style. They will play more hands then a shark, but are not likely to raise many hands. Instead, the passive player will bide their time, waiting for other players to take more aggressive action. Patience is a virtue in poker, and can win a passive player several hands. However, their lack of aggression can cost them the bigger winnings.

The Fish

A fish is a term used to describe an inexperienced poker player. The typically fish will play most, if not every hand. More often then not a fish is not sure when to raise and when to call so they will alternate between the two. This can be incredibly frustrating to more experienced players who are trying to gauge the fish’s patterns.

The Manic Player

A manic player is a loose cannon at the poker table. Manic players often act quickly and aggressively without using much strategy or consideration. They will bet high and raise often, regardless of the hand they are holding. There are a couple of advantages to playing a manic style. For one, the other players will doubt the manic players hand most of the time, meaning the player can sweep the table with a good hand. However, playing manically almost never pays out in the long run as the high cost of betting can quickly diminish the player’s bankroll

What style of poker player are you? Almost every player at the table has a style, some without even realizing it. A good poker player knows how to recognize these styles quickly and use them to their advantage by playing against their opponents weaknesses.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Enhance Your Skills: Top Five Poker DVDs

March 1st, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

One of the best ways to increase your poker skill level is through education. There have been hundreds of books and magazines printed about every poker game that will teach you everything you ever needed to know, but if you are not much of a reader, the idea of hundreds of books sounds daunting. Thankfully, poker has branched out to the DVD market. Now you can get the same level of poker education by watching as you could by reading. There are DVDs for beginners, DVDs tailored to advanced players wanting to increase their skill, and DVDs created by professional poker players themselves.

Five DVDs about Poker worth Renting

1. Pro Poker Tells: Poker legend, Mike Caro, spent eleven years creating this full length DVD. Pro Poker Tells is a scientific look on the poker tells. Mike Caro uses multiple camera angles (and a cast of several recognizable poker players) to show you every tell your opponents could have- and how to use them to your advantage.

2. Final Table Poker: Created by poker professional, Phil Gordon, Final Table Poker takes a look at the skills behind a good poker strategy- from a professionals point of view. The DVD takes you inside a poker pro’s head and covers everything from bluffing, to raising, to betting on the Texas Hold ‘Em River.

3. Bluffing and Tells: Bluffing and Tells was created by Phil Hellmuth. It is an instructional DVD that covers all of the poker basics- when to raise, when to fold, how to bluff, and how to read the other players at the table. Bluffing and Tells is the ideal DVD for a poker beginner.

4. Controlling the Game: In Controlling the Game, Phil Laak shows the viewer the emotional side of professional poker playing. Laak is famous for his in-depth poker strategies, and he shares some of those secrets in this instructional DVD. Controlling the Game is ideal for an advanced poker playing looking to improve beyond the rules of the game.

5. Secrets of No Limit Hold ‘Em: Howard Lederer is thought of as the best Texas Hold ‘Em player in the world. He shares several of his secret strategies in this DVD. Secrets of No Limit Hold ‘Em is a good choice for any level of poker player, after all, the opportunity to learn from Howard Lederer is worth the cost and the time.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Know Your Poker Vocabulary and Enhance your Poker Game

February 5th, 2010  |  Published in Inrodution

Poker players use a vocabulary all their own. You will need to know the meaning of these words to keep from being completely lost at a poker table during a game, or from looking like a beginner (even if you are one.) Some of the most common vocabulary is used at every poker table across a wide variety of games and knowing them can mean the difference between winning and loosing.

Common Lingo Heard Around the Poker Table

Limit Poker- Limit Poker refers to a poker game with set betting limits. For example, if you are playing a two to four dollar limit game, the first round of betting is two dollars and the second round of betting is four dollars.

Shorthand- A shorthand refers to a poker game being played with up to six players at the table.

Longhand- A longhand refers to a poker game being played with seven or more players at the table

Position- A position refers to where you are sitting at the poker table. Your position can greatly influence your odds. For example, the dealer has the best position because he or she is the last to bet after seeing what everyone else has in his or her hand.

Small Blind- A small blind refers to the first position at the poker table. This person has the worst position at the poker table because he or she has to bet first, before seeing any cards the other players are dealt.

Board Cards- Board Cards refer to the cards dealt to the middle of the poker table. These cards are shared by every player at the table to use in their hand.

Blinds- A blind refers to a bet that takes place instead of an Ante. In a blind, the player seated to the left of the dealer must pay the smaller blind, while the person seated after that player must pay the larger blind.

Outs- Outs refer to cards that help a player’s hand. If you need two different cards to make your hand, then you have eight outs in the deck because there is four of each card.

Knowing your poker vocabulary is as important as knowing the game of poker itself. The dealer and the other player’s at the table will speak in “poker lingo” and it is important that you know it to understand what is going on in the game.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

WSOP Gold Bracelet Sells for $4,006 on eBay

February 4th, 2010  |  Published in Casino News

A World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet recently sold on eBay to the tune of $4,006. The bracelet was sold by a pawnshop in Plano, Texas and formerly belonged to the famous poker player T.J. Cloutier.

About World Series of Poker

Held annually in Las Vegas, the World Series of Poker is a huge poker tournament bringing in some of the best poker players around the world. The WSOP had humble beginnings. The first game, held in 1970 at the Horseshoe Casino, only had six poker players and one host. The modern World Series of Poker tournament includes fifty-five events over several days and includes hundreds of players. The most popular event at the WSOP is the No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em game.

About the Coveted Gold Bracelet

The gold bracelet given to winners of the World Series of Poker tournament may be the most coveted prize in poker. In fact, it is such a popular prize that when Harris Casino launched their World of Series Poker iPhone gaming application, the bracelet was made into a virtual prize for the top players. Fifty-three winners receive the bracelet, made by Corum. The bracelet is gold and features fifty-three diamonds across the band. There is also a special bracelet for the Ladies World Champion that includes black diamonds, rubies, and blue sapphires.

About T.J. Cloutier

T.J. Cloutier is a world famous poker player based out of Richardson, Texas. Born in 1939, he played college football for the University of California before joining the Army. After leaving the Army, Cloutier played football again- this time in Toronto, Canada. While in Canada he received an injury that cut his football career short, so he moved to Texas where he started playing poker.

In his professional poker career, T.J. Cloutier has won a total of six World Series of Poker gold bracelets. In addition to the WSOP, Cloutier has played in the World Poker Tour, Legends of Poker, the Ultimate Poker Challenge, the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament, and Poker Royale.

He has also written four books on poker, been made in to a character for a poker based video game, and was inducted in to the Poker Hall of Fame in 2006.

No one is quite sure why T.J. Cloutier originally sold the WSOP gold bracelet to the pawnshop, but the new owner is happy with the purchase.

Tags: , , , , ,