June 8th, 2010 |
Bluffing is a classic poker strategy. Bluffing well can win you many hands in a game of poker. However, bluffing incorrectly, or bluffing when you should not, can lead to a big loss. Knowing when and how to bluff is an important aspect to any player’s poker strategy.
What is Bluffing?
Simply put, bluffing is the act of tricking your opposing players or the house in to believing you have a high hand in poker when you do not actually have that high hand. When a player is bluffing, they will raise on a less then perfect hand in an attempt to make others around them believe they are holding the best hand at the table. Bluffing can lead a player to win with a lower hand then they would normally win with.
What are the Types of Bluffing?
There are two ways to bluff in any hand of poker, a pure bluff and a semi-bluff. In a pure bluff, a player will raise or bet on a hand that has little to no chance of winning on its own. For example, if a player has a pair of fours he or she may bet high in an attempt to make the other player’s believe he is holding the highest hand at the table. In a semi-bluff, a player will bet or raise on a hand that is not good at the moment but may improve as the round goes on. For example, if a player has four of the cards needed for a straight, he or she may bluff the bet in the hopes of getting that last card.
What is the Best Strategy for Bluffing?
Knowing when to bluff is the most important aspect of the poker skill. Bluffing when you should not have can cost you the round (and your bet.) Do not bluff when there are several players still in the round. Do not bluff if the pot is so high that your bluff would not force a player to fold. Also, do not bluff when you are playing against the type of player that you know will never fold.
Just like bluffing when you should not could cost you the round, bluffing when you should can help you win it. Knowing when to bluff is the second most important aspect of the strategy. Bluff when all the other player’s have folded and you are only facing one opponent. Bluff when you can tell the weaknesses of the other players and you are confident that they have low card hands. Also, bluff when you are playing a game that has a community card, such as Texas Hold ‘Em, and that community card helps your hand.
May 13th, 2010 |
We all want to be better poker players. After all, the better you play, the more you win, and the more you enjoy the game. Poker players often look at poker rules or specific game strategies to help increase their playing abilities, but there are other ways you can improve your game. The best way to be a great player is to have a well-rounded poker education. Take a look at all of the aspects of the game, not just the rule book, and you will see an improvement in your poker game.
Plan Your Strategy Before You Get to the Table
You should spend some time at home planning your poker strategy. Knowing how you are going to play before you get to the table will help you avoid costly errors during the first few hands of the game. If you already have a poker strategy in place, look for ways to fine tune it. If you are entering in to a poker tournament you will need a specific strategy for that game. If you are just starting out in the world of poker, take some time to educate yourself on poker strategies in general. However you do it, have a plan of action before you saddle up to the table and you will have a much higher chance of winning.
Learn to Adjust
In order to play the best game of poker, you need to be flexible. Your strategies wont always work on every opponent and every table. The quicker you can adjust to a new poker environment, the more you will save yourself in betting and playing errors. For example, if you run across a high roller or wild better, then you may need to adjust your betting strategy to keep them from out pricing you on every hand. Poker is a constantly evolving game, and you have to keep on your toes.
Plan Out Your Bankroll
Almost every player walks in to a game of poker with a set amount they can spend on betting. You should take the time before the game to budget out your bank roll. Knowing how much you can bet will keep you from blowing your whole bankroll in the first few hands. It will also help keep you in the game longer, giving you more chances to win, and a higher bankroll to play with.
April 30th, 2010 |
Even the most experienced poker player knows the importance of staying on top of the game. The more you know about the game of poker, the better you will play. Even if you have the best strategy, you can always find a way to improve it, and an improved game means more winnings. Inspiration and knowledge can come from many sources in poker. To get the most out of your poker education, you need to turn over every stone you find.
Five Ways to Learn More About Poker
1. Autobiographies of the Poker Pros: You can learn a lot reading books written by Poker Professionals. Professionals have written dozens of books on poker strategy and styles that will help you in your own game. However, most of us overlook autobiographies. While most of the book may just be an interesting read, you can find some hidden poker gems between the pages.
2. Social Networking Sites: Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are taking over the internet. Almost everyone has a subscription, including professional poker players. Add some poker players to your social networking accounts. They often blurb about poker tournaments and their thoughts on the game. You can pick up great tips this way.
3. Casino Websites: Most every casino has their own websites highlighting their casino, promotions, and tournaments. Several casinos, especially those based online, go a step further and have included poker game tutorials and tips. Visit the sites of the popular casinos and look for their educational sections. There are often some really helpful tips in there.
4. Poker DVDs: Most of us do not think of poker when we are renting a movie, but several poker professionals have made educational films highlighting their game of choice. These DVDs can be a great resource as you can see the game in action.
5. Other Poker Players: How often do you study the other players at the poker table? If the answer is never, then you need to rethink your strategy. Other poker players can teach you a lot about betting style, table etiquette, and even the game itself. Watch your opponents closely during every game you play.
Poker education is a never ending cycle. To play your best, you have to stay on top of the game. Learn everything you can, in every way you can and you will be on top of your game.
April 21st, 2010 |
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.
April 19th, 2010 |
You can always spot the poker professionals at the poker tournaments. Even if you do not know them by name or face, there is just something about a poker professional. They give off a level of knowledge and confidence that is impossible not to notice, but there are other differences between the pros and the amateurs that are harder to spot. These differences are what keep amateurs, amateurs.
The Key Characteristics of a Poker Professional
A Professional Plays Poker Slowly
Poker professionals are quick thinking, but often move slower then an amateur while during hands. The reason for this is simple, the professional is taking his time to hedge his bet and gauge his hand. Poker professionals understand the importance of studying each hand and every bet. Acting quickly may be more exciting, but it will cost you in the long run.
A Professional Stays Calm
While this doesn’t hold true of all poker professionals, as there are a few wild characters on the tournament lists, most poker professionals are calm. They sit quietly at the table, make ideal chit chat, and do not overreact when they loose a hand. There is a good reason for this. By remaining calm you give off an appearance of confidence that can be intimidating to your opponent. Calmness also helps to hide an poker tells you may have. An easy way to spot a weak player is by their loud or aggressive behavior.
A Professional Changes Their Strategy
A lot of players learn a strategy and stick with it through out every poker game they play. While having a good strategy is important, a poker professional knows that going with the flow is just as important. If your strategy stops working mid game, then you need to switch it up. If you frequently play against the same opponents, shock them out of their bets by playing a new way. Chances are your opponents are aware of your strategy by now and have learned to use it against you.
A Professional Does Not Bet the Same in Every Hand
Most amateur players can be divided in to loose or aggressive betters. Either they hardly ever raise a bet, or they throw money around the table through the whole game. A professional knows that sticking to one betting strategy is not the way to win big. Most professionals bet modestly throughout the game, but then aggressively go after the pot when they hit a good hand.
March 10th, 2010 |
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?
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.
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.
March 9th, 2010 |
Where you are seated at the poker table makes a huge difference in most games. In a poker game like Texas Hold ‘Em, having a good spot at the table can lead you to making bigger bets and winning more hands. Unfortunately, you will not always get your choice of seats. Rather then hope for the best seat in the house, learn how to play each to your advantage.
The Best Way to Play According to your Poker Spot
Any good player knows the importance of strategy in a poker match, but a great poker player knows that you must be ready to adjust your strategy to suit the game. One of the best adjustments you can make in strategy is to play according to your position.
How to Play From an Early Position
An early position is often considered the worse seat in the house. When you are betting in the early position, you typically have nine players coming in after you. This serves as a huge disadvantage because you are not able to gauge the other players or control the pot raises as well as a player farther down the line. When you are playing in the early position the best strategy is to limit the hands you play. Only play the hands you feel confident about and fold on the others.
How to Play from a Middle Position
If you are seated in the middle position, you have the advantage of knowing what the players before you dead and the disadvantage of not knowing what the players after you will do. The best strategy for the middle position is to play a mixture of conservative and aggressive play depending on what the players before you did. For example, if the players in front of you fold, it is a good idea to raise since you only have a few players left to beat.
How to Play from a Late Position
The late position is often considered the best place to be in Texas Hold ‘Em. This position gives you a chance to see the actions of all of your opponents. The best strategy to use in the late position is to play aggressively after careful observation of your opponents. Watch what your opponents do carefully, they will show you how to hedge your bet and whether you should fold or call.
February 10th, 2010 |
Many people interested in learning a new poker game will scour the internet and read several books on the game. This is a great strategy because it gives people a deep knowledge of the game that they would not have otherwise gotten. However, reading something and putting it in to practice are two different things. The best way to learn a new game is to try it out, but you do not have to spend your hard-earned money doing so. Several casinos offer free gaming lessons on most of the popular poker games.
What are Poker Lessons at a Casino Like?
When a poker player signs up for a poker lesson at a casino, they are sent to a private room with several poker tables and an instructor. The instructor will divide the players up in to tables and provide free poker chips that are used for play (and not worth any actual value.) The instructor will then give a brief overview of the game followed by several rounds of hands on instruction. Finally, players are given a chance to play on their own while the instructor critiques their skills.
What are the Benefits of Poker Lessons at a Casino?
Taking a poker lesson at a casino has one major benefit- you will be taught the game of your choice by a qualified instructor who is more then likely a dealer in that game. You are allowed to play free and the lessons are typically offered free by the casino. This gives you hands on playing time without risking your gambling bankroll. As an added bonus, several casinos give out coupons free play or other benefits to participants in their poker classes.
Overall, taking a poker gaming lesson at a casino is well worth the time spent. If the game is completely new to you then you will learn all of the basic rules and game practices. If you have played the game a few times before you can still benefit from the instructor’s knowledge as they often give out hints and tricks for the poker game. In addition, the poker lesson is a free service of the casino, so you can get in your playing time without actually spending any money. The possibility of a coupon for free playing time, bet increases, or even a free meal in the casinos buffet is also highly enticing.