Practice Poker

| Category: Play Poker | June 2nd, 2011

With the economy down, the job market in trouble, and fuel prices rising, more and more people are turning to online casino and poker to try and earn a comfortable living, or to at least fill in the gaps. This is of course great for casinos, who are used to taking money from people that think they make money without playing practice poker first.

On the other hand, if you’re reading this there’s a good chance that you’re hoping to pick up a trick or two so that you don’t end up prey to the casinos, and perhaps, make a bit of money on the side.

The good news about poker is that the casino actually doesn’t have as heavy of an influence on the game as you would think. Since poker isn’t actually a game that’s against the house, the casino makes money on the rake, which is essentially, commission on the pot.

In other words, the more people play, the more the casino makes, which is great for everyone involved.

The first thing to do, if you’re going to practice poker, is decide how much money you have to work with. This is called a bankroll, and most experts recommend that you put no more than 5% of your bankroll on the table at a time, and have enough to make at least 300 big blinds (BB).

This means if you’ve got $5,000 to play with, then you should only take $250 to the casino with you, and play games around the $1 big blind mark. It sounds small, but when you’re playing for a few hours, the money can go quickly.

The next thing to do in practice poker is to learn when to play loose, and when to play tight. If you fold every hand, then you’re going to have a hard time making money, so you’ll need to get comfortable taking risks. This doesn’t mean you should bet or go all-in often, but that you have to be in it to win it.

Lastly, the key to practice poker is not to play free, but to play for money at low stakes. You can’t really learn how to play well until money is on the line, and your palms are sweating a bit. People act much differently in free games than they do in money games.

From here, you should be ready to hit the casino and play around a bit. One word of caution though, don’t take that 5% of bankroll until you’ve been playing for a while and have found a rhythm.

No Comments »

Texas Hold Em Strategy

| Category: Play Poker | May 30th, 2011

Playing poker can be either extremely risky, or a great way to make a living taking money from people that don’t know how to play. As a rule, most players have their own Texas Hold Em strategy, but they usually boil down to two major playing styles.

Playing Tight

One successful Texas Hold Em Strategy is to play tight, which means to only play hands that you know have a high percentage of winning, such as two face cards or a pair of Aces, and fold the rest of the time. The downside to this strategy is that when you play tight and come in to make a bet, then you are signaling to the other players that you have a great hand, and they are likely to back off and let you take a small pot.

To avoid this, one Texas Hold Em strategy play for tight players is to occasionally play a low percentage hand, based on how other players have been playing. This means you have to study the rest of the field to know how often they bluff, call, and fold, learning their “tell” if you can.

Another option, which is the preferred is to just play tight and take a long-term strategy. If you play tight long enough, you’ll run into players that just can’t figure it out, and you can draw them in with slow bets until they’re so far in that they can’t help but to call. When you play this strategy, expect to be patient.

Playing Aggressive

In this Texas Hold Em strategy, a player intends to play every hand, betting according to the percentage they have of winning. In other words, these are skilled players that know the math necessary to calculate the risk of playing each hand, and bet accordingly. This requires a lot of skill not only being able to count and survey the deck quickly, but also in knowing how to read other players to be able to “bluff” well enough to get them to fold without showing your hand. This requires “the nuts” and a good amount of skill to pull off, which is why it’s usually reserved for professional players. These players know that in order to win, you have to keep playing.

The best Texas Hold Em strategy is the one that helps you learn without destroying your bankroll, so in that case the #1 thing you can do is to avoid going and playing on tilt. For rookies, that means don’t blow your cool.

No Comments »

How to Play Texas Hold Em

| Category: Play Poker | January 11th, 2011

Texas Hold Em is probably the most well known poker game on the planet, thanks in part to the publicity it’s received courtesy of the World Series of Poker Tournament that runs on ESPN every year, and because many of the well-known names in poker are also frequently seen promoting this particular brand of poker.

Because of this popularity, many people are learning how to play texas hold em, both at home with friends, and for real money in casinos and online games. It’s a fun game to learn, and if you know how poker hands are evaluated, then learning how to play texas hold em is simple.

The Deal & Pre-Flop

At the start of each hand, the players buy in with a big and small blind, which rotates around the table. The dealer will deal two cards, face down, to each player, at which point betting begins. As typical with most poker betting rounds, players can call, bet, check, raise, and fold, depending on the action.

The Flop

Once the betting has ended, the dealer will burn a card and deal himself three cards, face up. This is followed by another round of betting.

The Turn

The dealer burns another card and deals another to himself, face up. The players bet again.

The River

The dealer burns a card and deals the fifth to finalize his hand. Players are now playing with five dealer cards, and their own hand. They can take the best five to make their best hand. At this point, the showdown occurs, and players can bet/check/call/fold as necessary until everyone is out, or the players have a “showdown” and reveal their cards. Winner takes the pot, except in the case of a tie.

When you’re learning how to play Texas Hold Em, you might get caught up on the way big and small blinds work, so to answer it simply, they rotate around the table just like the leading better position does. A small blind is half the big blind, so if the big blind is $10, then the small blind is $5. In some games, the blinds increase in order to speed up play and force players to make a move. This typically happens in high stakes tournaments.

Beyond these simple rules, Texas Hold Em is scored just like any other game, and once you learn the basics, you can jump right in and play with the best of them. Just be careful with your chips!

No Comments »

Texas Hold Em

| Category: Play Poker | October 15th, 2010

Texas Hold Em is a poker game made famous by the World Series of Poker Tournament that has been featured on ESPN and later promoted by a variety of online poker sites. It’s a millionaire maker, and in fact, one of the early winners when it first came on TV was Chris Moneymaker.

Since then, Texas Hold Em has been played in many household table games, online poker games, and casinos. It’s easy to understand, especially since it’s on TV, and with no limit games, it’s easy to make a ton of cash if you know what you’re doing.

To start a Texas Hold Em game, the dealer goes round the table, giving each player two cards, face down. This is called the pre-flop, and it’s where players get a chance to bet before the dealer does what’s next, which is three cards to himself, face up. From here, more betting until it’s time for the turn, where the dealer with add one more card, face up. Next, more betting until the river, where the dealer burns and turns once more. Lastly, the showdown occurs, and the pot is given to the winner.

During each round of Texas Hold Em betting, the lead better will get a chance to check, bet, or fold, followed by the next player, until everyone has either called, checked, or folded.

Hands are evaluated based on standard poker score charts, which makes this game an easy one to learn once you’ve played it a few times.

Most Texas Hold Em games are either limit, or no limit, where players can either raise to the big blind, or raise as much as they have. Obviously, no limit games are much higher risk, but they can offer higher payouts to the skilled player.

In casinos, you’ll probably find games starting between a few dollars per hand and a few thousand per hand, but in online poker rooms you’ll see them going for as little as 2 cents.

The best way to learn Texas Hold Em is to play casually with friends, or for free online, until you’ve got a handle on the basics. Then, if you want to test your skills in money games, you can do so.

Some of the best Texas Hold Em players earn six and seven figure wages per year, just playing poker. Even amateur players can make a modest salary if they’re willing to put in the time, just like you would at any other type of job.

No Comments »

Play Poker Online

| Category: Play Poker | August 30th, 2010

Learning how to play poker is a great way to pass the time or even make a bit of extra money, but the problem is that playing home games is much different than playing with real competition. This is why many people play poker online as a first step before going to casinos to test their game.

When you play poker online, you get to choose from a variety of poker games, such as Omaha, Texas Hold Em, Stud and Draw games, and in some cases, mixed games, which means you can play with several variants to see where your strong suit might be.

Another benefit when you play poker online is that you can start with free money so that you can get used to the playing environment. Once you do deposit money, you have the option to play for much lower stakes than you would at a casino, often times being able to play for a nickel or less!

Though you can make money when you play poker online, the way to do it isn’t necessarily playing in tournaments or playing in one game at a time. As many online poker professionals will tell you, the secret to winning at poker online is in playing table games in multiple sessions. Most professionals play poker online with up to twelve games going on simultaneously.

Obviously, the key to building your bank is to stay calm and avoid going on tilt, especially because it’s so easy to ramp up the stakes when you aren’t physically holding real chips.

Where to Play Poker Online

There are many places that offer online poker games, though it has become more difficult to find them in the United States than it is in other parts of the world. Still, you can find them if you look hard enough.

If you’re just looking to play for free, then you should have no problem finding hundreds of places to play poker online, so I recommend trying several before picking a favorite. Many have software that you can download to make the experience even more realistic.

Playing poker online really is a fun way to pass the time, especially if you can convince a few of your friends to sign up with you. With so many game types to play, it’s nearly impossible to get bored, and there’s always a crowd – most are open 24/7.

No Comments »