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TEXAS HOLDEM BASICS
- Texas holdem fundamentals
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If your knowledge of the game of poker is thin, then you probably think that it’s a game based on the foundation of bluffing. After all, you only have the movies view of the game on which to base your opinion and James Bond never has it.
In reality nothing could be further from the truth. Bluffing is one of the biggest mistakes that beginning players make. If you can only learn one habit when you start out in the game of poker, it’s to learn how to fold.
Always try and remember that bluffing is just one of the arrows in your poker quiver. Bring it out sparingly, and instead, rely on firing your killer shots when you have a great hand.
One thing to be particularly careful of is a phenomenon known as the ‘bluffing vortex.’ This occurs when you start bluffing, with a view of folding early in the hand, but the texture of the board convinces your mind to keep on pounding away.
Maybe you pick up a draw, or a weak hand that can be improved on further streets. There are so many ways that your mind will convince you to continue barrelling because everyone hates to fold.
Another thing for beginners to remember is to pay attention to the hands you are choosing to bluff with. Some player’s choose to bluff with hands that have a high probability of actually winning at showdown. Sometimes, your weak pairs and ace high hands should be checked back on the river, because they will win a high percentage of the time.
Learning how much to bet is one of the most confusing things for a player that is new to the game. Most beginners are capable of understanding when they have made a strong hand, but it is a different thing entirely to understand how to turn it into money.
The first time that you are presented with the option to raise occurs pre flop. In the early stages of a tournament the common practice is to raise 3x the big blind, then as the blinds get bigger, and the antes are introduced, players generally raise 2x the big blind.
After the pre flop action, you will find yourself at the flop. On this street your bet size is generally going to be anywhere between 50% and 75% of the pot.
You bet the same amount when you have a made hand, and when you have a bluff, in order to balance your play. This way it is more difficult for the better players to exploit you.
Turn and river betting is a lot more complicated, especially in Betfair WSOP 2013 satellites, and largely depends on the strength of your hand, and the read you have on your opponent.
When in these situations, remember that there are only two reasons to bet. Either you are trying to extract value from a worse hand, or you want a better hand to fold because you have a bluff.
Over betting the pot is a definition given when you bet more than the pot contains. This is a classic mistake that beginners have when they have a strong hand. The excitement of hitting the hand makes them forget that their opponent needs to have a hand to call.
According to the Betfair poker news, over bets should be avoided unless you really believe your opponent is going to call, or your game becomes more advanced.
Despite the popularity of the ‘Cadillac of Poker’ No-Limit Texas Hold’em (NLHE), Limit Hold’em (LH) is still a game that is enjoyed by a large proportion of the poker community, and is still played at the WSOP 2013 Qualifiers.
The basics of the two games are the same. In both games you are dealt two hole cards face down and every player involved in the hand will see a flop, turn and a river that are used to create the best five-card hand. The only difference with Limit Hold’em concerns the betting limitations with a fixed betting pattern used for flop, turn and river making big raises and the all-in move impossible scenarios.
Here is some guidance if you fancy a flutter at the LH tables on online with Betfair Poker …
Watch and Learn
You are new to the game so there is no need to get jiggy with it. Instead, you can take the opportunity to fold quite liberally in exchange for the time to watch and learn from the rest of the players seated around the table.
Position is just as important in LH and it is in NLHE. Always value your position and adjust your starting hand selection accordingly.
If you have nothing after the flop then fold your hand. This is not the game to try and run a bluff, as your opponent will most likely call even with the worse possible hand.
Beware the Bad Beat
The bad players – and some of the good ones – will pay to see every street, so you are going to get sucked out on occasion. Deal with it and don’t allow the bad beats to change your style of play. Over the long run your strict hand selection will pay dividends.
When you were a child, did you used to play football with your friends? If you did, then you will be familiar with the process that was used for picking sides. Two team captains would be selected, and they would each take turns to choose a player until none remained. If you were not very athletic, when you were younger, they you would have no doubt suffered the ignominy of being chosen last.
If you were chosen last, then it is likely that you were not the greatest footballer, hence the reason nobody really wanted you on there side. To benefit from this situation you could position your best player in the area that the weakest player was defending. This is known as isolating the weak area of the team.
In poker, the same rings true. You need to identify the weaker players at the table in Betfair Poker Live Prague events and target them in the same way. The best way to do this is to table select very carefully. Identify a weak player and then take a seat to the left of that player.
The closer you are the better. If you are playing in a live game and are not in a great position, in relation to the weak player, then ask for a ‘seat change’ button. It might feel a little uncomfortable at first, but it’s highly probable the weak player won’t even understand why you want to sit to his left. He might think you just want to be friendly.
When the weak player limps, you should raise. When the weak player raises you should re-raise. Always apply pressure on the weakest player at the table, keeping one eye on the other players who are smart enough to figure out what you are doing.
According to the Betfair WSOP 2013 page, the greatest position to be in is occupying a seat to the left of a weak player, and nobody at the table realises what you are even doing.
It was December 2012 when the inaugural Mind Sports Festival was launched to great success in the Czech capital of Prague.
It was cleverly bolted onto the European Poker (EPT) and World Poker Tours (WPT), which were operating at the same time. The bolt on was in part due to the claim that poker is a mind sport. But what exactly is a mind sport?
The wiki description simply states that a mind sport is: ‘a game of skill where the mental component is more significant than the physical.’
This is part of the problem for poker because not too many of the right people are standing on their chair and voicing their unanimous opinion that poker is a game of skill.
That is except Brooklyn judge, Jack B. Weinstein, who in August of last year became the first judge to declare poker as a game of skill.
The declaration came in a case concerning Lawrence DiCristina who ran a warehouse where poker games were played and he took 5% of each nights winning to cover his expenses and make a profit.
He was staring down the barrel of a 10-year prison sentence until Judge Weinstein made his ruling.
But, in Europe, the Mind Sports Festival moves on unabated and a huge poker tour always accompanies the traveling circus.
“I think poker definitely has a place amongst other mind sports,” said professional poker player, and sideline reporter, Kara Scott at the recent Mind sports Festival in Baden, Austria.
“A lot of people who play poker do tend to play a lot of the other games that are very similar, such as Backgammon.”
The next stop for the Mind Sports festival is Marbella and it will once again work alongside the WPT, who will operate a National Series event; poker, Scrabble, e-sports, chess and Risk.
Under the tutelage of Alex Dreyfus, CEO of Zokay Entertainment, the Global Poker Index (GPI) just won’t keep still. It seems that there are always new branches sprouting from the considerable oak, and the next is the announcement of the GPI Player of the Month format.
The first player of the month award has gone to the German Ole Schemion. Schemion currently stands at 18th place in the world charts proper, but holds the number one spot in his country Germany. In the world of poker, topping the German chart is something to be proud of as it oozes class.
Germany currently sits in seventh place in the GPI national rankings, but if the kids from Deutschland keep on playing the way they have, then this position is only set to rise. Players like Marvin Rettenmaier, Philipp Gruissem, Tobias Reinkemeier, Fabian Quoss, Dominik Nitsche and Igor Kurganov have all been keep kicking up a fuss of late.
Rettenmaier won the 2012 GPI European Player of the Year award after winning back-to-back WPT titles, Nitsche is now looking for the Triple Crown after securing WSOP and WPT victories, Schemion won both the Partouche Main Event and the Amsterdam Masters Classics in 2012 and the quartet of Gruissem, Quoss, Reinkemeier and Kurganov are taking down six and seven figure high roller scores for fun.
The February GPI Player of the Month is in full swing and guess what? Yet again there is another German heading the field with Igor Kurganov setting the pace with over $1.4 million taken out of the Aussie Millions alone.
Can anyone stop the German Juggernaut in 2013?
In the days before poker created bad guys that were more gruesome than Brick Top from Snatch, there was a talented poker player who went by the name Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson – remember him? Anyway, the man who could slice carrots with his playing cards once turned $0 into $10,000 playing cash games and tournaments online. It was an incredible feat and one that Andre ‘acoimbra’ Coimbra is going to try to top by turning $100 into $100,000 through online multi table tournaments alone.
If you are serious about your poker and play at sites such as http://betting.betfair.com/poker/ then you should pay attention to this challenge. If you forget the obvious quality that Coimbra possesses, the road he travels should be one you would want to follow. The success, or failure, of poker rests on your management of cash and Coimbra is going to have to do a world-class job at this in order for him to be a success. You know the old adage. If you want to achieve something great, then find someone who has already done it and mimic.
During his challenge Coimbra will be free to deploy any form of bankroll management he chooses. If he believes that he has an edge in a certain type of game, then he may deploy more aggressive bankroll management rules. He will generally stick to the 45, 90 or 180 man tournaments until his roll increases, and he will also add in a splash of free roll tournaments.
Another vital part of the Coimbra challenge, and one you must also take note of, is review. He will have to consistently monitor his performances to find errors in his game, and fix them as soon as possible. He will also be searching for ways to exploit the games he is playing in – he will never stop working.
If you fancy a change from poker, then why not try Betfair Backgammon instead?
The poker table is laden with faces and personalities. There are no gender, ethnicity or age restrictions leading to a multi-cultural and diverse facial landscape.
But despite the individualism that poker offers – even at big tournaments like Betfair Poker Live – people can still be categorised, labelled and branded.
One such brand is singed into the skin of The Angler. The Angler is a poker player who uses every trick at his, or her, disposal in order to try and gain an edge in a hand.
The definition of trick does not involve any form of mesmeric show of brilliance. Instead The Angler prefers deceit instead of deductive ability, cheating over charismatic moves and scamming over scorching play.
The minds of the uneducated are awash with visions of The Angler running over a table. Reality offers a different perspective. The Angler does not excite. The Angler annoys and irritates.
Like a hook dug deep into the lip of a hungry looking fish, the actions of The Angler cut deep; they hurt and they can scar.
It is better to avoid a table that houses an Angler. They bring disrepute into the game, which in turn produces stagnation in the action, an uncomfortable silence and muted game. You also have to expend a lot of energy keeping your eye on them; energy that is better used in your creative game.
Luckily, these players rarely last. Parlour tricks will only last so long, especially in big games like Betfair Aussie Millions. It is the skilful that last the pace. The Angler just fades away.
You have been firing away on every street, and your opponent has soaked up everything. Then on the river you pull back the trigger and let fire. The river bullet steams across the felt with a trail of card cordite in its wake. Your opponent doesn’t flinch and just calmly raises you.
Those are the uncomfortable moments in Betfair. Not only are you sure that you are ahead, but you are equally as confident of your opponent’s range. Then he or she throws a boomerang at you. Your stomach knots, your forehead creases and you genuinely do not know what to do.
So you understand what poker pain feels like, the uncomfortable nature of assault. So doesn’t it make sense to want to exact the same sort of pain and un-comfortableness onto your opponents? Of course it does.So once you have got your Poker Download fired up the purpose of your betting strategy is to keep your opponent’s guessing.
Never make it easy for them to determine what your range of hands maybe. Always make it difficult. You need to keep your opponent’s teetering on the fence. Have them second-guessing themselves. Make them sweat, make their forehead crease and tie their stomach into knots.
Quid pro quo, the more they sweat the calmer you are. So the fence is a great place to be as long as you are not the one sitting on it, and instead are the one swaying it backwards and forwards as your opponents try desperately not to fall flat on their faces
It sounds very Western doesn’t it? The dust is rising, the tumbleweed rolling and two men stare at each other just seconds from death. This is the showdown. In poker, the term is used to demonstrate the phase of play when the players hands have to be revealed. There are no guns, no tumbleweed and no dust, but there is always someone who feels as though their life is going to end.
In any form of poker, including Betfair Poker Tournaments ,when there are two or more players left in the hand, and the betting rounds have been completed, there needs to be a showdown for the pot to be won. The rules vary from game to game, but invariably you need to either show the winning hand, or your opponent(s) needs to muck their hand in order for you to win the pot.
There is a certain amount of strategy that is deployed during showdown. In a game of incomplete information, players want to expose as little as they can. If they can complete a showdown, without showing their cards, then that is a success. With this in mind players don’t like to show first. This way they can examine their opponent’s cards and determining whether they have the better hand, or not. If they don’t then they can muck their hand without giving away vital information.
The experienced players will use this knowledge to their advantage when playing against their less-experienced opponents – be it in a bricks and mortar casino or a virtual one, like those found with a Online Poker Download. Even when it is their turn to showdown first (and you must check the rules at each tournament), a simple nod of the head will often result in their less-experienced opponent showing their hand. After all they don’t know any different and just tend to follow the lead of those who know what they are doing.
- Introduction to Tournaments
- Tournament Formats
- Poker Tournament Rules - General
- Tournament Strategy - general
- Online Poker Tournaments
- Online Poker Tournament Rules - General
- Online Tournament Strategy
- Live Poker Tournaments
- Live Tournament Strategy
- Hosting a Home Tournament
- Hosting a Charity Tournament
- History of Women in Poker
- Professional Female Players
- Female Advantage and Strategy
- Ladies’ Tournaments
- Hosting a Ladies’ Poker Night
Hosting a Home Game
- Hosting a game
- Dealer's Choice
- How to deal a hand
- Drink and food
- Strip poker
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- Collusion in Poker
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