Free Online Poker Course
First of all, there are all info we require regarding the games plus rules about the Game Info page.
When you may be familiar with all the fundamentals you could begin the initially course off with a small food for thought. To succeed at Poker, definitely, superb Poker Skills are necessary. To start improving a abilities it really is best to focus about them individually. What are a few of these abilities? They include, mental planning, hand selection, reading hands, understanding whenever to stop and more.
In the upcoming session, we are going to start the classes by breaking these abilities down! Don't forget to bring the pen plus pad, you're certain to wish To jot down certain notes!
Great Luck plus have fun!
1. Game plus Seat Selection
Are you presently willing for the initially lesson? Today we'll start functioning about developing the abilities. We can begin off this month's lesson with Game plus Seat Selection.
Whenever entering a Poker Room, Game plus Seat Selection ought to be forefront inside a notice. In choosing a game, you need to go where we have a handicap. In alternative words, should you are rated amount 8 found on the world's list of right Poker players, sitting at a table with all the top 7 Poker players may place we at the bottom of ladder; because you'll definitely become the worst poker player about which table. If its money you need to win, play at a table which we understand you are able to beat.
When we have selected a game plus table, you need to choose a seat where you'll receive the many value for the income. How? Poker is played inside a clockwise way, as well as the funds might flow alike. So, try to find the big Bankroll players with loose attitudes. Important, constantly ensurethat they are seated to the immediate appropriate. This technique, all betting plus raising is completed by the time the action reaches we.
Great Luck plus have fun!
2. Mental Preparation & Hand Selection
I hope which we went over the last lesson plus is today prepared to boost the Skills we require inside purchase to WIN! As you proceed, we are going to make we mentally plus provide we tips about a hand selection.
The Game has started. We have received a cards plus today it's time to create the hand selection. This really is the many important element of the game, because this can determine the game result.
Whenever creating this choice never think just of the greatest total winning combination: rather, employ the cards to aid inside choosing a highest valued hand utilizing the many useful winning combination. I find it required to point out which Bluffing plus Semi-Bluffing equally pays a important part inside Poker however, we'll discuss this further inside the upcoming lesson.
We have reached the finish of the month's session. For lesson 3, make sure to read upcoming month's edition of 888.com's Newsletter plus remember to keep abreast found on the Games Theory. Exchange new info with players, plus read Poker connected literature, it assists!
Great Luck plus have fun!
3. The Art of Bluffing
Are today willing for this issue's lesson!
As you proceed, we are going to touch found on the Topic of Bluffing. Remember which should you were to play with a best hands just you'd do not have action whenever we play.
In order to benefit from bluffing inside poker, you need to learn whenever plus whenever to not Bluff, because doing this could occasionally damage a game. Bluffing inside Poker is a easy matter of mathematics combined with an simple learning of how to read Tells (opponents hands). Let's state, for illustration, which there is a $50 pot plus we bet $5 to test plus take the pot whenever we have no chance of winning. This will provide we 10-1 about the cash. As a happen, we want a 10 - 1 chance of winning the pot. Even in the event you are unsuccessful found on the tenth attempt, you will want an eleventh to break even. I have given we an illustration of the worst-case situation inside purchase to show which the bluffs should be lucrative just a little percentage of the amount of time in purchase to show a profit from bluffing. Even with all the above info, there are recommended regulations to adhere to whenever bluffing.
In the upcoming lesson, we'll start to discuss the dos plus don'ts of Bluffing plus go from every point inside detail.
Okay Class, you have reached the finish of the month's session. For Lesson IV, make sure to read upcoming month's edition of 888.com's Newsletter plus remember to keep abreast of Games Theory. Exchange modern info with players, plus read Poker associated literature - it assists!
Great Luck plus have fun!
4. The Dos plus Don'ts
"You are able to trick a few of the individuals the time plus the folks a few of the time. But you can't trick the folks the time." So mentioned President Abraham Lincoln. Maybe he liked to play poker!
Why we're reminding we of which distinguished quotation is considering this month we're lookin again at the among the details which makes poker thus special. The Great Art of Bluffing.
We touched about Bluffing quickly inside the past lesson nevertheless today you are willing to step it up a small with a some 'dos plus don'ts'.
Many players consider Bluffing to be more significant inside poker than the actual deal plus there is a great deal of truth inside this. Look at a few of the legends that have famously earned with hands which look like feet plus you'll see how significant it is actually.
First, certain 'dos': DO bluff whenever the pot is big. We don't require because big a chance of winning because whenever the pot is small. DO bluff against advantageous players. They usually appreciate the chance to joust while bad players may just call we considering it's inside their attitude to be impatient plus like to see the upcoming card. DO bluff whenever an opponent is not bluffing. This arises whenever the pot is big as well as the additional player knows it takes just 1 card to beat him. He's unlikely to be bluffing when he's been initially to bet inside a game with five or even more players plus expects to be called. Then, several 'don'ts': DON'T bluff whenever there is just 1 opponent along with a little pot. Should you check plus he then bets, there is a better than average chance which he's bluffing himself. DON'T bluff whenever you've newly been caught bluffing. You've been labeled because a bad bluffer absolutely. Let them forget which hand and begin rebuilding a standing because a straight player - you'll receive another chance shortly! DON'T bluff against many players. Chances are which somebody has anything which they'll stick to. From an odds attitude, this might be not worthwhile. Great Luck plus have fun! 5. Seven-Card Stud This month, I'm going to consider the much underrated Seven-Card Stud. Occasionally overlooked inside favor of quicker, faster games, this game remains the epitome of classic poker - a challenge of talent, persistence plus stamina, however, with easy game rules. Betting inside Seven-Card Stud consists of a initial Ante, preceded by 5 Betting Rounds. Throughout the game every player receives 3 face-down cards plus 4 face-up cards. Every player then creates the greatest valued hand, utilizing any mixture of 5 within the total of 7 cards. It's is a distinct benefit to be capable to observe additional players' hands develop. This assists whenever considering approach. For instance, observe for 'dead' cards. You can have 2 aces inside the hole following the initial deal, plus you'd usually consider betting aggressively nevertheless NOT in the event you may see those additional 2 aces sitting face up inside the additional players' hands. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that the initial 3 cards are more significant inside Seven-Card Stud than inside Five-Card Stud. Most players, even several wise ones, believe which they could enter the betting round with a lower ranking hand than they might inside Five-Card Stud found on the basis which they have 4 more cards with that to better their hand. However this applies to additional players too as well as the betting hasn't began yet! It should furthermore be remembered which Seven-Card Stud is usually a excellent card game (10 thru Ace) meaning many games are decided about a significant pair or the greatest of 2 excellent pairs. Therefore, it's greater to fold early should you don't have at smallest 2 excellent cards (10 thru Ace) or at smallest 1 card which is high than a nything showing found on the board inside a beginning hand except you may be playing a 'draw' hand (a excellent straight, excellent flush or perhaps a straight flush). Remember let them beat we, don't try to beat them! Ok class, that's a wrap for this month's session. For Lesson 6, make sure to read upcoming month's edition of 888.com's Newsletter plus remember to keep abreast of Games Theory. Exchange modern info with players, plus read Poker connected literature - it assists! Great Luck plus have fun! 6. The Importance of Seat Position This month, I'm going to consider the value of 'Position' and just how where we sit throughout a game will really impact the result. The value of position cannot be stressed enough. Even the same cards turning out inside the same purchase may throw up greatly different results depending about where you're sitting. Hands which are playable plus inside winning combinations inside late positions might frequently be unplayable inside earlier positions. How does it function? Well, should you are initially, next or 3rd to play following the dealer you're mentioned to be inside 'early' position (sometimes known because 'up front'). Should you are the dealer (sometimes known because 'playing the button') or are 1 or 2 seats to the proper of the dealer you may be inside 'late' position. All players in-between (plus usually facing the dealer over the table) are inside 'middle' position.
Should you are inside 'early' position, the kind of hands you're forced to play are limited to significant cards because, naturally, we do not have method of recognizing what additional later players are carrying.
While playing inside 'middle' position, you'll have callers waiting behind we plus several that have absolutely played. The chance of the raise is somewhat reduced plus there are absolutely many players inside the pot thus you'll receive greater odds playing somewhat weaker hands than regular.
If you are inside 'late' position we have the benefit of getting enjoyed virtually each play thus far plus usually at minimum learn how alternative players feel regarding their hands by the means they have checked, bet, raised or re-raised.
If you are 'playing the button' (i.e. the dealer) you may be last to act inside every betting round of which hand that is a main benefit. As with 'late' positions, you are able to play a much weaker hand than regular plus will optimize the utilization of bluffs, very because the game progresses.
So upcoming time you're playing take a consider where you're sitting about the dealer plus think twice regarding a hand. It could make all difference!
Ok class, that's a wrap for this month's session. For Lesson 7, make sure to read upcoming month's edition of 888.com's Newsletter plus remember to keep abreast of Games Theory. Exchange brand-new info with players, plus read Poker associated literature - it assists!
Great Luck plus have fun!
7. Opponent Observation
This month, I'm going to consider examining a opponents plus choosing up about designs plus patterns of play which may create all difference whenever the game truly gets going?
Firstly, watching how alternative players are betting, even if you're not concerned inside the pot, is essential.
The most commonly known faults, specifically among inexperienced low-limit players, is the fact that they may see the 'flop' inside Hold 'Em, for illustration, with hands they must have folded, they usually call whenever they could fold as well as play their hands lengthy following it's obvious they're beat. In short, they play too loose.
We might barely ever see a novice low-limit Hold 'Em player play too conservatively or too tight. If they have the possibility of either phoning or folding they usually virtually constantly choose to call. They came to play plus it's no fun for those to fold without phoning 1 last final bet to find what we have.
The main difference between inexperienced low-limit players plus medium/high-limit players is the fact that the latter perform a lot more raising pre-flop. Should you ever discover oneself inside a game where there is an excessive amount of raising going about even the flimsiest of cards, that's a certain signal you're up against a talented player plus it's value thinking regarding getting out!
One last tip, constantly assume a opponent is much better than we till we have obvious evidence to the contrary. Over self-confidence is a crime inside this game!
Ok class, that's a wrap for this month's session. For Lesson 8, make sure to read upcoming month's edition of 888.com's Newsletter plus remember to keep abreast of Games Theory. Exchange new info with players, plus read Poker connected literature - it assists!
Great Luck plus have fun!
8. Calling plus Raising Before The Flop
This month I'm lookin at whenever you really need to call plus whenever you need to raise before the flop. This really is an significant aspect of the game because you'll need to create this choice numerous instances inside every session we play.
Calling before the Flop
Calling which initially bet is the the most significant decisions you'll create throughout a hand of poker, because whenever we do choose to call you'll virtually constantly need to place additional money inside the pot following which.
The cost of voluntarily phoning the blind whenever we don't have a premium hand adds up over the course of the game. Remember, a dollar saved is value as much to we because any dollar we may win.
In late positions you are able to call with average to superior hands in early positions you need a good hand to call. For long term achievement, the trick is to consistently play the hands which we think have the many chance of improving to the number one hand by the showdown.
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Raising before the Flop In a great deal of situations a advantageous thing to do to instantly better a game is not to regularly call pre-flop raises except we have a genuine raising hand. This will impact about a game because there is a great deal of pre-flop raising, specifically inside the average low limit game. If you do raise, you need to do thus just with truly premium hands plus not with hands which we figure to be absolutely beaten before the flop. This really is incredibly true whenever you may be inside a extremely late position because few players might throw away their hands whenever they recognize they just need to call 1 bet to find the flop. Don't forget - a raise inside an early position can tend to narrow the field when a raise inside a late position usually tend to build the pot. OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. For Lesson 9, make sure to read upcoming month's edition of 888.com's Newsletter plus remember which an educated player is a greater player, plus greater players tend to win more.
Great Luck plus have fun! 9. Betting or Raising found found on the Flop Last month I gave all of us many tips for actions before the Flop, this month I'm looking at certain techniques for betting and raising found found on the Flop itself. Betting found found on the Flop If you see the Flop and you are absolutely undecided between checking and betting you ought to commonly choose to bet. By betting we won't supply away any free cards therefore you won't get beat found found on the River with a player which may have folded, equally the pot is bigger if you do win. Should you Flop a superior hand a choice to bet depends regarding a amount of things: the strength of the hand, how many players are left inside the hand, the possibilities of getting an over card found found on the turn or River and naturally, the estimation of what a opponents are carrying. The choice should be based an all these factors. We should bet a advantageous hands for value nevertheless we need to moreover occasionally check to fluctuate the play and to keep the opponents guessing. Raising found found on the Flop The initial thing you ought to remember regarding raising found found on the Flop, especially inside a low limit game, is that it might rarely force out any player who Flopped any hand at all or any flush or straight draw. Should you do raise found found on the Flop what you are doing is building a pot and generating the opponents pay to draw out regarding you. We should raise and re-raise if you Flop top pair with top kicker and think you have the best hand where point. We are the favorite to win the hand against any single straight or flush draw, plus against any extra player with top pair and a weaker kicker. A side benefit to playing the hand inside this technique is that when there is furthermore a flush draw found found on the board a opponents won't recognize which of the 2 hands you have; the number one pair or the flush draw. This doubt assists you considering you're called more commonly found found on the River whenever the flush card refuses to come. Consistently play with caution yet. If there is a lot of raising and re-raising all found found on the Flop, it is possibly that someone has flopped a set or 2 pair and completely has you beat.
You need to be cautious when amidst the raisers is in the blind. They would have anything inside the pocket, got a magic Flop and are now betting to protect it. OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. For Lesson 9, ensure to read upcoming month's edition of 888.com's
Newsletter and remember that improving the poker abilities is a constant task, normally analyze a game to locate where you will boost. Great Luck and have fun! 10. Betting found found on the Turn and River Hello Class, Last month I gave we many tips for betting and raising found found on the flop, this month I may finish the hand by lookin at many techniques for the turn and the river cards. Betting found found on the Turn The turn card is the initial big chance to bet more, raise when the bets have doubled plus cause the draws pay to beat you. If you have decided to obtain the turn card, you ought to be especially certain of what we should win and what the odds of generating it are. Should you have top pair or create 2 pair found found on the turn we need to mostly bet and raise to protect a hand and cause the draws pay. You could moreover consider raising found found on the turn inside the event we have a medium strength hand with a chance of improving found found on the river. Since you were going to spot 2 big bets inside the pot anyway, you can spot it all inside found found on the turn, providing the impression that you have a best hand and maybe win the pot right there. Betting found found on the River There are 2 main factors to bet found found on the river, when the cards are out and you are the initial to bet. The initially is to result a weaker hand to put extra funds into a pot that you think you'll win. The alternative is to get the better hand to fold when you have the second perfect hand. Another time to bet found found on the river is when you missed a straight or flush draw and you feel that the opponent did moreover, nevertheless holds 2 big cards. Should you feel that a AJ could lose to his AQ you ought to consider betting.
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Your opponent is difficult forced to call with really an Ace-high and you may take the pot. Additionally, if you cause the nuts found found on the river and you need to call a bet inside early position, you might create more funds if you call rather of raise. Better to have five players call behind you than to raise and only get 1 or 2. OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. For Lesson 11, make certain that to read upcoming month's edition of 888.com's Newsletter and remember that improving a poker abilities is a constant task, it generally is a smart choice to keep notes of the playing sessions therefore to track and analyze the game. Great Luck and have fun! 11. Tournament Play 1 Hey Class, Last month I completed off the standard techniques for a hand of Texas Hold 'em with many techniques for the Turn and River cards. This month, to coincide with all the new tournaments, I might offer you many tips for tournament play focusing found found on the early stages of the tournament. The Basics Tournaments fluctuate greatly from ring games inside terms of the strategies and abilities required to succeed. Where ring game play demands steadiness,
precision and the ability to surrender a hand, tournament play demands the ability to win a noticeable percentage of the pots you bet into. To be a efficient tournament player you ought to recognize these variations and adjust a game to suit them. In the beginning Before we take a seat always are aware of the Blinds structure and just how the Prize Pool is to be split. This info is obtainable in the Tournament FAQ pages. The upcoming thing to consider regarding tournament play about 888.com is the fact that it happens to be swiftly. The blinds increase each 10-15 minutes thus you ought to keep a close eye about how various blinds are left inside a stack, and just how extended it is actually before the blinds heighten again. While the expense of the blinds is reasonably low compared to the stack size, you are able to play more marginal hands than usual. It could frequently be value endangering a little piece of the stack to find the flop with little pairs, suited connectors plus different marginal hands to have the opportunity to double a stack should you hit big found on the flop. By the same token it may be right to play advantageous hands reasonably conservatively pre-flop. If you hold AK inside late position plus there are many callers it's frequently better only to call. This minimizes the reduction when the flop is to not a liking plus we have the added advantage of disguise in the event you hit a monster hand found on the flop. There are 2 methods to play the early stages. You are able to try plus build a significant stack by playing aggressively, or we might try for a steady accumulation of chips by playing more tightly. Both these approaches have their blessings plus disadvantages; you need to play the means which more carefully fits the all-natural design.
Finally inside the early stages never be worried with eliminating different players. We are too far within the prize list to be concerned regarding how several players are left, plus it really is more significant to focus about keeping a stack inside wise condition. We should furthermore remember which players found on the brink of removal are bound to go all of the method, thus in the event you do have a superior hand it is very an good chance to strengthen the stack. OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. In Lesson 12 I is continuing the techniques you ought to succeed from the center stages of the tournaments. Remember which inside poker, like anything else, practice makes ideal. Good luck and have fun! 12. Tournament Play 2 Hello Class, Last month I gave you all some pointers for the early stages of tournament play. As the tournament progresses, the nature of the game shifts and you must adjust your play accordingly, so this month I will continue with tactics for the critical stages of a tournament. The Middle Stages The blinds are constantly increasing and therefore, will start to represent an increasing proportion of your stack. For this reason simply winning the blinds becomes important. If you are first into the pot you should consider entering with a raise, quite often you can steal the blinds as your opponents will be risking a large proportion of their stack by calling your raise. The flip side of this is that you must tighten up your requirements for calling, and when you do bet into a pot you have to play aggressively. Unless you are winning pots with some regularity you will quickly find your stack shrinking, so try to win the blinds once per round.
This way you can see another round of hands and increase your chance of hitting that premium hand. Also at this stage of the tournament your stack size starts to become important. If your stack falls below roughly 4 times the upper limit, you can expect to be called a lot more often. This is because your stack is not large enough to seriously damage the larger stacks at the table, and they know that you are being forced into playing slightly more marginal hands. Combat this by raising only with premium hands and limping in with reasonable hands. You should also lower your calling requirements when you are short stacked as you never know if a better opportunity will come along. If you have twice the average stack size or more you are in a strong position. However, this can change rapidly as the blinds quickly add up, so don't let your guard down. You need to keep playing aggressively, especially with the short stacks, but be careful of the other large stacks at the table as they can do you serious damage. If you find yourself head to head with a player who is almost all-in you should force the other player to commit their last few chips at the first opportunity. If you would call a bet if they made one, you must bet in order to prevent them checking - knocking that player out will bring you one step closer to the money. However, as always, play with care as no matter how few chips a player has left they can quickly regain a commanding position in just a few hands if they hit a few fortunate draws. OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. In Lesson 13 I will be continuing the strategies you need to succeed through to the late stages of our tournaments. Remember that poker is a learning experience, so if you make a mistake make sure you learn from it. Good luck and have fun! 14. No Limit and Pot Limit Hello Class, No-Limit Hold 'em is game of general strategy, basic tactical skills useful in all forms of poker and a game of intense psychology to boot. No-Limit Poker The range of skills involved in No-Limit games can be so eclectic and varied that even battle-hardened professionals admit that they still have a lot to learn about No-Limit Hold 'em. However, don't let this scare you off; No-Limit Hold 'em is still the most fun of all poker games as well as being potentially profitable even for absolute beginners.
The key to winning No-Limit games is not only your own knowledge of the game but your ability to adapt to your opponents' knowledge. Learn just how honed your own skills are and what your weak points are, then apply this to how badly others at your table are playing No-Limit. Pot-Limit Poker Pot-Limit is a popular offline game in Europe and in online gaming generally. It is very similar to No-Limit poker where the minimum bet is structured as in Limit Poker and the maximum bet is simply the amount of money in the pot. Many people play Pot-Limit because they find this sort of Poker the most fun but think that Pot-Limit is less dangerous than No-Limit. Now, this is true in that it's slightly less dangerous because another player cannot put you all-in unless the pot has been building. However, in reality, you are at a huge disadvantage if you are playing Pot-Limit scared. For example, if you fold because you don't want the pot to build, then you will fold winners! And if you refuse to go in big when you have a good hand, then you are not being aggressive enough on your big winners. Ultimately, if you want a slightly less risky game than No-Limit, then playing Pot-Limit is fine, but you need to realize that you must still be prepared to bet your entire stack or you could lose your entire stack! OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. In Lesson 15 I will be continuing the strategies for No Limit and Pot Limit with some more advanced tips. Remember that poker is a learning experience, so if you make a mistake make sure you learn from it. Good luck and have fun! 15. No Limit Hold Hello Class, No-Limit Hold'em is a strategic game utilizing basic tactical skills found in all forms of poker and a game of intense psychology to boot. General No Limit Hold'em Tips First of all, learning what the implied odds are as well as the odds for catching draws (straights, flushes, etc) will really help you to play No Limit Hold'em well. Always try to be aware of how obvious your hand is when making these calculations. A flush draw, for example, is quite transparent so your opponent will need a very good hand, or be a bad player, to be calling all those raises. It also helps to vary your play as playing in a predictable fashion will make you easier to read and you won't get any action when you do hit the good hands. Don't only raise pre-flop with AA, KK, AK, etc - mix it up a little and keep your opponents guessing. Varying your play also means that you can find out how tough your table is. For example, is it a tough game that requires you to play good cards or a weak passive game that allows you to play lower valued hands pre-flop? Another essential skill is to avoid traps. Always bear in mind that after the flop anything can win and there is no need to chase those pocket aces all the way to the river.
One thing you will notice is that better players are very unlikely to give lots of action after the flop with only one pair. They will call you, but to raise, re-raise and go all-in is rare (and if they do this often you'll be able to pick up on it). If you have AA and have some player going all-in against you after you have raised pre-flop, it is likely that you are beat. That doesn't mean fold every time but it does mean that you shouldn't consider AA or KK a hand that you'll always showdown. OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. In Lesson 16 I will be continuing the strategies for No Limit and Pot Limit with some more advanced tips. Remember that poker is a learning experience, so if you make a mistake make sure you learn from it! 16.Sizing up the opposition Hello Class, Knowing your opponent is one of the key skills you need in order to beat your opponent so this month I am going to look at the most common 'types' of player. Also you need to bear in mind what type of player you are and the type of plays your opponent may make in order to beat you!! For example, one of the clearest signs of a weaker player is the inability to fold certain pocket pairs after the flop. Types of opponents: Players are usually defined by, initially, the number of hands the person plays and, secondly, their betting style. So the four main types of players are: tight-passive, tight-aggressive, loose-passive, loose-aggressive. (E.g. Tight and loose are defined, respectively, as those who will play only a small number of hands and those who will play a lot). Tight-passives: By playing only a small number of hands, these players do fine in a limit game, but they won't make much in a No-Limit game. The only way these players will win is when they pick off bluffs, otherwise they won't get the value out of their hands that they should. You should bluff at the flop a lot against these players and if they are betting heavily give them credit for a good hand and fold. Loose-passives: By playing a lot of hands, these players have to hope that opponents continually bluff into them because this type will call frequently with the second best hand. This is a recipe for disaster at No-Limit. You don't see too many of these bad players at No-Limit games because they lose so quickly and move on to Limit games. Loose-aggressive: These players come across like crazy maniacs, but in reality, they are a very dangerous form of opponent albeit with an Achilles Heel. They will buy a fair share of pots, but then will get themselves trapped by another aggressive player and can lose their stacks in one or two hands. What separates these from good 'loose-aggressive' players is that they lack discipline. They love the action of No-Limit so much that they get themselves trapped too easily. Tight-aggressive: This is a very common style and in my opinion one of the most effective. The tight-aggressive player's main problems are that he may get chased out of a lot of flops too early and that he may be too easily read. You have to watch out for these players eating away at your bankroll bit by bit and thus throwing you off balance. OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. In Lesson 17 I will be continuing the strategies for No Limit and Pot Limit with some more advanced tips. Remember that poker is a learning experience, so if you make a mistake make sure you learn from it. Good luck and have fun! 17. Knowing When to Fold and When To Hold
Hello Class, One of the most common errors in Hold 'em, much more so than other games, is to cling to hands that look good long after they turn bad. For example, one of the clearest signs of a weaker player is the inability to fold certain pocket pairs after the flop. Weaker players will often fold a King, Jack on an Ace, Jack, Eight flop but will bet all their money with a pair of Queens on an Ace, Ten, Nine flop. When facing a bet, the difference in value between those two hands at that point is miniscule, but the somehow the 'prettier' pair of Queens forces players to act like TV Cowboys. It's just so 'good looking' but sadly, you don't get any money for having 'pretty' hands in poker. What you do get is a chance to force certain situations in each round and better players will often beat weaker players for a lot of chips even though the better player is holding worse cards than the weaker player. Ok, in a way, this is the idea of most of the game but what makes one player better than another, in essence, is the ability to transform what should be negative situations into positive ones. The factors at work are the better player's skills and the weaker player's idea of a good hand. Another way to put it is - giving a weak player a good starting hand is sometimes the best thing for a more experienced player. Just because something starts out fine doesn't mean it will end that way. Starting hands are merely that, a start. Clinging to good starting hands for too long, specifically putting in a bet on the bigger betting round on the turn, is an enormous hole in most players' game and players who rely on the most straightforward starting hands, particularly pocket pairs, will suffer most.
Remember, just because it looks 'good' doesn't mean it is. OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. In Lesson 18 I will be continuing with strategies and some more advanced tips. Remember that poker is a learning experience, so if you make a mistake make sure you learn from it. 18. Location, Location, Location Hello class, This month we look at the importance of position. A player's position at the table in relation to the "dealer's" is an important strategic factor in Texas Hold'em. The players sitting directly to the left of the dealer, including the blinds, are in what's termed the 'early position'. Early position puts the player at a disadvantage, because he or she cannot observe how his opponents will act before playing his hand. An 'early position' player who calls or bets on a weak hand may find themselves faced with a raise by another player, making it more expensive to play on with that hand. However, if the raiser does indeed have a strong hand, the early position player is likely to be beaten and has wasted the bet. Also, an early position player with a strong hand will find it harder to increase the pot by raising, unless other players feel strong enough to raise after him. The players sitting to the right of the dealer, including the dealer himself, are in 'late position'. Late position gives the player a strategic advantage, since the player can observe how his opponents act before playing his hand. A 'late position' player with a strong hand has more opportunity to increase the size of the pot by betting or raising. Late position gives the player an information advantage. By observing how the other players bet their hand, the late position player can make an informed decision on how to play their hand. The dealer is in the strongest position (termed "on the button") because he or she has the advantage of acting last. The dealer can even decide to bluff with an incredibly weak hand if there have been no bets or raises before this. Of course, a strong hand can be played in any position but a weaker or marginal hand should only be played in later position where a player, strategically speaking, is 'holding all the aces'! OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. In Lesson 19, I will be continuing with strategies and some more advanced tips. Remember that poker is a learning experience, so if you make a mistake make sure you learn from it. Good luck and have fun! 19. Early betting This month we look at early betting. With so many hands thrown in before the flop, pre-flop betting is as important a part of game as any. The blind positions and the player who has to bet first must be more selective with their hands as they don't have the privilege of watching other players betting and raising before they must decide if they want to stay in the game themselves. For example, let's assume you are first to play and have a Jack-Ten, unsuited. The player to bet after you raises and everyone else at the table folds except you. Now you have a big dilemma. The chances are fairly good that the other player has a better hand than you with at least an ace or a pocket pair. Unfortunately, you've already bet, because you had no idea or no way to tell what other players at the table were dealt. In addition, you will always, throughout the game, be acting before this player so this positional advantage will continue throughout this hand. Do you fold? or just call? A tough decision you have to make! OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. In Lesson 20, I will be continuing with strategies and some more advanced tips. Remember that poker is a learning experience, so if you make a mistake make sure you learn from it. Good luck and have fun! 21. Finishing In this lesson, we're going to look at the fine art of 'finishing'. The ability to 'finish' well is often overlooked because most average players, particularly in Texas Hold 'Em, focus almost obsessively on pre-flop play despite the obvious fact that there is more money at risk in the latter betting rounds. Indeed, it's a common complaint of average players to lament some unorthodox or daring strategy another player has made late in the game where that player appeared to "get lucky" but the bitter truth is that average players fixate on the earlier parts of hands, whilst better players focus on the 'kill'.
For example, when an average player raises with a pair of sevens after no one opens the pot, they can't understand why a better player will often re-raise with a Jack-Ten suited. All they see is a fairly risky starting hand. They don't see that not only is the Jack-Ten suited profitable here because of the dead money of the blinds, but worse, they don't see how the better player is going to make them pay on later betting rounds and exploit the average player's desire to back-up his opening pair no matter how bad the cards turn out and no matter how close they are to dangerous 'bluffing' territory. Great players understand that they are not trying to win every pot they play. They repeatedly try to set up situations where, at worst, they give up small edges so they can get a huge return less often. This is particularly prevalent in No Limit Hold 'Em tournaments. Great players want to see a lot of flops and aren't afraid to lose small pots with hands like Six-Five suited. What they are waiting for is to 'finish' in those rare situations when it really matters. OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. In Lesson 22, I will be continuing with strategies and more advanced tips. Remember that poker is a learning experience, so if you make a mistake make sure you learn from it. Good luck and have fun! 25. Pot Odds (2) Hello Class, In this lesson, we're going to look once more at Pot Odds. One of the most overlooked skills in modern poker is the ability to calculate the pot odds, particularly after the flop. Pot odds, implied odds, reverse implied odds and the possibility of a redraw. A poker pot is very similar to a raffle. However, your 'ticket' is actually a bet. If the pot is $100 and you must call $20, you will in fact be winning $120 if you win (the pot plus your bet - much as a horse bet would work). Thus, you need at least a 20/120 chance to win which is actually 16.7%. Knowing pot odds alone can win you a lot of pots simply because other players will not have had the time or skill to work them out but the problem with just basing your decision solely on pot odds is that it neglects bet possibilities in future rounds. It also fails to take into account the possibility that you may already have the best hand and it assumes that the opponent won't draw out against you. More importantly, it doesn't legislate for the fact that you could be drawing dead, meaning that the hand you are trying to hit will still not beat the hand an opponent currently holds! More on Pot Odds next month! OK class, that's a wrap for this month's session. In Lesson 26, I will be continuing with strategies and more advanced tips. Remember that poker is a learning experience, so if you make a mistake make sure you learn from it and don't forget that the only way to get better is to play more!
Good Luck and have fun! 31. Satellite Tournaments An important tip is how to recognize a Satellite tournament often called simply 'satellites'. A Satellite tournament is a smaller, less expensive (and can even be free if it is a super satellite) buy-in tournament where one or more of the prizes consists of a seat in a more expensive and/or larger buy-in tournament as the next level up in the tournament structure. Let's take our $50,000 guaranteed tournament for instance. If you play in a super satellite ($0 +$0) at no cost and finish in the top 10, then you will automatically receive a free seat to a $7 + $0.70 Sub-Satellite tournament at 13:15 PPT/12:15 PM ET on Saturday. So, instead of paying $7.70 to get into that Sub-Satellite tournament, you can earn your way in for FREE - you can literally say that we are paying you to play! Remember! These are just tips and there are no sure fire ways to win except by playing more and getting better! In our next edition we will give you a tip on how to improve your winning percentage in satellite tournaments! Good luck in the meantime and have fun! 32.
Poker School! This Poker Tip is that you should go back to school! Poker School that is! Whether you're new to poker and need some help starting out or an old expert wanting some advice to improve your game, our Poker School has got it for you. Here you'll find everything from money management, to bluffing out your opponents, to the psychology of poker, right down to how to play and how to win, all in a fun and interactive environment. Click on the 'Poker School' icon at the top of the page to learn in a way you never thought could be so fun! Good Luck and have fun! 33. Holding vs Folding A suited hand is a sure flush draw, right? Not necessarily. If you're dealt a suited hand you need to know when to hold and when to fold. A pair is a good hand to hold, but if your hand is not a pair but suited, make sure your cards are connected in some way. After all, the chance of flopping a flush or a flush draw with two suited cards is just under 12%, so don't rely on the hand just because it is suited! 34. 'Slow Play' the right way 'Slow Play' the right way So you think you're holding a definite winner,
but how do you boost the pot so you can take a stack of cash with your killer hand? 'Slow play' is a tactic used by many skilled players when they know they have an almost unbeatable hand early on, for example, a Full House on the Flop. Sometimes it's best to play subtly before launching a full scale betting and raising attack at the Turn or even the River. You don't want to scare off your opponents too soon with massive bets as you'll want them to bet into the hand as much as possible, boosting the pot that you're sure is yours. Then stake your claim by making a bet that will scare the opposition out of the water, and hopefully bring the pot home to you. 35. Let The Chips Fall Where They May In this issue we talk about 'lady luck'. The truth is that over the long run, all players will be dealt the same cards, giving them the same chance of winning. What makes the difference? It's how you play it; your poker skills! Every now and then it's natural that you may feel you're having a bad run, but think of the long term. Some suggest taking a break or changing your game style. Observing and taking notes on other players can also help to improve your strategy by learning what to Blaming the poker hall for a bad run may make you feel better but will not do anything to improve your game. The house has nothing to gain from your bad luck and in fact would like to see you winning and playing more at their tables, as the more you play, the better it is for the house. And remember, for all the times you feel things aren't going your way, there will be as many times when they do. Make sure you capitalize on them! Good Luck and have fun! 36. Adapt your game To be a good player you must be able to adapt. Poker is a mental game and as you play against different opponents, occasionally with the same cards and in the same position, various strategies are required so that your game is adaptable and unreadable. The best players make a variety of decisions in identical situations, adapting to the play around them. Play with common sense and be flexible according to the circumstances. Every bet, every hand, every table, is another story; another chance to win. You can win with different tactics as there is no correct way to play a game all the time..
Adapt your mentality or you may go 'tourna-mental'! Good Luck and have fun! 37. Multi-hand Hints If you are the type of player who likes a lot of action, you'll be glad to know that 888.com is giving you the opportunity to play in multiple games at once. However, although playing in more games at a time provides a higher possibility of increasing your earnings, playing on multiple tables can also increase your chances of making mistakes.. For example, particular tournaments will offer you less time to make crucial decisions, especially our 'Fast Tournaments' with increased blind level ups and shorter decision times per hand, so make sure you choose what games to play carefully.. To help you effectively manage more than one game, 888.com will alert you when it is your turn to act. In 'Game Settings' you can choose between having the game window pop up or flash in your task bar (or both!). Play around and see which option suits you best. If you are fast with the mouse you can manually switch back and forth between the tables and never miss a beat! Remember that you can also take advantage of the pre-action buttons where you make the decision to fold, call, or check before it's your turn to act. For example, you can pre-select to fold a bad hand, giving you more time to concentrate on another game with a stronger hand. Keep these tips in mind and ease yourself into this new feature. Once you feel comfortable with your play you can progress to play more tables and hopefully increase your winnings! Don't forget,
you no longer need to wait for that one hand where you will bet big. By playing in 2 or more tables you effectively multiply the likelihood of landing a strong hand, thus giving you a greater chance to increase your earnings. You are also playing more hands, getting more experience and making your game more solid. 38. Bad Beats & How to Still Win $$$ A 'Bad Beat' is no longer so bad with the launch of our Bad Beat Jackpots! Don't get upset, get the jackpot! A 'Bad Beat' is when a very strong hand is beaten by an even stronger hand, in a lucky draw. Sometimes your opponent will play a not-so-great hand when you are clearly in command but then suddenly, at the 'River', they get a miracle card that beats you! That's called a Bad Beat. When you play against beginners or loose players Bad Beats happen much more often because these players will chase the river, so there are often more chances for them to get that lucky card at the end and beat you. Bad Beats might get you upset, but you must not let it affect your game. That's poker, it can happen. Now, with the introduction of 888.com's Bad Beat Jackpots and a starting pot of $5,000, if you're getting unlucky on a Bad Beat Jackpot table, you just might score some top dollars! Playing on 888.com's Bad Beat Jackpot tables will give you the insurance to win BIG if you lose a hand with Four-of-a-kind 8s or better. Good Luck and have fun! 39. Double your wins with Omaha If you've always wondered what it would be like to try Omaha but never had the courage to venture away from the trusty Texas Hold 'em, there's never been a better time than now to take the leap as 888.com launches Omaha Pot and No-limit games!! There are a few fundamental differences between Omaha and Texas Hold 'em: First and foremost, in Omaha 9 cards are used instead of 7 (four hole cards and five community cards). Each player is dealt their 4 hole cards face down, and players must use 2 of these plus 3 of the 5 community cards in order to make the best 5 card poker hand. The beauty of Omaha is that it is similar to Hold 'em, therefore allowing novice players to easily grasp the concept, and the choice of 9 cards to play with rather than 7 (as in Hold 'em) makes it highly action-packed.
This is evident in Omaha Hi-Lo, a variation of Omaha commonly referred as "8s or better" where the pot is split between the highest and lowest ranking poker hands. Having two pots to play for and more cards available to win makes the game more competitive, with players remaining in the hand longer, as they play each hand differently in an attempt to win either of the pots - and it's even possible to win both pots! So, each pot may have two winners, and let's face it: the more chances to win the better the game! Omaha Hold'em is a lot of fun to play and now made even more thrilling with Pot Limit and No Limit games, so what are you waiting for? 40. The Good, the Bad and the Omaha After last month's poker tip you probably have a good idea of how Omaha is played and what constitutes a good hand in Omaha H/L. So imagine you're sitting at a table and your cards come down: AA - wait for it, there's two more to come! - A, and another A!!... WOW! Can it be true that you've just been dealt quad Aces! Well unfortunately it is more of a dream than a reality! Although you have indeed been dealt 4 of a Kind Aces in the Hole, this hand is of about as much use to you as 7,2 is in a game of Hold'em, with the board coming down A,A,K,10,6. Remember our tip last month? In Omaha you can only use 2 of your hole cards, and 3 of the board cards! This means that the best possible hand you can create will be made from a pair of Aces and the community cards. Usually you'll find that this will make a better hand for your opponent. For example, if you make two pairs on the flop, more likely than not your opponent will have hit trips. You also have to remember that Straights and Flushes are both an impossibility with this hand. So, what should you do with this hand? Ask any professional Omaha player and the answer will almost definitely be "Lay them down", but different circumstances will lead to different ways of playing the hand, for example if you were BB, the button or SB you may give the hand a go.
So if Quad Aces is a bad hand, then what constitutes a good hand? A good hand in Omaha, in particular H/L, are hands that can make multiple hands, for example, A,K,2,3. Why 2,3 when surely A,K,Q,10 would be better? In Omaha High this is probably the case but in Omaha Hi/Lo, or O8 as it can be known, you need to make both the best high hand and the best low hand. Therefore if the board comes Q,3,4,5,K, for example, you have the nuts on the low hand plus a killer high hand with a straight.
Each person has their very own style and favorite hands in Omaha, as with any other poker game, but just be sure to remember the golden rule: you must use 2 of your pocket cards and 3 from the board! Please don't think you've got the flush and throw all your chips in the pot when you actually only have one of the suit in your hand!!
Omaha is one of the most exciting yet complex games in poker, made all the more thrilling with the launch of our Pot Limit ring games, so good luck and have fun!
41. Learn to mix it up
Are you a maniac? Or tight-aggressive? Do you have a set way to play or do you mix and match? It pays in the long run to mix up your play and alter your tactics throughout the game because it will make it especially hard for your opponents to get a read on you.
In live poker it is much easier to read your opponents, especially if your opponent is a weak, inexperienced player. Weaker players tend to make the same bet for the same cards each time, especially if this bet works the first couple of times that they do it.
For example, your opponent is under the gun and raises 4 times the big blind. Everybody folds and he shows he had pocket Aces, then several hands later he does the same and it once again turns out he had pocket Aces, and later the same move again! So, if your opponent now bets two times the big blind what do we know? Well, we now know that he doesn't have AA as he has not bet 4 times!
So you can see how representing a good hand when you may have a weak hand would be very profitable! But don't forget other players can get good hands too so you have to be prepared to fold every once in a while.
The rule of thumb is not to be predicable. Mix your play a bit to keep your opponents guessing. It never hurts to play tight one minute and maniac the next so put some mix into your play!
42. Multi-Table Tournaments (MTT)
Multi-table tournaments (MTT) are one of the most popular types of games amongst poker players, both online and offline. This is perhaps mostly due to the high possibilities of winning big prizes for only a small buy-in.
For example, many online poker sites - including 888.com! - offer the chance to win a share of thousands of dollars, or even millions, in tournaments such as the WSOP, where a prize pool is generated by the mass of participating players and buy-ins can cost as little as just a few dollars.
Of course, there are differences between the best strategy to use when playing in multi-table tournaments versus other types of poker games.
For example, in cash games you need to rely on discipline to avoid delving deeper and deeper into your bankroll in times of low stacks and you can therefore afford to be more patient when waiting for big, playable hands. Furthermore, the blinds do not increase so you don?t have to push with weak hands to stay in the game or to bet on flops that may not have hit.
In a tournament however, you are allocated a set amount of chips and the blind levels increase periodically, forcing players into hands that they may not have or want, in an effort to increase their stack or stay alive in the tournament.
This can also mean that players don't play hands that they would normally. For example, if an opponent's stack is only a few times the blinds, in order to be in the hand they must commit a big percentage and probably don't have enough chips for the next hand to fold (when pot committed). In this situation they may need to fold semi-strong hands.
This is where someone with a big stack can use it to their advantage. They can push players off hands with raises, steal blinds (which can be very profitable in the later stages of a MTT), and play weaker hands in order to catch the cards to take out that player.
If you can recognize these opportunities, then you have the chance to be a successful MTT player!!
43. Stack up the odds
How many of you sit down at a Cash/Ring table and can't decide what amount is best to sit down with?
A short stack has many advantages, the main and most obvious one being that you can't lose as much money if you get a bad
beat. However, this equally can be a disadvantage if you
reverse the situation and do win - you don't win as much!
Some players like to sit down with the maximum at a table in order to:
a. Maximise their wins
b. Intimidate their opponents with the strength of a big stack
It can be uncomfortable being short stacked against a player with a lot of money, as they can easily push you off pots and make you commit to hands that you may not want to.
But, likewise, with a small stack you may be more inclined to see weaker hands as there is less for you to lose.
You may also find with a short stack that you get more action on your strong hands, because a player with a bigger stack will have less to lose by chasing the cards he wants.
For example, if he has $300 and you have $50 the maximum he can lose is $50; that for the chance to win the pot can be very tempting. Whereas if you had a bigger stack, say $300 as well, he may have to commit a lot more to see his hand and it is a much bigger risk to the player.
Also remember, if you can't afford to sit at a table with the maximum buy-in then you are probably playing the wrong stakes. Experts say that generally you should sit down with at least 50 to 100 times the big blind in order to maximize your profits and safe-guard you from a quick exit.
So how do you decide whether to buy-in with a big stack or a short stack? Try out both and see which one best suits your playing style and remember, with our multi-hand option you can play several tables at once and truly increase your chances of winning!!
44. Drawing Hands
Everyone has their favorite starting hands. Apart from the obvious AA and KK, suited connectors like J,10 and 7,8 etc certainly have their benefits. How you rate your pocket cards depends on what type of player you are: whether you're aggressive or loose and how many flops you like to see.
So you stick with your pocket cards and see the flop. You then need to decide what to do once the flop comes down.
Obviously if you flop the nuts - a Straight, Flush, Full House etc - the decision couldn't be easier and the only dilemma is how much to bet or whether to just call (unless you're the check-raising type!) but what happens if you hit a drawing hand* with your connecting cards? How do you proceed?
For this you need to know the likelihood of getting the card that you need to make your hand into the winning one. We'll cover specific odds in a later tip but for now here is how you should make the calculation. It's imperative that you know how much money is in the pot, after that it's simple arithmetic. All you have to do is divide the pot by the amount of the bet you have to call.
Eg. If you've worked out that you have a 1 in 5 chance of getting the card that you need to win your hand on the turn, you'll need to make sure that you're not calling any bet that's more than one fifth of the pot, so you simply divide the pot by the amount of the bet you have to call. If the answer is more than 5 you should call the bet, if the answer is less than 5 you should fold!
When broken down Poker is a game of chance and likelihood, as well as skill, and just like everything else in life if the odds make sense you should go for it, if they are not just throw away your hand and wait for a better chance later in the game.
So you think your cards won't hit and you fold. "What was I holding again?" you say as the next card comes out. 888.com have the answer so that you can better track and analyze your game.... Ghost Cards!
By enabling the new Ghost Card feature you have the luxury of seeing what you folded all the way through the hand. See what you would have flopped, turned and rivered! Would you have won? Now you know!
How many times have you wondered - was that ace I folded a heart or a diamond and would I have had the nuts Flush....try it out now and find out if your fold was a good one. If it wasn't such a good fold and you're now reeling at the fact you would have won the hand, use these experiences to loosen up your game and adapt so that you win as many hands as possible.
To enable this feature simply click on the 'Settings' button in the Lobby and tick the 'Show Ghost Cards' box.
*A presently relatively worthless hand, yet with the potential to become a strong hand, eg. four card straights and four card flushes.