Poker Tells and Strategies to Spot Them

Friday, January 24 2014         No Comments

By Warwick Dunnett

Liars are everywhere. But nowhere are they more prevalent than at the poker table. You can master the game and learn all the tips and tricks you want, but being able to spot a bluff or a player's strength is one of the greatest skills of a good poker player. In fact, it's a skill that can translate to other areas of your life as well.

In poker, the ability to read an opponent at the table is a huge advantage. It's called a "tell" - a detectable physical reaction or change in behavior or demeanor that gives (or tells) the other players information about your hand.
I recently interviewed a group of the best poker players in the world for a book called Poker Wizards and all these great players believe that observing your opponents actions is a critical poker strategy.

Many of the best "tells" are apparent in the way people bet not just the way people move. The relative amount of chips the bet in various situations are called 'betting patterns' but learning the most common physical tells can also give you a lot of valuable information. To do so, it is very important to constantly watch the players you're at the table with, as well as monitor your own behavior to make sure you're not giving anything away. When people are bluffing, in poker and in most other situations, unless they're sociopaths, they feel some level of discomfort. Normally, when they have a good hand they are more confident. It's your job to sense that discomfort or confidence.

Physically, there are many ways for those feelings to manifest themselves and if you're vigilant and observant, you can spot many signs. The first place to look for signs of discomfort is a person's face. Start at the forehead and scan down, looking for clues which are new and contrary to their normal behavior.

Facial Clues 1. Forehead furrowed or sweaty 2. Pupil dilation 3. Eyes closed or looking up and to the left or right 4. Rapid eye movement 5. Nostril flare 6. Tight lips 7. Smile 8. Wetting lips, swallowing or gulping Next, take a look at the person's hands and body. There are several clues to be found there.

Hand Clues 1) Hands covering or touching the face 2) Rubbing eyes 3) Steepling of fingers 4) Touching hair 5) Tugging at clothes

Voice/Speech Clues 1) Someone who is usually talkative or suddenly quiet 2) Change in speech patterns i.e. speaking more softly or faster than usual 3) Pitch is higher than normal 3) Speaking more forcefully 4) Crackling 5) Verbal or non-verbal sighs

In general, the key to spotting a liar is being observant and noticing changes in their behavior or body language. In poker it involves watching the players even when you're not involved in the hand.

Poker Tip: Some more experienced players will try to fake you out and misguide you by purposely displaying unusual behavior. Luckily, actors are often easy to spot. Then there's another group of people who exhibit all the signs of discomfort but it's not because they're lying, it's because they've got a great hand! Only prior observation will give you the key to that riddle.

The Poker Face While some people believe you need to have a poker face to be good at the game that really isn't the case. You can make all the strange faces you want, as long as you're consistent in doing so. Daniel Negreanu firmly believes in following hints a person gives you that often have nothing to do with physical tells, but more about their general personality, job and comments they make at the table. Use all your senses and follow your gut. When everything else is equal, listen to that voice inside your own head, it's usually right because it is based on thousands of hands of prior experience that your conscious self has forgotten.

Even though it is a great poker strategy to look for specific tells, the point you really have to remember is that very few tells apply to everybody. One of the many things that Marc Salem taught me when writing Poker Wizards was that:

For one person, leaning forward may mean strength, for the next guy it may mean that he is weak and is just trying to look strong. The best way to get the key to understanding tells, is to be super observant at the table.

Poker Wizards: Tips and Strategy from the worlds great No Limit Hold'em Poker Tournament Players.

Warwick Dunnett is a semi-professional poker player, Public Speaker, Boeing-747 Captain, ex Futures Trader and Author of Poker Wizards; a book of poker tips and strategies from a group of players including Daniel Negreanu, Chris Ferguson, T.J. Cloutier, Marcel Luske, Mike Sexton, Kathy Liebert and Mel Judah.

Read additional poker tips the book Poker Wizards, at: http://www.pokerwizards.net.

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Becoming a Professional Poker Player

Thursday, August 29 2013         No Comments

By Anutr Piam Amranand

This article is for the recreational poker player that aspires to become a full-time professional.

Poker may seem like a cool job with a glamorous lifestyle, but is that really the case? Read on to see if you are ready to turn pro.

The Benefits of Playing Poker for a Living

First, let's start with why anyone would want to become a professional poker player. If this is obvious to you then skip to the next section!

 

  1. Choose your own hours - if you don't feel like working today, you don't have to!
  2. You are your own boss - there is no one ordering you around.
  3. You get all the freedom that you want - it is possible to wake up whenever you feel like it.
  4. You can make more money than people your age, with relatively less effort.
  5. There aren't many jobs in the world that are as fun as poker.
  6. You can make huge sums of money in a very short period of time - everyone loves a quick buck!
  7. If you move to somewhere like the UK, poker is completely legal and you don't have to pay any taxes on your winnings.
  8. You can be lazy and disorganized, yet still make a fortune! This is something you simply can't get away with in the real world.
  9. You are able to fulfill your dreams. In life, you should do what you enjoy the most. Most people grow up wanting to be an actor, tennis player, singer etc. Professional poker is an alternate route to one of those glamorous careers.

 

How Much Do You Really Enjoy Poker?

OK let's begin!

If you are reading this, you have probably played poker 'a bunch' and are quite enjoying it. But do you want to play poker 5-6 times a week for the rest of your life? It may seem like poker is the only thing you want to do right now, but in a few years' time you may think otherwise!

Also take into account the variance involved. It is possible that you may have been running above expectation. In poker, downswings are inevitable and you have to be able to handle it. Downswings can be very tough and cruel. Be prepared for them, because no matter how good you are, it will happen to you.

You need to be completely immersed in poker and know about pretty much everything related to poker. You need to have that urge to play poker every single day if you want to become a professional poker player.

What Skills Are Required To Become a Professional Poker Player?

Another factor to consider is how good you really are at poker. Are you really cut out for it? Most people aren't. Here are some of the qualities that you need to become a successful professional poker player:

 

  1. Have good temperament, discipline and self-control.
  2. You need to be fairly intelligent. You don't need to be a genius, but if you are always bottom of your Math's class then reconsider your career.
  3. Have a reasonable mathematical background - you need a general understanding of odds and variance.
  4. You need to be competitive, but at the same time be able to put your ego aside.
  5. Good analytical skills.
  6. Good at reading people.
  7. Have a good knack for games and gambling. This is similar to in business where people talk about having a good 'business acumen' - the term sounds a lot like bulls*** but in fact it matters enormously!
  8. You should generally be a positive person.
  9. Able to handle pressure.
  10. Be able to pick yourself up during bad times.

 

The Realities of Life as a Professional Poker Player

When you turn pro, you need to keep improving constantly. Most professional poker players keep on improving after they have turned pro. You need to constantly put in the hours and keep studying the game.

Generally, poker and social life do not go hand in hand. But if you can find the right balance between poker and life then that is a bonus. You need to ask yourself how you will be viewed by your family, friends and the community in which you live in. Ignore this last advice if you don't care about what others think of you!

Forget about what you see on TV. Life of the average professional poker player is not quite like the poker players that you see on the World Poker Tour or the World Series of Poker. Prepare for a long grind.

Just imagine the professions like actors and footballers (soccer). At the very top, there are big rewards and they are mostly overpaid. But for the majority, it is a grind!

Also besides variance, there are also other factors that you have absolutely no control in poker. Do you think poker is going to be legal in your country forever? Look at the U.S. and Black Friday as an example. And finally, are poker games in your area or online going to continue to be as good as they are?

How Much Money Have You Been Making From Poker?

It is better to have a long period of consistent results than one big tournament win. If you have been making more money from poker than your job for the last 12 months then you might be ready to turn pro.

But to turn pro, you should really be making a lot more from poker than your normal job. If you make about the same amount of money as your current job, you should probably stick to your job.

Remember all the negatives associated with poker (particularly the downswings) and think about whether it is all worth it. If you have been making lots of money from poker, do you think your win rate is sustainable?

Are You Ready to Become a Professional Poker Player?

You might be at a stage in your life where you are better off doing other things. A good example of this is if you are in university/college. You can still play poker in your spare time and make money from it while you finish your degree.

Think about what you will be sacrificing in order to pursue your poker dream. Is quitting your job really worth it? It may seem like a good idea at the time but you may regret it later.

Do you have any backup plans? Poker may go horribly wrong for you and you will find yourself left behind by people your age. Having a degree is a good start, but you need more than that nowadays.

Moreover, do you currently have a big enough bankroll? You need even more buy-ins when your main source of income is poker. Play it safe and go for 50 buy-ins for cash games and 200 buy-ins for tournaments. There are more variance in poker than most people think.

However, a new breed of poker players are staked players in tournaments. If you are backed by someone you don't even need to have a bankroll, provided you have a good track record and someone that trusts you. There are in fact many upsides to this. Stay tuned for an article dedicated to staked poker players.

Just Go For It

If you've read all the above and still think poker as a career is right for you, then you need to just go for it! Poker needs to become the absolute top priority in your life. Just keep putting the hours in. If you play online you need to get the very best deals and rewards to increase your profitability. You should be reading books, forums, strategy websites and also watch poker training videos. Who knows, you might be the next Phil Ivey. Good luck!

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How to Play Hold 'em Poker in a Live Casino

Sunday, October 14 2012         No Comments

By Mattie Taylor

Texas hold 'em poker is classed as the king of card games and is very easy to learn no matter what your skill level. It's a fun game to play online, but it is even better to play live. If your used to playing a round of poker at a friend's home game then it is important to take note of not only the rules of the game, but also the etiquette involved in a live casino.

What is the objective of a hold 'em poker game?

The object of the game is to win the pot by forming the highest ranked five card poker hand or have all the other players surrender the pot to you by folding to your bet (You can do this by bluffing).

Casinos offer different varieties of poker these days, but the main two you will see is limit or no limit Texas hold 'em and pot limit Omaha. Unlike other casino games like roulette or blackjack, players of poker play against each other. The casino provides the dealers, the cards and other equipment to conduct these games for a small fee, which is usually charged in either a time charge every hour and a commission of the pot which is called 'Rake'.

A few points to think about when joining a live poker game at a casino:

1. To join a game a minimum amount of chips is required to buy-in as specified at the table. Chips are normally purchased at the cashier, or sometimes there is a change host that walks around the tables that will change for you. You can also re buy at the table directly from the dealer if you want to reload or you bust out.

2. After any blind betting required for the variation of poker being played, players are dealt their hole cards. In a home game the person with the dealer button usually deals the game, but with a casino the poker dealers only deal.

3. A set sequence of betting and dealing of community cards follows to the poker variety; Texas hold 'em, Omaha, or stud games.

4. Poker players in turn from left of the big blind pre flop and left of the button post flop will decide whether to check, call, bet, raise or fold.

5. After all community cards are dealt and all betting rounds are completed, the poker player with the highest ranked hand without folding wins the pot.

Most casinos have a code of conduct either visible or on request, here is a list of rules that some casinos put in place for their poker games.

 

  • You have to play the poker game at a reasonable speed, don't cause unreasonable delays and also follow the game so you know if the action is up to you.
  • Protect your hand, especially if you are sitting right next to the dealer, if the dealer folds them by mistake then it is still your fault.
  • Don't comment on other poker players' tactics, poker is a game of deception and this can ruin the game for everyone involved.
  • If any player at the table notices an error, you must point it out i.e. if another player hasn't put the money they bet in the pot, or the dealer reads the winning hand wrong.
  • Colluding or cheating is not tolerated and can lead to you getting banned from the casino, it might be fun going down to the casino with your friends to play poker, just remember there are no friends on the poker table when the game is played.
  • At most western casinos only English must be spoken at the table, this is so everyone can understand what you are talking about. You must speak loud enough for everyone to hear. Ensure you don't use foul language.
  • Clearly announce your intentions, check, bet, raise, fold etc. When you bet make sure you push all the required chips in with one hand motion otherwise this is called a string bet. The easiest way is to verbally announce how much you want to bet.
  • Make sure you do not splash the pot, this means place your bets in front of you and not hit the pot which is in front of the dealer.

 

By keeping your poker etiquette and playing the game properly at a casino. You will have no problems with the dealers and supervisors and have a lot of fun playing the game of Texas Hold 'em Poker.

Matthew has played both online and live poker for 3 years and works as a poker dealer. Visit our website to read poker articles, poker room reviews plus watch our video reviews. Visit: http://poker.somethingabout.com

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3 Successful Tournament Tips

Monday, September 24 2012         No Comments

By Alex Bannon

Do you get annoyed when you lose a tournament? Well read these advanced Texas Holdem tournament strategy tips.

Playing advanced Texas Holdem tournament's may just be the best way to become super-rich playing poker. This is because to make a lot, and I mean millions, of dollars from cash games generally you have to play in the high rollers games, and that costs a lot of money.

But with a tournament you can pay an entry fee of maybe five or ten thousand and take home millions - now that's what I call leverage.

But developing and implementing a successful Holdem strategy isn't always easy. So these advanced Texas Holdem tips will definitely help you.

Advanced Texas Holdem Tournament Strategy Tip #1

The first tip is to model what works. Instead of designing and developing your own strategy just find out what everyone else is using to win and copy that. There are many books and courses that reveal all and turn you from a poker-zero to an absolute-hero in no time flat. Or, you can filter through page upon page of free info and put the pieces together yourself, however this can take some time.

Advanced Texas Holdem Tournament Strategy Tip #2

Make sure the strategy fits in with your personality. What I mean by this is, if the strategy requires you to constantly make moves and play in a way that you aren't comfortable with your likelihood of success goes down.

If you are risk averse you probably won't do very well with a loose-aggressive-all-in tournament strategy. On the other hand, if you love to constantly be playing and can deal with the ups and downs, you might get bored with a super-tight strategy.

Advanced Texas Holdem Tournament Strategy Tip #3

Practice and practice and get it to work. Most players find a strategy, play it, lose, decide the strategy sucks, find a new one, play it, lose with that, decide that sucks to, and repeat. They come to the conclusion that all these free strategies on the net suck and don't work and it's all a load of hooey.

Or, maybe, they suck. Not that they really suck but they just didn't take the time and effort to make the strategy work. They didn't practice and fine tune just like you have to do with anything - absolutely anything. So my final advice is to get a strategy, practice it and get it to work, or at least stick with it long enough to test it properly.

Now, I'm sure you are realizing that there is a lot more to developing a winning Texas Holdem tournament strategy. These tips are a kind of 'second-level' tip which help you get the right strategy, without going in to 'play these cards, bet this' detail. If you want that detail I suggest you continue searching for and find that information.

Opportunities to learn more advanced Texas Holdem strategies are everywhere. You just have to be aware and take them!

Do You Want To Learn More About Playing Advanced Texas Holdem?

If So, Download My Brand New Free Tips Ebook '7 Of My Top Texas Hold Em Poker Tips' here: http://MyTexasHoldemPokerTips.com

Alex is an avid Texas Holdem Poker player and has dedicated his time, effort and money to learning the art and skill of successfully winning rounds of No Limit Holdem. Shoot him an email at alex@mytexasholdempokertips.com or head on over to his informative website containing more advanced Texas Holdem tips.

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Texas Holdem Tournament Strategy - Poker Tournament Betting Basics

Wednesday, September 19 2012         No Comments

By Rick Braddy

Welcome to the third in my Texas Holdem Strategy Series, focusing on no limit Texas Holdem poker tournament play and associated strategies. In this article, we'll build upon the poker tournament strategy fundamentals from last time, with some important poker betting strategy basics.

Winning at Texas Holdem poker doesn't have to be a gamble, since it's actually a game of skill. Of course, there will always be an element of chance, but there's a lot more strategy and skill to poker than meets the untrained eye. When you learn to play the odds properly, it can make a huge difference in your winnings.

No limit Texas Holdem is the game of choice these days - and for good reason. The fact that anyone can decide to push a large raise or all of their chips into the pot by going "all-in" at any moment, adds an exciting dimension to the game. Unlike limit Texas Holdem, where each round of betting takes place in prescribed, fixed increments, no limit Texas Holdem is as varied as the players at the table, since everyone chooses their own betting style and approach.

When playing no limit Texas Holdem, you're faced with some important decisions. Arguably, the most important decision you'll make is how much to bet in a given set of circumstances; e.g., hand strength, your position at the table, total number of players, their styles, etc. There are many different betting strategies, but one of the first things to learn and pay close attention to are "pot odds" and whether you have a positive "expectation" to win.

You have a positive expectation whenever the odds favor you winning more than you're wagering at anything greater than 1 to 1 odds. For example, when flipping a coin, there is a 50/50 chance of it coming up either heads or tails. If you flip a coin enough times, both heads and tails will come up an equal number of times.

Casino games, such as craps, blackjack, slot machines, etc. all give the player a "negative" expectation and the casino a positive expectation. If you play these types of "gambling" games long enough, you will ultimately lose, since the game's odd structure is never in your favor - negative expectation. People who experience "hot streaks" also have losing streaks (they just usually quickly forget about the losing and don't discuss it). When you're making a wager, you'd always prefer to have a positive expectation. This is generally true in poker, but not necessarily always in no-limit poker. I'll explain why.

Pot Odds are the odds the pot is giving you for making a bet. Let's say there is $50 in the pot and it'll take $10 more to call - you're getting 5-to-1 pot odds to call, since if you win you'll be paid $50 in exchange for risking only $10. For purposes of this decision, any amounts you previously placed into this pot are irrelevant, since they're already expended and gone (if you fold).

It's essential to understand pot odds as it relates to your hand odds, as one key factor in making your betting decisions. If the odds of you holding or drawing to the winning hand are better than the odds the pot is giving you, you should call or even sometimes raise; otherwise, you should typically fold (unless you're going to bluff, a different story).

Continuing this example, let's say you're holding a pair of fives, and the board flops 9, K, 2 "rainbow" (no flush draw, different suits). With 9 players at the table, it's certainly possible and likely that someone else holds a King or a Nine, or both, making your 5's look pretty flimsy at this point. Your best shot to win is to draw another 5. There are two more 5's remaining out of the 47 cards that you can't see (in the deck or in another player's hand).

So, the odds of pulling that next 5 on the turn or river are: 2 in 47 (2/47 = about 4%) on the Turn, plus another 2 in 46 on the River (an additional 4%), for a total of roughly 8.6%, which equates to a 1-in-11.6 chance of pulling that third 5 to make a set. Since the pot is only giving 5-to-1 odds, it's generally time to fold. Otherwise, you'd just be "gambling" with a highly negative expectation of losing that additional $10. In no limit Texas Holdem, players will often raise the pot sufficiently to actually lower your pot odds so far that you can't possibly justify staying in the hand - at least not statistically.

Clearly you can't sit there in a real poker room with a calculator and run through all of these pot odds calculations while at the table! So, how does one learn poker odds well enough to apply them in real-time? Well, it starts by seeing the poker odds repeatedly, in a context that's suitable for you to learn and eventually retain them. A poker odds calculator is a piece of add-on software that runs on your PC, monitoring your actual online play. A poker odds calculator computes the prospective hands you and your opponents are capable of drawing at any point in time. It then displays all possible hands you and the opponents could draw, teaching you what the odds of making that kind of hand would be.

This makes it easy to see what's going on, and since a poker odds calculator displays the poker odds right there in front of you while you play, you'll begin to learn them, making it semi-automatic, so you don't even think about poker odds any more - you just know them. So, the first step is learning and internalizing these "hand odds". Then, you can quickly calculate pot odds anytime you'd like.

Calculating pot odds requires you to pay close attention to the game, a key trait of good poker tournament players. Unlike playing online, where the total size of the pot is easy to determine (the online Texas Holdem poker program typically displays the pot amount right there on the screen for you), when you play in traditional offline poker tournaments, you must keep track of the pot size and chip count yourself, so you can estimate the pot odds and your best betting options.

Pot odds become especially interesting as the blinds and antes increase as the tournament progresses. Let's say there are 10 players at your table, and the poker tournament structure has you at $25 antes with $200/$400 blinds. That's a total of $850 that's sitting thre in each and every pot before anyone even places their first bet! So, before you even look at your hand, you know that the minimum bet is $400, so you'll need a good hand (with roughly 1 in 2 odds or better) in order to simply break even.

At this point, people will be angling to "steal the blinds" by placing a hefty bet, typically at least two times the big blind, or $800, in order to make the pot odds so unattractive that everyone just folds. Therefore, the first player to act often makes off with the booty, since the pot odds become even less attractive and most everyone hasn't made a good enough hand to call. Of course, this can definitely backfire...

Let's say the first player to bet raises to $800 in an attempt to steal the blinds, making the total pot now $1,650. Let's say that a second player then calls with another $800, boosting this pot to $2,450. To get in on the action, you'd only need to call with $800, which means if you win the hand you're getting a slightly better than 3 to 1 on your money. If it's the Flop and you are one card short of making a King-high flush, then your hand odds are roughly 1-in-3. This would be "even money" if you joined in on this basis alone; however, you're holding a King and there's a King on the board from the Flop, so you now have a better than 1 in 3 chance of winning - a positive expectation! You place your $800 bet, so now the pot sits at $3,250.

You should generally make this bet, since it will yield a good return and you have the high pair (Kings), plus a flush draw, thereby improving your odds even further. Let's say there was an Ace also showing, making your Kings second best pair. In this case, it time to fold because you have a less than a 1 in 3 chance of winning this hand, and if you continued throwing money at this pot, you'll end up "pot-committed" and beaten by a pair of Aces (there's usually at least one player in 10 hanging in there with an Ace hole card).

So, let's say the last player to act goes "All-in" - after we've put our $800 in this pot. Now what? The first reaction should be - what kind of hand *could* this player actually hold? If the player is a relatively tight or solid player, chances are they've made a set or an Ace high flush. It's always possible they're bluffing, but very unlikely if they're a good player, since there are already far too many people in this pot and it's likely they'd get called with a real hand when bluffing.

So, what's happened to our pot odds? Let's say they went all-in with $5,000, pushing this pot up to $8,250. If you called with $5,000, you're now only getting a 8.25 to 5 return, or roughly 1.65 to 1 - especially unattractive under the circumstances with highly negative expectation and so many players in this hand, further reducing your chances of winning. Therefore, everyone will likely just fold; unless they have a very strong hand plus a great draw (some outs).

There's clearly a lot more to poker betting strategy, including position and acting first vs. last. Generally speaking, though, if you're going to take a shot at that pot, and you're in a position to act first, there's a good chance everyone else will fold; however, you'd better think carefully about the pot odds the opponents will be getting after your bet is in there.

If your bet modifies the pot size such that it improves their pot odds (by limping in with just a small bet), you're actually encouraging the opponents to hang in there with you, since they still have a good, positive (and improving) expectation level. If you bet enough, such as two to three times the size of the big blind, you'll be reducing their pot odds enough to swing into a negative expectation, so they'll be much more likely to fold. It's really important to think your bet amounts through and understand the pot odds implications of your betting.

When you make such a play at the pot, it's ideal to have some kind of hand, along with a good draw. If you find yourself short-stacked, then this may be as good as it gets. Bluffing will be covered more thoroughly in a later article, but at this point it'd be great to have at least a small pair, as well as a good straight or flush draw (since you'll also have the potential to make a set of trips, too). In this situation, you have so many good "outs" that your small pair begins to look a lot stronger, and your hand odds acceptable enough to go on a "semi-bluff" at this pot.

So, these are the basics of Texas Holdem poker tournament betting strategy that you should know and practice (the other good players do). Knowing your basic hand odds and being capable of quickly calculating pot odds are essential to making intelligent betting decisions under fire in poker tournaments, and regular ring game and limit play for that matter. A good poker odds calculator will help you learn the hand odds, and along with practicing calculating your pot odds, you'll be making better decisions and getting the best of it the next time you play Texas Holdem poker.

In the next article, we'll explore a popular Texas Holdem poker tournament format - the Sit & Go poker tournament. Until then, have fun. And as always - good luck!

Rick

Rick Braddy is an avid writer, Texas Holdem player and professional software developer and marketer for over 25 years. His websites and Texas Holdem poker software specialize in helping people become better Texas Holdem poker players. If you're a poker player, be sure to visit his Texas Holdem website today and learn how you can play better Texas Holdem, too.

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Poker Casinos

Friday, September 14 2012         No Comments

By Della Franklin

Poker casinos, or rather casinos that specialize in poker games, are not a recent development. For hundreds of years cards have been shuffled around a table as each player tries to get the better of his or her opponent. Lately poker games have taken a different turn by coming into the spotlight of mainstream media. Popular casinos eagerly host players, all of whom try to become nationally recognized as the world's best poker player.

In recent years poker casinos have really taken the limelight with tournaments such as the "World Series of Poker". Such tournaments are designed to bring players together from all over the world from a variety of poker casinos both online and in an actual establishment. Skills, bluffs and pure luck are tested as players compete with each other until only one person is left at the table.

Many casinos offer poker but only some casinos offer the chance to play for high stakes. Poker casinos offer players the opportunity to bet big. It is not so much as the house winning the game as it is a skilled player taking the pot. But before the cards are shuffled, every player has to know the rules.

The first rule of thumb to realize when looking for reputable poker casinos is to do some research. Are there tournaments held there often? How many of the top poker players around the world frequent there? For a novice player it does help to watch some of the best play but do not go expecting tips and them to take it easy. It is about money and a green horn at the card table is ripe pickings for an experienced card player.

Many poker casinos offer gaming classes to help out the beginner. It is a great way to understand not only the rules of the game, but the subtle details that become important when sitting in front of a dealer. Yes, luck plays a part in winning the hand but more often than not it is the skill that wins the pot. Poker casinos, besides offering classes, often feature speakers giving presentations on the different poker games out there. It might be a good idea to take some tips from a professional than to try to figure it out all alone.

If sitting in a casino is not convenient then there are also many online poker casinos currently out on the Internet. The key to online poker casinos is to know the legality issues associated with their use. Offshore gambling is currently illegal in the United States so finding out where the website is hosted as well as any particular state laws can thwart off trouble down the road.

Gambling can be extremely addicting. The high of winning a huge hand of poker draws many players into the game. Poker casinos know that and do their part to help people find counseling for their addictions. Poker is not for everyone. Large sums of money can be won or lost in a single hand but that is the way of all gambling.

www.tellmeaboutpoker.com [http://www.tellmeaboutpoker.com] brings you fun information about poker. Be sure to check out all the pages for yourself. © 2007 copyright by DSquare Marketing and Della Franklin. Also check out Global Warming.com [http://www.tellmeaboutglobalwarming.com] & Alternate Energy.com [http://www.tellmeaboutalternateenergy.com]

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Poker Bettinq Strategy - Advanced Live Poker Tips

Sunday, September 09 2012         No Comments

By Nick Shons

Bettinq Strategy

GETTING THE MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

Each game has its different nuances when it comes to betting. However, here are some general tips on betting that can help you in any game:
In the long run, knowing when not to bet is one of the most important skills to have in poker. It is also important to make the pots you win cou nt through strategic betting. If you have a good hand, your strategy should be to build the pot as much as possible with aggressive bets and raising in the later rounds. The trick is not to bet so high in the early rounds that you force players to fold and therefore lessen the pot.
As with everything in poker, observe the betting habits of your opponents. Within a game, if a player starts betting high and then starts checking or betting Less aggressively, the band he was hoping for might not have materialized.

o If you are playing at a loose table, it will be harder to steal pots (winning pots by bluffing), but you can expect bigger payoffs when you win.

o Be decisive in your betting. No one likes to wait as you hesitate with your bet. Betting quickly also gives your opponents less time to read your habits.

o If you are playing at a tight table, an aggressive bet
will win you some small pots in the early rounds. However! be careful that you are not caught in a bluff and forced to pay up with a weak hand.

If you have a not-so-stel rar hand, aggressive betting can help you steal some pots. If the betting has been light in the earPy rou nds. your opponents are signaling weak hands. ft you come in with a big bet, you might force the other players to ford and come away with the pot. ft might not be a big pot, but you can take it with very little in your hand.

Checking can be a great strategic tooL especially if you are uncertain of the relative strength of your band. If you have a 'ess-than-perfect hand! you can see if the other players come Dut betting aggressivery or passively. If a lot of people fold and the other players who stayed in were passive, then you may have a chance. However! it the bets were aggressive and you get the sense that you can be beaten! you should probably fold when the betting comes back around to you.

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Tips for Playing Live Poker

Tuesday, September 04 2012         No Comments

By Scott Jack

If you're fortunate enough to live close to a casino then you'll be able to play live poker whenever you want, which is a luxury that most people simply don't have. There are some benefits to playing live poker over online poker including the fact that you actually get to analyze your opponents while you're playing. I want to share a few quick tips with you that'll definitely help you out with playing live poker.

� You need to make sure you don't give away any tells when you're playing live poker. If you always fiddle with your chips when you have a good hand your opponents are going to catch onto this sooner or later.

� Talking at the poker table is always fun and makes the game more exciting for most of us, but you need to know when not to talk. Don't talk across the table or about the hand when there are cards on the table. You should also avoid talking about hands with other players since you're just giving them information about what you might have.

� Bring sunglasses to the poker game with you so that you can wear them while you're playing. Not only will players not be able to see your eyes while you're playing, but they can also be more intimidating. Staring into extremely dark tinted sunglasses is more intimidating to most people then staring into someone's eyes.

� If you're an online poker and you're use to playing a loose and aggressive game, you need to continue doing so while playing live poker. I know some people that play a lot tighter live then online because they don't want to be caught bluffing while playing live. If anything getting caught bluffing on a live poker table is a good thing since players are going to remember your bluff and pay you off a lot more now.

Grab one of the Best Poker Bonuses now such as the great bonus from the new Winner Poker site.

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What to Think About Before Playing Casino Poker

Wednesday, August 15 2012         No Comments

By Tom Shannahan

"These two have no idea what they're about to walk into. Down here to have a good time, they figure 'why not give poker a try?' After all, how different can it be from the home game they've played their whole lives?"

--Matt Damon as Mike McDermott in "Rounders"

For most of us, our first poker experience was nowhere near a casino. Either we learned from friends or family members in home games, or we plugged into the online poker craze. Still, the idea of playing poker in an actual brick and mortar (B&M) casino, with all the attendant sights and sounds, is very tempting for most. So what do you need to know when transferring your home or online skills to casino play? There are many distinctions between online and B&M play, but two factors you may immediately want to consider are tells and casino type.

1. Tells

The main concern most people have when moving from online to B&M play regards tells. A tell is a physical action a player performs that may give opponents a clue to his hand, such as putting a hand to the face when bluffing. Online, since your opponents cannot see you, physical tells are not really concern (there are online tells, but that is beyond the scope of this article). In fact, one popular poker site has an advertising campaign where they invite those players who have a "bad poker face" to join, since no one can see your face online. In the movie "Rounders," quoted at the beginning of this article, the villain is undone by the way in which he handles an Oreo cookie depending on whether or not he has a big hand. In reality, tells are rarely this extreme. Most of the time when you play in a casino, especially a "tourist" casino (see following), your opponents are much more concerned with what they are holding than what you are. Even when an opponent scrutinizes you, staring you down while contemplating a call, they're generally just considering how much they like their own hand. Real tell-spotting requires long, careful observation of a player's tendencies; you're not likely to give much away on an individual hand. Professionals like to give the impression that they can just look right into your soul and know what you're holding, but there's a lot more to it than that. If you're really worried you can buy a pair of reflective sunglasses to wear so no one can see your eyes. You can also always wait a predetermined amount of time (five or ten seconds) before acting whether your hand is strong or not so strong and pick a predetermined spot on the table to stare at while waiting for someone to respond to your action.

2. Type of Casino

All casinos are not created equal. Ten years ago, before the explosion in poker popularity, most casinos did not have a poker room at all, or at best, a small section of the blackjack floor partitioned away where two or three $1 to $2 limit games might take place. Obviously, things are different now, but there are still distinctly different types of casinos where one might play poker. The first is a Card Club. These are most commonly found in places like California, where poker as a game of skill is legal, but some other gambling games are not. Although they have expanded to other games, these clubs are primarily designed to play poker. As such, you are likely to find the most experienced poker players here, although not necessarily the strongest and they have their share of tourists as well. The more common type of casino is a Las Vegas Style Casino. These casinos have made fortunes on blackjack, slot machines and roulette and did not really focus on poker in the past as it is not a big money maker for the casino. Unlike the other games, which are against the House (the casino) and are structured so that the House always wins in the long run, poker is a game where the casino only makes money by taking a percentage of each pot (called "the rake," usually no more than $4 a pot) for themselves. Although now rare, some casinos take "time" instead of a rake, meaning every half hour a representative of the casino comes around and collects a predetermined amount of money from each player in the game.

Of these Las Vegas Style Casinos, you will find what I think of as Poker Casinos vs. Tourist Casinos. A Poker Casino is one that has always had poker as part of its draw. These include The Bellagio and The Mirage in Las Vegas and the Taj Mahal and Borgata in Atlantic City. A Tourist Casino is one of the aforementioned casinos that did not have poker at all until the recent boom made it worthwhile as a draw to get players into their casino. Of course both of these types of casinos cater to tourists, but the Poker Casinos are where you are more likely to find professionals. Which of these types is more to your taste is for the individual to decide.

The most important thing to remember is that whether it's online or in the casino, poker is poker. Play a smart game and you should rake in the chips, whether they're virtual or made of clay.

Tom Shannahan has been playing poker since he was 16. He grew up watching his father play with friends once a week. He currently writes part time for Pokerlistings.com where you can find more great information about Poker and Poker Rules.

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How to Run Your Own Poker Tournament

Thursday, July 26 2012         No Comments

By Chip Leatherby

This article should give you the basic info on how to run a poker tournament. Running your own tournament can be a fantastically exciting and rewarding exercise whether it be with a small group of friends or a charity event. The first things you need are players for your own poker tournament. Ideally you would have between 6 and 10 players but you could go as low as 4 if people are busy. Aside from players you need some equipment... That being a table that is big enough to fit the required number of players (and chairs).

Now to the specialist equipment :-

Essential to run a poker tournament is

Cards (preferably two decks with different patterns on them to eliminate confusion.)
Poker Chips (You could use buttons or matches but you'd lose the Vegas look!)

Optional when running a poker tournament

Card Shuffler (Something for the player with bling.)
Dealer Button - A button that moves around the table indicating who the dealer is.
Felt table cloth - Let the cards glide across the table like you're in the Bellagio

Got All the Kit - What Now?

When people have arrived and have found a seat at the table you can begin the game. Between your guests you may have decided what the buy-in for the tournament is. A private tournament in your home differs from an online poker room or a bricks and mortar casino. This is because you don't take what is known as a rake from every hand. The casino's etc skims a small amount off each hand so that the house never loses. I will assume for the purposes of this article that you aren't planning on opening an illegal gambling den.

So decide on you buy-in amount and decide at the start if you allow re-buys. This means a player who is knocked out may buy back in for x amount of chips. Another decision to make at the start to avoid arguments is how the pot is split. Is it winner takes all or second place takes double their stake and third their stake. These are your decisions but my advice is that you make this clear at the start as you don't want to lose friends over a game of poker. Let's face it you don't have to go too far back in time when many a body was dragged from a saloon in Dodge City over a card quarrel.

Once everyone has paid their buying hand the players their chips. In these tournaments everyone starts with the same amount of chips in equal denominations. So for example, if each player is given a total of 150 chips. This could be divided as 5 black (worth 10 chips each), 10 white (5), 15 Blue (2) and 20 red (1)

Chip colours can vary from set to set so don't feel worried if yours has different chip colours. You don't have to stick with this but as a guide it's a standard breakdown of chips.

If you are holding a poker tournament we will assume that you understand how the game works. A consideration to make is how you decide when you raise the blinds. Here are a few methods:-
Time - set your watch for a blinds raise every 10, 15 or 20 minutes the choice is yours.

Every time a player is knocked out (this can take a while in a slow paced game)

Every time the dealer button goes full circle. This is great until there are two players! That is essentially what is required from you to run a poker tournament. I would strongly recommend getting snacks and beverages as well or ask your friends to bring some though be warned if you play often with a group of friends as I do, one pattern sticks out. The person who is not drinking because they have to drive often walks home with the winnings..Think on and enjoy playing in your own poker tournament.

Chip leatherby is the main author for [http://www.poker-shark.co.uk] With years of experience with poker, Chip has now decided to share his knowledge to help people of all skill levels with their game. Chip's unique tips and tournament reviews can be viewed anytime at Poker Shark.

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