Key Skills to Master to Succeed at Poker

Poker is one of the most classic gambling games of all time. You could, of course, play it only for fun. But there’s more thrill in a high stakes bet that rides on your next decision. It’s the stuff so many movies are made of, and one of the classic Las Vegas moments we all aspire to have.

 

That said, poker is also a strategically complex game that demands excellent social skills. You have to know when to hold ‘em and fold ‘em, as the song goes. You also need to be good at reading people and possibly fooling them. If you’re already good at those things, then you’re on the right track! If not, there’s no shame in that. Analyzing people and making informed decisions on their nature is an entire field of study. So is guessing the validity of your poker hand. There’s a reason people make a profession out of poker playing.

 

If you want to up your poker game, we’ve included some tips and tricks for you. These won’t make you a pro overnight, but if you put these into practice over your next few games, you’ll find a lot more hands going in your favor. If you’re playing for money, you might even find your wallet getting fatter. So read on to learn the key tactics you need to work on to become a poker master.

 

The Best Way To Bluff

Let’s get right into the most famous poker skill: bluffing. You’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s all about lying really well, or tricking other players into thinking you have an unbeatable hand. In reality, your bluffing game should be more about buying time to turn a decent hand into a great one.

 

If you find that your hand is simply garbage, you’re better off folding and waiting for the next round. You lose less that way and can try to come back stronger when the cards are more in your favor.

 

You want to try bluffing when your hand actually has potential. Even if it isn’t great in the current form, you might be able to turn it into a straight or flush with future draws. That’s when you bluff – when you want to buy time for better cards or get your opponent to fold. Pros call this a “semi-bluff” as you’re not totally lying. You are still betting on the chance of something good happening, but you’re better off than if you were trying to completely bluff a bad hand.

Go All-Out On Your Good Hands

As said in the tip above, just fold if your hand isn’t going to go anywhere. Your goal is to limit the hands you’re playing to ones that can believably be a win. When such a hand does come along, be ready to go on the offense.

 

Aggressive play can scare off less experienced players easily. It can even give poker enthusiasts second guesses about their hands. It can be hard to project full confidence, but it’s a skill you must master to make the most of your game. Raise, semi-bluff, and play as quickly as you comfortably can. After some rounds of doing this successfully, the other players will learn to be wary of you.

 

Play With People That Are Worse Than You

It might sound mean, but the best way to win and make money is to bully weaker players. That doesn’t mean actually harassing them, just that there’s no shame in being the best player at the table. You should prefer that, in fact, as it makes it easier to consistently win. This tip goes differently if you’re playing for the love of the game, as then you might relish the challenge. But if cashing in is your goal, be sure to leave the table once you discover someone is consistently outplaying you. Look for players who hesitate or raise too eagerly, as those are the ones who are prime to make mistakes that you can take advantage of.

 

It’s an exciting time to be a poker player, as you can engage using online casinos to stay safe and play at your convenience. This goes doubly for those in Arizona, as online gambling just became formally legal. DraftKings Arizona is open for business, as are many other great online casinos and sports betting sites. Many are offering great bonuses for signing up during the opening, so check in to get some extra plays and put your new poker skills to the test.

A Poker Champion’s Knack for Knowing

Poker Pro Vanessa Russo

Poker Pro Vanessa Russo

Making the Best Decisions

In poker, the way we used to delineate players who relied on their intuition was to call them “feel players.” This could range from amateurs who knew nothing about strategy to highly decorated players like Phil Hellmuth. Most players start out with some basic strategy combined with gut instinct. As they move up the ranks, their strategy continues to improve and they tend to rely less on feel. They have default hands they specifically open from each position. They develop strategies for certain board textures and learn how to categorize hands that need to be played a certain way. Eventually, at the highest stakes, they may even develop a strategy derived from running millions of simulations on a computer. This process is vital and necessary to becoming a top poker player.

But if everyone is using the same tools, what separates the best from the fifth best? Or twentieth best? Is it superior reasoning ability? Is it a better handle on their emotions? Is it just running more simulations or ‘working harder?’ Amongst the ultra-elite, what makes the difference?

Fedor Holz was the best tournament poker player I’ve ever played with. I have no doubt he would’ve continued to dominate the high-stakes scene had he retired to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. What made Fedor special was…

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Striking the Balance Between Luck and Skill

Maria Konnikova:

A few years ago, I went through a period in my life where it seemed like everything that could go wrong did.

Out of nowhere, I came down with an autoimmune disorder that no one could diagnose. My grandmother, totally healthy, slipped on her way to the bathroom, and never woke up. My husband lost his job. My mom lost her job, all in a span of weeks.

We don’t really think about the importance of luck in life when things are going our way. But all it takes is a series of events totally outside our control to make it clear just how limited our agency can sometimes be.

So, what should we do? For an answer, I turned to a less-than-traditional teacher, the game of poker. And more than any experience in my life, including my Ph.D. in psychology, it has taught me both the crucial importance of skill and its limits.

Most people assume that poker is luck. It isn’t. You can win with the worst hand and lose with the best hand. Remind you of anything? In fact, it turns out the actual best hand wins only some 12 percent of the time. What happens the other 88 percent? The best hand gets outplayed by superior skill…

Beginners Guide to Playing Online Poker

 

 

online-poker-cards

Poker is hundreds of years old, but it’s been brought into the 21st century by online poker sites

Poker is a game that has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world for more than one hundred years. It has its roots in several other European card games, but evolved into the game we know today when European settlers took it to America.

 

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, it remained a fairly niche game until Las Vegas casinos popularized it in the 1970s onwards.

 

Today, major tournaments like the World Series of Poker see thousands of people enter each year in the hopes of beating the most talented players in the world. And thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to play and practice your poker skills and even qualify for these tournaments.

 

So, if you’d like to start playing online poker, but are unsure where to begin, here’s a handy guide to help you get going.

 

Choosing a Poker Site

There are plenty of online poker sites out there for you to choose from, but there are some things you’ll want to check out before making a decision.

 

The first is that you find a site you can trust. There are many well-respected poker sites out there, so this shouldn’t be too much trouble. One of these is 888 poker, the company is a global brand that began operating in 1997 and is now traded on the London Stock Exchange.

 

You can find plenty of reviews online for all the major poker sites, so read up on those to help you get a better understanding of what they offer. The reviews will often review factors like the ease of use of the software, quality of other players, and how quickly pay-outs are processed.

 

You may also want to check what payment methods are available on the poker sites as they can vary from company to company. You’ll need to find a site that accepts the method you want, however, most will allow you to deposit money with Visa and Mastercard cards, and payment wallets like PayPal and Skrill.

 

Find Sign Up Bonuses

Once you’re confident that some online poker sites will meet your needs, you can try them out using the signup bonuses that they offer. These bonuses will let you play poker on the site without spending much or any at all.

 

Some may even offer free games that you can use “play chips” instead of chips bought with real money.

 

This will help you get a better feel for the software that each online poker site has and allow you to decide which one is best for you.

 

online-poker-dice-mouse

You can play poker with your computer, smartphone, or tablet

Understand the Basic Rules

Like all games, poker has a set of rules that you need to understand to be able to play proficiently. Thankfully, there are plenty of guides available online that can help you get to grips with how the betting rounds work and the ranking of hands.

 

The best hands are:

  • A Royal Flush – This is when you have the ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 cards from the same suit.
  • A Straight Flush – This where you have five sequential cards from the same suit. For example, 9, 8, 7, 6, and 5 of hearts.
  • A Four of a Kind – Where you have all four cards of the same value, for example, four Jacks or four aces.
  • A Full House – This is where you have three cards of the same value and a pair of the same value. For example, three Queens and two 9s.

 

In most versions of poker, including Texas hold’em, the aim is to get the highest-ranked hand possible. Though there are some variants of the game where the aim is to get the lowest rank. One of these games is Razz, though it is sometimes called 7-card-stud-low.

 

Learn Poker Strategy

Once you’re up to speed with the basics, you begin to get a better understanding of poker strategies. There isn’t one correct strategy, instead, different players will find a particular one suits them better.

 

Others may want to learn a few different strategies so that they can alternate them to find one that works best against a particular competitor.

 

There are plenty of sites online that offer you various guides on different poker strategies, many are written by professional players or those that have been playing as an amateur for some time.

 

There are also plenty of books that have been written by successful players that give you a better insight into their own poker playing strategies. Learning these strategies can also help you avoid making common poker mistakes.

 

Watch Professionals

When you’re learning to play poker, you can often learn a lot of great tips, techniques and strategies by watching others compete in games and tournaments.

 

Many online poker sites will stream coverage from live events that they organise themselves or that sponsor. However, you can also find hours of content on sites like Twitch for free. More than one million people follow the poker category on the site where you’ll find both live tournaments and online games with commentary from poker experts.

 

Take Part in Freerolls

Poker tournaments can often have very high buy-ins. However, many online poker sites offer free tournaments that don’t cost you a penny. These are called freerolls, and they’re a great way for you to practice your poker playing and try out several different strategies.

 

All freerolls offer a prize to the winner, which could come in the form of real money or free entry to a tournament. Freerolls often have a lot of amateur players in them, but when free entries are at stake, many more talented players will take part too.

How I Became a Poker Champion in One Year

A Game of Skill: Poker

One of the world’s best players taught me his unique psychological style of play—and it worked.

I first encountered Erik Seidel the way many poker newbies do. I was watching Rounders, the 1998 Matt Damon movie about a brilliant law student who pays his way through school with his poker prowess, and in the end quits law altogether to play full-time. In several scenes, a real-life poker match plays in the background. It’s the 1988 World Series of Poker final table showdown, between a young Seidel and Johnny Chan, the “master,” as Chan is repeatedly described by the commentators. This is the most famous poker match in the nonpoker world, in which Seidel’s set of queens falls to Chan’s straight, after the older player sets an expert trap for his less experienced victim.

At the time, Chan was the reigning world champion and Seidel was at his first-ever major tournament. He’d made it past 165 other contenders to make the final table, the last man standing save one. Thirty years later, Seidel has become the master. He holds eight WSOP bracelets—only five players in the tournament’s history have more—and a World Poker Tour title. He is in the Poker Hall of Fame, one of just 32 living members. He boasts the fourth-highest tournament career winnings in the history of the game, and is fourth in the number of times he cashed in the WSOP (114). Many consider him the GOAT—the greatest of all time…

Poker is not gambling, it’s a game of skill

Poker is rapidly gaining popularity in India. And it is not just because a host of celebrities are trying their hands at a game that a certain section of the population still relates to gambling. The reason for its growing acceptance comes from the fact that a lot of sports-loving fans are realizing that the game isn’t just about luck. It is much more than that.

It is a craft that involves skills and mastery over various techniques and needs an air-tight strategy. And when five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand says he finds …

Source: Poker is not gambling, it’s a game of skill: Chris Gayle

5 Most Popular Casino Games In 2020

The gambling websites’ popularity has increased tremendously within the past decade – and for a good reason. For Portugal in particular, this comes as an abundant source of income. In fact, online gambling contributes to 0.05% of the total GDP of a country. Casino Games In Portugal both online and offline are completely legal, licensed, and regulated by the RISGTP administration or Regulatory and Inspection Services of Games and Tourism of Portugal. With so many alternatives, it can be difficult to decide on the most suited games. To help you out, we have created a list of the leading casino games in 2020. You may now scroll down and have a look at the quick casino guide!

Roulette

Roulette is one of the original gambling games, having been loved and adapted by people all across the world for many centuries. It is a board game and just like slots also a ‘Perfect Information’ game. This means there’s not a ladder of skill to climb, but knowing how to place the bets becomes more important. Some people who gamble do give this game a bad name, but that’s largely due to having a limited understanding of the right strategies to play.

 

Blackjack

Finally time for the best card game ever; Blackjack! It is the perfect game for social gamblers who are familiar with card games, whether that be through growing up with them or viewing tutorials online. The objective of the game is to get as close as possible to 21 without going over. Blackjack has a huge following of loyal fans because it’s relatively easy to learn and it provides a level of skill so you don’t have to rely on luck alone. You can actually improve your chances at blackjack by practicing and applying different strategies.

 

Baccarat

Baccarat is another card game which is very popular in Asia and especially China. It goes fast to learn how to play since you only bet on 3 outcomes; either win for the Banker or the Player, or it can end in a tie. Learning the basics is easy but it requires practice to perfect the game. I recommend you spend a little more time getting to know how to play the game.

 

Craps

Craps is just like Roulette a ‘Perfect Information’ game. Some bets require certain rolls before they can become winning or losing bets, thus reassuring strategy. Craps is one out of a few casino games where you can become friends with your opponents because you can choose to play with or against your opponents. Also, if you are a big fan of Hollywood movies then you’ve most likely seen it in Ocean’s 13, James Bond Diamonds are Forever and on A Bronx Tale.

 

Three Card Poker

A highly popular casino table game, three-card poker lets you have a great control over the game’s final outcome. It’s also a game with great odds and several potentially profitable side bets. Invented in the 1990s, three card poker seems pretty low key but it’s one of the best casino card games.

 

Top tips to improve your multi-table tournament poker profitability

poker game of skill

Find out how to accumulate more chips in your MTTs

Are you someone that enjoys the thrill of playing multi-table poker tournaments but struggles to run deep? If so, the chances are you are probably hemorrhaging from your poker bankroll. Chasing the monster payouts from multi-table tournaments (MTTs) compared with sit-and-go’s or cash games might be the “sexy” way to play Texas Hold’em, but there’s nothing romantic about your bankroll dwindling.

If you are self-critical of your MTT poker strategy, consider the following tips that could help you make crucial adjustments to your MTT gameplay, and enhance your live and online poker tournament profitability in the long term:

 

Be prepared to defend your big blind

If you didn’t already know it, to become a profitable MTT player long-term, you need to be ready to protect your big blind. Defending the big blind is something people often avoid because they feel like they are throwing good chips after bad chips. However, in many cases, the big blind gets very generous pot odds to continue, especially if an opponent has only made a modest open raise.

It’s also important to take note of who is open raising. If it’s someone that you deem to be a weak player, you’ll be much better off defending your big blind more instead of surrendering.

 

Don’t switch off when you’re not in a hand

At a multi-table tournament, a critical factor in successful poker strategy is to pay attention to your opponents’ cards, even when you aren’t in the hand. It’s imperative to gauge for “tells” and find out whether they were bluffing when displaying signs of strength mid-hand. This ties in nicely with the previous tip too. If you can recognize when an opponent is leading with an open raise in a weak or speculative position, you’ll be better placed to defend your big blind.

We get it, playing MTTs at any level can be a grueling, energy-sapping experience. It’s arguably the “daddy” of poker. They don’t make the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event a week-long process for nothing. Be sure to eat well and stay hydrated to help your mind remain switched on.

 

Do your best to steal pots regularly

You must use your late position in hands as an advantage, particularly against weaker opposition that’s prone to make rookie poker mistakes. The best way to deter tighter, weaker opponents from getting involved in a hand is to raise small and often. In later position, your hand range can expand, particularly if there have been no other takers to get involved on the flop.

Some poker experts even suggest ignoring charts that tell you the best hands to open raise with when you’re in late position. Instead, you should focus on the mentality of your opponents and jump all over any signs of weakness.

 

Become a master of heads-up poker

One of the best ways to improve your MTT profitability (in a positive way) is to secure more first-place finishes instead of second-place finishes. It’s far from a secret that the jump in prize money between first and second place is very high, which can, therefore, affect your bottom line.

In the main, MTT players focus more on survival, which leads them to avoid heads-up confrontation. That can be detrimental when it comes down to you if you reach the final two. That’s because, in heads-up, there is a greater emphasis on stealing pots.

Those who can master thin value betting and recognize bluffs will be far less likely to come up short in an MTT final table. Heads-up sit-and-go’s are a great starting point to practice for this eventuality, with the chance to get a feel for pre-flop shoving and calling ranges.

 

Try to manipulate small pots to see more flops

In the opening levels of an MTT, it’s essential to try and manipulate the size of pots at your table. If it’s at all possible to maintain small pot sizes pre-flop you will be able to view more flops and expand your hand range.

It’s foolhardy to throw in a third of your entire stack chasing a flush in the opening blind levels. By seeing more flops and keeping pots small, you can gauge how your opponents like to play before the pressure and the blinds rise.

 

Know when to tighten up around the bubble

When the time comes for the bubble in an MTT, your level of aggression must be aligned to the size of your chip stack at this stage. If you have considerably more than twenty big blinds at this level, it’s a good idea to tighten up your hand range and avoid any unnecessary bluffs or confrontations. The last thing you want to do is throw away your hard-earned stack with the money approaching.

However, if your chip stack is significantly higher than the tournament average, you may wish to play the table “bully,” by forcing smaller stacks into submission to steal blinds and small pots regularly. If you want to make regular deep runs in MTTs knowing when to change through the gears is vital.

 

Stay patient after the bubble

Once you are in the money, the temptation can be to get embroiled in all manner of pre-flop and post-flop shoves. The truth of the matter is that some players will simply be happy to get beyond the bubble, mainly as their chip stack doesn’t give them any time to build momentum. If you have a sizeable stack at this point, it’s a good idea to steer clear of speculative shoves from small stacks as suited connectors, and high-card aces can sting you and bring you down to their level unnecessarily.

5 Types of Sportsbook Regulars: The Mush And More

From Sportshandle.com, the 5 types of bettors we meet in the sportsbook or track.

THE MUSH

This is the guy who picks losers more than winners. Just like Eddie Mush in A Bronx Tale. If he makes a play on your team, you get that sick feeling in your stomach knowing it’s going to take a miracle to win your bet. Ideally, you want to get his play beforehand and go the other way.

Let it Ride movieMy Mush was Patty Snaps. One of the nicest guys I ever met in the book. A former casino host originally from Ohio, he was a character, and he had great stories. He always had a tip on a horse that couldn’t lose, but did. And when he bet a game, he had it all lined up why it would win.

I called him Patty Snaps because he had the best snap I’ve ever seen when he watched a race or game. You could hear it from a mile away. Impressive really.

But Snaps was the guy whose horse would win then get taken down by an inquiry. And his teams would either lose in epic, last minute finishes or get blown out by 50. His favorite line was “If I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.”

Common Beginner Mistakes to Avoid in Poker

Poker Pro Vanessa Russo

Poker Pro Vanessa Russo

What is Poker?

Poker is a game of cards with different sets which combines gambling, strategy and skill. There are a lot of poker variants but we shall talk about classic poker. Poker was a family household game at first but gave rise to popularity in the 20th century and is now played by millions of players. So if you’re trying to learn poker, here are some common beginner mistakes to avoid in poker:

  1. Playing hands excessively

You do not have to play every hand. Don’t get impatient and feel left out of the action. It could also mean they don’t know any better. The reason you don’t play too many hands is that you’re only going to hit the flop a small percentage of the time and even if you hit the flop you won’t know if your hand is the best. And if you’re involved in too many pots, your chips will all be gone.

  1. Playing scared

Some players play recklessly while others play with fear. You may be afraid to play any hand thinking others might have a monster hands. The best way to get over this is to log in time at the table and just trust your gut.

  1. Getting attached to a hand

Because of the aggressive nature of how poker players play, it makes you think ‘giving up’ is losing. But sometimes it is correct to fold. Do not get emotionally attached or play passively. You stay in a hand if you don’t want to get bluffed out of a pot.

  1. Bluffing excessively

Some people think poker is all about bluffing but the optimal percentage of bluffing should not become predictable. You need to present a believable story and be representing a particular hand for your ploy to work.

  1. Extreme Bet Sizes

You have to realize the pot limits and no limits. Correctly size your bets so that you can manipulate the action that comes with the experience of poker. New players often bet to the extremes which you should not do. Miss- sizing bets also occur after the flop. You want to bet what maximizes your win and minimizes your loss.

  1. Chasing

You could see a hard hoping to improve your hand but calling a draw might be a mistake and has improper pot odds to do so. While you might hit the right hand, you might chase without the right odds and lose money.

  1. Overvaluing bad hands

You might think your hand holds value but hold little value in comparison to other cards. Cards like K3,Q5 etc. With experience you can easily make a higher pocket pair.

  1. Don’t let emotions affect your gameplay

You might have had a bad day at work but don’t rush into an action. Think before you act. Entering a pot or calling a raise without a plan might make you lose.

  1. Playing above your bankroll

It’s important to manage your poker bankroll. There are variance plays in poker. You might go on long losing streaks. So play within your limits and don’t burn through your money or you will go broke.

With all these tricks and tips, you’ll be a pro in no time.