Showing posts with label Poker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poker. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Importance of Position in Texas Hold ‘Em (Pre-flop Play)

Poker - Texas Hold 'em - Photo: Wikimedia
Grabbing information is one of the most important skills that you need in poker. From your opponent’s betting patterns and the "tells" that they make simply define your hand and are simply integral on your next decision. But you can’t do that without proper positioning, which is on the button or somewhere near it.

But that doesn’t mean that you should fold every hand if you’re not in the proper position, each has its pros and cons, and it should also determine how you should play your hand.

In this article, I’ll tell you how to utilize perfectly your position in pre-flop play.

Early Position

This position is from under the gun to the third turn in a ring table, which has around eight people seated. In this seat, you have to be choosy in raising your hand or simply limping into the pot because there are about five to seven people yet to act, thus there are more chances for them to raise the bets and given that you don’t have a hand that’s good enough, you just lost money the size of the blind.

So it’s important that you only raise premium hands in this position like AK, AQ and AJ suited. When someone re-raises after you, you have a good idea that he/she has jacks or queens. So not only is raising pre-flop a good way to drive out people who have small cards that may get lucky after the flop, it also gives you information on who probably has a hand better than yours.

Middle Position

In this position, you have to be looser, but not to the extent that you’re virtually throwing your chips away. A9, K10, and QJ may be raised here, given that no one has raised and indicated that he/she has an excellent hand.

Again, the reason why that you should raise pre-flop is to mine important information about your opponents, if they have good to great cards.

Late Position

In late position, you can practically raise any hand you want, depending on the circumstances. If everyone just limps into the pot, and a raise is nowhere in sight, then you stick your foot right in and raise around four to five times the big blind, even withcards like 24. It may win you the pot right there.

But be wary when everyone calls when you do raise,because they may sense that you’re trying to steal the pot. Don’t cringe if your technique fails and if the flop shows high cards like A-J-4, raise outright and try to steal the pot again. They may rethink that you tried to steal the pot before the flop and give you credit for hitting aces or jacks.



As you may observe, one may get looser in choosing his/her cards when nearing late position and also presents you the opportunity to steal the pot. The late position also entails you to play more aggressively and show some muscle, enabling you to hammer on pots, do isolation plays and basically eat up the blinds. So to speak, the position should guide you on how to play your hands because it opens the option of instilling fear into your opponent, bluffing your way into the pot or does the complete opposite of the previous two.




Saturday, February 17, 2018

POKER rules: Play it fair or be square

Poker - Photo: Pixabay
Anybody who hasn't heard of the poker game? Anybody who hasn't played a round of poker game? I think not. Even celebrities nowadays participate in celebrity poker games. But who knows how poker came about? In truth, there is a dilemma as to who can lay claim for the birth of this card game. The French have it 'poque' which descended from the Germans' 'pochen' which means "to knock". 

However, it can be contested that it could have originated from the Persian game of 'as nas' that could have been taught to the French settlers by Persian sailors in New Orleans. However poker came about, everybody is playing it and loving the challenge. Poker rules, therefore, are extremely important since you might be betting your car keys already, for all you know. The poker rules guide the greenhorn on how to lose graciously the first few deals. Thus learning to play a good game of poker is expensive.

We need to know the basics of how to play poker, the poker rules according to the poker variant, poker etiquette and poker hands to be able to passably play. Winning is everything in poker since this is a mind game more than anything else.

First off, we need to clarify the different poker game variants to know which poker rules need to be in play. There are many variants to the poker game but the more universal poker game variants are: draw poker, stud poker, widow poker game, and miscellaneous poker games (which include Stud Horse poker, Oxford stud, Billabong (and Shanghai), Guts, and Blind Man's Bluff). However, the most commonly played poker games for the first three variants are the five-card draw, seven-card stud, and the Texas hold 'em. 

Since this is the most played poker game variant, poker rules for the five-card draw are generally easy to remember. It is assumed that you basically know the general poker gameplay, the hand values, and the betting system. Poker rules differ from the home-style games to the more formal games as played in the casinos. For formal games blinds are commonly used while for home games, it is more typical use an ante. Ante is where the first betting round starts from the player to the dealer's left, then the second round betting begins with the player who opened or made the first non-zero betting in the preceding round. 

A common house rule in playing five card draw in home or social games is that a player cannot replace more than three cards unless he holds an ace or a wildcard so that the deck stub will not be easily depleted. Another common house rule is that the last card in the deck stub is not dealt anymore to ensure that anybody who might have seen it will not use that information.

In the seven card stud, poker rules are a bit more complex than the five card draw since two to eight players can play. The only poker rule to remember, (better make it your mantra) is two down, four up, one down. This is the lay of the cards and not meant to mean something else.



The third most commonly played poker game is the Texas hold 'em. The poker rules here are the same with the first two but what makes this different is the introduction of lipstick cameras where spectators were able to view each player's cards.

Definitely, we've seen that poker rules change a bit depending on the game of poker being played. Now that we've learned the different poker rules, playing it like the pros would be as easy as pie.



Monday, October 23, 2017

POKER: From the Kitchen Table to the Casino

Poker - Photo: Pixabay
Nowadays, gambling has become so popular it's gone digital. That's right, it's possible that everywhere you click there's gonna be a banner or popup ad with sparkling chips enticing you to enter the world of gambling online. The most popular game of all could easily be casino poker. In fact, it has become so popular that it has been a usual complaint about many bloggers to be receiving comment spam on casino poker.

What is casino poker exactly, and how do you go about it? You may have played the game before in the comfort of your own home but keep in mind that casino poker is very different in the actual cardroom. It is a game of skill where you compete against other players instead of the house. The stakes don't have to be sky-high. In fact, if after reading this article you feel like playing your way to the World Series of Poker, we won't stop you. Just remember that luck comes and goes, but knowledge stays forever. A fitting adage to the world of casino poker.

In learning to play the game, there are a few essentials to acquire. First, a book to teach you the basics. The thing to get next would be a video you can watch and help back up what you learned from words. Finally, for practice, a tutorial software program. After all, you need to gather some skills before you can start risking your money in the casino. Better yet, if you have a cardsharp for a friend, ask him to help you out with your game, and hopefully, in the process, you may get to pick up some invaluable tips and tricks.

Also, it is wise to take advantage of the free casino poker lessons, if any, offered by your friendly neighborhood casino. Games are played using nonvalue chips, and lessons are started with a brief overview of the game (in this case, casino poker) before you start playing. The instructor points out any mistakes you make which helps you gain confidence and get a feel of the game before actually entering the poker room. 

For beginners, there are two low-limit casino poker games that are often played: Seven-card stud and Limit Texas Hold'em Poker. These might be good places to start should you decide to step into the arena, the actual gamble, of casino poker. The minimum bet requirement is usually 3$-6$ per game which makes those games popular choices for beginners. 



Feel ready for your own game of casino poker yet? You tired of being a mere spectator from the sidelines? Then get on up, off your seat, to the nearest casino! But if there's no casino in the vicinity right now, not to worry. Casino poker's gone digital, remember? There are several casinos online to cater to your every pokerish whim. All you need is your shiny plastic credit card and the legal age to join. And then use your search engine and find the right site for you.

Casino poker is more than just a game with stakes to play for. It involves skill and sharpness of the mind, involving every emotional high - the adrenaline rush of a fold, the excitement of a win, not to mention the deepest pits of emotional hell when the stakes are high and the game is lost. This is definitely something to try out if you need some action of your own.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

History of TEXAS HOLD 'EM

Picture of hole cards in a game of texas hold 'em
Picture of hole cards in a game of texas hold 'em
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Even though not much is known about beginnings of the game of Hold ‘Em, or poker in general, it is said that it started at around 1900s. It has spread throughout the state of Texas and was embraced by many as their prime poker game for gambling. And it has been introduced to the bright lights of Las Vegas on 1967 by a group of Texan gamblers and card players, notably Crandell Addington, Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim.

Early Years

Its magic has enthralled many, with players ranging from crack-heads to more sophisticated players. But in the 50s, only a few casinos offered the game of Hold ‘Em, and they had shabby poker rooms for it. With that, many professional players tried valiantly to find a better location for their cash games, and they finally found it in the now-defunct Dunes Casino on the Las Vegas Strip and with its prominent location, Hold ‘Em’s popularity simply took off.

In the late 60s, poker tournaments for Hold ‘Em were now being held, notably by the Gambling Fraternity Convention and it helped the game gain more recognition. The Convention was then bought by Binion’s Horseshoe Casino and has taken up Hold ‘Em as the main event due its leanings on psychology rather than pure odds. The game simply rose to the top after that, with merely eight entrants in its nascent stages to 100 in 1982 and that has doubled a decade later.

With the surging popularity in place, one of the top No Limit players, Doyle Brunson, started the advent of Poker Literature with his book, Super System, which has revolutionized how people played poker. Also, it has brought the game to a wider audience and had put it into the mainstream. It even influenced more poker books to be published, notably by David Sklansky and his Theory of Poker and Dan Harrington’s Harrington on Hold ‘Em. This made the game’s learning curve a lot shorter and made every tournament more exciting and challenging.

A pair of aces is arguably the best hand to be...
A pair of aces is arguably the best hand to be dealt in Texas Hold'em Poker.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Explosion in the Nineties

This has carried on until the late 90s and the first decade of the 21st century, when the popularity of the game went into another level and went worldwide. It started with the film Rounders (1998), which starred Matt Damon and gave the Hold ‘Em a romantic feel.

One also has to take into account the influence of the internet and gave everyone on what was years of experience in a short amount of time. Online poker rooms like Partypoker.com and Pacificpoker.com paved the way for that. It is said that current stars like Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen fined tuned their game in the internet.

And from there, what was only 200+ 1991 WSOP grew to 800 in 2003 and an unbelievable 5000 in 2005.

Conclusion

Texas Hold ‘Em is definitely here to stay, given that it leans more on strategy and psychology rather than strict mathematical analysis and probability, which has been the case of other games like Blackjack. Its appeal stretches to far reaches, not only in terms of regions but also of social class. It has hit popular culture, with it being considered more and more as a sport rather than gambling. It has even changed how people think of the game, with works like the The Poker MBA sitting in bookshelves. Truly, Texas Hold ‘Em has grown to a new level.