Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Links

Poker links to places you can play poker.
www.cardplayer.com
www.tourneylistings.com/
www.worldseriesofpoker.com
www.worldpokertour.com
www.bellagio.com/pages/frameset_noflash.asp
www.foxwoods.com/Gaming/Poker/
www.turningstone.com/gaming/poker/
www.theborgata.com/main.cfm?Section=play01&TabType=A&SideNav=tournaments&Content=play04
www.tropicana.net/poker/index.htm
www.thebicyclecasino.com/
www.trumptaj.com/
www.playhpc.com/
www.horseshoe.com/
www.harrahs.com/
www.greektowncasino.com/casino/poker.htm

Links to informational poker sites to help improve your game.
www.pokertips.org/
www.pokercharts.com/
www.poker-strategy.org/
www.learn-texas-holdem.com/index.htm
www.pokersyte.com/holdem.htm
www.playwinningpoker.com/
www.poker.worldzonepro.com/
www.flopturnriver.com/
www.realpokerodds.com/home.asp?kws=3&kwr=20

Monday, December 06, 2004

Popularity

The popularity of the Texas Hold'em really boomed I would have to say in last year’s 2003 World Series of Poker, which is televised every year by ESPN. That year is when an amateur by the name of Chris Moneymaker won the prestigious main event tournament. The World Series of Poker consists of many different types of poker games with the main event being No-Limit Texas Hold’em. This event is the largest and most prestigious title to have in poker. The winner of the tournament is known as world champion. This tournament has been around since 1970’s and is held annually at the Horseshoe in Las Vegas. This year ‘s 2004 World Series of Poker main event hit record numbers in participants, where it jumped from 850’s to around 2500’s, which makes the chances of winning it slimmer. For this reason, 2005’s World Series of Poker is expected to out perform those numbers. With poker being heavily televised on television, we can see how popularity of the game has grown. Even celebrities are being televised playing poker called Celebrity Poker, which can be seen on Bravo.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Starting Hands

Here are the best starting hands in Texas Hold'em, where i will break down in four groups, where group one is the best.

Group 1: AA, KK, QQ, AK(suited), AQ(suited)
Group 2:JJ,1010, AJ(suited), KQ(suited), AK
Group 3:A10(suited), KJ(suited), QJ(suited), AQ
Group 4:99, 88, K10(suited), Q10(suited), J9(suited), 109(suited), 98(suited), AJ, KQ

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Position

One's position at the table in relation to the "dealer" is an important strategical factor in Texas Hold'em. The players sitting to the left of the dealer, including the blinds, are in early position. Early position puts the player at a disadvantage, because the player 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. If the raiser does indeed have a strong hand, the early position player is likely beat and has wasted their bet. An early position player with a strong hand will find it harder to increase the pot by raising unless other players 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. The dealer is in the strongest position or also called “on the button” because they have the advantage of acting last. A late position player can decide to play a weak hand if there have been no bets or raises before him. 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. Consideration on whether to play a certain starting hand is based mostly on one's position at the table. A strong hand can be played in any position, while a weaker or marginal hand should only be played in later position, when the player can decide if their hand has a chance of winning against the other players.

How to Bet

Generally, players are supposed to bet when they have a good hand and players who don't have good hands are supposed to fold. Most players play contrary to this idea, attempting to be a deceptive player. Do not fall into their trap when you are play. Your betting strategy should be built upon this simple idea, but you must know when to stray and bet in situations when you otherwise wouldn't. Here are some situations you should start looking at to improve your game.

Blind-stealing
When you are in the dealer's position, and only you and the blinds are remaining in the game, a raise is often called "blind-stealing.” This is because the blinds may fold, where if you didn't raise but simply called, the blinds would simply check. It is a good way to make a buck or two, but will never make you rich. It is more of a way to end the game fast and have a new hand dealt with more players and more money.

Steal-raise
If you are last to act and all players have checked to you, betting to simply limit the number of players or take the pot is called a steal-raise. Don't use this exclusively, as better players will be onto you quickly and begin check-raising against your most likely poor hand. It is good to use a steal raise when you have an excellent drawing hand such as a nut flush draw. Players will tend to "check to the raiser". If you draw to your hand, you now have a larger pot to win. If you don't, you can always check, and hope the fifth card makes your hand.

Check-raise
Check raising is checking to your opponent, with the intention of luring them to bet, so that you can raise them back. Your intention is to lure them into a false sense of security so that you can raise them and increase the pot. Remember, after one bet is committed, its more likely they'll commit to two.

Opener
This reckless move is often done by people who bluff. It is when the person first to act raises, making all other players calls two bets at once. Its intention is to limit the number of players. Basically, this move amounts to a backwards steal-raise. The effect will almost certainly cause many players to fold, but the ones remaining will either be equally aggressive or truly have a great hand. This is also known as betting for information. This tactic is best used with few players in on the hand.

Squeezing
It is a tactic only used in a short-handed game. It's betting when you have a good hand currently, and you suspect another player or players may be on a draw. For example, you have top pair with the best kicker. Chances are they won't make their draw whether it be it a straight or a flush draw. Your goal is to limit their pot odds.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Choosing a Game and Seat

When choosing a seat , look at the actions of your opponents and learn how they play. There are certain type of players you want to sit to the right of you. You will be first to bet before these players .
Loose Players
Very agressive Players
These are type of players you want to sit to the left of you. They are first to bet.
Passive Players
Manics
Bluffers

Monday, November 29, 2004

Calculating Odds

In order to become a better player, a player should calculate the odds of every hand. This will give a player an edge when playing other poker players. A player should note that there are fifty-two cards in a deck and each deck has four cards of every hand in different suits. Therefore, one can calculate the odds during the pre-flop, flop, turn, and river. A player can see what is on the board and know what cards are left in the deck that can help their hand and calculate how many outs they have.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Where to Play

Here are some links of places to play in Ohio
www.ohiocharitygaming.com
www.reecesonline.com/store/application.php/tournament
www.texasholdemevents.com/products_new.php
www.toledocharitygaming.org/
www.homepokergames.com/ohio.php
www.tomkatpoker.com/

Hand Rankings

Royal Straight Flush
This is the best of all hands and even if you play often, you will rarely see one. It's similar to a hole in one in golf. It is made of up all of the same suite, ten through Ace. It is a straight and a flush and the royal part comes from it being made up of the highest cards too.

Straight Flush
the straight flush is also a rariety. It is made up of 5 cards of the same suite ranked in succession. For example 6-10, or A-5 (Ace can play both high and low in straights).

Four Of A Kind
A four of a kind ocurrs when you have all the cards of one type.

Full House
A full house happens when you have both three of a kind and also a pair. To determine if one full house higher ranked then another, first look at the three cards of the same kind. The one that is larger wins. If they both are the same then you'll have to compare the two cards. For example: Jacks full of fours (JJJ, 44)beats 9s full of Aces (999, AA) .

Flush
A flush occurs when you have five of the same suite. If the cards were also in succession (like a straight), then it would be a straight flush. To determine which flush wins if there are more then one in a hand, then the person with the highest card in their hand wins. In the example to the right, the person has a ten high flush. This would beat someone with a nine high flush and below.

Straight
A straight occurs when a player has five cards in ranked succession. Note that an Ace can play both as a high card or a low card.

Three Of A Kind
There are two different names for three of a kind hands and it depends on whether you have two of them on the board, or a pair in your hand. They both rank the same but to be a savy player you should know the difference. If you have a pocket pair and hit one on the flop then it is called a "set". If you have two cards on the flop and only one in your hand then it is called three of a kind.

Two Pair
Two pair is when your best five cards create a pair twice. That seems easy enough right? When comparing two hands both with two pair then the larger one always wins.For example, AA 22 would beat KK JJ and 88 33 would beat 77 66 .

One Pair
One pair is the hand you'll be getting the most and trying to win with the most. Top pair is usually the hand you'll be betting and trying to win some pots with. When more then one person has the same pair, then the "kickers" come in to play. Texas Hold'em uses the best five cards.

High Card
The high card hand is the lowest non pair hand. Sometimes Ace high can win, but in the these games it is very rare.




Getting Started

The betting structure can vary, but most games start with two players placing out a predetermined amount of money so there is an initial amount to play for. This is called posting the blinds. These players are the two to the left of the dealer. The dealer shuffles up a complete deck of fifty-two playing cards. Each player is dealt two cards face down. These are called your hole or pocket cards. Then there is a round of betting starting with the guy to the left of the two who posted the blinds. This round is usually referred to by the term pre-flop.

The amount betted depends on what kind of game it is. These types of games are determined by its betting structure, which are structured limit, pot limit, spread limit, and no limit. Much like most games of poker, players can check, raise, or fold. After the betting round ends, the dealer discards the top card of the deck. This is called a burn card. This is done to prevent cheating.

The dealer then flips the next three cards face up on the table. These cards are called the flop. These are communal cards that anyone can use in combination with their two pocket cards to form a poker hand. There is another round of betting starting with the player to the left of the dealer. After the betting concludes, the dealer burns another card and flips one more onto the table. This is called the turn card. Players can use this sixth card now to form a five card poker hand. The player to the left of the dealer begins another round of betting. In many types of games, this is where the bet size doubles.Finally, the dealer burns a card and places a final card face up on the table. This is called the river. Players can now use any of the five cards on the table or the two cards in their pocket to form a five card poker hand.

There is one final round of betting starting with the player to the left of the dealer. After that, all of the players remaining in the game begin to reveal their hands. This begins with the player to the left of the last player to call. It's called the showdown. The player who shows the best hand wins! There are cases where players with equal hands share the winnings.