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Working from a Small Poker Bankroll: Part Two

Working from a Small Poker Bankroll: Part Two

This is the second part of this mini series, the first article on a small Poker Bankroll can be found here.

In the last article we discussed some of the basic methods of bulking up a small poker bankroll in order to progress your poker game. Here are a few more tips to help you out on your path to better financing your time at the tables.

Staying online is a great method of avoiding the higher rakes of brick and mortar casinos or real-world poker rooms. The rake has been the traditional enemy of the small bankroll player but the growth of internet poker has enabled many to avoid paying exorbitant kickback. Carrying out your money play online can be a solid method of bankroll enlargement and provide the funds necessary for buying into solid games off of the computer.

Consider taking on the work of mastering a tight-aggressive style to further your odds against varied opponents when playing limit Hold ‘Em games. Although a straight ahead approach to the game is often less fun, the tight-aggressive style of play is a proven method of slowly taking out competitors and increasing your bankroll.

Lastly, always remember to stay within your stake limits. It’s been discussed in previous bankroll-centred articles but it’s worth a quick reminder here. If you plan to implement some of the above tips and take to the cash, limit Hold ‘Em games then remember to stay within your budget when choosing your table stakes so that you can build your bankroll slowly instead of taking the large risks that can so often jeopardize your previous gains.

Working from a Small Poker Bankroll: Part One

Working from a Small Bankroll: Part One

If you’re set on becoming a big player in the world of
online poker then it’s likely that you’ll need to bulk up a modest bankroll. Working your deposit of poker cash from a small amount to a larger one enables greater opportunity for higher-stakes games and playing against skilled opponents, two aspects necessary for working toward becoming an established competitor. While it may seem a daunting prospect, practicing, learning and knowing a few simple tips can go a long way toward chasing your dream of playing against the professionals.

Sticking to cash games is an important aspect of increasing your bankroll. Although tournaments may be able to host guarantees that are able to entice even the most budget-minded gamer, cash games hold a far better profit margin and allow for better tracking of your current financial situation.

In this sense fixed limit games also represent a smart way to effectively grow your money. Staying away from no-limit or pot-limit events may be less exciting but it’s also an intelligent method of keeping track of your budget and ensuring that you can never lose more than what you have allotted through a single bad event.

Playing only game styles you’ve previously excelled in is another good idea. Try to stick to those styles that you’ve managed to make the most money in before and save your experimentation in say, Omaha or Stud games, to practice rounds with no real chips at stake.

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Understanding Poker Side Pots

Understanding Poker Side Pots

Side pots are a poker phenomenon that a lot of players are bound to run into as they compete across different styles of events. Here are a few introductory tips to help you understand side pots and their impact on your game.

You’ll notice side pots on tables where there are two separate piles of chips set up. One is the regular pot that is most commonly seen in games and the other is the focus of our article. The side pot comes into play as some players go all-in while others still continue to bet with larger numbers of chips. Once this has occurred, a side pot is created through player contribution and it becomes an addition to the main pot up for offer.

The all-in player will only be able to compete for the side pot created to cover their bet but all others are able to vie for the extra prize. As many side pots as are necessary will be created throughout the game and they are awarded in the reverse order from which they were created.

These situations will also crop up quite commonly during longer games and physical play. If you’re running the game yourself remember to keep the golden rule of side pots in mind; ensuring that everyone contributes equally to the pot and it should all work out properly.

Mucking in Poker

Although most adhere to a strict rule to never reveal their cards at the end of a poker hand, many have conflicting opinions regarding mucking as a psychological tool. Even though card showing can sometimes hold its value for this purpose in amateur-level games, it’s a bad plan for any stake level above the lower, familiar rungs of play.

It’s almost never a good idea to muck your hand, no matter how badly you want to share your result with the rest of the table. A situation such as losing with AK on an AK10 flop can be a siren song to show your cards after investing money in the betting action before a loss. Just the same, playing through to the end and mucking your hand will only serve to reveal how smart and/or lucky you were up until the endgame — it won’t bring your lost chips back.

Many players seem to think that showing their pocket after a bad beat serves to establish your reputation as smart competitor and give others a reason to respect your actions but this instinct can be counter-productive. Rather than mucking your hand, allow for the mystery of why you played the way you did. There is almost never a good situation for revealing your actual thinking in a game of poker.

It may seem like an elementary rule to follow but knowing to never muck your cards is one basic habit to keep in mind if you want every possible edge in your game. While it can be incredibly tempting to reveal your bad beat it’s always a good idea to ignore the opportunity and keep your cards close to your chest.

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Lessons in Poker Bluffing: Part Three

This is the third part of a three part series of Poker Bluffing. The first part can be found here - Poker Bluffing Part One and the second part can be found here - Poker Bluffing Part Two.

Having a few basic strategies with poker bluffing related to table position is obviously important but it’s also a good idea to know how to deal with the number of players still left in the hand when considering your bluffing actions.

The number of opponents still active at a table or within a given hand can be important to consider in your bluffing choices. When you’re bluffing an entire table you become much more likely to escape scrutiny and hold a greater opportunity to trick others into favourable actions. Regular semi-bluffing can be a valuable technique against larger sets of active players but quitting bluffing entirely in the end game is often advisable.

Poker Bluffing against one or two players becomes much more difficult and can present some problems as we mentioned above. Consistent bluffing is unadvisable when you’ve reached a showdown situation for the simple fact that your every decision is now being closely monitored by a single competitor. By the time you’ve reached a showdown the goal is usually to take home the pot rather than bulk it up so the risks associated with bluffing are often too great to warrant.

A good rule of thumb for bluffing any number of opponents lies in always reading the known table cards. Whether you’re up against one or nine other competitors, manipulating the amount of information available through the river, your own pocket and any mucked hands, allows you to bluff intelligently and, ultimately, persuasively.

Lessons in Poker Bluffing: Part Two

This is the second part of a three part series of Poker Bluffing. The first part can be found here - Poker Bluffing Part One.

Knowing how and when to bluff in early position is also important to learn. An early position can be a great spot at the table when you want to manipulate the pace of a hand as much as possible and bluffing can obviously play a large part in this.

Take note of those players that fold right off of the flop regularly. These are usually the competitors that are only playing at a novice level of experience and they can be manipulated by pure bluffs more often than not. A frequent folder can be a goldmine when they’ve hit on a pair of cards that they believe will take them to the end of a hand. The particular lack of confidence that makes them fold on a regular basis is the same phenomena that will allow you to bluff them into folding when the heat is on, after they have already committed many bets in the endgame of a hand.

The early position will also allow you to identify stronger poker players so you can better gauge when to attempt bluffs or not. Aside from their more frequent winning of hands, solid competitors will often play cautiously and only strike hard occasionally in a typical tight-aggressive style. Having an early position allows you to test the waters of the entire table and note the better and worse players before attempting to bluff them unsuccessfully later on. Semi-bluffs are usually much more advisable than pure bluffs against better players who are more skilled at spotting tricks at the poker table.

Lessons in Poker Bluffing: Part One

Bluffing is an important part of your poker game but it is often misunderstood and used too often or not enough. Here are a few tips to get you started toward proper bluffing and good times to use it in your game. First off, remember your positions. Our first few tips here will focus on late position bluffing simply because it is the best opportunity to bluff successfully as well as the one time wherein most players make avoidable mistakes or miss chances.

Your goals in bluffing should be clear. When you’re in a late position you essentially control the pace of the hand. If you’ve taken note of those players that have folded out of a lack of confidence in the past then you’re ready to start forcing them out. When forcing out other players your bluffs should be more frequent and of a riskier nature, raising in large increments and made up of more pure bluffs than you might have gone in with otherwise. Late position allows you to pick off the weaker competitors noted by their tendency to have waited a long time before checking or folding directly off the flop often in the past.

If you’re only trying to bulk up the pot then forcing players out becomes unwise (except in tournament situations). A late position isn’t as good for early positions when it comes to “milking the table” but you still have the opportunity to see a great deal of action before it’s your turn to call or raise. Your notes come into play to a large degree and keeping concentration on the table is essential. You can look for patterns in weaker players then use your late position bluffing to force them into showdowns, betting them into constant raising before they are forced to fold.  

Basic Strategy in Razz Poker

Razz poker is undoubtedly unique for players familiar with the usual goal of achieving high value cards in order to succeed. After figuring out the basic flow and objectives of the style there are still other important aspects of the game to keep in mind. Here are a few of them.

Quality starting hands in
Razz poker are important to learn and remember so you know when to play and when to fold or take it easy on betting. Luckily they’re fairly easy to recognize and memorize in Razz. Base the starting hands you enter the pot with on their low value and try to push away your urge to fold on a traditionally “bad” deal.

Look for and remember the importance of “dead” cards that you are dealt or see at the table. While other games focus on using “live” cards (those that typically improve your chances at a win such as face cards), ignore your instinct to flop on low cards. Dead cards are good to receive and important to note in a
Razz poker game.

Be vigilant with watching the entire table and the visible cards. Quality stud players are always monitoring the other cards on the table and are able to gauge their own actions based on the information available from their competitor’s up cards.

Many of the same strategies that lead to successful stud games can also be applied to similar effect with Razz. Perhaps the most significant aspect of solid
Razz poker play is based on memorization and comfort however, so it’s well worth playing many practice games before staking anything substantial in a game of this style.

Looking at the Rules of Razz Poker

After becoming comfortable with the goal and ideal hands of
Razz poker it’s important to understand the rules and table action of the game.

Razz poker functions in a similar fashion to other stud games. Each player must post the ante before they are dealt three cards, one face up and two faces down (hole cards). The first betting round is carried out at this point. The dealer then continues to carry out this process in the usual, clockwise fashion common in other poker styles. Betting action occurs after every new card is provided by the dealer based on new information revealed by visible cards and player action.

After the seventh card is dealt each player still in the game will have three hole cards along with four cards that are face up for competitors to see. The final stage of play is carried out with a final chance at betting and raising based on psychological didactics and visible cards (as in other forms of stud) before the faces are revealed and the winner determined.

Players do not get to see any common cards and each of the competitors can make use of the best five out of their seven cards to make their final hand. Determining the best strategy to successfully reach this stage is, obviously, quite significant and will form the focus of our final article on Razz poker basics.

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An Introduction to Razz Poker

Razz poker is one of the most confusing styles of play but is well worth learning for the serious poker enthusiast. It is a subversive take on the traditional goal of stud games, aiming to reward the lowest, rather than highest hand possible.

Razz poker is a stud style poker game that is heavily reminiscent of Seven-card Stud. The style focuses on making the ‘worst’ (or lowest) hand possible in order to win however and is thus likely to confuse many novices to the style.

By the end of the game every player that doesn’t fold will hold seven cards and the potential to show their five ‘best’ cards. Razz poker differs again from other stud games in that, contrary to expectations, a flush or straight does not negatively affect the hand ranking. Low cards are good but having a run in numbers or same suits (as demonstrated below) is not a bad thing in Razz poker.

Aces are always the lowest card in Razz poker and the best possible hand to hold is A-2-3-4-5. The easiest way to read and understand low hands can be found in taking the face values literally as a whole number. The five cards above (A2345) can be read as “twelve thousand, three hundred and forty five” and a similar straight such as A-3-4-5-6 would be read as “thirteen thousand, four hundred and fifty six). The lowest numerical amount is the best hand to hold.

The next article will detail the table action that constitutes the rules of a Razz poker game.

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Looking at the Blindstealing Poker Maneuver

Coming out on top in poker often requires some fairly nasty maneuvers. One of the best (and most profitable) of these is a strategy commonly referred to as a blindstealing play. Here are some basic details on how to pull off the steps necessary for a blindsteal.

Blindstealing involves a late position player’s ability to capitalize on a competitor’s need to post blinds and is especially effective later in a game when blinds becoming increasingly expensive. The idea is simple: blindstealing involves playing on the diminished capital of an opponent who has already been forced to invest chips in a hand through posting a blind.

The hand should be raised even before the flop and can still be performed with relatively weak cards. Blind posting competitors will be more likely to fold due to the inherent pressure created by already having been made to spend money, creating a situation where it’s possible to extract a bit of their bankroll before they back off from not wanting to lose even more money in a single round.

It’s fairly apparent but still worth noting that performing a blindsteal play is a poor idea early in a game when blinds are still inexpensive enough not to make a significant difference in a competitor’s actions. If the blinds aren’t large enough to create the appropriate level of pressure then the maneuver won’t be effective.

blindsteals maneuver may be ruthless but it’s also an intelligent method of knocking out (even temporarily) weak competition while gaining a few extra chips for your bankroll.

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A Handful of Poker Tells: Part Four of Four

This is the fourth part of a four part mini series on Poker Tells. The first part can be found here. The second part can be found here.The third part can be found here.

Our last look at tells is focused on picking up on deliberate poker tells that can be found through the actions of a player who is bluffing on weak hands. While players with weak hands attempt to stay under the radar and keep the pot as low as possible they may exhibit certain behaviour that can be turned to your advantage.

Staring is one of the easiest giveaways you can hope to find in a bluffing situation. An opponent who attempts intimidation through a persistent stare is most likely trying to unnerve you or others and actually holds a weak set of cards.

Threatening with poker chips is another deliberate tell that can greatly help in informing your decisions. A competitor that reaches to place his or her poker chips during an opponent’s turn is most likely making an intimidation attempt and is bluffing with a weak hand. The same is true for a competitor who rushes the last moments of their competitor’s turn in an attempt to force their action or make a premature claim of the pot (a move that tries to show that they are just acting slightly ahead of their “inevitable” win).

Inexperienced poker players will be the safest bet for waging any serious money within these situations. It may not be wise to risk too much of your bankroll on bluffing tells unless you’re quite sure that what you’re noticing is clear enough to place money on. Remember the importance of caution in trying to exert pressure on a bluffing player.

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A Handful of Poker Tells: Part Three of Four

This is the third part of a four part mini series on Poker Tells. The first part can be found here. The second part can be found here.

Now that we’ve looked at a number of typical signs of unconscious poker tells its worth getting into deliberate poker tells and what they can tell you about your opponent’s hand.

Deliberate poker tells are those behaviours that a poker player puts on consciously in an effort to conceal their true expressions and attitude toward a given situation. Although they can be more difficult to spot than unconscious tells, a keen eye and the ability to pick up on uncharacteristic displays can help a great deal in spotting their presence in a competitor.

One of the easiest deliberate poker tells to spot is when a player is feigning weakness to hide a strong hand. Exaggerated sighs or persistent brooding throughout a hand will usually be the easiest way to pick up on someone attempting this. It is most easily spotted when you notice large pauses between calling or betting action as this is something that is meant to simulate indecision about playing the hand. Competitors with strong cards will exhibit tells that are meant to sweeten the pot as much as possible so it’s important to always be on the look-out for them in order to hang onto your chips.

Weak poker hands and pure bluffs are much harder to spot and are thus a lot riskier to pull off. The next article will detail how to pick up on deliberate tells in this type of situation.

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A Handful of Poker Tells: Part Two of Four

This is the second part of a four part mini series on Poker Tells. The first part can be found here.

In the first half of our look at poker tells we examined a handful of unconscious tells and what they can reveal about your opponents hand. Here we will examine a few more in order to provide you with a better list of tells to watch out for.

The calling-reflex is one of the major patterns to try to spot. A competitor who is obviously attempting to remain calm and inconspicuous is usually bluffing and if their body/facial language doesn’t betray them then watch for any tics when they’re calling a bet.

Card watching can tell a good player a lot about their opponent as well. If a competitor glances quickly at their pocket and then puts it down right after every newly deal it’s quite likely that they’re holding a strong set of cards. Frequent glancing after every development on the river is a sure sign of an incomplete hand. In the same vein, a player who is protecting their cards from view without frequent reference usually means a strong pocket is present.

Chip placement is also a great place to pick up a few hints about your opponents. If they try to conceal any emotion while placing their bets then it’s likely that they’re trying to hide any emotion and probably have a good hand. Over-exaggerated behaviour usually means the opposite and is meant to hide the existence of a weak hand.

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A Handful of Poker Tells: Part One of Four

This is the first part of a four part mini series on Poker Tells.

The best way to look at
poker tells is within two distinct categories: unconscious and deliberate tells. Being able to understand the difference between these signs can be of great importance for serious poker players and is well worth studying for use in face-to-face games. The first half of our examination of poker tells will focus on typical examples of unconscious tells.

Unconscious tells are the type that you’re most likely to notice in an amateur game where the table is comprised of competitors who have not yet trained themselves to properly conceal these signs. They’re categorized by the player’s lack of control over the noted behaviour and occur without deliberate intention.

Nervousness is often thought of as a sign of a weak hand when in fact the opposite is true. A competitor that seems wary is most likely adopting the behaviour as a way to conceal a strong hand and, luckily, fake nerves are often easy to spot.

Another easily noticeable unconscious tell is found in an opponent’s posture. Players with a strong poker hand are more likely to sit forward or tense their shoulders because they are concentrating on how to best utilize their pocket. A relaxed competitor is more likely to be holding weak cards and will sit back in their seat or display dropped, hanging shoulders due to their psychological resignation for the duration of the hand.

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Choosing Between Successive or Sets of Poker Sit and Goes

Poker Sit and Go tournaments can be a great way to keep active while working on increasing your Poker bankroll. One of the biggest questions for frequent SNG players concerns the decision on whether or not to play successive or sets of tournaments. Here are a few tips to help you decide for yourself.

If you’re the type of
poker player who works best in a busy environment then successive SNGs may be the best option for your style. Successive SNGs involve beginning multiple events and immediately opening a new game as soon as any of the active ones are finished. They demand a constant level of attention and a competitor who is able to adjust from late to early game strategies at all times.
Sets of games are better for players who require concentration on one series at a time. They’re easier in a certain sense, in that they demand a style of play which is akin to a sprint when compared to the marathon of successive gaming. Sets also allow for the ability to gauge a series of SNGs as a whole, providing ample time to review your previous play and bankroll status before moving into further tournaments.

It’s important to remain flexible with your preferred method of play. If you’re determined to play successively then a smart player will still know to let a game close if they’re having an off day or bleeding chips in some of their open
SNGs. The decision is personal and depends heavily on circumstance but novice to average players would do well to stick with SNG sets. More advanced skill levels may fare well in successive SNGs but preference and playing style should still be taken into consideration.

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Understanding Poker Bet Sizing: Part Two

This is the second post on Pot Sizing. The First Post can be found here.

There are several determining factors that should also be taken into consideration before putting down
poker chips on a bet. In the previous article we covered the necessary distinction between strategic and bankroll increasing betting but it’s also important to note some general table features significant toward either method.

The most important table elements worthy of serious consideration include the size of the pot, the number of opponents left in the game and the development of your hand. If any one of these features is weak then it can make an enormous difference on how large your bets should be scaled.

A large number of competitors can make rewarding bets increasingly difficult.
Bet sizing should be considered in direct comparison to how many players are still left. In a showdown situation or a table with few others still active a sizable bet can be misguided. Fewer opponents are easier to read and thus easier to manipulate by pushing in with an intimidating bet.

Pot size cannot be underestimated either. Winning a larger pot falls into the bankroll increasing category of play and should be considered strategically. If you’re in a game for nothing more than the prestige of a win then large bets should mostly be avoided (unless used in on perfect hands or predictable opponents) as they can often serve as pot stimulators rather than tools for winning.

Hand development is significant in a very obvious manner. Any good poker player knows that bluffing too often with large bets will only yield frequent bad beats. Bet sizing should always be made relative to the strength of your hand in relation to dealt cards.

Understanding Poker Bet Sizing: Part One

Poker players must be able to constantly adapt to the flow of a game in order to come out on top. A large part of this concerns one of the most important aspects of bankroll management: bet sizing. Here are a few tips to help you out.

The first aspect of
poker bet sizing to consider is the goal of your bet. It’s important to make a choice between bulking up your chips or the more strategic usage of betting as a method of knocking competitors out of the game.

Those who fall into the latter category need to place conservative bets for almost the entire game. Larger bets should be kept to almost a complete minimum and be used only in situations where opponents are very likely to be beat out. Perfect hands and predictable competitors make up some of the only situations where big bets become a good option within this strategy. Resisting aggressive play and exercising a lot of restraint with bet sizing is advisable for winning through these means.

If you’re looking only to increase your chip count then it becomes more important to only place larger bets on hands which stand a very small chance of being beaten out. Bets should remain conservative until the river has revealed a nearly unbeatable combination with your pocket. The only major difference between this outlook and non pot-centred play is the allowance of occasional expensive bets when the situation allows.

Fielding Poker Opponent Hand Ranges

Being able to predict your opponent’s possible hands is an integral part of playing successful poker games but it can be a tricky area of strategy to master. Through the use of hand ranges it becomes easier to form a general estimation of what your competitors may have and, subsequently, the kind of risks that are worth taking.

There are many factors to consider when determining the possible range of your opponents hand. Some of these boil down to common sense and involve a grasp on the
average poker hand. Most players will find themselves with a mid-range pocket fairly often and it is thus best to assume that your opponent possesses something similar. Watching the flop may go a long way toward forming an educated guess toward hands as well. Face cards should be watched for and counted so that a proper estimation can be deduced and taken into mind before deciding to push or fold.

As blinds grow in size in the late stages of a game it becomes increasingly important to be able to gauge the possible cards in your opponent’s hand. Other factors will play a bigger role in determining your initial betting at this time but unclear estimations should be avoided during this stage. Experience and a bit of careful consideration will always boil down to the best plan of action however. Knowing your odds and keeping vigilant watch over flops and mucks can add up to a lot of success if properly considered.

Choosing Between a Poker Ring-Game and a Poker Tournament Game

Both Poker ring-games and Poker tournaments are poker events wherein players must exhibit quick wits and serious skill in order to emerge triumphant. Although both have plenty of positive elements to their credit it can be a bit difficult for players to pick between one style and the other. Below are a few tips meant to assist in your decision between entering a ring-game or tournament event.

Your bankroll is the most important first step to take into consideration.
Poker Tournaments make this aspect of the decision much more elementary; either you can afford the buy-in or not. Having a large bankroll is key toward succeeding in a ring-game and players with a small chip stack are not likely to go far within these events. Stick to poker tournaments if your cash flow is on the modest side.

Whether you have a good deal of patience or not will also help in recommending a style of play too.
Poker Ring-games favour players who are able to deal with the tedium that can come from cautious moves and a careful study of the table. If you’re aware that your playing style is more aggressive than slow then it’s a good idea to enter tournaments wherein these skills will be better suited to the play.

No matter which style you choose to play, it’s always important to try out both ring-games and tournaments to build up your skills and adaptability. Some players are able to enjoy considerable success in one but not the other and this is something that can only be learned by experience within both circumstances. By figuring out which style you’re better suited to you’ll know when to enter events or sit tight.

Basics Tips for Poker Ring-Game Play

Poker ring-games are a great way to experience the biggest thrills of poker. Since regular tournaments use your buy-in as chips they inevitably lose some of the adrenaline-pumping side effects of ring-game pots and the different style of play which naturally goes along with it. If you’re just getting into ring-games there are a few important tips worth looking at.

Always enter a ring-game with the appropriate bankroll. If you’re too strapped to be able to properly play this type of tournament then it’s much better to just buy-in to a tournament or wait for a good freeroll. Playing scared in a ring-game is a recipe for disaster. Decisions must be made with the bigger picture in mind; not based on whether you’ll be able to pay rent or not.

Watch out for the
poker sharks too. As a natural aspect of the above point, many of the most unsavory poker players will show up in ring-games hoping to easily add to their bankroll by picking off weaker players. Carefully study your opponents and always be on the guard for this type of competition.

It’s essential to be patient in a
poker ring-game as the games often boil down to bankroll size to a much larger degree than tournament play. Acting cautiously and only making big moves when the odds are in your favour is important toward achieving any level of success within ring-games.

Picking the Right Poker Game to Play

It’s always important to know your place in the poker world whether that relates to choosing the right table, limit or even style of play. Picking the right game to jump into depends a lot on your personal style, bankroll and level of experience. Nonetheless there are a few tips worth providing on the subject of gaming options.

The first factor to consider is, as mentioned above,
your bankroll. Never buy into games that you don’t have a real chance of succeeding in. Even if you’ve saved up for that tournament with a big guarantee it’s necessary to always remember that your opponents will mostly be made up of those who have been playing the game successfully and long enough that their buy-in isn’t a life-changing investment.

The next most important aspect is your
skill level. Knowing your style and strengths in play is completely essential toward picking the right game. If you’re not that adept of a player yet then stick to individual games before attempting full-out tournaments. Practice on freerolls and no-money games (with higher virtual limits) before choosing to enter a game above your current experience.

Knowing where you have and have not succeeded before is essential as well. Some
poker players may excel in fixed limit Hold ‘Em but suffer in the same style’s no limit or pot limit styles. Take note of the type of games you’ve done best in and only enter those until you feel more comfortable playing in a different style of game.

When to Give Up on a Good Poker Starting Hand

One of the hardest aspects of poker strategy to get a handle on comes from knowing when to give up on a good starting hand. Obviously, in a game where luck can play a big roll in starting odds, it can be extremely difficult to let go of something good once it has come up. Just the same, it’s important to have the discipline necessary to look at the big picture so you can make sacrifices when necessary.

Concentrating too much on your own cards usually provides the reason for the aforementioned issue. If you have a better grasp of the entire table then it becomes much easier to fold a good hand and place your cards within the broader picture of the game on a whole.

Not using the river as perspective is another big problem. Even if you have pocket black aces, this hand isn’t necessarily going to hold up if the river doesn’t accommodate your cards. Good players with a solid pocket will fold when they know there is a decent chance that other players may be able to beat them based on the board.

If your opponent is reading you well your card quality doesn’t matter much either. In these situations it’s best to fold rather than being taken down by someone who has obviously gotten one up on you psychologically. These situations are probably the trickiest to determine and act upon but they’re definitely worth knowing about and keeping in mind.

Introduction to Multi-Tabling in Poker

A lot of players just don’t get enough out of having one game on the go at a time and, luckily enough, online poker often presents the option of enjoying the action on several tables at once. Multi-tabling isn’t for everyone however and a brief introduction to its ins and outs is necessary for those who haven’t attempted it yet.

The most prevalent positive aspect of multi-table play is also the most commonly cited negative part as well. Most players get into multi-tabling simply because they want more hands to occur at all times. For poker enthusiasts who are able to split their attention between a few different games, multi-tabling offers perhaps the most exciting feature in online play.

If you know you don’t have the concentration or ability to constantly review more than one game at a time, multi-tabling is a bad decision however. Even some of the most skilled professionals will not engage in the practice simply because it forces a player to miss little things. When you’re playing only one table it naturally forces you to study all the nuances of your competitors whereas playing over a few games makes every decision more of an instinct.

Ultimately every player has to decide whether multi-tabling is good or bad for their own particular style. It’s certainly worth a shot for the experience alone but the pressure and fast pace make it a practice in which only those suited for the style are able to succeed in. More in-depth tips regarding multi-table play will be discussed in future articles.