Online Poker Tells to Give You an Edge

Online Poker Tells

A poker tell is a behavioural habit or demeanour that a player gives which indicates the strength of his/her hand. It is not exclusively for weak hands. Poker tells can often be a powerful hand too. We will write an article in the future on the typical poker tells that you can pick up in live poker – and there are many! This article will focus on the online poker tells that players exhibit. Many of these tells will be generalised and be true to the majority of players online. Naturally there is the rare genius player that might just be smart enough to reverse them on you, so be careful.

“Insta-raise” – Strong

The instant/automatic raise is often an indication of strength. It is an easy tell to pick up as it’s usually from new players that have clicked the automatic button available, players that are playing too many tables and need to get the raise in or newbies too excited. If a player is raising fast without need to think, chances are he has a very strong hand so be careful. Naturally, if the player is a donkey, he could be overplaying his hand and your hand could be good but you will need to use your discretion in this case.

Fast Check – Weak

Again, if a player is checking so fast you didn’t realise it’s your action, it’s a powerful clue that he is check/folding. This isn’t a universal truth as some players will check to the raiser but more often than not, the very fast check is a sure sign of weakness and ready to fold and move on to the next hand. Players are not going to be putting on Hollywood acting performances with rubbish holdings. They want to fold fast and move on.

Large Looking Bet – Weak

This tell is not applied to everyone as many people have their custom bet sizes ready to click. It’s more for those that are clearly manually entering their bet sizes. Those players who are betting $99.99 instead of $100 are trying to make the bet look big. Why? More often than not, it’s to look intimidating and bigger than it is. When you see all those numbers and chips, it’s designed to look like a big bet that should cause you concern. Whilst this online poker tell is not seen as often anymore, it still applies to the majority of those who are manually entering their bet amounts.

Delayed Raise – Strong

This is one of the most common online poker tells you can take to the bank. I, myself am guilty of this sometimes. The delayed raise is often a monster hand. I don’t mean a delay of a few seconds – I am talking at least 5 seconds or more. If someone is taking this long to make a decision then chooses to raise, it’s nearly always the nuts or close to it. Sure, there are rare occasions a player will bluff but that is seldom. Most player’s who take ages and consider a bluff end up giving up as the tension and pressure builds.

Eliminate Your Online Poker Tells

In order to eliminate your own poker tells, you need to assess where you may be giving away information that reveals the strength of your hand. Are you changing your bet sizing based on the strength of your hand? Are you acting too fast or slow over decisions? The table below is some basic tips to eliminate online poker tells and make you even harder to beat.

Take the same amount of time on all decisionsTry to take the same amount of time over your decisions. If you are taking ages with weak holdings and quick with strong hands, a competent player will recognise this and have you pegged. Once they know this, they can play you blind.
Consistent bet sizingThis is really key. If you bet big with strong and small with weak, any player who is paying attention can tell what you’re up to. It’s very important you stay consistent and hard to read with your bet sizing. This also balances your range; ensures you get paid off and have successful bluffs.
Don’t be predictableAvoid people picking up on anything by throwing curve balls. Mix it up, make unorthodox moves every now and then to avoid people reading you easily.

Conclusion

Online poker tells are another way of reading your opponent and making better decisions. By being aware of them and incorporating them into your playing, you will have a greater chance of winning money. Remember the tips to eliminate your own tells and you will have the upper hand on most of your opponents who do not give online poker tells much attention at all. Finally, the tips in this article are not universal and don’t apply to every online poker player. They are simply my own observations from many years playing online that appear to be true for many poker players.

Inside Straight Draws? You May Aswell Burn Your Money

Inside Straight

Otherwise known as the gut-shot straight, an inside straight is one of the most improbable hands you can make in Texas Hold’em. As a beginner you may chase these on occasion thinking you will get a big payoff but will you and how often will you hit your insight straight?

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

What is an Inside Straight?

An inside straight is where you have 4 of the 5 cards needed for a completed straight. You have to hit one card to make your straight, unlike the more favourable open-ended straight which has 2 ways to make a straight.

Example Hand

There are 2 limpers to you and you complete from the small blind with Kc 8c. The flop comes 7s 6s 4d. Everyone checks to the button who bets out 75% of the pot. You need a 5 to make your straight. This is an inside straight draw as you only have 1 card to make your hand.

What are the Odds of Making an Inside Straight Draw?

With 4 outs to an inside straight, you have approximately 16% of making it from the flop. You have just 8% of making it from the turn to the river. Very few poker hands play out that afford you such lucrative pot odds. There are some scenarios where you may have additional outs with an over-card e.g. A-J on a K-T-2 flop. The ace may be good if you hit it but for the purposes of this article, we are only focusing on the insight straight.

Most Famous Pot

There was an episode on High Stakes poker that involved a massive pot of $743,800 with Patrik Antonious and Jamie Gold. Patrik called a 3 bet with ace jack. He check called a flop bet on Q-T-X and proceeded to turn the nuts against Jamie’s pocket kings. This is a rare spot where he had amazing implied odds, as demonstrated by the fact Jamie Gold moved all in on the turn. Anyway, enough of the commentary, have a look for yourself below for one of the largest ever pots for an insight straight. Note – Patrik lose 2/3 of the pots when they ran it 3 times.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, hitting your inside straight is very unlikely. You need to consider will your opponent even pay you off? You also need to think about whether you are even drawing to the nut hand. If you are and you’re facing a minimum bet, perhaps you can afford to peel one, but if not, get out of the pot.

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String Bet in Poker – How to Avoid it

String Bet

You’ve studied your opponent and calculated the bet you want to make in your head. You reach for your chips and put in a decent bet and hear the 2 most annoying words you can hear in a live poker game. “String bet” and the dealer makes you put the extra chips back making your bet look pitiful. Your opponent calls the meagre bet and you win a tiny pot instead of a potentially large one. A string bet is not just frustrating if you win or perhaps lose the pot, but also from a consequence perspective. Placing a string bet can affect you the hands after. This article will look at the meaning of a string bet and ways to avoid it happening to you in the future.

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

What is a string bet?

A string bet is an illegal bet made at a live poker table. It is where the player has bet chips multiple times with the intention of making a single bet.

Main Types

Dropping ChipsThis is where a player will reach a stack of chips and drop them individually over the betting line. In this situation, the first chip that landed is the bet. Whilst you may think you’re cool dropping the chips in a dramatic fashion like in the movies, it’s illegal to do so in practically every casino.
Reaching BackThis is the most common way. It’s where you push your bet forward, over the invisible betting line. You then reach back for more chips to do this again.

Check out the video below for illustration

Why is a String Bet Illegal?

String betting is illegal because, theoretically, you could be feeding off your opponents’ reactions. By betting and then going to get more chips, it’s as if you are altering your bet and may use the reaction for information. Despite people wanting to devalue the importance of reading your opponent, it’s a part of the game you can’t ignore. By watching your opponent as you make a bet, you can elicit information from them. That being said, the truth is, most string bets are performed by new players unfamiliar with the rules of poker. There are experienced players though who may do this illegal bet on purpose. This is very unethical and something I advise against.

How to Avoid String Betting

The simplest and easiest way to avoid string betting is by announcing your bet verbally. By doing this, it’s irrelevant how you pick up your chips. Verbal declaration is binding so as long you are clear with your annunciation and are saying it loud enough, you will be fine. It’s important you stay consistent though, strong or weak, announce your raises and bets so that you are not easily exploited.

Poker Bet Sizing Correctly is Everything

Poker Bet Sizing

How much thought do you give to the bets you make when playing poker? It’s not a trick question. Effectively sizing your bets is everything when it comes to playing for the long run. Most online poker sites offer automatic buttons like 50% pot, 75% and full pot, but players often just click any and are not giving enough consideration to board texture, number of opponents and relative hand strength. This article will highlight and explain why accurate poker bet sizing is important to your ability to earn lots of money both online and in casinos.  

What Does Good Poker Bet Sizing Do?

Forces Errors

Whilst the small ball style of poker has been popularised in recent years, it does fail to enforce mathematical errors from your opponents. Consider a wet board texture. This type of flop requires a large sized bet to make your opponent pay to outdraw. Anything less than 70% of the pot is unlikely to get a fold nor is it mathematically correct. Any time you are betting 50% of the pot, you are giving your opponent fantastic pot odds. They only need 25% equity in the hand to continue. Put another way, any time you size your bet too small, you are losing money. Even if you win the actual pot, you are making a mistake, allowing your opponent to play correctly and losing yourself money, in the long run. Good poker bet sizing strategy makes your opponent’s make mistakes.

Gets Value

Bet sizing properly doesn’t just mean betting big. It may also mean, putting in that sweet sized bet that gets you paid. Consider a hand where you are betting every street with top set. You get to the river and are automatically reaching for the ¾ pot bet, hoping to get paid. Is that the right bet though? With reasonable estimate, you can predict how often this bet will get paid by a certain player and weight it against a smaller bet. If a bet of $100 gets called 20% of the time and a bet of $50 gets paid 100% of the time – clearly the latter is the correct bet as you are making more money in the long run ($50 x 100% vs 20% X $100). The value of the bet is worth $50 vs $20. Are you beginning to see how important bet sizing is?

Continuation Bet Sizing

Bet SizeBoard Type
25% (1/4 of Pot)The driest of boards e.g. 3-3-9 rainbow
33% (1/3 of Pot)Dry rainbow flops e.g. Q-7-3 rainbow
50% (1/2 of Pot)Mixed flop type e.g. K-9-6 rainbow
75% (3/4 of Pot)Suited and connected e.g. Js Ts 4d
100% (Full Pot)Wettest of flops e.g. Td 8d 9c
Overbet Those special occasions you know you’re getting called and you have monster or conversely you know an overbet bluff will work as your opponent can’t have “it”.

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

Does Bet Sizing in Poker Tournaments Change?

We need to make exceptions to tournament poker. This is especially true for online poker tournaments that have shorter stacks and quicker blind levels. Generally, you can size your bets smaller in tournaments. It is better poker bet sizing strategy to risk less of your chips, as a bigger bet will often accomplish the same as a smaller one.

Open Raises in Cash Games vs Tournaments

Cash GamesYou should open raise between 3 and 4 big blinds in a cash game. You can raise even more if the game is wild and you want to thin the field out. For each limper, add an extra big blind to your raise.
TournamentsIf you are a member of poker training video membership (see banner below), you will know I opt for a min raise from early position, 2.2x the blinds from middle and 2.5 x the big blind from late position. The reason is simple – I want to play bigger pots when I have position advantage. Add an extra big blind for each fishy limper.

Perceptions of different bet sizes

Small Bet

A small bet used to be a sign of weakness when perceived from a strong player. Poker has evolved though and this is less the case these days. Strong players will no longer assume you have air. They will still throw in the occasional re-raise or poker float to test you but I am noticing a lot of pro’s folding for cheap flop bets.
Awful player’s don’t really think much about what you have and likely perceive it as a weak hand, if anything. it won’t dissuade them from continuing in the pot.

Standard Bet

The standard open and standard 1/2 pot bets are generally considered “usual” by strong players. They will look at the board texture and whether it marries up with your range of hands. This will guide their judgement on what cards you have.
The weaker players are more likely to give some credit for a hand when they see the standard opens and bets. They will probably assign you a top pair type hand but not much better. Again though, the fishes are not really thinking too much about what you have.

Large Bet

Intermediate players and even some experts will make incorrectly assume you are super strong or super weak when they see a large bet. They will polarise your range. This is one thing that makes professionals exploitable, if you can balance big bets with hands that aren’t bluffs or the nuts.
Weak players will usually pause for thought and think you have a strong hand but call anyway if they have a top pair or better hand. That’s why grinder’s don’t care if they pot bet for value on the river. They know the fish will call it.

One of the best things about poker is the freedom you have to choose your bets. Don’t waste it! Sizing your bets accurately is arguably the most important thing that separates winners and losers.

What are the Consequences of Poorly Sized Bets?

The consequences of sizing your bets poorly can’t be understated. If you’re one of the many players prone to auto-betting the same %, you need to stop and reflect on your game. Miscalculating your bets will the following:

  • Getting outdrawn more often
  • Less successful bluffs
  • Less value from premium hands
  • Lower hourly win rate
  • Less tournament cashes and final tables
  • More perceived “bad beats”
  • More multi-way pots – less chance of winning

Conclusion

In order to earn money from poker, you will need to have a solid grasp of bet sizing. You can skirt by and win a little if you’re in fishy games and know about other things, but it won’t cut it in other games. Perhaps you have no interest in bet sizing and just want to gamble. That’s fine, there are plenty of casino sign up bonuses available online that give you the chance to make money and entertain you too. This article is merely a guide on poker bet sizing. The intricacies of how much to bet on the turn to force a bad call from a flush draw or to thinly value bet 3rd pair is just as important. If you are interested in learning more about bet sizing, feel free to contact us to see how we can help.

Continuation Bet – The Do’s and Don’ts

What is a Continuation Bet?

A continuation bet is where you have raised before the flop and bet again on the flop. You’ve “continued” betting, hence continuation bet. This is also known as “C betting”. The continuation bet is necessary tool in a poker player’s arsenal. Without it, they will win fewer pots and gain less information on the cards their opponents are holding. Now you know what it is, we will outline the do’s and don’ts of continuation betting.

Do’s

Heads upIt’s much easier for a continuation bet to get through in heads up pots. Your opponent will only flop a pair 1 in 3 times so this makes a flop bet very profitable in the long run.
In positionContinuation betting is pretty much mandatory if checked to you in position. You can put players under pressure far more easily than if you are out of position.
Against fit or fold playersIt’s easy to continuation bet against players that are only playing the cards in their hand. They don’t care if the board is 2-3-9 and hits none of your range. They will still fold if they have nothing, so feel free to continuation bet.
Big card flopsThe flops with an ace or high card are far easier to continuation bet and get through because they hit your perceived range. Who care if you have pocket 3s? They don’t know that.
Dry flopsFlops like K-2-8 are easier to continuation bet due to the lack of flush and straight draws. It reduces the chances your opponent has anything and makes a continuation bet more likely to work.
When you have “it”If you have the hand, fire away too. There’s no use only continuation betting with air or overcards. You want to build the pot and get value so start putting money in on the flop.

Don’ts

MultiwaySimple statistics dictate the more players involved in a pot, the stronger the hand you need to win it. Player’s don’t like folding so if you elect to continuation bet, be prepared to fire 3 bullets to win it.
Out of positionThis isn’t a golden rule, obviously there are many times out of position when you should be betting the flop. It’s tougher to fire continuation bets with success against tough players on some flops, they will float or re raise many flops if the board doesn’t hit your range.
Coordinated boardsThe boards with 3 of a suit or 3 in a row often prove difficult to get a c bet through. People’s ranges are not polarized either, they may be slow playing a monster, prudently playing 2 pair or 3 of a kind. They may just have the ace of the suit.
After lots of bluffsIt’s a tad ambitious to persist with continuation bets if you’ve been showing bluffs or caught bluffing. Tone it down for a while if you have because people will be looking you up.

How Often Should I Continuation Bet?

It depends on the makeup of your table but you should be looking to continuation the majority of the time, particularly heads up. A rough guide below:

Heads up65%
3 Way45%
More than 3 players involved20%

Continuation Bet Sizing

Generally in tournament you want to bet a little less than you may in cash games. I think continuation betting between 49-52% is fine.Cash games afford more flexibility with deeper stack sizes. You are also keen to enforce errors later in the hand and narrow hands down easier. Therefore, continuation betting should be a little larger, between 56-62%.

Conclusion

There’s no way around it, if you want to win at poker, you’ll need to learn how to continuation bet well. To not know about continuation betting is akin to a golfer not knowing about his 9-iron golf club. It’s one of the most important skills to acquire for both cash games and tournaments. If you enjoyed this article and want to improve you continuation betting, sign up to our complete continuation betting course for only £299.

Football Returns – Time to Bet

Football Returns

The beast is back! Premier League football returns to our screens on Wednesday 17th June and it couldn’t come sooner for regular sports bettors. Strap yourself in and prepare yourselves for six weeks of nonstop football.

Premier League News

So, what can we actually expect? For one, the viewing figures will be through the roof. BT Sports in the UK released figures that confirmed over 600k tuned in for Dortmund’s match with Schalke. Six times higher than their figures for the same fixture earlier in the season.

Part of why we love the Premier League is the fact that on any given day, any team can beat one another. But a huge weapon in some team’s arsenal, is the 12th man. Their loyal army of fans to push them on. That’s been stripped away so wave goodbye to home advantage. That’ll be reflected in the odds bookmakers are providing too.
I’d strongly argue that the usual favourites are better placed now to get the three points. With 5 substitutions available to be made, the likes of Manchester City are undoubtedly going to take advantage of their stacked bench. With just Pukki and Cantwell netting more than once for Norwich City, they however won’t be too thrilled when turning to their bench.

Football Tips

Big Boys To Win

Comprehensive victories can be anticipated. The big boys will show no mercy and be looking to roll over their weaker opponents. The top six in Germany have all already netted 4 in a game since the return. Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig managing it more than once. Bayern have won all their games. And apart from their defeat to their title rivals, Dortmund have also won every game. Whilst Leipzig in third are unbeaten.

Fitness

Teams with more advanced training facilities and fitter squads will have a significant advantage. After months of no proper game time or training with teams, those with enhanced facility to train and get players match read will take benefit. Now is not the time to bet on the underdogs in this area.

Playing for something? Bet on them.

Definitely get behind the teams who’ll be fighting for something. The corona pandemic has had a massive financial hit on all football teams. Staying in the Premier League or fighting for European football has added even more value to an already lucrative pay.

Tottenham Hotspurs – Kane and Son are back

Don’t count Spurs out just yet. They’ve managed to recover the injured Kane and Son for one last push at getting into the top 4. But only if they get can all three points in a mouth-watering tie against Manchester United, who are also aiming to push Chelsea off 4th. That’ll be Friday 19th.

Final Thoughts

Football and sports returning is reason to get excited. The bookies will be happier than anyone, after several months of inactivity. Betting shops will re-open on the 15th June in accordance with government guidelines, provided they are covid secure. With many betting shops small in size and machines close together, how they operate safely is a challenge in itself. Many football fans will watch from home. Fixtures will be available for free, through either the BBC, Sky Pick or Amazon. While BT are offering a reduced monthly price too.

WSOP Goes Online – a Temporary Solution or Glimpse of the Future?

WSOP Online 2020

Few organizations have done more to boost the profile and popularity of poker than the World Series of Poker (WSOP). What started as a small, invitational tournament in 1970 has expanded and evolved into a series that last year featured 105 tournaments (90 in WSOP and 15 in WSOP Europe), thousands of players, and millions of dollars in prize money.

During the 50-year evolution of WSOP, the series has transformed players into superstars and millionaires. It has helped turn poker into a riveting spectator sport through television deals, and taken the professional game from the fringes and into the mainstream.

Time to Adapt?

To achieve such sustained success and maintain their prominence in the face of the emergence of rival poker tours. WSOP has had to adapt: to its growing influence; to television demands; to poker’s changing landscape; and most importantly, to technology.

That continued ability to adapt, particularly to technological changes, has most recently been demonstrated by the announcement that the 2020 WSOP will, for the first time, be played online.

The new ‘WSOP Online 2020’ must not be confused with ‘WSOP Online Poker’, which is an entirely different series of poker competitions under the WSOP banner.

WSOP Online 2020 Schedule

With the usual World Series of Poker – initially scheduled to run from the end of May to middle of July – postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the launch of ‘WSOP Online 2020’ will fill that void and make the series its most inclusive one yet.

Starting on July 1 and spanning more than two months until the final event on September 6, WSOP Online will see players North American players based in Nevada and New Jersey compete for large cash prizes and daily bracelets. While international players will join the action from July 19 on the GGPoker Network platform.

“It wouldn’t be summer without WSOP , ” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker. “While we are thrilled to be reopening our venues and optimistic about future offline events, we couldn’t be more excited about deepening our relationship with GGPoker and watching some history unfold online this summer.”

While regular events will undoubtedly return in the future, there are certainly no guarantees that the 2020 WSOP will take place. The launch of the Online series is, at this stage, almost a necessity; a temporary solution to a current problem.

Look at the Future?

But yet, could this launch of what is expected to be “ largest online tournament series of all time ” also offer a glimpse of the future of competitive, professional poker?

Offering an online version to players is a luxury that poker as a game has compared to other sports and competitive events. Just look at the complications facing major sport around the world during the pandemic. Soccer leagues face numerous issues trying to complete or start seasons; the NBA is re-locating to Florida for a 22-team mini league; and horse racing has had to postpone and completely reschedule its calendar.

Other Sports Returning

While soccer is gradually returning to the pitch, basketball gets back on court, and a new horse will soon add its name to the Kentucky derby winners list, which you can read here in Twinspires.com. It has all proved to be a logistical nightmare after shutdowns that have also caused untold financial damage.

Poker and the WSOP do not have quite the same problems to contend with. Online poker is already immensely popular. While it differs in many ways to the table version, it is a capable substitute, for both players and fans, in the context of the current climate.

“There’s nothing in the world like winning a WSOP bracelet,” said GGPoker ambassador, Daniel Negreanu , who is also one of the great poker players in history. “Bringing this experience online will open the door for a new generation of poker players to feel the rush of competing for the game’s biggest prize.”

Opportunity for New Players

By opening up the game online to an increasing number of players, it will only serve to strengthen WSOP. It will provide a platform for even more talented poker stars around the world to make their mark. If WSOP Online can unearth the next poker superstar who perhaps otherwise would have been denied the opportunity, it will only benefit the WSOP brand.

Additionally, the incredible rise of esports has revealed an enormous interest in online spectator competitions and there is no reason why WSOP Online cannot claim a piece of that pie.

Perhaps, then, WSOP are viewing this online series a potential blueprint for future tournaments. Not to replace the traditional table games long-term, but as another extension to their operation.

So, while WSOP Online was a reaction to the pandemic, it could well prove a coincidental blessing. After all, an ability to adapt and evolve has served WSOP well over the past half of a century: why stop now?

Cold Call in Poker is Still Ok

Cold Call in Poker

Poker is continuously evolving. With it, comes new ideas that catch on and new ways of playing that appear revolutionary. Sometimes a new idea can be amazing and the best thing since sliced bread. Other times it’s awful but people don’t like to say it is or perhaps don’t see it. One idea circulating around poker the last year or two is the idea that one should never be making a cold call in poker cash games. This concept has resonated with many players and convinced people to alter strategy radically. This article will look at the problems with only re raising or folding and reasons why a cold call is perfectly fine.

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

What is a cold call in poker?

It’s where a player calls an initial pre flop raise when he/she was not invested. It’s commonly associated with a player who calls after a raise and call or raise and 3 bet.

3 Betting too much

To advocate only ever folding or 3 betting means you are going to have to 3 bet a lot of hands. Let’s say you have pocket 3s facing an early position raise from a tight player. Are you seriously thinking a 3 bet is good here? You will likely face 4 bets or being called by big pairs. The very best scenario you can hope for is that your opponent has AK/AQ and will be kind enough to flat call, then miss, and check down with you. By choosing to only ever play 3 bet or fold poker, you will be 3 betting far too much. Attentive players will pick up on this and can drastically widen their 4-bet range. Sure, you’ll get more action but you will also lose a lot of money in 3 bets.

High Variance

Professionals are unanimous that variance and luck is the enemy of the winning player. The best players are not casino gamblers looking to flip coins and put all their money in bad shape. They want to make money on the back of good decision making. Employing a style that involves only playing pots that are 3 bet pots leads to bigger pots on the flop and more volatility. If you are happy to play this style, more power to you, but ensure you have a very large bankroll when you do.

Knocking out the fishes?

By never making a cold call in poker, you’re likely to only ever play heads up pots. You’re also eliminating the chance to play with other weaker players at the table. This is true on most sites, particularly the American ones. Our friends USA poker site list can help you find these. I accept that your equity in a hand drops the more players that are involved, but you’re less invested and should welcome playing pots with bad players. Why would you want to make them fold ace rag or K9 by 3 betting the reg at the table? It makes no sense to me.

Poker is a people game. It’s fluid and unpredictable. If everyone took to a never cold calling mentality, poker may as well be played by robots.

Let’s look at 4 reasons why making a cold call in poker is not just fine, but actually better than only 3 betting or folding.

Cheap flops

Don’t you love playing poker? Being involved in hands like J9 suited for just a couple blinds? I love being able to play hands that are speculative and trying to make a hand that can bust a donkey. If you decide to never cold call, you will either be 3 betting and trying to win it pre flop or just folding. No more cheap flops.

Playing poker in position

One of my favourite things about Texas Hold’em is playing post flop poker, in position. Even if you told me my opponent had me crushed before the flop. It doesn’t matter too much to me, if stacks are deep and I have position. If you are choosing to never cold call in poker, you are going to play less pots in position. Bad players will call your 3 bets and you will get to play more, but it isn’t the same is it? You may have enough money to get to the turn and have a pot sized bet left. It’s not real poker and you’re not taking advantage of the informational advantage position gives you. You’re wasting position.

Multi-way poker improves you

Making a cold call in poker entices other players to enter the pot. I will often think to throw away 4-6 suited to a single raise but want to call if another player calls in front of me. Players don’t love playing multi-way, and with good reason, but it does improve you as a player. Being in lots of different scenarios, with different opponents and stack sizes is beneficial to your personal poker development. These situations will make you a better player. The more experience you get, the more accustomed, less nervous and more proficient you will be overall. Do you want to become a one trick pony or an all-round player? Are you competent heads up? Out of position? Playing from the blinds?

Setting traps

Making a cold call in poker can be a way of trapping. It’s fine to occasionally flat call a monster hand, knowing you may get a squeeze from one of the regs, or perhaps a fish overplaying a weaker hand. It’s a great way to mislead your opponents and disguise your hand. Player’s never give you credit for aces or kings when you flat call. Trust me. If you call an initial raise with aces and someone 3 bets behind you with jacks, they rarely fold and often jam thinking you have 8s/9s and taking a stand against a squeeze. I appreciate that the 3-bet strategy can be setting a trap if you over use the 3 bet but it’s a more costly one. If you don’t get squeezed, its not the end of the world. Playing a flop with a big pair isn’t so bad.

Final comments

I am a big fan of calling raises still in poker. Of course, there are situations when it’s better to re raise or fold, but not universally. It’s a waste of value for suited connectors, low pairs, and low suited aces. Why would you give up the value of hands that play beautifully post flop? Hands that rely on investing little to win lots? A day may come when I am proved wrong on this issue. For now, I will be on the its ok to cold call in poker bandwagon. If you have any comments or feedback, please feel free to get in touch with us.

Running Bad in Poker – How to Handle it

Running Bad in Poker

Play enough and you will experience it. A bad run happens to us all, particularly online. It’s probability maths 101.  If you haven’t experienced running bad in poker, you’ve not played enough or you’re very lucky.  Running bad can come in different was, you might be getting it in on the flop with a set and lose to 2 outs or you might be getting pocket kings and facing pocket aces too much.  Rather than just say “that’s poker”, this article will attempt to offer some solutions and advice on how to handle running bad in poker.

Review Results

One way to deal with running bad in poker is review your results over the last 3 – 6 months. If you’ve been doing well and continued to play consistently, take comfort that you are doing the right thing. Sometimes you can doubt your game and what you’re doing when you are on a bad run. I find it reassuring to know that I am a winning player and reviewing your results is testament to this. Remember, winning poker is about the long run. You’re not defined by the bad run you’re on so keep calm and carry on.

Take a Small Break

I’d like to emphasize “small” break. Don’t go away for weeks or months because you’re losing. If you’ve been playing well and its bad luck, then it’s good to take a break for a few days. If you feel the need to gamble still, try roulette or black for some fun. Look around and find the best casino online in USA and have a flutter. Don’t gamble too much though! Come back fresh and ready to play poker. Obviously if you’re tilt prone and running bad was affecting your game, feel free to take a longer break and keep your mind off poker playing for a little while.

Tighten Up

This is a contentious one but I think it has some merit still. If you’re game has evolved to a very fancy and bluffy style, it might be worth reverting back to a more solid approach. This will serve to reduce the variance element; ensure you are getting your money in better and have less of an impact on your bankroll. Don’t go too tight though – if your game has largely stayed the same as when you were winning, it would be foolish to radically change a winning approach.

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

Why am I running bad in poker?

Poker has an element of luck you can’t escape. You signed up to it the day you chose to play poker. One can’t complain too much when you win a tournament then go on a bad run after. You might be on a bad run because you’re playing bad too. Anytime you think you’re running bad, punch in the stats of a hand into a poker hand calculator and see how far ahead you actually were.  

Running Bad in Poker

Five of the Best Poker Blogs and Websites

The Best Poker Blogs

Poker may be a game with a fair amount of luck involved but skill and strategy – when deployed effectively – can far outweigh any good fortune the deck could offer. It is why the best poker players in the world are also the most successful and richest: they have been able to use skill and strategy to minimize the strong luck element of poker.

Many of the strategies deployed by the best poker players can be learned and there are many blogs and websites dedicated to teaching these tactics and to helping people become better poker players.

So, with that in mind, here are five of the best poker blogs to visit. Some focus entirely on strategy, while others provide news and information related to the poker world – but all are very useful resources for budding poker players.

Full Contact Poker

There is no better place to start than the website of Daniel Negreanu – arguably the greatest poker player of all time. The winner of six World Series of Poker bracelets and two World Poker Tour championship titles, the Canadian certainly knows a thing or two.

Negreanu started the blog in 2004 to offer insight on his experiences, provide his opinion on the industry, and discuss his fellow players. While he hasn’t been blogging as frequently in recent months, he presents a weekly podcast (DAT Poker Podcast) that can be found on the site.

While Full Contact Poker does not focus too much on strategy, there is an active forum where members discuss a variety of poker topics, including strategy, while Negreanu’s books on poker strategy can be purchased from the site.

Upswing Poker

Few poker websites are as comprehensive as Upswing Poker when it comes to strategies and helping people become better poker players.

Upswing Poker has an enormous library of blog posts, all of which focus on the many elements of poker strategy, including actionable tactics to use at the tables and on online casino betting platforms.

The website also has a huge range of resources to improve your poker skills – from free guides, charts, quizzes, and converters, to premium training courses, taught by more than a dozen distinguished players with proven experience and success.

For people keen to improve as poker players, then Upswing Poker needs to be bookmarked.

Poker News

The biggest poker news website in existence, Poker News covers everything from news and interviews to strategy and tournament information.

The website has an extensive news section, providing all the latest from professional events and the industry in general, so Poker News is the best place to go to stay informed. There is also a great video section which features news roundups, interviews with players and other prominent poker figures, podcasts, and other content.

Not only that but Poker News has used its considerable platform to provide a wide range of strategy content with helpful guides, chats with established professionals, and gaining advice from psychologists on the psychology of poker.

Elsewhere, Poker News has a section dedicated to reviews on the biggest online poker platforms as well as the latest updates from ongoing and upcoming tournaments.

For an all-encompassing website that covers all aspects of poker, look no further than Poker News.

Poker Tube

Poker Tube is one of the foremost poker blogs that almost entirely produces video content. Most people find watching videos as the best way to learn poker strategies, so Poker Tube is extremely useful.

There are videos providing steps and guides on poker hands, training videos, interviews, and some excellent documentaries. There is also a great section called ‘Pros’ where you can filter the video content based on the professional players that feature on the site.

The only section of Poker Tube that is not video is the News section, where there is a constant stream of the latest updates from the industry.

For the best video poker strategies, Poker Tube is the preferred choice of many players.

poker blogs

Jonathan Little Poker

Another website and blog from a top professional poker player, Jonathan Little has won two World Poker Tour titles, so his strategy advice should be taken on board.

Little’s website has a blog section that provides a combination of strategy, interviews, and reviews. Better still, Little has two free audiobooks that can be downloaded direct from his website.

Additionally, Little hosts a regular podcast that discusses strategy and offers his thoughts on the poker world, as well as poker coaching courses featuring video guides, webinars, and interactive quizzes.

There you have it, 5 of the best poker blogs and websites where you can learn how to play the game. And if you are into blackjack too, check out BetAmerica.com and their guide on how to play and get better at this game: https://extra.betamerica.com/casino/blackjack/how-to-play/