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Poker Goals: A Complete Guide for the Serious Poker Player

Poker Goals

When I first started playing I just went through the poker aimlessly. Goals seemed pointless because poker was just a game, one that you didn’t have loads of control over the outcome of. But, as you gain experience and take poker seriously, you’ll realise that goals are a useful thing to have in place. They can give you focus, motivation and drive. In this post, I’m going to discuss poker goals, what kind of goals to set, how to set them, how often to refer to them and how to meet your goals.

Types of Goals You Can Set

There’s several types of poker goals you can set. It is important to recognise that what’s important to one person is irrelevant to another. We all have priorities, and they will probably change throughout your poker career too. No goal is more important than any other in this article. So, here’s a list of different poker goals that can be set. As you read through them, single out one or two that might be appropriate for you.

Moving Up Stakes

One goal a cash game player can set is to move up stakes by a certain point. Having this as a goal can be something to strive for when putting in loads of hours online.

Increasing Hourly Win Rate

This is one of my favourite goals to set as it is tangible and shows the extra value. It’s tangible as what you earn extra per hour is a measurement of your success and also valuable to your bankroll.

Hitting a Specific ITM or ROI

For tournament players, success is measured in their ROI or in the money rate. Setting a specific target is a decent goal for tournament players. Most serious tournament poker players will want to measure one or both of these metrics so setting a goal to hit one is great e.g. 20% ITM rate or 40% ROI.

Winning a Seat into a Tournament

Playing a major tournament is a dream for many. Setting this as a goal is a nice way to strive for something special as you’ll never forget it. I was fortunate enough to win seats into a few WSOPE and WPT events and the experience of playing them are amazing, not to mention you get the opportunity to play for life changing money.

To Play X Number of Hours

A lot of poker players struggle to put in the time they want to play. Setting a goal to play X amount of hours a week or month is a good goal to set as you have that frequent reminder.

Master a Certain Strategy or Concept

If you are a beginner or intermediate poker player, working on a certain area of your game can be a great goal to set. It’s impossible to conquer a complex game like Texas Hold’em quickly. That’s why picking specific areas to focus on and master can be a brilliant idea. This is true for poker games at live casinos too.

How to Set Poker Goals

How you set them is up to you. There a few ways you can go about it. I liked to write them up, print it off and stick them somewhere that I can see. Others like to set goals on their mobiles as a list. Then, when you hit them you can tick them off (very satisfying!). You could also write them on your calendar or notepad – whatever works for you.

Two other things to consider about poker goals is time and difficulty. Firstly, goals need a time limit on them, otherwise you’ll have the same goal for 10 years. There’s nothing wrong with setting multiple goals within a larger goal though. For instance, if you want to move up from NL $25, you may set goal 1 to be move to NL $50 in 3 months and a second goal to reach NL $100 in 12 months.

Secondly, the difficulty of a goal needs to strike a balance between challenging but realistic. Winning the WSOP is not a realistic goal when it costs lots of money and you have to face against 10,000 players. Conversely, winning a SNG with 9 players is too easy. A goal of making a top 3 within the next 50 tournaments is a more realistic but also challenging goal to set.

Example of how to set poker goals.

Changing Your Goals

It’s good practice to refer to your goals every once in a while. I recommend doing this once a month, pick a date like end of month or first of month, and see how you’re doing. If the goal is unrealistic or too easily completed, you are free to change your goal(s). There’s no law saying once you have set a goal, you must keep it. Perhaps you change the format or game you play, then you can add or change your current poker goals to more appropriate ones.

How to Meet Your Poker Goals

It’s all well and good setting challenging, motivating poker goals but it’s another thing to actually hit them. Meeting goals, in life and in poker, requires dedication and hard work. If you’ve set decent goals, they won’t be easy to hit so you will be pushed to reach them. But that’s brilliant as it will make the prize more satisfying and rewarding.

Ultimately, it depends on the goals you’ve set how you will meet them. Below are a few tips based on the types of goals mentioned earlier.

Goal How to Reach it
Moving up stakes Track your win rate, pick your games carefully and ensure you are playing the optimum amount of tables. Set stop loss limits so you protect your bank roll when you run bad too and exercise proper bankroll management.
Increasing your hourly win rateTo improve your win rate is similar to moving up stakes except you need to work harder away from the table too. Improve your knowledge by reading poker books, working on your leaks and discussing poker hands. We offer hand history review service for players to identify potential leaks and suggest improvements.
Hitting a specific ITM or ROI You need to take mtts seriously, pick the right games, play on soft sites and have patience and emotional control. Tournaments are mental warfare and you need to be mentally strong to secure a decent ITM rate.
Winning a seat into a tournamentIf you’re keen to satellite into a major live tournament, you need to do some research online. Find the best satellites and spend some money and time finding out which satellites to play.
To play X number of hoursTo meet this type of goal requires freeing up time in your week and setting priorities. It might mean sacrificing football on a Saturday or a Friday night drink with friends.
Master a certain strategy or conceptTo fully grasp a key poker strategy is not easy. You can spend countless hours online reading material or watching YouTube content but how do you know the content is correct? I recommend discussing with a poker coach or taking a course. We offer two poker courses, one on bluffing and one on continuation betting. These courses took me months to create and a labour of love for players wanting to fully grasp these fundamental aspects of poker. Go to our poker courses page for more information.

Conclusion on Poker Goals

As you can see, setting goals is a practical thing to use for a poker player. It keeps us motivated and something to aspire to. Its also something to measure against. By setting goals, we can see how close or far away we are from reaching where we want to be. I’m a big fan of them and highly recommend you start setting goals. You can expect to reap benefits of them just by thinking and writing them down.

If you are not very organised and want to start tracking your performance, we offer a unique reporting service. We use poker spreadsheets to enter your data and produce monthly reports specific for you. Click below if this is of interest and take advantage of our free quote too.

Why No Poker HUDs is a Good Thing

No Poker HUDs

In recent years there has been an increased movement of poker sites opposing the use of HUDs (heads up displays). This has been met with opposition from grinders and the much of the poker community. The HUD is an essential tool for a regular. When playing multi-tabling, the HUD reveals facts about opponents that the naked eye cannot possibly detect if someone is playing lots of tables.

Poker HUDs are not “bad”

First of all, let me preface my argument by saying HUDs are not inherently bad. If the player pool was infinite and recreational players didn’t care, I’d be pro HUDs. They’re an awesome tool for winning players to use. However, there’s more to it than that. I am interested in the poker industry thriving, traffic increasing, prize-pools high and recreational players at least having a decent time. I think this is more likely to occur if HUDs were not permitted.

Unfair playing field

 The HUD gives the better poker player an even-greater edge than they already have. The edge is primarily on those players who don’t know of a HUDs existence or are playing on a device that doesn’t even facilitate the use of a HUD. How big is the edge? Pretty big! If we assume that most people using a HUD are at least semi-serious, they are likely to have a strategical edge on their opponents anyway, now they have even more with instant access to relevant stats. 

So, why does this matter? The poker industry is not just for those that win regularly is it? It’s for the weekend players too, those that want to have fun. This pool of players is occupied by many that are long-term losers. That’s not a dig at anyone who loses. For someone to win, someone has to lose… These players won’t want to play if they are being completely beaten up on. If you play squash for fun once a week with someone 10x better, would you want to return? What if that player was not only technically better but also had better racket and trainers? How about if you play someone similar level or perhaps a little better? You’ll probably return right? It’s enjoyable yet challenging.

The online poker sites recognise they need to cater to social players just as much as grinders and have started fighting back in recent years. I am definitely in the pro ban HUD. The reason is simple, a good poker player can win without a HUD and there should be more money available and easier games around if HUDs are banned.

Mobile players at huge disadvantage

Playing poker on mobile has became a huge thing in recent years. All the major sites have an app that allows you to play online poker within moments. This has been a great way to bring in new players who wouldn’t otherwise play poker. Whether they know it or not, app users are at a huge disadvantage to a grinder on a desktop. Why? Apps do not allow for a HUD to run. You only have the your eyes and memory to rely on. Worse than that, if you play a couple of tables on an app, you can’t even watch both tables as the action flips between the two.

In a game where information is power, the desktop user with a HUD is going to dominate a similar level player on an app, against a weaker player they are just destroying them. Everyone was a “fish” or “donkey” at some point in their poker journey but the odds were not stacked up like this in the early poker days. If you did get pounded on every session, you might have quit before you really started.

What are poker sites doing about HUDs?

There’s an inconsistency across the poker sites at the moment. Some sites are banning use of HUD completely. Sites like Unibet have a couple of effective deterrents. One way of preventing HUD usage is the identities and avatars that can be changed at will. There is no limit to how often you can change them. They take a hard stance on HUD developers saying Unibet won’t permit any HUD software at all. Furthermore, anyone caught trying to use a HUD will be banned outright. They are a site clearly dedicated to recreational players. If you’re interested in knowing more about Unibet, read my Unibet poker review, you can also get 75% training video membership.

Other sites like Pokerstars are trying a soft approach. They clearly don’t want to upset their grinders. This is the biggest site in the world and they are aware any strong action they take will be met with criticism. As such, their permitted software is almost as long as their prohibited! See below for software that can be used on Pokerstars.

What is the future of poker HUDs?

It’s hard to predict how long poker HUDs will be around for. Look, they’re a fantastic tool and significantly help a player’s ROI if used correctly. If you are interested in poker training, I would recommend using poker software to increase your edge. But, that doesn’t mean it’s great for the online poker industry overall.

I imagine the clampdown on HUDs will continue in the future. As recreational players become more and more familiar with their existence, player retention will drop at sites. The poker sites will have no choice but to meet the demand of their customers which will mean taking a tough stance on HUD software.

Just as the strategy side of online poker is continuously evolving, so is the technical and software associated with it. As long as some sites permit the use of HUDs there will still be a demand for them. The online poker professionals will worry that their edge will diminish once the HUD is banned. But the increase in traffic, fishes and cash injection into the community will cover this. A decent win-rate will still be attainable as the playing field will be levelled, they may not be able to use HUDs against opponents, but opponents can’t use it against them either.

I want to conclude by saying whilst poker software is permitted on most sites, you absolutely have every right to use them to your advantage. My position on HUDs is not a criticism of them or their developers. They’ve helped make players earn lots of money. If you want to see our recommended poker software, click below.



Why Do Poker Players Love Online Casinos?

Poker & Online Casinos

I’ve never been a lover of online casino games. As someone that found poker before any other gambling game, I have been accustomed to complexity and strategy. The other casino games never had the same appeal to me. Countless times in casinos I’ve seen very strong poker players have a penchant for other games like slots, blackjack and roulette. But what is it about the other games that poker players love? I will try to answer that mystery in this article.

Stress relief and relaxation

As stated before, I used to see poker players spend time at roulette and blackjack tables. The house loves a tournament break as many poker players flock to the tables to wager. I get the feeling a lot of poker players do this for stress relief. Poker playing is a mentally and physically exhausting activity. They may see other casino games as a form of stress relief and a way to relax. After all, if they’re wagering small amounts, what’s the harm? They may take their poker stress out on the blackjack table. Better to avoid tilting at the poker table and gamble a few quid at the blackjack instead perhaps? If a poker player gets bluffed out of a big pot, they may relieve some stress by betting on roulette for a few minutes instead of blowing up on at the poker table.

Flexible banking options

If you look at any online casino, they all have countless options to deposit and cash out. To poker players who have money here there and everywhere, it’s an appealing way to gamble. Most online casinos accept PayPal, Bitcoin and other crypto-currency so it’s very easy to get money to and from them. I remember years ago you had to have credit card or Neteller otherwise you couldn’t get money online. Those days are long gone now!

Free bonuses

Poker players don’t often get the opportunity to gamble for free. Ok, you can try a freeroll but it takes hours and you can’t win much. Unlike poker sites who seldom offer a no deposit bonus, most casinos online offer a bonus simply for registering. Naturally, there are terms and conditions and you need to wager a certain amount to qualify for withdrawal but it’s still free. This is definitely reason poker players love online casinos. A quick google search or checking out a review site like veritop.com is all that is needed to find sites that offer lucrative bonuses.

Casino games are easy to play

With no disrespect to casino aficionados, the other casino games are very simple to play aren’t they? It requires practically no input from the player. The rules are usually basic and can be learnt in a matter of minutes. This accessibility has got to be a big factor for a poker player giving most games a try.

Unlike poker that is layered and can take years to master, casino games like slots or craps can be understood and played in minutes. This must be a nice respite for a poker player that doesn’t have to worry about learning strategy, reading books or investing in poker training!

They love to gamble…

Finally, many poker players just love to gamble. This is evident through the table chat you casually hear, the wagers they make and even the way they play Texas Hold’em. A spewy LAG poker player is almost certainly more likely to love the other gambling forms. There’s nothing wrong with this, the other casino games provide fun, adrenaline and a nice break from poker.

Exploitative Poker Play: Why It’s Perfect for Low Stakes

Exploitative Poker

GTO or “Game Theory Optimal” poker strategy is a popular way of approaching poker for advanced players in 2021. It is a strategy that involves making mathematically perfect decisions in every situation. For low stakes poker players that are trying to crush games though, I advocate the exploitative strategy instead.

Exploitative poker strategy is looking for mistakes and imbalances in other poker players game and adopting a strategy that “exploits” them. This method has been around a long time and whilst it may not have been articulated as well as it is now, it was very much what low and mid stakes experts were doing in the past.

In this article, I’m going to set out a few reasons why I firmly believe a more exploitative poker strategy is better for players in low stakes cash games and tournaments.

Low stakes players have lots of leaks

Whilst some players still spout “poker is dead” in forums, the low stakes games continue to stay popular. Fire up any major poker site lobby and play for one hour and see the calibre around.

Yes, the fish are not as fishy as they were fifteen years ago but it’s still pretty poor showing. This shows that players in the NL $50 games and below games have many leaks. This is not a big surprise is it? After all, if they didn’t have many leaks, they’d be grinding higher stakes games.

There’s nothing wrong with this by the way. Most of the players I mentor are playing NL $100 and below. They are acutely aware of the fact they have leaks. The more leaks and errors you make, the more vulnerable you are to being exploited. We try to eliminate leaks the best we can to generate a better win rate but perfect poker is almost impossible to achieve.

To highlight my point that leaks are common in the low stakes game, below are some examples of errors being made in low stakes games and simple ways to exploit.

Folding to 3 bets too often

This is a common one. A regular in the low stake’s games may be open-raising a nice range from middle position but only continuing with pocket jacks or better.

Exploit: 3 bet them with a wider range.

This is a simple and effective way to beat up on someone opening a wide range but folding loads when facing a re-raise.

Continuation betting 100% of flops heads up

Some people seem to think you must c-bet every flop if its heads up. To be fair, against certain opponents this isn’t the worst mentality, but it’s very exploitable to a competent player.

Exploit: Check raise flops more and float. By not giving up to flop c-bets you can take pots away later. Alternatively, you can check-rase bluff with a high degree of success.

Playing too tight from the big blind

This is a common mistake in tournament poker. Most experts recognise that defending the big blind is a necessity when facing small raises. This concept is lost on many players in low stakes mtts, they fold too many hands because it looks weak, not correctly accounting for pot odds.

Exploit: Open raise wider and steal their blinds. By opening your range up you can profitably raise any two cards. This is perfect from the cutoff, button and small blind. With fewer opponents behind you comes less chance of resistance.

Players calling down too much

Another leak from some low stakes poker players is to call down too much. They refuse to fold second pair or better and will call you down.

Exploit: We can easily exploit this trait by bluffing less and value betting thinner. If we know our opponent is a stubborn so and so who is calling down too light, we can extract more value.

Now we have some common leaks out the way, let’s look at an overriding aspect that needs to be covered…

Players don’t think about GTO or Exploitative Poker Strategy

Another thing worth remembering is the mindset of a low stake’s poker player. The vast majority are there to play a basic form of poker. They are basically playing their cards and waiting for good hands. Only a small percentage are thinking of advanced concepts like GTO or “is my strategy exploitable?” Therefore, we do not need to worry ourselves with becoming exploitable ourselves. It’s unnecessary mental baggage that won’t do you any favours.

The GTO approach is ideal if you are playing the same few opponents, in heads up games or 6 max games. It is not going to make you the most money possible in low cash games and tournaments.

Low stakes games occupy a far greater player pool too. The chances of meeting the same opponents again are rarer so we do not have to be concerned about a player exploiting us later. Poker is about adapting to your surroundings and finding profitable spots to make money.

Tools for exploiting opponents

Now I’ve covered why an exploitative strategy is better, we should look at tools to help us exploit opponents.  I recommend visiting our poker software page to see some recommended tools, many of which can help with things like range analysis.

Beyond that, we can take notes on our opponents detailing their short-comings. This is a nifty way to remember what they are doing wrong and ensure we can exploit their weaknesses. Colour coding players is also an effective way of tagging players. This can be very simplistic but consider tagging them as calling station, donkey and nit. These kind of colour tags will make you quickly realise the type of opponent you are up against and what strategy is likely to yield positive results.

Conclusion on Exploitative Poker Strategy

Exploitative poker strategy is just a fancy way of saying adapt to your opponents. It’s something we’ve been doing for years but now has a name and some meat behind it. I’ve only briefly touched upon exploitative poker strategy in this article. There are other elements to be considered like calculating break even thresholds and the differences in using it online vs live. If this is something you’d like us to write on in the future, get in touch today.


What Other Card Games Do Poker Players Enjoy?

Card Games for Poker Players

The poker playing community don’t just restrict themselves to Texas Hold’em. Despite our site primarily offering this, we appreciate there are other games around that many of you enjoy. Some of you may only play one or two forms of poker or not know of the other popular card game variants. That’s why in this article I’m going to provide a brief introduction into some other card games that poker players enjoy. I’ll also give some reasons why they are popular with poker players.

Video Poker

Probably the easiest transition for a poker player to make when moving to other card games is video poker. This card game has the exact same hand rankings but is very different to regular Texas Hold’em. The object of the game is to beat the house.  Most live, online and LTC casinos play the jacks or better rule. In other words, if you make a pair of jacks or better, you win.

Video poker pays outs based on the hand strength. The stronger your hand, the more lucrative the pay-out. This appeals to poker players as we’re used to putting in a bet and if it gets called, we win the same amount we put in.

They will also find the player input attractive to them. Many forms of gambling require no player input, something poker players are not accustomed to. Video poker offers some input from the player. The key to solid video poker strategy comes from the drawing. You need to know which cards to discard. Fortunately, most decisions are relatively straight forward e.g., if you are dealt two queens and random low cards, discard the three low cards.

Blackjack

Otherwise known as pontoon or 21s, blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. Walk into any casino and you will see blackjack tables. Countless times I’ve been in a casino on a tournament break and seen poker players enjoying themselves at the blackjack tables.

The appeal of blackjack lies in the speed the game is played and the simplicity of the rules. Poker players like games to run quickly which is why they multi-table. It’s very easy to understand, beat the dealer in anyway and you win. Unlike video poker where your pay increases in line with the strength of your hand, you can only win what you wager in blackjack. However, in blackjack, you can win with a very low ranking. Remember, the dealer draws at 16 so if they bust, and you haven’t, you win the bet.

There are many strategies involving blackjack, too many for me to detail in this overview but suffice to say it’s a game many poker players enjoy. As with any form of gambling, we recommend responsible gambling at all times.

Five-Card Draw

Before learning Texas Hold’em, five card draw was the default poker game. For me, it’s the original poker form. It is often played in home games among friends and is an easy transition for a poker player to make. After all, the betting, action and hand rankings are all the same as regular poker.

The rules are very simple; players are dealt five cards face down, not to be shown to other players. A round of action proceeds where players can “draw” and replace existing cards. This is usually restricted to four cards, although some places allow all five. A second “after the draw” round then happens where players still in get the opportunity to draw one more time. After that, players bet and the showdown occurs (if required) where the best hand wins all the money in the pot.

It’s seamless for a poker player to try this card game as there are many similarities between regular Texas Hold’em. Five-card draw has lost some popularity in recent years and almost never played online or in casinos. This is due to other variants becoming mainstream and more popular.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are other cool card games around to try. If you are exclusively playing poker and suffering burn out or running bad, feel free to try a new form for a little while. It may give you the necessary respite you need and give you renewed energy and enthusiasm when you return. Give video poker, blackjack or five-card draw a try and you may find a new love in these popular card games.

Irish Poker – The Basics

Irish Poker

Poker comes in many forms and one that is growing in popularity is Irish Poker. It’s unique mix of Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha that entices players from both variants to give it a try. It affords the complex strategy of Texas Hold’em with the ability to play more hands like in Pot Limit Omaha. In this article, I’m going to explain the rules and offer a few tips on how to play Irish Poker.

How to Play Irish Poker

Irish Poker begins the same way as Pot Limit Omaha. Every player at the table is dealt four holecards, face down that you not be revealed to anyone else. There are the same small and big blinds posted and action proceeds left of the big blind i.e. under the gun.

Here’s where it gets interesting… After the dealer has dealt the flop,  betting continues, except, after the betting is complete on the flop players are required to discard two of their holecards. Action proceeds the rest of the hand exactly like Texas Hold’em. So at the river, you can use two, one or none of your holecards to make the best possible five card hand.

Irish Poker Strategy

Like any form of poker, one of the most important pieces of strategy involves in hand selection. Irish poker is no different. You can get wrapped up playing every hand and blinding down. Instead, try to stick with playing the more premium hands. After all, you’ll be playing most of the rounds with two hole cards, just like Texas Hold’em so you can’t go crazy pre-flop. You may be asking “what does a strong hand look like in Irish Poker?”.  The groups below are a good starting point.

Double Big Pairs

These are great for obvious reasons; you can make top set if you connect and you’re likely to have overpair to the board.

Double Suited

It’s much better to have two shots at potential flushes than one isn’t it? Double suited holdings are great as you’re not eating into your outs. These hands are even better if you can have the ace of the suit so you can make the nut flush.

Wraps

These are four cards in sequential order and make for amazing playability. These hand types give so many options are increase your chances of connecting on the flop.

Big Pair & Connectors

These hands give you two shots at the flop, you’re either hoping to hit the top set or a made hand like a straight.

irish poker

Hands to Avoid in Irish Poker

The obvious hands to avoid are 3 of a kind in your hand, 3 or more of one suit and small pairs. These are trouble hands as they are harming your odds or likely to make a hand that is second best to someone else. 

What Cards do I Discard?

There is no hard and fast rule to deciding what cards to discard in Irish Poker. It is completely dependent on the flop texture, your opponents actions and your cards.

You need to be wary of what is going on. If there is lots of betting and you’re only holding a one pair hand, you are very likely beat or against someone holding a powerful draw.

If you’ve missed any draws on the flop and there is little action, it’s best to hold on with your stronger, made hand. This will be top pair and your best possible kicker. There’s no use holding on to two cards that have missed, hoping to make some backdoor straight or flush.

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Choosing a Slot Game Based on Your Personality Type

Introduction to Choosing a Slot Game

Whether you are an experienced online casino player, or just starting out, choosing the right slot game can be trickier than you think. The reason being that whenever you enter any particular online casino website, you are immediately presented with an endless list of online casino slots. For newer players, this might seem quite overwhelming. However, once you figure out what types of slots you prefer, it becomes much easier moving forward.

Each online casino slot game has its own theme and style. Themes range from safaris and jungles, all the way to street racing in big cities. Online casinos make sure to offer enough variety so as to attract players of all types of personalities. Moreover, slot games are improving in quality. With state-of-the-art features being implemented to ensure player satisfaction. You will also find tons of slots that are more of a more simple and traditional style.

Therefore, when you ask yourself “which type of online slot should I play?”, it ultimately depends on your interests, dislikes, whether you are quiet, reserved, or outgoing and risk taking. At Frank Casino, players of all personality types will be able to discover the newest and best online casino slots, ensuring that they can find the perfect fit for them.

In this article, we’ll look at the four types of player personalities in order to help you determine which slot games you should be playing!           

The Introvert

If you tend to be someone who is not always in the mood for socializing, but prefers to just sit back and relax, then slots in itself is the right choice for you.

Having said that, an introvert such as yourself might prefer slightly more simplistic slots that are straight to the point, without too much going on outside of the actual reels itself. If this sounds like you, chill out while playing slots like ‘The Dog House’, where you can kick back and chill in this 5-reel slot game, while also trying your luck at winning big.

The Adventure-Seeker

You’re the type of player whose primary goal is to seek adventure and excitement when playing online casino slots. Moreover, hitting the jackpot is not the be-all and end-all for you when playing top online slots. If this description fits your personality, then perhaps you should check out slots like ‘Money Train 2’, found in Frank Casino’s slot machines!

Whilst every player is on the lookout for their next big win, top online slot games such as these are sure to keep you fully entertained throughout your journey, with enticing elements and bonuses as you attempt to successfully complete your train heist!

The Role-Player

You love TV shows and movies. Most of all, you enjoy putting yourself in the shoes of your favourite characters. Well, you are in luck! There are plenty of tv-show and movie themed online slot games out there for you to try. Frank Casino offers players of this personality type games such as ‘Peaky Blinders’, ‘Terminator 2’, ‘Game of Thrones’, and more.

What better way to search for that big win, than to do it while experiencing the familiar universes of the shows and movies you love the most?

The Competitive Risk-Taker

Players with this type of personality tend to lean more towards the high-risk, high-reward types of online slots. They are always on the lookout for that big payout. Themes, styles, storylines, characters, elements – these are all of secondary importance to you.

Your primary goal is to play hard and attain that big win. Most casinos caters for these players just as much as they do for others. Sound like you? Then you might be interested in some of the best online slots that Frank Casino has to offer. Some of these include ‘Mega Shark’, ‘Euphoria’, and ‘Voodoo Gold’.

In any case, should you choose to play at Frank Casino, you can rest assured that you will find the best online slot game for you.

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Ways You Can Find Good Live Poker Tables in 2021

The table you are on determines how much money you make playing poker. At times, you might need to change tables to make decent money. This is not based on superstition. While your luck in poker is never dependent on the seat or table, you sit at, and your profits could be. Read on to find out how.

What Renders a Poker Table Profitable?

There are several factors that will determine whether a poker table is profitable or not, among them being:

  1. Loud tables tend to be more profitable than silent tables. A loud poker table means that players are having a good time. When players are having a good time, they are more likely to spend more money – thanks to alcohol.
  2. Take account of the players at the table. If recognized good poker players surround a table, it would be wiser to sit at a table surrounded by amateurs. As a smart player, you want to play at a table where you can make money.

If all the players at a table are pros, your chances of making decent money are lower than if you are a pro seated at a table full of amateur players.

Make sure there is money on the table. If you intend to play a $200 max buy-in and everyone else at the table is wagering $40 stacks, that’s not your table. There isn’t enough money in play in such a scenario, and you would be playing against short stacks. This increases the probability of you being shoved on, and that subsequently raises variance.

Finding the Best Seat at a Poker Table

Wondering how to play Live Hold’em? Below are three of the significant factors you should consider when picking a live poker table seat:

  1. Comfort: You must make sure that you have picked a comfortable seat or position. If you are not comfortable, you cannot perform at your best. If there is a player who looks like he hasn’t left the poker room to take a shower in a week, he probably hasn’t. Stay away from this person.
  2. Line of Sight: If you are visually impaired, make sure you are in a seat where you can see the entire board correctly. Some seating positions can limit your view. Taking seat 1 on an oval table, for instance, might limit your sight of seats 9 and 10. The best poker table seats are 3, 4,7, and 8.
  3. Left of the Biggest Stack: You should also consider the players at your table. As a general thumb rule, you should sit on the left of the biggest stack. If you are playing against people you know and one is known to be a loose and aggressive player, you should sit to his left. It would be best if you also sat on the left of any better player than yourself. 

With an absolute maniac on your right, the game can get very easy. All you have to do is wait until the right-hand pick him off. Once you have the nuts, trap him for his chips.

With a nut hand on your left, you will be forced to act before him, and the game will be pretty much the same. The only difference would be that the hands you would limp with at a standard table, you now have fewer chances to play them.

It doesn’t make sense limping with poker hands you are not willing to call into a rise with if the person on your left rises every hand.

Picking a Good Table in Online Live Poker

Online poker has gotten more challenging over the past decade. You cannot join any table and expect to do just fine. If you want to make decent money playing online poker, you should sharpen your game selection skills.

To win big in poker, you do not have to be the best player at the table. As long as you are better than most of your competition, your chances of winning are high.

Flops/Limping/Fish

When you are a pro at game selection, you will only play those games that you stand to win. An average player who is excellent at game selection is more profitable than a good player with zero game selection skills.

When you sign in, make it a habit to check the lobby. To find a good table, sort your lobby results by viewed-flop percentage. When more people view the flop, there are multiple-pots, which translates to more limping and subsequently more fish.

The percentage marking a good poker table varies from one online casino to the other and from limit to limit. The higher the percentage, the better the table.

Hands Per Hour

You cannot rely on the viewed-flop percentage alone. Some tables will have a high percentage because they have been playing shorthanded. You can tell whether a table has been playing shorthanded by looking at the hands per hour. The more hands there are per hour, the higher the chances that the table just filled up.

The best six-handed poker game should not be getting over a hundred hands per hour. A table with a 50 percent viewed-flop and 150 hands per hour is one that just filled up and has no good chance.

Colour-Code Weak Players

Leading online casinos will allow you to add color-coded notes. You can practice tagging the fish you come across in specific colors. This way, you can tell tables with recognized fish whenever you look at the lobby.

Colour coding is not for fish alone. You can code competitive regulars, short stackers, and bad regulars as well. With such an analysis, you can quickly tell bad tables and good tables by looking at the lobby.

Starting Your Own Tables

What other way to get good tables than creating some yourself? Sit at an empty table and just wait. The chances are that short-stacked fish will join you. The fish will attract more players, and the games will start in no time and don’t worry about bots. They are not as common as people make out.

Alternatively, you can join a regular sitting alone. With two regulars seated at a table, the third play, in most cases, will be a fish. This is an excellent strategy for semi-competent players.

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Playing the Turn in Texas Hold’em

Playing the Turn

Post flop poker is something many players struggle with. On inspection, most players issues actually arise when playing the turn card. The flop can be relatively straight forward. You’ve either hit or you haven’t. You either have a draw or you don’t. I know this is very simplistic as we are disregarding lots of factors but you know what I mean, most players know on the flop whether their hand has value or potential.

The river is the where the hand concludes and you have the most information. There are no future decisions to be made when there’s no cards to come.

The turn however, is a key card to play. The pot is bigger, there are plenty of community cards and pieces of information available and you need to make important mathematical decisions. In this article, we’re going to look at some critical elements to playing the turn well. We’ll highlight the different attitudes you can have on the turn and illustrate this with example hands too.

Using the Available Information

As previously stated, after the turn card has been peeled, you will have quite a bit of information. This is especially true if you are in position. If we are acting last on the turn, we have 75% of the hand complete and 3 or more actions from our opponents. At this point, an expert player will have a good idea of their opponents range of hands. By process of elimination, we can group them into different categories with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

As such, there are five mindsets or attitudes we can adopt, based on our hand strength and perception of our opponent’s likely holdings.

1] Value/Protection Bet
We think we have the best hand and want to charge our opponent and extract value from the better hand.

2] Bluff
We do not think we have the best hand but think we can get our opponent to fold.

3] Pot Control
We are unsure whether we have the best hand or not. Our bet will not stand up well to a check/raise and a bet is just as likely to get called by a better hand as a weaker hand.

4] Give Up
We think we are beat and don’t believe a bluff is likely to work at this point.

5] Drawing
We are hoping to hit a flush or straight but it has not arrived yet.

These are the 5 key mindsets on the turn. The tricky part, for some, is understanding and implementing the correct mindset. Picking the wrong one can mean losing money, particularly on the best sites to play poker where regs are common. When you consider the pot is likely to be bigger, making wrong decisions can have a terrible impact on your win rate and overall earnings.

Example of Value/Protection Bet on the Turn

Game: NL $50 6 Max
Player A (experienced TAG) opens to $1.50 from UTG + 1. It folds to us in the SB and we call with pockets 6s. He has $55 and we have $52.

The flop comes: 6d 8d Jh


We decide to donk-bet $2.50 and he calls.

Turn card comes: Ks

We bet $6 and he folds.

Explanation

With our monster hand of three sixes, we want to bet our hand for value and protection against draws. This is a fairly easy decision. Obviously, out of position we have the option to check-raise too but we risk our opponent checking back for free.

Example of Bluffing on the Turn

Game: NL $25 Full Ring
A nitty regular opens from middle position to $0.75 and we call in cut-off with 7s 9s. He has $27 and we have $25.50.

The flop comes : 2c 5s 6h


He bets $0.85c and we call with our overcards and gutshot straight draw.


Turn: 3d


He checks, we bet $1.90 and he folds.

Explanation

Our opponent is tight and could easily have missed this flop so we have an perfectly reasonable call on flop. We can either improve to best hand or potentially take it away on a later round.

The turn is another low card bringing a potential straight. After our opponent checks, we have an easy steal attempt. He is unlikely to be holding a four raising from middle position and is likely to have big cards that missed.

Furthermore, if he has an overpair, he won’t love this turn card as we can represent a hand containing a four easily. If he calls our turn bet we can be fairly sure he has an overpair but this makes up a small percentage of his overall range. We can then decide what to do on the river.

Example of Pot Control on the Turn

Game: NL $100 6 Max

It folds to us on the button and we raise to $2.50 with Jd 7d. A strong regular calls from the small blind and the big blind folds. We have $121 and he has $190.

The flop comes: 7c 9d Qc

He checks to us and we bet $3. He calls.

The turn comes: 6h.

He checks and so do we.

Explanation

This is a fairly standard check back. We opted to continuation bet on the flop with our bottom pair expecting to have the best hand a reasonable amount of the time. After our opponent flat calls, our relative hand strength goes down. We might very well have the best hand here as our opponent can certainly have drawing hands or even weaker made hands like pocket fives. However, given our hand is quite weak, we will want to pot control and show our hand down cheaply.

Example of Giving up on the Turn

Game: NL $50 6 Max
A decent LAG opens from UTG to $1 and we defend the big blind with As 3s. He has $54 and we have $72.


The flop comes: 3d 9c Jd

We check, he bets $1.50 and we make it $5. He calls.


Turn comes : Qs


We check, he bets $9 and we fold.

Explanation

Our opponent made a min raise so we defended with the suited ace. We’ve connected with bottom pair but it’s a dangerous flop texture with straight and flush draws. We opt to check-raise, hoping he will fold obviously. He opts to call and now the turn brings an overcard and straight possibility too. We opt to check and fold. After our opponent called the check raise, we’ve given him a fairly solid range which might very well have improved with the queen turn.

Example of Drawing on the Turn

Game: NL $10 6 Max
Player A (nit) opens to $0.30c from middle position and we call on the button with 4d 5d. He has $12 and we have $15.



The flop comes: 6h Ad Qd

He bets $0.40c and we call.

Turn card comes: Kc.


He bets $1.15 and we fold.

Explanation

Unlike the other mindsets, a drawing scenario can be used with multiple mindsets. For instance, you can turn it into a bluff or semi bluff. The more common way of playing draws on turn is to use basic pot odds to calculate the profitability of a call. In the scenario above, we have a low a flush draw on a high connected board. Our opponent is firing every round and given his tight image, is likely to be holding a hand two pair or better.

With a pot size of $2.70 and needing to call $1.15, we are need around 30% equity. (Amount to call divide by pot size + amount to call). Assuming 9 diamonds give us the win, we are only like to hit around 18% of the time. This is where more maths is needed as players can, if necessary, work out implied odds i.e. how much can they reasonably expect to win if they hit their card. Given the opponent is a nit though, the fold seems fine here.

Conclusion on Playing the Turn

I hope the examples in this article are useful. By understanding that your hand and the scenario in front of you can be seen as a mindset, instead of playing on auto-pilot, you will be prepared to make correct decisions when playing the turn. Moreover, you will in also be better placed for the river. By implementing the appropriate attitude on the turn, the pot size should be in line with your plans. This isn’t always in your control, but you get the picture I hope?

If you are keen to improve at Texas Hold’em and considering some form of training, why not book in a free 30 minute consultation with us? Click below, answer the questions and we will be in touch to have a chat.


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How to Study Poker: The Right Way

Studying Poker

Even the least academic of poker players recognise that studying poker is necessary to improving. Texas Hold’em is the most popular of poker variants in part due to its complexity. There are skills players possess naturally that can help them win but there are almost always multiple areas that require hard work and dedicated studying to ensure they generate a decent win rate.

Realising study is one thing but knowing how to study poker efficiently is another matter altogether. In this article, I hope to offer various ways of studying that should accelerate your learning. Provided you are willing to put in hard work and effort, you should expect to see positive results within weeks.

Schedule Study Time

People are creatures of habit. We like routines and schedules to keep to. Studying on a whim may seem fine but it’s not likely to see you putting in enough time. Furthermore, you are less likely to return. When we do things randomly, it seems productive at first but once we stop doing it for a while, it’s a chore and hard work getting back into the swing of it. This is especially true for studying poker.

 In order to study poker properly, we need to set aside a block of time each week for this. It’s not terribly important how long, even 1 hour a week is a start. You can always add more time in due course. The key thing is to make studying part of your routine.  

Pick One Focus Area at a Time

You won’t conquer poker in a few study sessions. In order to grasp a topic fully, I recommend picking one area to focus on at a time. Prioritise the areas you want to study and stick with each until you are satisfied you have a strong understanding of the key elements. Naturally, each area will be different, both in enjoyment and hours of study required. It’s not a race though so be prepared to stick with a topic.

The danger of casually moving from one to the other is that you are unlikely to understand either area in entirety. Bouncing from value betting to 4 betting is unproductive as you’ll probably end up confused.

Review Hand Histories

One of the most productive and effective ways of studying is to review how you’ve played. Most poker sites allow you to download hand histories. The more common method of extracting hands is using poker tracking software.

Reviewing your hands is a great way to find errors. The key is to understand why you are doing something wrong and find a solution. The fix can be as little as adjusting your flop c-bet percentage on dry boards.

Hand history review sessions is an excellent way to study but it’s even better if you are doing it with someone. Sometimes the other person will have another viewpoint or see something you miss that enables you to find a better way of playing that scenario. This is not a shameless plug for our hand history review service as you can do hand history reviews with poker friends freely.

If you want a specialised service though, we are here to help. Our hand history review sessions are charged at £90 per hour. We are flexible and can do it one of two ways:


1) You present the hands to us and we will record our analysis, or we can discuss it on the phone.

2) You record a session of poker with our screen recording software. Upload it to our portal. We review it with you on the phone or record our analysis.


Most players we coach have 1 or 2 hours a month hand history review time with us. If this is something you may be interested in, fill in the form below and we will be in touch, or visit our hand history review page for more information.

Hand History Review Session

Ask Questions

In order to study poker well, one needs to challenge themselves and those who are teaching. Asking questions is a great way to learn. Rather than parrot information back from a teacher, a good student is not afraid to ask questions, no matter how simple it may be.

Remember, you only need to ask a silly question once. A poor student will not ask the question and may continue to make the same mistakes. Joining a poker forum and asking questions is free and a decent way to study different aspects of poker. A small disclaimer is that the range of quality in posters answers will vary so take it with a pinch of salt.

Texas Hold’em Questions was founded on asking questions and we still offer our free question service. We even publish the best questions and our responses in our blog (subject to approval from the questioner).

Take a Course

Nowadays you can take a course in anything to master a subject. This has extended to online poker where there are various courses online. Taking a course is a fantastic way to absorb all of a subject area in full.

In 2020, I took a long time to dedicate myself to creating two fundamental poker courses. After many weeks of thought, content creation and hard work, we now have two online poker courses. They focus on continuation betting and bluffing, areas I consider essential to winning poker. They are content heavy, in PDF format with 9 and 6 modules and quizzes at the end of each. If this is something you may be interested in, visit our poker courses page for more information.

Conclusion

To become a strong player who consistently wins, you need to work at your game continuously. Players are evolving and changing based on new strategies and theories. In order to exploit them, you need to set time to study, otherwise you may fall behind your rivals. This is true all over the world, on UK, Australian and Indian poker sites.

If you need support, we are here to help. Our poker mentor service is a great way to get introduced to coaching and can be trialled at only £50 for month 1. You get unlimited communication and it’s all done via email. If this is of interest, visit our poker mentor page. There is sometimes a waiting list but if there are spots available, we’d love to help you ASAP. Alternatively, you can book in a free 30 minute consultation call if you like? Click below to do this.

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