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Does Big Bet Poker Work?

Big Bet Poker

This term conjures up differing meanings to different people. Big bet poker is effectively the opposite of small ball poker. The ethos of attacking lots of pots with small bets in small ball is flipped the other way with big bet poker. Instead of making probing bets of 40-50% of the pot, you are making bets of 80% or more of the pot and over-bets of the pots. The great thing about big bet poker is that you are often forcing your opponent to decide for a high percentage of their tournament stack or their cash due to the inherent nature of the bet sizing.  

What are the Benefits of Big Bet Poker?

I believe betting large amounts confuses most opponents and leads them to be in awkward spots. In today’s poker world, it is not a common strategy and they do not know how to react. When a player is confused or unsure, they are prone to making errors. I have seen this firsthand on the best poker sites. They will usually resort to one of two ways to counter big betting:

Play it Too Safe

Players will opt to get out of the hand, play it careful and look for a spot to trap you in the future. They know their strategy and will patiently wait for that spot to come, hoping you will make a big error yourself and pay them off. They may say to themselves “I don’t know if he has it this time, I can find a better spot against this donkey”.

Go Over The Top

Opponents will decide that they refuse to be bullied around and will commit, often with a medium strength hand or weaker in a desperate attempt to not get outplayed. Many players hate the idea of getting outplayed and will do reckless moves themselves convincing themselves with “he can’t always have it, if he has me beat here, good luck to him”.

Big Bet Poker
Image by Markus Spiske

The good news is both reactive strategies work in the favour of the big bettor. If they fold, great, winning a pot without showdown is fine. Should they go over the top of you then you are happy too. You have forced them into playing how they don’t wish to. If you have the hand, you are paid off and if you don’t then you can fold and move on to the next hand. Either way, you can be happy.

What are the Downsides to Big Bet Poker?

As with any strategy, there are pros and cons. There is no 100% perfect poker strategy out there. With big bet poker, you are increasing the variance aspect. If you are consistently playing bigger pots than you otherwise need to, you are increasing the variance. This is contrary to what many professionals are trying to achieve. The more skilled you are, the less variance you generally want. The other drawback is that whilst you can expect people to fold to you more often, you are potentially losing action from weak hands that may otherwise flat call a flop or turn bet. It also means you are not playing an optimal bet sizing strategy. Naturally, betting big will force players into mistakes from a pot odds perspective vis a vis draws, but there is a line where you can force an error and increase the likelihood of getting a flop or turn call.

What About Fixed Limit Holdem?

As previously stated, the term “big bet” will mean different things to people. Big bet actually means the turn and river bet in fixed limit holdem. In limit Texas Hold’em, the pre flop and flop betting is usually 50% of the turn and river bet size, hence the term “big bet”.

Final Thoughts

Big bet poker is a strategy that can work, if honed properly. This may seem surprising but consider the make-up of most games today. Poker is evolving and players are trying to replicate what professionals are doing. You need to think of innovative ways to exploit their tendencies and behaviours. Big bet poker is certainly one way to achieve this. Obviously, you can’t be crazily wild and entering every pot and expect to in. But with well-timed and calculated betting, you may be able to find a unique way of playing that makes you money. A word of caution to beginners, this strategy should only be attempted by those with experience. It requires an astute poker mind to pull it off, otherwise you will waste tournament chips or money.

Do you have any questions about big bet poker strategy? Why not ask us? Your question may appear in our blog.

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Poker Misclick – It’s Your Own Fault

Poker Misclick

How many times have you done it? You’ve got a monster hand and your about to re raise all in but accidentally clicked fold. Or worse, you’ve called a river bet with nothing! You won’t like hearing this – every poker misclick is your own fault. All of them. This article will look at the most common reasons for a poker misclick.

Beginner Texas Holdem Question

What is a Misclick in Poker?

The term “misclick” means to perform an action not intended e.g. you have 9-3 off suit in the big blind. The nit under the gun raises and you call from the big blind by accident.

Lack of Concentration

This is probably one of the biggest reasons for misclicks. I get it, it’s 2020 and everyone is doing 50 things at once. Logic dictates the more things you are doing at the same time; the less focus you are giving each separate task. Its common sense isn’t it? If I am hoovering while reading a book, I am probably not doing a great job at either. The same logic can be applied to poker. You need to focus on the game at hand and give it the attention it deserves. If you’re watching Netflix, WhatsApping friends and on twitter while playing, you are likely to play worse and potentially misclick.

Poker Misclick

 Too Many Tables

It’s great that we can play lots of tables and get more hands in, but with it, comes the risk of a poker misclick or two. It baffles me some can play 8 or more tables and think this is optimal but alas there are thousands that do this.  If you play lots of tables, make sure you have them tiled properly otherwise you may make some big mistakes.

Playing Tired

Poker players have a tendency to play longer than they should. There are countless stories of players playing 24 + hour sessions. In addition to this being poor poker strategy (noyone plays well after 12 hours really), it’s also bad for your health. Playing tired will definitely lead to poker misclick. When you’re so tired that you can barely see the suits of your cards, you know it’s time to stop.

On a Mobile

Most of the major sites let us download apps to play poker on. They are pretty awesome really, allowing us to play from comfort of our phone. The poker misclick is definitely a problem. I have been guilty of this myself. It takes time to master mobile poker that’s for sure!

Automatic Buttons

You can argue this isn’t a misclick but I am going to lump it in. If you are using the automatic buttons like “fold” or “call any”, you are making some pretty bad mistakes in poker. You don’t know what the action will be before it gets to you so to use these buttons is foolish.

Other Reasons:

  • Laptop with clickpad
  • Small screen
  • Need glasses
  • Poor table layout
  • Faulty mouse

Poker Excel Dashboard – Do You Have One?

Poker Excel Spreadsheets

What’s your spreadsheet skills like? Have you thought to mix poker and Excel yet? I’m a massive fan of spreadsheets, data, reporting and good record keeping so combining the two was natural for me. The great thing about utilising spreadsheets for poker is it provides you with insights you wouldn’t have known otherwise. You’re the creator and can customise your tables and graphs how you wish.

Poker Excel
Template Texas Holdem Questions Data Sheet for Poker Excel Dashboard

Facts Don’t Lie

The great thing about data is that it’s factual, unbiased and truth. Fact’s don’t lie and it’s there, in your face. It forces you to confront areas you didn’t want to before because it’s easier to ignore them. Let’s say you start record keeping your cash game sessions through poker excel spreadsheets and you find out over a year that you lose money on Monday nights. This may be painful to you because you’re off on Tuesdays and like playing in the one available game that lets you play at a convenient time for you. What will you do with this information? Will you stop playing that game now or not? Spreadsheets are great in this way as it’s not anecdotal or hear say information, it will provide useful, relevant facts.

Garbage in Garbage out

If you are keen to start having a poker excel spreadsheet, there are some rules you need to adhere to, otherwise it’s a pointless activity. You may have heard the saying that reporting can be only as good as the accuracy of the data input i.e. if you put garbage in, you’ll get garbage out. Here are some basic fundamental rules if you are considering a poker excel spreadsheet.

  1. Enter data accurately
  2. Don’t get too excited or too downbeat by short-term results
  3. Don’t keep cancelling and starting again
  4. Stick with it

Texas Hold’em Questions Poker Excel Dashboard

I appreciate not everyone is an excel wizard. Perhaps you’re interested in improving your record keeping, monitoring your win rate and finding out your “niche” in poker but don’t have a knack for spreadsheets. Fortunately, we are highly proficient in excel and can help you. I use it all the time with the players I mentor. It’s a fantastic way to track performance on a regular basis. At a glance of a graph, I can tell if John Doe is winning this month, whether he’s up year on year and which game is his strongest. These insights help decision making moving forward. If this is something you potentially want, we can certainly help you. If you’re interested in a stand-alone product of poker excel dashboard reporting or just the start-up excel sheet and you input figures – we can help you. Just fill in the form below and I will get back to you with options and pricing. See some snapshots below for an idea of what the dashboard and graphs can look like.

We can quickly see John started well in January and has been on a decline since. Do you track your monthly winnings efficiently and compare against previous months?

See how John wins in the morning/daytime but loses at night? If there is a lot of data and volume, he may need to consider playing only playing during day time. Do you monitor whether you play better during day or night?

John wins at NL $50 and $100 and a loser NL $200. At a glance, he should focus on NL $50. Do you track your performance at different stakes?

Are you interested in having a poker excel dashboard? Get in touch below and we will get back to you soon.

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Stealing the Blinds – How to do it in 2020

Stealing the Blinds

It’s one of the most important skills to develop as a tournament player – stealing the blinds. Players don’t seem bothered about stealing the blinds early on. However, soon as the blinds and antes rise and represent more value, the best players are fighting over them. It’s a skill that will help your in the money rate and ultimately your long-term profitability in tournament poker. When I started playing online, it was a secretive thing that was not discussed. Most players did it without divulging the information. Even in live tournaments, you’d steal from the button, the big blind would show just an ace and you’d muck… but claim a better hand. Things are a little different now but it’s still a critical skill to learn and implement on European, Asian and USA friendly poker sites.

How Can I Keep Stealing the Blinds in 2020?

Sometimes stubbornness and being relentless is a good thing in poker. I see players attempt a couple of steals, get 3 bet and go into a shell. They have the mentality that they will tighten up, hope to get 3 bet again, yet still get paid. There are worse things to do but it’s not great strategy in my book (I haven’t actually authored a book yet!). I always tell players to continue with what you think is right. People seem to forget the beauty of the small open raises. It allows you to raise more frequently as you need a lower success % for it to be profitable. Why bother raising so small if you are only doing it with the top 15% of hands? To answer the question though, we can try several things.

Stealing the blinds

3 Bet the Cut-off from the Button

Players know that the button is the prime spot for stealing, so many players are widening their range from cut-off instead. It looks like threatening doesn’t it when you see a raise from there? Guess what? A lot of players know this and are effectively “stealing the button”. A simple counter play is to 3 bet from the button. The beauty in this play is that cards are almost irrelevant and it has a high success rate. Yes, there are players that pick up on this if you do it too much but these are few and far between. This works best against those who have demonstrated a lot of activity from the cut-off but even against solid players it can be profitable. Consider a tight player in the cut-off with A-9. They will gladly open raise this but fold without question. The best part of the 3 bet in this spot is that most people are less inclined to play 3 bet pots out of position so a lot will just fold pre flop.

Min Raise from Early Position

This is a tricky play that should be used sporadically and only with the right table makeup. A min raise from early position screams strength to most online players. They respect early position and the min raise too. By opening raising the minimum from under the gun, you are telling the table you want action and this sends alarm signals. You might be surprised how often this play will get through. Sometimes you get the big blind defend but even then, it’s ok, you have the perception of strength and position. A continuation bet will work a high amount of the time in this situation.

Attack the Small Blind

A great spot to pick up chips is actually in blind battles, specifically if you’re the big blind. The psychology involved in blind battles is fascinating but it boils down to aggression and position. If the small blind raises, you know, that he knows, you have a random hand and is likely stealing. Now you know that, you can just 3 bet him and likely win. What if he limps? Raise again, you know he probably would have raised himself if he had something so just bet and pick it up. Blind battles are less about hand strength and more about wanting that pot.

Take the Nothing Pots

Online poker may not be as easy as it was, but there is still a heck of a lot of favourable spots in tournaments. There is an abundance of nothing pots around. Pick them up throughout a tournament and you will increase your chances of success. It doesn’t take much, just bet at them and see. Most players are not giving the game enough attention. Perhaps they see a 4 big blind pot and don’t care or maybe they are watching Netflix. They are probably playing too many tables and only playing their cards. Take advantage of these nothing pots. I mean the pots where it’s a limped pot, it’s checked round and maybe you’re in the big blind with nothing. Take a stab and win the free chips.

Don’t Stop Raising Your Button

The last tip I can give is the simplest of all. Don’t stop raising your button. Soon as you stop, you’re beat and only waiting for luck to help you. People may 3 bet you, but they won’t every time. If they start 3 betting too much, that’s fine, they are risking more than you are. You can choose to take a stand with a lesser hand and make him show you better or you can play patient. The reality is, the small open raise is still incredibly profitable from the button. A competent post flop player won’t mind the blinds calling and is also happy to steal the blinds. Either way, you’re golden in the long run. Keep opening your button and don’t give up.

Stealing the Blinds Summary

Blind stealing is essential to being a successful tournament player. It reduces the variance and ensures you’re not just relying on good cards to see you through. The best tournament players are looking for profitable scenarios, not just profitable cards. This means thinking on your feet, adapting and perhaps being innovative. This may mean 3 betting the cutoff, trying a tricky minimum raise from early position or pounding on the small blind. These are all little strategies that you can incorporate into your game to help you have a better chance of surviving the increasing blinds.

If you enjoyed this article and want help with your tournament game. Feel free to trial our poker mentor service by email. Month 1 is only £50.

5 Video Poker Tips for Beginners

Video Poker Tips

Whether you’re a Texas Hold’em player looking to have some fun at video poker or already very familiar with the video poker strategy, this article will provide you with some food and practical video poker tips on how to play this fun casino game. It has stayed popular for decades due to the rare combination of luck and some skill. It’s one of the few games that players actually have a reasonable chance of beating the house, if played correctly.

1) Learn the Rules

You would be surprised the amount of people that rock up to a video poker machine and think its regular slots. So, first things first, please learn the rules. Video poker is based on the poker hand values from one pair to royal flush. It’s based on the old 5 card draw poker game. You know the one you may have played with Grandad? A word of caution though, there are different variants of video poker including; Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild and Bonus Poker. They are all a little different and it’s important to understand any differences to help your chances.

video poker tips

2) Use a Guide

Some video poker strategy is obvious and some isn’t. It’s a good idea to do a little research into some fundamental video poker strategy. There are plenty of sites that offer an online Video Poker guide. Absorb all the knowledge you can, it will increase your chances of winning and make your time playing a lot more fun. Nobody wants to lose their money fast when they play any casino game. If you don’t know the basics or any strategy at all, you can lose a lot of money very quickly. It’s well worth time doing a little reading first.

3) Pick the Best Games

Like regular poker, game selection is important to increasing your chances of success at video poker. The rules don’t change from one online casino to another, but the pay-outs do. The average pay-out percentage at video poker is around 96%. This means you can expect to get 96c for every dollar you wager. The different video poker games have different pay-outs that can sometimes be tricky to calculate which is better to play. Full pay jacks or better aka 9/6 Jacks or better is typically the most lucrative with a payback percentage of 99.54%.

Jacks or Better 9/6 Pay Table

Hand1 Coin2 Coins3 Coins4 Coins5 Coins
Royal Flush2505007501,0004,000
Straight Flush50100150200250
4 of a kind255075100125
Full House918273645
Flush612182430
Straight48121620
3 of a kind3691215
2 pairs246810
Jacks or better12345

4) Take Your Time

All the casino games have a house edge and the long term bears out and makes the casino a lot of money. Logic dictates you want to minimise their edge as much as possible. This can be done by slowing your game down and not rushing your decisions. The more you play and wager and the quicker you do it, the greater chance the casino has against you. This is the polar opposite of what I always tell readers and players I mentor for Texas Hold’em. We want to maximise our edge and put in volume as the edge will bear fruit in the long run. I a game where you are at a disadvantage, albeit less than the other games, you don’t want the long run to happen, otherwise you will lose.

5) Play Maximum Coins

Anyone who spends time looking at a pay-out table will quickly realise that it is a lot better to bet the maximum coins. If money is an issue, play lower stakes. It’s better for you to play at lower stakes and wager the maximum coins than higher stakes and wager less. You need to wager the max coins to have a chance at the jackpot. You need to be in it to win it and playing less than maximum coins makes it impossible to hit the bonus.

We hope you enjoyed our 5 video poker tips. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or article requests.

Poker is Dead? Not Quite…

Poker is Dead Argument

Before I set out the reasons why the statement “poker is dead” is false, I will briefly explain the case for. After Black Friday and legislation changed in USA to prohibit online gambling (in most states), many recognised that a lot of bad players left the market and would not be returning. The years that followed saw the rest of the world compete, for lesser prizes and with arguably tougher opposition. With further popularity of the internet came available resources to improve your game. More tools, software, forums, podcasts and challenging opposition means the game is not easy as it once was. This in no way means poker is dead though. Here’s three reasons why.

Poker is Dead

New Players are Always Joining

The poker world is not confined to the same people forever. Every year, there is a new wave of young men and women that are legally old enough to play poker. It’s no longer a taboo subject with many of their favourite sports icons representing major poker sites. This flood of players are not yet proficient enough to know the ins and outs of poker. They yet know what makes a winning player. They don’t know how to exercise the right skills that many of the old school players take for granted. This is not a bash at new players, it’s just a fact. Those with the least experience in an area are at a disadvantage to those who have greater experience. Texas Hold’em is the great equaliser and has no prejudices, a player can enter a cash game or tournament and play with an equal amount of chips as a professional. No handicap. This is an important thing to remember.

More Crossovers from Other Gambling

Online gambling in general continues to see year on year growth. People like to gamble and the stats show they will gamble on anything and everything. There used to be a bit of segregation between online casino and online poker, this seems to be less so today. The sites that perform in depth reviews are branching out to poker. Whether it’s live dealer casino reviews, slots reviews or blackjack reviews – there is more fluidity now between the different forms of gambling. There is also more synergy now from the poker sites, referring to and from the different games. PokerStars, 888 and Party Poker all offer casino games on their poker software. This was not the case when the poker boom was going on. What does this mean? There is greater potential for those who gamble on blackjack, slots and roulette to get introduced to another form of gambling, one with less chance and more skill. These players will be easy pickings for the seasoned regulars and another reason why poker is not dead.

 More Formats, More Games, More Options…

I tip my hat off to the major sites that have introduced so many new ways of playing poker. Each format requires different skills and new strategies to become a winning player. You may realise you suck at normal SNGs but are great at the hyper SNGs, or perhaps you are better suited to bounty builder tournaments? Whatever your preference, there is a format for you. The formats being introduced means it’s harder to become a great player at all of them. I always say, pick your niche and dominate it because it’s better to be a long-term winner at something than an average Joe break even player at many. Having an abundance of options is a great thing and puts to rest the argument “poker is dead”.

Conclusions on Poker is Dead

Poker is far from dead, as long as new players are joining and the online poker sites are thinking of innovative ways to keep it fresh. The echoes of “poker is dead” is championed by those who were around when was poker was incredibly easy. Those player’s were never great and lacked the foresight, adaptability and intelligence to improve and continue winning. Poker has gone from a taboo subject to a respectable game played by millions all over the world. It’s heavily advertised on TV, internet and social media, proving it is very much alive. With some states now allowing online gambling, there is hope that the Americans will be allowed to gamble once again. Until then, there is still a lot of money to be won if you put in the hard work.

What to Look for in the Best Poker Sites?

Best Poker Sites

Picking the right poker site to play on is not a simple decision to make. There are so many things into what makes a great site and so many questions too. Is the site trustworthy? How much traffic does it have? Is it easy to cash out? What is the software like? What loyalty schemes are available? How many tables can I play? The list of questions is endless. This article will have a look at the key things to look for in the best poker sites.

Available Bonuses

Free money is the best isn’t it? Money won is twice as sweet as money earnt, so how sweet is bonuses? You didn’t even win them. Most sites offer some form of bonus as an incentive to register an account and deposit funds. The best poker sites will usually offer 100% match bonus up to a limit. There are terms and conditions of course but if you comply and wager the right amount, it’s free money on top of whatever you’ve won. If you’re not a long term winner yet, contact us to see if we can help.

Traffic Levels

If you are considering playing on a poker site and their banking features are limited – run away! All the best poker sites have all the main providers and should be able to cash out easily too. There are still a few shady sites around that make you jump through hoops. They may let you deposit easily but cashing out is a nightmare. Always check the banking options before you make a cash deposit with a poker site.

Deposit & Withdrawal Options

If you are considering playing on a poker site and their banking features are limited – run away! All the best poker sites have all the main providers and should be able to cash out easily too. There are still a few shady sites around that make you jump through hoops. They may let you deposit easily but cashing out is a nightmare. Always check the banking options before you make a cash deposit with a poker site.

best poker

Reputation

The internet was one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Accessing information within seconds is something we take for granted. Don’t take Google for granted, search up a poker site to find out their reputation. It only takes a few minutes and it can save you time and money that can be better used. Any site that has had a scandal attached to it can be found very quickly. The best poker sites have fantastic reputations because they have been in the game for a long time and are trustworthy.

Reward Systems

Loyalty should be rewarded when it comes to poker. Let’s face it, the sites are making easy money off the cash games and tournament fees, so they can give a little back in loyalty rewards. All the major site offer some form of reward for frequently playing on their site. It may be in tickets, points or cash (my favourite). Some rewards are better than others so always check out a poker site’s reward page to find out what you can get for putting in the time. This point is most important for those of you who put in a lot of volume every month.

Conclusion

When you come to picking a poker site to play on. Make sure you go through the key points above to find out if it’s worth playing there. If they tick all the boxes, great, register an account, deposit cash and have a go. If they don’t tick all the boxes, they can’t be one of the best poker sites. All the major sites have the above factors in spades (pardon the pun). There are other considerations whether to stay with a site like competition, support and interface but the ones above are the most important when first picking a poker site.

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What Will Live Poker Be Like After Covid-19?

Poker Lockdown News

We are now 7 weeks into lockdown at the time of publishing and cabin fever is surely settling in. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just unveiled a road map to get the UK out of the corona virus lockdown, but it will take a long time. Whilst online poker is booming for now, questions remain over the state of live poker after. The world will be very different after corona virus. How will brick and mortar casinos adapt to what will undoubtedly be a prolonged period of social distancing measures?

Casinos After Lockdown

With many casinos generating most of their profit online, they may choose to close on terra firma. The rent and business rates for casinos must be extortionate as they often operate on a large area of land and in a desired area of town. A cost benefit analysis will need to be drawn up on the effect distancing measures will have on profit margins. Whilst it’s possible to distance to some extent, what will the roulette tables and blackjack tables look like? It’s likely that a 2-metre gap will be enforced to prevent potential transmission. This sounds great to the punter, not having someone breathing over you while rooting for black 26. It’s not a profitable model for the house though is it?

Poker Covid-19

Will Poker Rooms Operate?

There has been little word on how poker rooms will adapt after lockdown. I don’t see how one can operate a poker room where players are within breathing space of each other. It seems impossible to impose any kind of distancing when the game rests heavily on being in close proximity. Being able to observe, read and chat to your opponent is fundamental. To take this away would surely negate some of the most important parts of poker. The same can be said for other forms of gambling that rely primarily on the social aspect. What is the future of Bingo? What is the future of Horse Racing? It’s uncertain, to say the least.

Any Solutions?

The corona virus has posed the greatest threat to the world for decades. Whilst the suffering it’s causing is not really comparable to world war two and its survivors (despite the Queen’s references), it is causing long lasting and unknown problems to the world. On a positive note, it has forced the world to become innovative and find solutions. Businesses are forcing themselves to adapt and find new ways to be sustainable and survive this period. The same will be true for the gambling world. In order to retain the customers and footfall they had before, casinos will need to create a new model or change the way the games are played. Many casinos will focus more attention to online and probably resign themselves to closing their live casinos. This would be a shame as there is a demographic that only played in brick and mortar casinos. They will again, if encouraged to do so, and if they know they are protected. Casinos will need to put their thinking hats on. They certainly have the time to.

Final Thoughts

The effects of corona virus have yet not been felt. The slight ease of lockdown measures has not been met with satisfaction but with ridicule and parodies (check out Matt Lucas’ spot on Boris impression). Everyone needs to be reactive, prudent and wise. There are millions around the world that love playing live poker and will again in the future. The question of how and when is still unclear unfortunately. We will endeavour to keep you informed as information comes out over the coming days, weeks and months. Feel free to contact us in the meantime.

Online Poker Surge Continues with Lockdown

Lockdown Poker

We are 6 weeks into lockdown in the UK and online poker continues to soar. Lockdown can’t stay long enough for the professionals who are seeing this as an opportunity to increase their winnings. The government has paid attention to the rise in online gambling and placed curbs on betting companies advertising on TV and radio to mitigate the increase. They are concerned, as always, that with online gambling comes the risk of gambling addiction.

Easy Money?

The increase in online poker traffic will no doubt have sparked interest from those that played years ago but left due to tough competition. We’ve had people contact us requesting they want to have one off lesson’s again to freshen up their game. This is a golden time, albeit temporarily, for the online poker world. Whether it’s cash games or tournaments, there are many more recreational players than before. The halting of almost all sports activity has clearly forced those indoors to turn to other games like poker to satisfy their urge to gamble and at that is being met with rubbing of hands by the advanced players.

Lockdown Poker

USA Lockdown Poker

There are only a few states that permit online gambling in USA and all of them, without exception, saw massive year on year rises in revenue. New Jersey took $3.6 million in March, almost 91% up year on year. With almost all casinos closed, even those that are sceptical of online poker are turning their attention to online poker. The convenience of playing on PC, laptop, tablet or phone is a factor that can’t be ignored, 10 years ago, one couldn’t access online poker as easy today. There is still hope that more states will legalise online poker in the future. For now though, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Nevada residents will be the only ones enjoying poker during lockdown.

Click below for 10% discount on Simple Poker products.

SCOOP 2020

The Spring Championship of Online Poker started on 30th April. One of the highlights of the year for the online tournament player, this tournament serious will be busier than ever. The range of tournaments, together with 3-tiered level of buy-ins will cater to all, with low, medium and high stakes events. SCOOP 2020 will run until the 19th of May 2020 and has combined guaranteed prize pools of $13 million. In addition to buying in directly, you can try satellites to enter cheaply.

Will WSOP 2020 Go Ahead?

It was confirmed a few weeks ago that WSOP 2020 will be delayed, at least until Autumn 2020. WSOP organizers confirmed they will monitor the situation and hope to have it run later in the year. Is this realistic though? Its plausible that the rest of 2020 will see strict social distancing rules in place. How will this work at a live poker table where one is elbow to elbow with the person sitting next to them? The largest and most prestigious of poker events may see a further delay. Watch this space as things develop over the coming weeks.

Summary

Online poker is certainly going through a mini boom. It’s a fantastic moment to put in volume, make money and have some fun. It won’t last forever, as governments look to seek some sort of resumption of normal life, but it may bring in players that otherwise wouldn’t have joined. The key for online poker sites is to retain these players. If you are new to poker and reading this, check out our poker resources page to help you improve. Most important of all though, please remember to gamble responsibly.

Poker Button – It’s Awesomeness Explained

The Poker Button

Let’s get the basics out of the way for those of you who are completely new. The poker button aka the dealer button is a small disc that indicates who is the dealer in a hand of Texas Hold’em. Unless you’re having a poker night it doesn’t define the actual dealer, most casinos have professional dealers. The two players to the left of the poker button have to post automatic bets known as the small and big blind. Being on the button means you are the last to act after every round of betting other than pre-flop where the big blind usually closes action.

Now the simple stuff is out of the way, I will explain why being on the button is fantastic.

Stealing the Blinds

One of the great things about being on the button is ability to steal the blinds and antes easier. When it folds to you on the button, often, you can just open raise two to three times the blinds and pick up pots every round. This may seem transparent to those in the blinds but consider their options. They can do one of the following:

3 Bet Lightly

This is a perfectly sound counter strategy to someone playing too many hands on the button. This is certainly something advocated by many professionals. However, they have to risk far more than the open raiser to pick up their raise. They are exposing themselves more. The problem with this strategy is that an astute player will call a 3 bet in position here a reasonable amount of the time, in the knowledge that they can pick up pots post flop or hit a hand and make money/chips.

Defend the Blinds

They may choose rather than 3 betting, to simply call a wider range from the small or big blind. This again is a legitimate strategy to employ as your range should be wider if they are opening wider. The problem is, you are out of position for the rest of the hand. This is not ideal for a beginner, intermediate or advanced player. The best players will play out of position if they think they need to, but even they won’t be thrilled about it.

Poker Button

Information is King

The poker button allows you to have more information at any point in the hand than your opponents. As I’ve said many times before, poker is a game of incomplete information. Players are acting on the information they have at hand and if you are acting after them all the time, you have more information than them. This concept is not fully appreciated by beginners, they don’t fully grasp what a massive advantage this gives you. Instead, they will play their cards and fit or fold poker without a care or worry. The better players will utilise this advantage as much as possible. This informational advantage means you can play more hands and 3 bet before flop more liberally as players are often reluctant to play 3 bet pots out of position

Pot Control is Easier

Being on the button allows you to control the size of the pots much better. You are able to manipulate the pot how you wish. This is not possible out of position. You can try blocker bets and probing bets but if your opponent re-raises you than you’re stuffed and have to play a bigger pot.

Value Bet More Accurately

Being last to act allows you to put in more optimal value bets. If a scare card comes and you are out of position, you are likely to check and often this will be a check-check situation. On the button, you get to see your opponent check more and thus have the opportunity to put in more accurate value bets that will get you paid and make more money.

More Bluffing Opportunities

No doubt about it, bluffing is far more prevalent on the button than anywhere else at the poker table. Consider a 3-way pot with a 4-diamond board and you’re first to act. You generally won’t bet out into the other two players on a bluff here as you’re betting into the unknown. Now, consider when you are the player acting after two opponents have checked. This is a pretty easy scenario to put in a bluff isn’t it? Think of the long-term value of these kind of scenarios and being the one able to bluff. 

Conclusion

Being on the button allows you to steal the blinds, value bet more accurately, pot control and bluff more easily. All in all, it is the one position at the table that you will earn more money than any other position. This is not speculation, it’s fact. Ask any serious poker player to look at their statistics from all positions, to find out which position they have made the most money and it will be unanimous – provided they have some decent volume.

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