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29

Poker is a game that really isn't very complex. Once you have a basic grasp of some of the probabilities, you can sit down and start winning hands even against good players. There aren't very many ways to improve your odds of winning a given hand, important though it is to know what they are. For boardgaming types like me, who like a complicated tangle of ...


23

When you fall behind in a "for fun" game, the best strategy becomes to make high risk yet high reward choices. Essentially, if you are sitting in last place, you've got nothing to lose so you might as well risk it all for a shot at the top. In real life poker, you are always in a situation where you have something to lose: your money. Every dollar counts, ...


19

If a player cannot cover a blind, that player is all-in and the bets are handled just as if that player had gone all-in on an ordinary bet. The main pot gets an amount of money from each player who bets equal to the all-in player's stake. Any further betting goes into a side pot, which the all-in player is ineligible to win.


17

The first thing to mention is definitely that there are no extra cards. Poker hands are evaluated with exactly five cards. Sometimes you use all five community cards as your best hand, in which case your pocket is useless (bluffing aside, of course). So strike that right away: if you can't beat your opponent with five cards, you've lost (or tied). The next ...


16

Ante and blinds are both forced bets. Ante is a bet that everyone in the game must make in order to stay at the table. It forces there to always be at least some payout in the pot, increasing the relative value of playing a hand to folding. Blinds are bets that only one or two players are forced to make, usually a small blind and a big blind, the small ...


15

The bankroll is your safe haven. The bankroll is what makes you different from a gambler, betting, bet again, breaks and puts more money in the game. The bankroll is a fundamental part of you being a poker player. Treat it with due importance. The bankroll should be large. It's more than you think you need. It is much larger than you want it. The truth is ...


12

Basically, as Wikipedia hints at, to make sure that a different player acts first before that flop than after the flop — just as in non-heads-up, where “Under The Gun” (the player after the Big Blind) acts first before the flop, and the Small Blind acts first after the flop. In heads up, if the non-dealer would post the Small Blind and the dealer the Big ...


10

I would say that you want to make a continuation bet a large percentage of the time if you have signalled you are in the lead and no opponent has signalled otherwise. What this "large percentage" is probably depends on what you are comfortable with and how aggressive you are, but I would estimate it would vary from 50% to 100%. Continuation betting on ...


10

No, it doesn't beat it. Unlike 'normal' Poker, where a flush does beat it, a straight is much less likely with three cards and is ranked higher as a result. The order of probability (least likely first) is: Straight flush Three of a kind Straight Flush Pair


10

In a tournament, "blinds" are set by formula, based on the number of rounds that have elapsed. So the big blind amount in this instance is 400. It's a LIVE blind, which means that the big blind can raise, but only after others have had a chance to do so. That's the disadvantage of being a big blind. Essentially, he raises the little blind from 200 to 400, ...


10

A rough rule (from economics) is that you should bluff until the money you lose from getting caught approximates the money that you would forego from not bluffing. That is, you should equate the "marginal utilities" of the two activities. If you "never" get caught, you aren't bluffing enough. That is, you are leaving money on the table with a number of ...


10

In Hold'em, each player makes the best possible 5-card hand possible using any of the 7 cards available. To each player, there is no distinction between the communal cards and their own private cards. The selected 5-card poker hand can include 0, 1, or 2 of the hole cards. It's possible that the best hand you can make uses 0 of your hole cards. In this ...


9

Implied odds or implied pot odds are calculated the same way as pot odds, but consider future betting. You figure implied odds in situations where you expect to fold in the next round if you don't make your draw. You lose no more bets if you miss, but can expect to gain extra bets if you hit the draw. An example. Say you see the flop with 2 other players ...


9

How you should be thinking about donk bets when deciding whether to use them: Donk bets don't have an inherently set purpose. You can do it as a bluff, you can donk bet for value, or you can do it to try to influence behavior (like a block bet). What you're trying to obtain by doing it depends on your hand and your expected response from your opponent. ...


9

Aside from what others have said, certain variations of poker also take on very different aspects depending on the wagering structure and if there are stakes to back it. A clear example would be Texas Hold 'Em, as played in one of three variations: Limit Ring Games, No-Limit Ring Games, and No-Limit Single Table Tournament. A ring game is a "sit down, buy ...


8

The reason that "chasing the low" is discouraged is because too often, you have a shot at only the low side of the pot. Let's say you have a low hand draw, and a "high" draw to a straight or flush. Very often, you will make the latter, only to be beaten by a higher straight or flush. At the same time, you may fail to make your low because the card that made ...


8

No. Under practically all rules, the dealer posts the small blind and is first to act preflop. After the flop, the other player acts first. Other rules have occasionally been implemented -- I believe Party Poker used to have this backwards preflop -- but this is almost universal. It is generally thought to lead to a better game with more action, as the ...


7

Real money (or a real stake of some kind) makes poker more fun because it adds a basis for you to predict and interpret another player's actions. When no real money is involved, a player's bet will not be based on any real risk and thus will not tend to reflect the strength of their hand. Their bet is correlated to their hand much more loosely, giving you ...


7

First of all: in your examples 2 and 3, the 'extra cards' (Alice's king and Bob's jack in example 2, and Alice's 7 and Bob's 6 in example 3) effectively don't exist: for comparison purposes, you use precisely each player's best 5-card hand. Those hands are 45678 in example 2 and 33322 in example 3; any additional cards in the player's hands are entirely ...


6

What you're talking about is called Table Image. Table image is important because it represents what other players think they know about you and how you play. If you play very tight (very few hands, only very good cards), and players see this, they're only going to stay in the pot with you, if they also have very good cards (in which case you should be a ...


5

One way to help this is to think about it backwards, so you have 8 periods of blinds (15 minutes x 4 x 2 hours) and let's assume 8 players, 100 chips each. So, ideally, you want one player eliminated each period. What's a high-enough blind to encourage play? Try 10-1 or 20-1. With 10-1, the last period will have 2 players, each with 400 chips, so that's ...


5

"Outs" are the cards left in the deck that could possibly make you win. Usually these are discussed most when players are all-in and the cards have been revealed. If the only way you can win is to draw one of the 3 Aces left in the deck, you have 3 Outs.


5

It's when you 'check' (choose not to bet anything) after all players before you have checked. Often with a good hand you'll want to do this to give your opponent(s) an opportunity to improve and be willing to bet. With a weak hand you might want to do this if you suspect your opponent is slow-playing a good hand for the same reason.


5

It's a hard question to answer, and depends on the player's style and whether the player likes to bluff, as well as the style and skill of the other players. If I don't have decent hole cards (low cards or nothing matching) I fold. I might risk it if I'm one of the blinds, but if I'm raised I'll fold. If I have a decent starting hand I usually wait for the ...


5

The general concept here is known as "pot odds". The basic goal is to figure out your probability of winning, and then compare the amount of money to "call" to the total amount of money you would win if you are successful. Neither of those are known values though, so you need to do your best to guess what they are. That requires both thinking about both ...


4

Pot Odds is a term that describes the ratio of the current bet to the pot. For example, consider if the pot is $100 and you need to make a $10 bet to stay in. Your hand is a dog, and you estimate only a 20% chance for you to win. Pot odds would say that you should make the bet as you are getting 10-1 on your $10. You can get more information from the ...


4

Found a web site that you can enter in the following parameters and it'll create a blind structure for you: Number of players: Tournament length (hours): Smallest chip denomination: Starting chips: Round length (minutes): http://pokersoup.com/tool/blindStructureCalculator


4

Poker requires a "wager". –noun 1. something of value risked or staked on an uncertain event; bet: to place a wager on a poker hand. So, for poker to be fun or interesting at all, one must wager something with some sort of value. Usually it's chips or money. Could be anything, but it must be valuable in the context of the game. Here's an example ...


4

It can be a bluff or it can be a calculation. If you have QJ and the board shows 10 9 3 then you have 2 overcards to the board and an open ended straight draw. If you have 4 cards to a flush you are probably favored nearly 2 to 1 to an over pair even. If you sense weakness in your opponent you might be able to scare them off of a hand like two 5's, that ...


4

Like Neal says this is called Table Image. If you just draw crappy cards for a while and realize people probably see you as tight then that is great! No matter what your table image is you can use it to your advantage if you know about it. Say they think your really tight, then you'll have an easy time stealing pots with bad cards. Or if they think you're ...



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