Saturday, March 1, 2014

Basic No Limit Hold'Em Poker Strategies

There is an essential difference between limit and no-limit Texas hold'em. The difference is based on the position you have at the playing table and on the value of the hands. When you are playing no-limit hold'em you will find that position is much more important than in the limit games. The explanation is quite simple actually because there is no limit so more money are involved and the goals you set depend on your position and they will have a bigger impact on you bankroll. If somehow you manage to get someone into a position trap you will here have a change to get that person's entire stack, not only a few more bets like in Limit hold'em.

In no-limit poker the big connectors are not to be played because they have a much lesser value overall: they can cause you to win but just small amounts of money and they can also cause you to lose greatly. If we are talking pairs, they increase their value consistently in no-limit Texas hold'em. They give you the opportunity to trap someone (especially the big pairs) and they can get you the entire bankroll of those persons or simply double the value of the pot over a betting round.

When playing no-limit you must before all keep an efficient list of all money spent by you and your opponents. Variations in the stack affect the whole hand and you must be aware of that. So pay attention to all amounts of money players have on the table and to the pot size at all times. The game here is about leaving the others with no money on the table not just about winning small pots and hands.

Let's take an example to better demonstrate how and why important the amount of money each player has on the table is so important.

Let's just say you have now $250 and another player has $25. You are playing a game with blinds of $1-$2. Your position is the small blind and the cards you have are QJ suited. Your opponent is in first position and he goes all-in. All other players consider the risk and decide to fold, as strategy requires in this case. Now, you are faced with a problem: to call and risk $24 for his $25 bet or to simply fold like the situation requires. Betting for that kind of money the almost exact amount is an unnecessary risk you should not take. If however your opponent would have an amount of $250 just like you have, then the risk can be acceptable as you were going to risk the money for 10 times their value.

Ultimate Texas Hold'em Tells

Being able to distinguish the Cards of a player would help you to save you're chips stack when you have a bad hand and win you the pot when you have a good hand. Of course, you can't see what cards you're opponents have. The only thing you have is there facial and body expressions.

The tells of a player range from what they do to how they act. You have to look at what you're opponents are doing AT ALL TIMES. Pay attention to there every move and look for the following signs which will help you win every Texas hold'em game. Read the following 5 tips very carefully and please print it out as a reference.

1. The way the a player arranges his chips is one of the main signs you have to look for. This is a tell that can help you identify and classify you're opponents before the game begins.
Now the secret is whether or not the player keeps there pile of chips neat or messy. If the player keeps there pile neat, 9 times out of 10 that is a tight player. This means that they will not bluff often and you have to expect that they call with strong hands. If they have a messy pile of chips, you know that they that is a loose player and you can be sure that they will be bluffing and playing rambunctiously.

2. The way a player places the chips from his stack to the pot is a sure tell. If the player throws his chips in nervously, they spill over, and he cleans them up he is bluffing. The fact that he cleans them up means that he is trying to cover it up. He wants to make sure you wont call so that he can win the pot. This means that you should call because you are competing against a weak hand.

3. Another tell hat is amazingly obvious but not understood by many as the way someone will pay is the way they buy chips. If a person yells to the dealer that he wants chips and he openly waves his money and is very showy with his money, he is a loose aggressive player. If the player is quiet and asks for chips politely, you have a conservative tight player.

4. This is an audible tell. This one you have to listen to carefully because it is not easy to spot since it's a noise a player makes. When a player makes a sad sound like a sigh or a tisk sound, they are obviously bluffing. Make sure not to bet because they, most likely, have a strong hand. When a player sees the flop and makes that sad "tisk" sound, it means they completed a good hand, they are trying to cover up there happiness.

5. The final tip of the day has to do with the flop. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP; DON'T LOOK AT THE FLOP WHEN IT COMES!

What you want to do is look at the players reactions to the flop. If a player looks away from the flop, they have a good hand because they are trying to keep from looking like they have a good hand. They want to seem uninterested. The players who stare at the flop have a weak hand.

These are some top secret poker tells that you can use to help you win. I hope you enjoyed these tips and I hope you will read my other poker tips articles.

Probability in Poker

Here is a simple trick for deciding if you should draw or not in Texas Hold’em Poker. The first thing you need to do is to figure out how many "outs" you have. An "out" is any card that gives you a made hand. Simply count the number of cards available that give the hand you are drawing to. For example: suppose you hold AD 8D and the flop comes QH 9D 4D. You have a possible flush draw. There are more thirteen diamonds in the deck and you are looking at four of them now, the two in your hand, and the two on the community board. That leaves nine diamonds left in the deck, and two chances to hit one.

The trick to figuring out the approximate % chance of getting the flush is to multiply your outs times the number of chances to hit it. In this situation that would be nine outs multiplied by two chances, or eighteen. Then take that number, multiply it by times two, and add a percentage sign. The approximate % of the time you will make the flush is 36%. (The exact percentage is 34.97%, pretty close heh!)

Now let's say for example that on that same flop you hold the Jd Th. In this case you would have an open ended straight draw with eight outs to hit the straight (four Eights and four Kings). Eight outs with two cards to come will give you sixteen outs. Multiply by times two and you will hit the straight approximately 32% (31.46% exactly) of the time.

A very important thing remember is that the % stated is NOT the percentage of time that you will win the hand, merely it's only the percentage of the times that you will hit the hand you are drawing to. You may get your hand and still lose. But still, knowing the approximate likelihood of making your hand is a good starting step on the road to being a better poker player.

Texas Hold’em poker position

Texas Hold’em poker position is a term that indicates the place of the player on the poker table. In no other game is the player's position as important as in Texas Hold'em poker. Basically, it is best to be in the late position, so you can see the other player's bets and play actions. This allows you to gather information from the other players. Some hands are better against more players and others against fewer opponents. Seeing what the other players are doing is a big advantage for you. The lack of information can cost you chips.

The early position indicates players seated in the three seats to the left of the dealer. This is the least preferred position in the game. There are many players left to act, so you lack information. Only play the best starting hands in these positions.

The middle position refers to the players seated after early position players and before late position players. This is a good place to play small pairs against many opponents. You hope to hit three of a kind and win a big pot. Remember, the odds are about 8 to 1 to hit the trips, so fold if the flop doesn’t give you trips, or a straight or flush draw.

The late positions are the dealer and the two players to his right. This is the most preferred position in Texas Hold’em poker. The dealer is the best position because everyone has acted and you have the most information. If someone bets or raises from first or middle position, then you must credit them for a good hand and play strong hands against them. You can play many hands in late position if no raise has played, and suited connectors are a good hand to play against many opponents here.

Reasons why it’s better to be in late position:
The earlier your position is the larger risk you have when you call before the flop. This is because there is a bigger chance you will get raises from other players. If you know about the raises, as players in late position know, you have the option not to call, and can prevent the mistake made from early position. In early position players sometimes call instead of fold. Let's say you are in early position and call $5. After you call, two more players raise. If you had known they were going to raise you probably would have folded and your $5 would have been saved. The same goes for the opposite option, when you fold instead of calling. If you would have known that no raises would have come, then you might have played your hand.

For lower hands, you can lessen the number of unwanted bets made if you are in the late positions. This is because if you check first then your opponents will bet almost definitely because they will know you have a bad hand. But if they are in early position and they check, then you can also check their bet. You know how many callers there are in late position. Sometimes playing a hand is determined by the number of callers on the table. When you are in early position you cannot know that number. Playing Texas Hold'em poker for a long time will give you the skill to recognize what the number of callers means to your hand and next play action.

In late position you have more information about the other player's starting hands, and can better decide what to do with your hand according to the previous playing moves. If everyone calls and no one raises, then you have the option of raising and trying to steal others bets or just calling or checking to get another card to better your hand.

Texas Hold’em poker position is most important for higher stake games. If you are playing games with no-limit or a large limit such as $100, the importance of the position is larger because every raise and bet is a lot of money. It is better to be in a later position in Texas Hold'em poker, but more important is to know the advantages of a later position, so you can utilize the position better.

Remember, the later the position, the more information that you have and can use. If you ignore the information, then you will lose over the course of time.

Easy Lesson in Calculating Outs and Pot Odds

Calculating outs (the number of cards that could improve your hand) and pot odds (ratio of the money in the pot versus the amount required to make your next call) is often used as a basis for a Texas Holdem Poker player on whether to draw and try to make their hand.

However this in my opinion should not be the sole basis of your decision on whether you should draw for another card. You also have to decide on whether the hand that you are trying to hit will win you the pot or not.

How to calculate pot odds:
In this example, if the current pot contains $80, and the amount required at the next call is $20, the pot is laying you odds of $80 to $20 or 4 to 1.

As long as your odds of making the best hand are 4 to 1 or better than making the call is the right move. A hand that is 4 to 1 means that you will hit once in every 5 tries. You will hit the draw 20 percent of the time.

This next example takes into account calculating pot odds and outs.

Assume that your hole cards are a six and a seven (for this example suits do not matter) and the flop came down 8-9-3. In order to complete your hand you need a 5 or 10. You have eight outs - 4-5's and 4-10's. Multiply your outs (8) by 4 and you get 32. You have a 32 percent chance of making your hand. If there was only one card left to draw you would multiply by two.

A 32 percent chance of making your hand means you have a 68 percent chance of NOT making your hand. This is roughly 2 to 1 that you won't make the hand. So, as long as the pot contains $2 for every $1 that you have to call, it is worth going after your straight.

Doing these quick calculations and interpreting them can be very difficult and confusing for a beginner (and many advanced players as well!). But I would recommend that you at least be able to quickly calculate your outs to give you an idea of just how likely you are to make your hand. Then decide if that hand will win the pot for you or not.

5 Poker Strategies For Heads Up Play

You've finally made it, you've dodged some scary all ins, caught a couple of breaks and now you are sitting at the final table playing heads up poker. Once the joy of making the final table has subsided you will have to get down to business and stake out your opponent. Hopefully by now you have got a good read on the player, their tendencies, strengths and weaknesses. However, it may be important to know that poker players often switch modes when it comes down to heads up play. A poker players heads up play may be completely different than their regular play. Here are some tips to help you improve your heads up Texas Hold'em poker strategy.

Tip#1 - An Ace in the Hole

The #1 rule of heads up poker play is that when you have an ace as a hole card you will usually be in a dominant position pre flop. You should then raise/re-raise strong to see what the opponent's reaction will be. Often times an opponent will fold (depending on the specific style of the poker player) for fear of the ace or a pocket pair. Sometimes you may get called but remember, in heads up poker players have a tendency to make loose calls. Odds are you will still be in a dominant position.

Tip #2 - Lower Your Expectations

While playing heads up Texas Hold'em poker, chances are that you cannot afford to wait on a good hand. A quality hand in heads up poker is not the same as when playing with a bigger group. You may have to settle with J-6 offsuit and just see what happens. The odds are that many times your opponent will have a bad looking hand as well.

Tip #3 - Try To Pick Up A Betting Pattern

Many poker players have an extremely difficult time playing heads up. Some collapse under the pressure and others become painstakingly obvious in how they bet in heads up. Make sure you keep an eye on your opponents betting habits. Every now and then you may want to call a hand that you know your probably beat in just to see what the opponent has. If you can pick up an opponents betting habits it's almost as if they are showing you their hands.

Tip #4 - Mix Up Your Play

Even if you are not getting the best of cards you must always try to mix up your play to throw your opponent off your scent. Raise with 9-4 suited. Call with A-3 offsuit. This way your opponent cannot pick up a good betting pattern from you. Many poker players are not great when it comes to heads up play. By throwing your opponent off your scent it possible that he/she will be enticed into making a careless all-in call. All it takes is one big mistake in heads up play and you'll have your opponent right where you want them.

Tip #5 - Don't Over Do the "All-In" Call

Please do not go over board going all-in. This is like leaving your hand up to fate. There is some luck involved in poker but you don't want to just get by on being lucky. Besides, doing this is a clear give away that you may be less advanced and a veteran will wait for their chance and bury you. Mix up your play, raises, calls and folds, and in the end the better player usually wins out.

Introduction To Poker Slang

If you're new to the world of poker, you want to play desperately but you don't want to look too "green" then you should probably brush up on some poker terminology. You don't have to learn how to speak a new language to look like a pro because learning just a few terms can make a few fear you at the table!

Some of the most common terms like trips, quads or ole one eye are pretty obvious pointing to three of a kind, four of a kind and the notorious one eyed jack. When you're looking to impress some avid poker players, brushing up on a few terms that aren't so common will do the trick.

Let's look at a few hands you may have and the correct terminology of portraying a big boy at the table. After all, the last thing you want to say when you see two aces in your hand is, "I have a pair" so let's look at the terminology for pairs.

A-A= these are called "Pocket Rockets"

K-K= these are called "Cowboys" or "Elvis Presley's" and some times "Penn & Teller"

Q-Q= often called "The Twins", "The Ladies", "The Hilton's" or "The Dirty Duo"

J-J = sometimes Jacks are called "Jokers", "Hooks" or "Jerky Joe's"

These valued cards often have some wacky names and it may seem hard to keep up with some of them but you'll soon realize that's not so bad compared to some others. For instance, take a look at the slang on these babies.

2-2= "Ducks" or "Deuces"

3-3= "Prom Night" or "Crabs"

6-9= "Top or Bottom", "Delight" and "Big Lick"

K-J= "KoJak"

A-J= "Apple Jacks" or "Apple Fritter"

The terminology listed above can help you but only to an extent.

To be seriously efficient in a poker game, learn a few other terms to show that you are experienced and you mean business, everyone bluff's sometimes. These terms are usually used in context when referring to a stage of play.

What is the flop?

The flop as it's called is actually the first stage of play involving the community cards when the first three are laid upon the table in any type of "Holdem" style of poker. There are several ways the word flop is used and if you've watched televised poker play, it can be confusing.

What does it mean when someone says:

"He's seeing the flop"= generally speaking this means that "he" the player will stay in the game, stay in the pot or the ante until "he" sees the first three cards-the flop.

"He's hitting the flop"= this is a phrase that any poker player loves to hear and it means that the flop cards which are the first three of the community laid in the center of the table are going together well with the hole cards the player is holding that were dealt face-down to "him". The chances of putting together a winning poker hand is looking pretty good.

"The post-flop is up"= basically this describes an action such as a bet most commonly. A player has bet post flop; the player has waited after he sees the post flop cards and means that the player didn't bet blind.

"It's coming down to the river"= the river refers to the last hand of Holdem style poker game. The very last card laid upon the table face-up, is the river.

Learning some of these terms should get your foot in the door to a good poker game but after you're in it's up to you. Have fun playing poker and even more fun learning some of the new slang.