One of the best things an online casino player can do to protect themselves from the non-paying casinos is to do research before joining and depositing money on a new online casino they aren’t familiar with. Also, players should deposit small amounts of money at first. Reading reviews and talking with others is a great way to learn about the untrustworthy online casinos. The good news is they won’t be around very long. The bad news is others will show up in their place. Players should also check the blacklists to make sure an online casino isn’t on it. If a player ends up having trouble with a non-paying online casino here are some of the actions they can take:
The more reputable casinos will be licensed and generally eCOGRA approved. If a player has a problem not receiving their money, they will generally be able to resolve it through eCOGRA.
Another thing the player will want to do is to consistently contact the online casino through all available means of contact. They want the online casino to know they aren’t going away any time soon.
Players will also want to add that online casino to the blacklist. They should do this in order to help ensure that online casino won’t be able to continue doing this to other unsuspecting online casino players.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for an online casino player to get their money back if they were playing on a rogue online casino, but the above options are a great place to start when it comes to making an attempt to collect and helping to set the standards in what is and is not acceptable in the online casino industry.
There are a lot of poker programs out there to help players improve their game. These programs help you put your opponent on a range, figure out how likely that range is to hit a given flop, and analyze the overall profitability of your lines. Most of the better programs cost between $50 and $150, but there are a few programs out there that are both incredibly useful and free. Here’s a list of the best free poker programs available.
If you haven’t heard of PokerStove, you need to quit playing poker right now and study up more. PokerStove is an invaluable tool for improving your poker game.
PokerStove is vital for determining your equity in certain situations. For example, let’s say a villain raises UTG+1 and you call on the button with 78 of hearts. The flop comes K56 with two hearts on the board. UTG+1 bets, you raise and UTG+1 shoves. The pot is $270 and you have to call $120 more. Should you call with your draw?
The first thing you need to do is put your opponent on a range. Let’s say that this opponent is very tight and would only make this move with KK, AA, or AK. You’re getting roughly 1 to 2.25 to call. How do you fair against your opponent’s range?
Your monster straight and flush draws are a little more than a 51% favorite against your opponent’s range, so you should call. Try figuring that out without plugging in the pertinent information into PokerStove.
Universal Replayer is a Java-based program that can convert a hand history from almost any poker room into a visual re-enactment of the hand. Not only does the Universal Replayer replay the hand for you, but it also shows you your odds along the way and it can even show you how good or bad luck affected the outcome of your hand. It’s a great way to review and discuss past poker hands.
Truly Free Poker Training
Truly Free Poker Training isn’t really a piece of software. It’s a poker site. All you have to do is set up a free account on Cardrunners and Stoxpoker, register with TrulyFreePokerTraining.com, and earn a certain number of points every month, at supported poker rooms, to get access to training videos on Cardrunners and Stoxpoker for free.
This isn’t an affiliate program and it doesn’t come out of your rakeback. It’s truly free training that anyone can use.
I cheated a little bit here. Excel is the fourth program on our list of three and it’s not free. I included it because most of you probably have it on your computer anyway and it can be a very useful tool for improving your poker game, on top of being a good program for managing your bankroll.
Poker is a mathematical game so it makes sense that a spreadsheet program would be useful for analyzing hands. You can use excel to compare your pot odds and equity at every point of a hand. You can even explore whether an alternate line could be more profitable. Show me a player who analyzes his or her lines with Excel and I’ll show you someone who’s making a lot of money playing poker.
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Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. You’ll never improve if you mindlessly grind out 1000s of hands without analyzing your poker play. There are some great programs out there to help you but the programs listed above are the best programs money can’t buy.]]>
They steal from late position, they re-steal from the blinds and they bet scare cards. But winning players should have a lot more moves in their arsenal. Here are 4 of the most underused tournament moves you can to add to your game.
The limp/stab is a blind vs. blind move. The small blind limps to complete with the intention of betting small on any flop if the big blind just checked behind preflop.
This move is usually used when the blinds are high and the big blind would have to commit a decent amount of chips to raise you on a steal.
The limp/stab is most effective against tight opponents who will give up if they don’t connect with the flop and it’s especially effective if you’ve been aggressive recently since the big blind may wonder if you’re setting a trap. It’s a good move to mix in with your blind steals.
Let’s say you’re in the big blind with JTs and it folds around to the button who raises. The button has been a very active and aggressive player and you know he steals with a wide range. You also know he’s a smart player. The standard move would be to 3-bet here to steal but a smart player would be aware of the standard move and could flat the 3-bet to force you into a tough post-flop spot. You can turn the tables on him by using a post-flop re-steal.
Instead of 3-betting pre-flop, you flat from the big blind with the intention of check raising a lot of flops. For example, you could check/raise a flop like J36 rainbow. Your opponent will bet this dry flop with 100% of his range though he’ll very rarely hit it. Very few opponents have the stones to continue with air when they get flatted pre-flop and check/raised on the flop.
Button Limp to Induce Steal
Limp the button? Only donkeys limp the button! I attack button limps all the time!
Strong players attack button limps because they’re weak. You can use that fact against them by occasionally limping the button with mid-high suited connectors and monsters like AA/KK. A strong player in the blinds may attack your limp and you can flat call and force him to play a bloated pot out of position.
Limping the button all the time is weak, but occasionally limping the button with a range like 9Ts+ TT+ will make you much tougher to read and your opponents will think twice about attacking you when you show weakness. Just make sure you only use this move against a strong opponent in the blinds. If you’re up against weak players, just raise and pound their blinds.
Non All-in All-in
The non all-in all-in is a psychological trick. It makes it look like you’re trapping with a big hand and gives the illusion of the threat of additional bets. Here’s an example:
The blinds are 100/200 and you’re in the cutoff with 2200 chips. You look down at ATs. The standard move is to push all-in, but instead you raise to 1200 chips. Your raise essentially puts you all-in since you’ll never fold to a re-raise and you’re pot-committed to any flop. Here’s what your opponents will think:
You’ll put doubt in your opponent’s mind and that doubt will earn you a couple more folds than if you simply shoved.
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These four moves are just a small sample of the moves available to tournament players. Break out of the same old standard plays and add a little creativity to your game. It’ll make you a tougher opponent and increase your win rate.]]>
C-bet stands for “continuation bet” and it’s one of the most common bluffs in poker. A player will usually make a c-bet when they’ve raised pre-flop to continue their aggression. The trouble with c-bets is that smart opponents usually pick up on it quickly, and know how to defend against the c-bet. When they do, you’ll start to hemorrhage money as your c-bets get picked off time and time again. While c-bets can be powerful, there are certain times when you shouldn’t use it. Here are some situations where you should forgo the c-bet.
Against Multiple Opponents Out Of Position
When you’re out of position and facing two or three opponents, it’s too likely that someone has a legitimate hand for you to c-bet. In addition, the pot tends to get big fast when there are multiple people in it. When the pot is large, players are less likely to give it up for a single bet. Most players would consider a large pot to be worth a semi-bluff. In a situation like this, it’s usually best check/fold if you don’t have anything.
On A Very Drawy Board
Let’s say you raised pre-flop and the board comes down 8-9-10 with two hearts. This isn’t the kind of flop you want to c-bet – especially against several opponents. There’s a large range of hands that’ll call or raise you. Anybody with QJ, 67, two hearts, or even a bare Jack could call. Even if somebody raises you on a semi-bluff, you can’t call without a strong hand. It’s best to check/fold.
Against A Super Aggressive Opponent
Some people raise just for sake of raising. They get a kick from pushing people out of pots. If you’re out of position against one of these players, it’s better to just check. If you want to make a move, you could attempt a check/raise. Even super aggressive opponents have a hard time calling a check/raise with nothing. However, a c-bet is a loser in this situation.
Against A Calling Station
Callers call. It’s their defining characteristic. When you’re up against a calling station, you should be thinking value bet, not bluff.
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Don’t misunderstand me, the c-bet is powerful and it should be used often. But you shouldn’t c-bet blindly. Take stock of your situation before you put your money a table. If you’re up against too many opponents, or one of your opponents is likely to raise you with any two cards, you check/fold.
However, don’t become too passive. You still want to maintain an aggressive image. If you have a marginal or drawing hand and you think that you’re c-bet won’t be respected, you should consider a check/raise. A check raise is much more aggressive and will probably win you the pot if your opponent doesn’t have a decent hand.
The c-bet is just a tool in your arsenal. Know when to c-bet, know when to check/raise, and – more importantly – know when to check/fold. Mixing up these three options on the flop will get you more respect and ultimately win you more money.]]>
There are two basic types of Single Table Tournaments: Standard SNGs and Turbos (we’ll sidestep super turbos for now). Each SNG type has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons to help you decide which type of Sit ‘N Go you want to play.
Standard Sit ‘N Goes have a relatively slow blind structure, and are popular on just about every online poker site, but are especially common on Poker Stars. The exact time between blind increases varies from site to site. In fact, a Standard SNG on one site might be considered a Turbo SNG on another. Generally, however, the blinds raise every 6 to 10 minutes in a Standard SNG.
Players used to think that strong poker players had a higher edge in Standard Sit ‘N Goes than they did in Turbo Sit ‘N Goes but that’s not necessarily true. The two games favor different skill sets. A superior post-flop player will do better in a Standard Sit ‘N Go, but someone who can play perfectICM(independent chip model) strategy can have a significant edge in Turbos, especially on poker sites which are known for fishy gambling type players, like Party Poker.
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Neither SNG is “better” than the other. They just favor different kinds of players. If you’re good at playing post-flop, you’ll probably have more of an edge in a Standard Sit ‘N Go, but if you can spot unexploitable shoves that others miss, Turbos might be the way to go for you.
Experiment a little and compare your ROIs and hourly rates. Your profits will ultimately tell you which Sit ‘N Go is best for you.]]>
Most People Overplay Pocket Jacks
When low limit players see pocket Jacks they only see one thing – paint. To these players, pocket Jacks are the same as pocket Queens or Kings. It’s a hand to be played fast and furious; a hand to be played to the felt if necessary. But this balls-to-the-walls method of playing pocket Jacks can get you into trouble fast. Consider this:
Pocket Kings are roughly 82% to win against a random hand preflop. However pocket Jacks are 77% to win against a random hand preflop and pocket Tens are only 2% less than that. If you play your Jacks too fast, you’re giving an edge to your opponents.
Jacks Are Vulnerable
When you play pocket Jacks, you’ll face an overcard on the flop about 57% of the time. That means that almost half of the time you’ll have the unenviable position of deciding whether or not your opponent is holding a Queen, King or Ace. If you decide to bet and your opponent calls, you have another tough decision on the turn – especially if the turn is also a Queen, King or Ace.
Moreover, your opponent might sense your concern and start representing the scare card and force you to fold.
How Should You Play Pocket Jacks?
Jacks are good enough to be played strong preflop. You should raise them from any position at the poker table. You might even re-raise with pocket Jacks if you’re in late position and the initial raiser is a loose player. However calling a re-raise with pocket Jacks is a mistake and frankly, it’s a mistake that the majority of low limit players make.
Even if your pocket Jacks are the best hand preflop, you’ll have a difficult time taking them to showdown. As I mentioned before, you’ll face an overcard on the flop 57% of the time and be forced to fold your hand. The other 43% of the time you’ll have to decide whether your re-raiser raised you withQueens, Kings or Aces. In short, you’ll be in a needlessly difficult spot.
Pocket Jacks should be played with restrained aggression. Play your hand strong, but fold your hand if someone else shows strength in turn. Jacks can be a powerful hand, but they can’t take a lot of heat. By paying close attention and folding when necessary, you can limit your losses with pocket Jacks and therefore make them more profitable.]]>
I always lose with pocket Queens.
I never win on site X.
These myths are obviously ridiculous and smart players will dismiss them as losing players making excuses for why they lose. But there are some poker myths that even winning players believe. Here are four poker myths that could be costing you money.
Don’t Bluff Multi-way Pots
The logic seems sound enough. The more players there are in a pot, the harder it is to get them all to fold. But there’s a problem with this advice.
Most players will give a lot of credit to a bet in a multi-way pot.
If you’re cultivating a tight image and find yourself in the right situation, you can win a decent multi-way pot with a modest bet.
I’m not suggesting that you bet every time you’re in a multi-way pot, but learning how to bluff multi-way pots can be very profitable.
Super-tight is Super Right
I blame Phil Hellmuth for this one. In his book Play Poker Like The Pros, Hellmuth said that if tight is right, then super-tight must be super right. Hellmuth suggests playing only the top 10% of hands.
While this advice may have been good 4 or 5 years ago, it’s not that great today. Players following Hellmuth’s advice will get very little action on their hands and when they do get action, they’ll usually be facing a hand that has an overpair crushed.
Even low limit players are savvy these days. You have to mix your game up some or the online regulars will tear you to pieces.
You Gotta Make Big Bluffs To Win
I’d blame Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan for this one except the “big bluff” myth was thriving long before Dwan placed his first bet.
It’s true that you have to bluff with a certain frequency to maximize your win rate. Ed Miller and David Sklansky have been big proponents of using a theoretically optimal bluffing frequency for a long time, however most players bluff too frequently.
The majority of your bets should be value bets. You should add just enough bluffs in your range so that your opponent cannot profitably call your bet either way. For more information on theoretically optimal bluffing frequency, see The Theory of Poker or No Limit Hold’em Theory and Practice.
Bet Small With Monsters To Extract Value
I see this all the time in cash games. Someone has a monster hand and they bet small to keep their opponent in the pot. These players should be trying their damnedest to get all their money in the middle.
A lot of players think they’re being deceptive by betting small with their big hands. That’s not how you use deception. You should be betting your small hands and bluff big occasionally to disguise the times that you really do have a big hand.
So how do you build a pot? You do it by betting big and overbetting the pot occasionally.
Still not convinced? Consider this example:
You’re in a 1/2 game with JT. The pot is $95 and you have been the aggressor throughout the hand betting every street so far. The river just came down and it’s the Ten of diamonds. Here’s the board:
JT26T with three diamonds on the board. You think your opponent would have either called on the flop and turn with a strong Jack or the flush draw (which he just made). You have $135 left and your opponent has you covered. Do you bet $65 for value or shove all-in?
Let’s say you get called 80% of the time when you bet $65 and only 40% of the time when you shove for $135. You still make more money by shoving.
EV Betting $65 = $52
EV Betting $135 = $54
That’s an extra $2 in EV even though your opponent will only call half as often.
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There are a lot of myths in poker and the most dangerous ones are very believable. Changing your beliefs about the four myths above will certainly make you a better poker player.]]>
There are online casinos that have free games players can enjoy which provide them with the chance to win real money. However, when a player is looking for this type of casino they want to be sure they read the fine print provided on the site so they know the games are really free and the money they can win is real money. These casinos will generally offer some free games and some real money games, but all of the games can provide players with a whole lot of fun.
Many online casinos offer players bonuses for joining, or for making deposits. By taking advantage of bonuses that offer players free casino credits just for joining, a player can play games without spending their own money and this means risk free gaming. When players win money without putting their own money up, they can continue to use that money to play even more. This allows that player to have the chance to win more and more money without putting their money up.
Online casino players looking for those risk free online casinos still want to be sure the casino offers them a wide range of other benefits that will add to the players enjoyment. Risk free gaming is a wonderful way to go for players that can’t really afford to spend money in order to play the online casino games. There are a lot of players that wouldn’t be able to play any of the online casino games if they had to put up their own money in order to do so. No risk casinos can offer some of the best casino games on the Internet and players want to hold out for those casinos.
There are several differences between limit and no-limit (aside from the obvious). From the way you bluff to the hands you play, they’re different. Here are some of the differences between the games to help you transition from one to another or just to decide which one you’d rather play.
Tight-Aggressive Is Right Vs. Aggressive Is Right
You can’t be a loose-aggressive player in limit Hold’em and still expect to be a winning player. It’s not going to happen. However, there are several very successful no-limit players that are great at playing a loose-aggressive style.
In no-limit Holde’m you can win your opponent’s entire stack on any given hand. Hell, you could win multiple opponents’ stacks on any given hand. With odds like that, you can make loose calls with poor hands and hope to get lucky. Limit Hold’em isn’t so forgiving. There’s a cap to how much you can win and you can never win enough money to make loose calls profitable.
Can’t Kill Drawing Odds Vs. Total Pot Control
When you’re playing limit poker, you can’t control your opponent’s odds. If there’s a draw, your opponent probably has the right odds to chase. No-Limit is a different story. If you have a big hand and see your opponent on the draw, you can defend your hand with your entire stack and destroy their odds. In other words, you have total pot control.
Put As Few Chips In The Pot When Losing Vs. Put As Many Chips In The Pot When Winning
As I mentioned before, you’ll usually have odds to chase in Limit Hold’em even when you’re behind. The goal in limit Hold’em is to put as few chips into the pot as possible while you’re chasing.
The focus in no-limit, however, is more on getting paid than damage control. When you have a big hand in no-limit, you have to focus on getting your opponents to commit as many chips as possible so you can go all-in. This dichotomy makes no-limit a much more aggressive game.
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While limit Hold’em is mostly about damage control, no-limit is about cramming and ramming. Not everyone is suited for both games. In fact, most people find that they do well with one and poorly with another. Well rounded players, however, like to be able to play both. The trick to playing both successfully is to know their differences and adjust your game accordingly. When you’re first starting out, however, you need to find the game that you’re most comfortable with and make that your primary focus. Once you find the right game and hone your skills, you’ll see your profits soar.]]>
Here’s what I mean:
Know the Most Profitable Times to Play
You’ll make more money on certain days and at certain times. For example, professional Sit N Go players know to steer clear of SNGs on weeknights between 6 and 10pm eastern time. For whatever reason, it’s just less profitable to play during these times.
Your tracking software will help you determine what time is the most profitable for your poker roll. Tournament players can also go to Sharkscope.com to find out when they’re most profitable.
Know What Limit You Should Play
Logic dictates that when you face better players when you play higher limits so your win rate should go down, but logic doesn’t always hold in this instance. Going back to our Sit N Go example, many players will tell you that there’s a limit that they just can’t beat even if they usually play at a higher limit. For example, I know of a good Sit N Go player that regularly crushes the $30+3 level, but can’t play profitably at the $10+1 level.
In any case, you’ll often find that you do much better at a certain limit. Use your tracking software to determine what limit that is and play there more often.
Know How Many Tables You Should Play
Once again, logic misleads us. Logically your win rate should be higher when you play fewer tables, but this isn’t always the case. A lot of players have a hard time playing just one table because they get bored and start making stupid moves. These same players make a killing when they 6 and 8-table because there’s plenty to keep them busy.
Experiment with multi-tabling to find your sweet spot. Poker tracking software like Hold’em Manager will help you determine how many tables is optimal for you.
Know How You Perform In Different Positions
Almost all players will show more of a profit as they approach the button, but not all players will use that information to their advantage.
One of the most common mistakes in no-limit cash games is being too tight on the button. You should steal liberally with almost any two cards when the action folds to you. If you don’t believe me, check your poker tracking program. I’ll bet almost every hand shows a profit for you on the button. Analyze your play and find spots to squeeze out extra profits.
Hunt Down ATM Machines
Sometimes it’s hard to notice weak players when you have 8 or 10 tables up. You know you’re winning money, but you don’t know who that money is coming from. Check your poker tracking program once a week to see which opponents are giving you the most money and put them on your buddy list so you can sit with them more often.
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Poker tracking isn’t only about tracking your opponents. You need to track your own play as well as the trends of the poker room. Use the information you find wisely and you can drastically increase your win rate.