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Should You Go On? The Flop

Texas Hold’em, in all three varieties (No Limit, Pot Limit and Limit) is, like all poker games, about making the right call. Not calling a bet, but making the right decision.

Leave The Blinds

You have likely heard the phrase if you have either played enough Texas Hold’em or watched it on TV. Players are sometimes known for “defending their blinds.” What does it mean to defend your blinds?

A Starting Hand of Ace and Queen

Everyone knows what to do when your hole cards are AA, KK, or AK, but sometimes you get a hand that is a little more difficult to figure out exactly what to do with it. When your hole cards are an Ace and a Queen you are entering some very tricky waters.

Basic Poker Tips

There are ways to make winning at poker almost a guarantee. Unfortunately most of these strategies involve hypnotism, sleeping with the dealer, or committing a felony with a firearm. These are not things that most gamblers are willing to do. However there are ways to tip things in your favor that are perfectly legal.

Omaha Hi/Lo: Point Count System

There is a big difference between a system and a sure thing. A good example of a sure thing would be a date with Anna Nicole Smith if you are over 70 and a multimillionaire. The outcome of that event is almost predestined. A system is something you do during a game to put yourself in a better position to win.

Playing Suited Connectors

Conventional thinking says that small suited connectors should be played only when the flop is good enough to give you the best draw. When the suited connectors are big, like an Ace/King, you can feel a little more confident with an overpair.

Stealing the Ante in Stud Poker

Once everyone has anted up in a game of stud poker, there will be a small pile of chips sitting in the middle of the table. Stealing the ante is when you claim these chips as your own with a hand that would need a defibulator and some really good drugs to life.

Dodge The Flop

It may seem like odd advice to give a poker player who favors community card games like Omaha or the crowd favorite, Texas Hold’em, but one of the best ways to succeed at the game is to avoid seeing the flop.

Slowplaying Strong Hands Is A Losing Proposition

When you are playing Limit Hold’em properly, you are avoiding a lot of hands. You are folding all but the premium hands as unplayable, and this means you are spending a lot of time avoiding poker; at least that is how it feels, but in reality it means you are simply playing poker well.

Betting With the Best Hand

Do you have the best hand? Then you need to act as if you do. Sounds like silly advice, doesn’t it? Naturally, if you have a Queen and Jack of hearts in your hand and the board flops Q Q x, you likely have the best hand and should be betting and raising.

Tight Means Tight-Fisted

When playing online poker you have the advantage of playing many more hands per hour than you do in live poker games at brick and mortar casinos, or even home games. With the amount of table chatter at home games, especially more than at home. With more hands you have the potential to make more money; and of course, the potential to lose more money.

All In - The Ultimate Equalizer

When playing No Limit Texas Hold'em you have a tool called the All In that can be used very effectively to take power away from the other players and give it to yourself.

Middle Pair Is not Top Pair

When it comes to Texas Hold’em, yet another thing that is important to keep stored in your arsenal of poker knowledge is the following bit of wisdom: Middle Pair is not Top Pair. Now, it may seem a fairly obvious statement, but it is important enough to bear consideration, especially when your money or your tournament life is on the line and you have either one.

Big Blind Action

A lot of players hate being in the big blind. The idea of being forced to bet before they even see their cards puts them off, if someone raises then they are tempted to stay in regardless of their starting cards to "protect their blinds", and then to top it off they are going to be the second player to act in ever hand after the flop, one of the worst in terms of position.

Pot Odds

You've heard the phrase before, and may have even caught a partial explanation listening to the commentary on ESPN's World Series of Poker broadcasts, but really, what are Pot Odds?

Changing Gears in Tournament Play

Tournament poker games can be a very different sort of animal than cash poker games. There are chip stacks to manage, people dropping in and out of the game, getting reseated multiple times, and the finality of it all; unless you are in a re-buy event, when your chips are gone, so are you. As it is, playing tournament poker requires different strategies than playing ring games, one of which is learning how to change gears while you play.

When Not to Go All In With AK

Ace King, or Big Slick as it is commonly called, is one of the best starting hands in Texas Hold'em, and if they are suited even better. Many hands have been won with these two cards, but there is something about them that causes even the most patient players to throw caution to the wind. It is not for no reason that Big Slick is also jokingly called Anna Kournikova , because it "Looks great, but hardly ever wins."

Bluff Power

Everyone likely understands what a bluff is in the game of poker. When you have a garbage hand and you want to represent that you have a strong hand, you fire at the pot, putting in enough money to make your deception convincing. If your bluff works, other players will lay down their hands, believing you have them beat.

Calling Can Help

Does it bother you when other players call you a "Calling Station?" Are you constantly being told that calling is bad? If you listen to the majority of professional poker players, they will tell you that you shouldn't be calling. If the hand you start with is not good enough to raise with, then you should fold it and save yourself the money. While there certainly is a lot truth to that theory, there are times when calling can help you out.

Weak Foundations

When you are playing limit Texas Hold'em, there is one primary directive that takes precedence over every other bit of poker advice you have ever learned: you need a strong foundation.

Getting the Most out of SNGs

When it comes to playing online poker, one of the best ways to learn the game and make money is by playing tournaments. When you play in cash games it is harder to have a stop limit and you may find yourself getting sucked in over your head especially if you are not playing well and are getting frustrated. When you play tournaments you are only in for your buy-in price; that's it. When it comes to tournaments sit and go have some advantages over multi-table events.

Give Trapping a Try

Trapping gives you the opportunity to let other players gamble on draws or sub best hands. In the end this means more money in your stack. Not to mention a healthy respect from the other players about your poker skills.

When Not to Go All In

When playing No Limit Texas Hold'Em poker one of the biggest weapons in your arsenal is moving all in. At any point in any hand you can declare "all in" and shove your entire stack of chips to the center of the table, putting an incredible amount of pressure on your opponents. The all in move makes No Limit possibly the most dramatic form of poker, which is one reason why it has such an incredible draw. Most poker advices on the topic will tell you to move all in when you have the best hand. While this tactic certainly has its advantages, there are sometimes reasons to not move all in even when you have the best hand.

Make It Stick

If you are like a lot of poker players these days then you are trying to improve your game. Drawn along by the success stories of Moneymaker, Raymer, Hachem and the rest, you may have decided to give turning pro a try, or perhaps you just want to see if you can supplement your income by playing poker online. Either way, if you are trying to become a better poker player, you will need to go to school on your skills.

The Cash Game Sieve

If you are like many new poker players, you likely got your interest piqued by Poker TV; either you watched the artificial drama of the World Poker Tour or the down home competition of the World Series of Poker, or even the shenanigans of the crew on the Celebrity Poker Showdown show. Either way your first introduction to online poker may have been the online poker tournament. In a tournament you buy in and then you get around a thousand dollars of tournament chips. The top so many players get paid. Then you might have thought you would try a hand at cash games, and found yourself crying yourself to sleep a few hours later as your entire bankroll was depleted; what happened? You fell prey to the Cash Game Sieve.

Strategy for Learning Poker - Write a Book

Here is a novel idea for learning how to play poker -- write a book about it. Okay, writing a full-fledged poker strategy book might be beyond your means at this point, but that doesn't mean you can't do some poker writing to help cement the lessons you have learned.

The Cash Game Walk Away

Poker is one of those odd games where you win by losing. Not literally -- whether it is a tournament poker game or a cash game, you still want to get all the chips or all the money. However, if you consider folding a bad hand to be losing that hand, than the majority of your success in any given game will come from losing.

Calling Momentum

There is a difference between being in a zone, and getting caught in a rhythm. Smart salesman, the kind who gets you to put your name down on the condo package after a two hour tour of property, even though your better judgment tales you not to, know all about something called the "yes momentum." This is a sort of rhythm that gets the customer into the habit of saying "yes." The psychology behind this technique suggests that someone in a yes momentum is much more likely to say yes to any given question than someone who has been saying no all along. This is same idea comes into play with a "calling momentum."

Visualization and Poker

Anyone who caught the most recent Winter Olympics may have noticed an interesting sort of dance taking place among the downhill skiers waiting for their shot on the slopes. The Olympians would stand, with their eyes closed, and wave their arms in an undulating motion, their head and body rocking from side to side. No, they weren't in the throes of religious rapture or rocking to a hidden iPod; they were visualizing the course. Sports coaches throughout the years have touted the power of visualization and its impact on the performance of their athletes. The same techniques could be used to improve your poker game.

Demand an Edge

Winners demand an edge. There's no question about it -- a person who is honestly dedicated to winning is going to demand an edge in whatever they are doing. If they don't have an edge, they simply won't play. This may fly in the face of the concepts of good sportsmanship and "giving it the old college try," but if you want to be a winner in poker you need to demand an edge. This idea is not completely new -- it builds on the whole concept of the successful poker player being a disciplined individual.

Consistency in Poker

You've heard it probably a thousand times: poker is a game that is all about making good decisions. You've likely hammered that thought into your head, or perhaps written it on a sticky note and posted it on your computer monitor, and if you have given it a shot, then you have learned something important -- it can be really hard to do.

Tournament Stacks vs Small Bankrolls

There are many differences between tournament play and cash play when it comes to poker, even if the game is the same. A No Limit Texas Hold 'em tournament for example requires different strategy than a No Limit Texas Hold 'em cash game. The differences include not only your strategy but your approach, especially the way you approach managing your money.

Time vs Money in Poker

Why do you play poker? If you haven't taken the time to answer this question, you should -- this answer is one of the most important in order to understand your own winning strategies. If you have, and the answer is to pass the time, than this article is not necessarily for you. If your answer was different, however, and you are a busy individual with so many hours a week in which to play your favorite card game, then pay close attention, as you may learn something helpful.

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