Is Playing Poker Gambling?

One thing I’ve heard almost as much as “xxxx-in river” in poker is this wild statement that playing poker isn’t gambling.

Feel free to tell yourself what you must, but anyone who says that playing Poker isn’t gambling doesn’t have a firm command of the English language.

Many think that education and training somehow makes the game risk-free. If you believe that, I’ve got a piece of land to sell you. Yes, playing Poker is gambling no matter how good you are and how many fish are at the table.

Playing Poker

Gambling is the act of risking anything of value. The risk level doesn’t matter. You could be 99.9% assured of winning and you’d still be gambling. A better statement would be that playing Poker is much less of a gamble than playing the Lotto or Keno.

Remember, you can train as much as you like and you can be the best Poker player in the world, but you’re always putting your chips out there with some degree of risk.

So, educate yourself in the art of Poker and train like there’s no tomorrow. Just don’t forget that your money always has a measure of risk attached to it.

Improving your Online Poker Game

If you want to become a great online poker player than you have to learn to walk before you can, meaning it’s essential that you not only learn the fundamentals – but act on them.

The following are a few things you should look at, decide if you fall victim to – and if so change (and improve your game).

Multitabling

There are many good multitablers out there, however there are many bad ones too. If you are good at it then it can be quite profitable but it really isn’t for everyone.

If you have decided to multitable you really should start tracking your play in a poker tracking software or even just a spreadsheet so that you can find out if you are doing better or worse than when you play at one table.

Don’t beat yourself up about it if you can’t multitable and profit, just find out what makes you money.

If you can multitable well than I highly suggest you invest in a good video card and dual screen monitors – it will make your game that much easier and better.

Online Poker Game

Attention Splitting

If you play poker at the casino your attention is focused only on the the game. However when you play online it can be easy to get distracted by the likes of phones, pagers, TV, instant messaging, other people and a whole load more.

The best thing to do if you are serious about playing poker is to allocate a time slot in which you can play poker uninterrupted. Turn your phone off, unplug the TV and remove all possible distractions – you may be amazed by how much better your game gets.

Auto-Action Buttons

You really should try to use the instant action buttons as little as possible. These buttons are really only made for lazy people or those that are too distracted with other things to pay attention.

Players who use these buttons convey weakness and poor poker skills, demonstrating a lack of interest in their hand. For example a player who insta-checks shows that their hand is not already made.

The only time you really should use these buttons is if you want to send a false message, for example if you want to insta-check to display weakness and entice others to place bets.

Playing Tired

It’s usually a big mistake to play tired. Often the other players at the table will be wide awake and concentrating hard where as if you are falling asleep at the computer than you are at a sever disadvantage.

If you must play tired however than you should do things to keep you awake and alert. Brew some coffee and play some music for example.

Going on Tilt

Going on tilt can be one of the quickest, easiest ways to lose your entire bankroll. One click and you can put your whole bankroll at risk.

The key is to be able to recognize tilt and to have a plan for when you go on it. Some good ideas include taking your frustration out on the the play money tables or in a freeroll. Another idea is to take a break.

Put them into practice.

Some of these might seem simple and obvious but way too many people fail to actually put them into practice. If you put these fundamental tips into practice you will become a better poker player.

Assumptions Not to Make in Poker

It’s easy to make assumptions playing poker and many players have many different pre-determined assumptions when they sit down at a table that only harm their game. Good players are able to recognize these assumptions and overcome them. Here is a list of the most common ones.

The Assumption that every other player is an idiot.

It’s not uncommon for great poker players to sit down at a poker table already assuming that they are the best player at the table, this can be a good thing too as it provides them with the confidence to make reads, plays, calls and folds that weaker players would not.

However there is a huge difference between believing that you are the best player at the table and believing that all of the other players are bad players.

No matter what stake level you play at there are always going to be some good players, it just so happens that there are more of them at the higher stakes tables. If you automatically assume that everyone else at the table is a bad player and hold no respect for them, then it can lead to you making terrible plays.

assumptions playing poker

The Assumption that other players are rational players.

It is a big mistake to assume that everyone plays like you. Many of the poker players in online poker rooms wouldn’t have the faintest clue what pot-odds or fold equity are and will constantly make terrible plays – raising when they should check, playing when they should fold.

Especially at the lower limit tables there are going to be plenty of irrational poker players that play on instince and really have no idea what they’re doing. The trick is to pick out these players (which shouldn’t be too hard) and use that knowledge to your advantage. Let them call rediculous amounts when they have poor hands and their stack will become yours in no time.

The Assumption that you have a table image.

When playing poker at a live situation players will observe the other players with a microscope, looking into their eyes, looking at their plays – going over their game with a fine toothpick. However in online poker people are far more distracted and not observant of others playing style. Some players are multi-tabling and some are doing other things at the same time.

The point is that generally people aren’t going to be watching you that closely. Don’t assume that just because you have played extremally tightly and folded 15 hands in a row that you can make a play at a pot with nothing in your hand and get away with it because of your image. Most people wont have even realized how tightly you’ve played so this is a horrible assumption to make.

The Assumption that nobody else is paying attention to what you do.

On the other hand from the previous assumption don’t assume that nobody is paying any attention to your game. Sure there will be many players out there that will ignore how you are and have played but that doesn’t mean there still wont be some keen poker players examining your game – and usually these are the players that you need to watch out for the most.

The Assumption that you can avoid variance.

No matter how good at poker you are, you will never be able to avoid variance. Even the best poker players in the world go through bad patches. The key to this is simple – play withing your bankroll and stick to it.

Playing outside of your bankroll is one of the quickest ways to send your roll bankrupt.

To summarize, just always remember that when you are joining a poker table you should avoid assumptions at all cost – they can really harm your game.

The Upsides of Buying the Max at a Ring Game

It’s all about winning in poker — and anything that we can do to help you win is something that we have absolutely no problem assisting you with. Approaching poker form multiple angles is really just the name of the game. One question that comes up a lot is: should I really buy in at the max for a ring game, or try to go in for the minimum? The truth is that trying to go short stack could be a damaging move. You’re going to have fewer chips than everyone, so guess where all of the heat is going to be? It’s going to be focused on bringing you down because you have the least amount of chips. Going for the maximum amount of chips is a good thing — it can also not cost you too terribly much if you play low enough stakes.

If you’re doing microlimits (50c/1$), you’ll need $100 in order to have the max on the table. This isn’t too bad, and should be manageable on your bankroll. There are some strong reasons to go with pushing for the maximum.

Buying the Max at a Ring Game

You can definitely make a lot more money having a big stack than a short stack. It allows you to push around players around, go in for pots that the short stack can’t reach, and otherwise pursue a stronger image. Image is everything when it comes to poker. If you can push other players into believing that you’re the top dog, they’ll back out of pots only because they know that you’ll be after them. Of course, this doesn’t give you the right to play stupidly. You have to make sure that you’re not chasing marginal hands and bad pots. You still need to understand pot odds, implied odds, and reverse implied odds.

Sometimes it’s nice to also be able to have your pick of great pots. When you don’t have a lot of money on the game, you have to be so cautious with the type of pots that you chase. This is much different when it comes to having the best stack possible.

Make sure that you’re still turning to the basic tenets of good poker strategy. Playing your poker position to the fullest will let you really get things done in a big way. Why not look into things as soon as possible, as in “right now”? Remember — you can’t get better at poker if you don’t practice!

Texas Holdem Types

In the beginning of Texas Holdem game each poker player is dealt two face-down cards. After that five community cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table and then all Texas Holdem players form the best hand using their two hole cards and the five community cards. In the beginning of the game, the two players at the immediate left of the dealer must place their bets. This bets are called the Small blind and the Big blind. Then each player at the poker table receives his two pocket cards. The player at the immediate left of the Big blind is first to act and he has three options – to call, raise the bet or fold. There are four rounds of betting in Texas Holdem poker and after that the player, holding the highest five-card hand wins the pot.

1) Limit Texas Holdem – in this type of Texas Holdem poker the bets are fixed. In limit games there are small bets and big bets – the small bets are used in the first two betting rounds and the big bets are used in the last two betting rounds. If you want to play this variant of Texas Holdem poker you have to know that the big bets are double the sum of the small bets.

Texas Holdem

2) Pot Limit Texas Holdem – the rules of Pot Limit Texas Holdem are similar as Limit Texas holdem rules. One of the exception is that the maximum bet is equal to the current size of the pot. Every Texas Holdem player at the table may bet or raise any amount of money, up to the amount in the pot. In this variation of Texas Holdem poker there also are minimum and maximum bets, but here all bets and raises must be equal or greater than the previous bet or raise. When you play Pot Limit Texas Holdem you have to remember that the maximum allowable raise is the current size of the pot.

3) No Limit Texas Holdem – in this game there are no maximum bet limits. Every player at the Texas Holdem table can bet as much as he wants. In No Limit game the minimum bet is equal to the amount of the big-blind. You have to know that in No Limit Texas Holdem poker there is no maximum bet, which means that every player may bet or raise any amount of money. The players can even bet all the chips they have in front of them and this is also called “All in”. This makes the game of No Limit Texas Holdem very exciting and it can be very profitable for all expert poker players.