Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Sorry all been in the hospital for a few days but back again to update.  So all I have to say is tat poker is a game of skill, not chance.  Tomorrow I will  post or link a few reports that prove this, however as for today if you are concerned about the UIGEA banning poker please take action.  For those of you unaware the UIGEA is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, this was slipped in t the last minute into the SAFE Port Act.  If you support internet gaming as an alternative to casino gambling please visit theppa.org/.  One of many arguements is that we should be allowed to enjoy these things in our home, almost all states support in home card games as a social event, even for money.  By making internet gambling illegal a small population is going to continue to find a way to play the game they love (I understand you can play for free, but that is just a game of everyone going all in, and seeing who has the best cards, no skill involved).  By supporting the PPA you support legalization and REGULATION of the market so we don't have a repeat of the Ultimate Bet scandal.  I will also be making a post on the Super User scandals and how they effectively cheated (basically had advanced knowledge of hands being played), stole 20M+ and because the market is unregulated the corporations and players involved will never be able to reclaim that money.

Friday, February 18, 2011

First Time At a Table: Very Basic Overview

     This is merely a break down of the flow of events to expect the first time at a table.  This is again very simple basic stuff that a current player could ignore.  Lets assume 9 players just sat down at a table for a "cash game", all 9 players will be dealt a card, high card will choose the dealer.  The person to the dealers left will post small blind, and to his left would be big blind.  The dealer will start by dealing 1 card to the small blind, one to the big blind, one to the person to his left, and so on clockwise; this will be done twice so each player has 2 cards.  There is a round of betting.  The dealer will then Burn* (remove from the current hand) the top card and deal three cards to the table face up (The Flop), these are the community cards.  There is a second round of betting after which another card is burned and then one is placed face up with the community cards (Fourth Street).  There is another round of betting followed by burning one more card and laying a fifth community card (The River).  From here there is a final round of betting  at the end of which the last person to raise shows his cards followed by subsequent players still playing revealing their hands (Showdown), if any player is beat by an already revealed hand  he may Muck, or not show, his hand.  The best 5 card hand of the 5 community cards and 2 personal cards wins the pot.  If at any point there is only one player left in the pot the hand ends and that player wins that hand.

    *The reason for burning a card is so that if there were any visible markings to tip off a player they would be unable to cheat.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Table Position

     I am not going to go too deep into table position (yet), I just want to make people aware of it.  While to those who have player poker a bit it is often a concept seen as common sense but to a fresh player it is not so clear.  All that table position means is where you are in relation to the dealer and the blinds.  After getting cards the person to the dealers left is the first to act, this person is "Under The Gun".  The further you are from this seat the weaker the hand you are allowed to play, it is as simple as that.  If there is a 9 person table and we count clockwise with the person under the gun as 1 and the big blind as number 9 we can break the seating into 3 categories.  If at any point you hear me mention early sets it is seat 1,2 or 3.  Mid seats are 4,5,and 6. Late seats are 7,8, and 9, with 9 being the big blind and last to act.  As an example it may be worth playing in a pair of 3's from a late seat but not from an early seat.  The problem with playing a low pair from an early seat is there are 6 or so people to still act and there is a very good chance one of them has a better hand and will raise you, either forcing you out or forcing you top put in more money on a poor hand.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ante? But I Just Posted A Blind

     Ante's are a way too keep a game even more active.  An ante is very simply an amount that every player must put into a pot, even the people posting blinds.  Ante's will be seen in regular games but are very important in tournament play.  An ante becomes important when we have 4 player in a tournament as follows:

Player  A. has 100,000 chips
Player B has 82,000 chips
Player C has 40,000 chips 
Player D has 8,000 in chips.  
The game is at 1000/2000 so big blind is 2000 small is 1000.  
     With this player D could play 1 in every 10 hands and still stay alive while player A bumps the rest out of the tournament.  With an ante in place every player must put 200 additional in the pot.  Player D still has the same odds with winning hands however the longer he waits to get into a hand the less chips he has to gamble with, therefore he is forced into a lot more action.  Player D can no longer stay alive playing 1 in ever 10 hands because doubling up on hand 1 would be  8,000x2=16,000, where doubling up on hand 4 would be only 7,200x2=14,400, a drastic difference.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What is a Blind?

     A blind is a bet that is placed before the cards are shown this is to prevent people from only playing the best hands.  Before getting further into that I need you to understand "The Button".  The Button is a physical marker which denotes which player is the dealer.  In most settings the dealer is supplied by the house and is not a player in the game however the dealer button actively keeps track of the player who would be dealing.
     A trypical betting structure may be 1/2 if using chips (I will be referring to chips not money if you wish to play for money you may assign the chip value), this would mean that the person to the dealers left is to place 1 chip up before seeing the cards, the person to his left is to place 2 chips.  Betting will go clockwise after cards have been dealt, starting with the player to the left of the big blind, 2 chips (or an ammount equal to the big blind) is the minimum a player may pay to enter into the hand.  By forcing players to put money into a pot before seeing any cards keeps the gave active.
     All action in poker moves clockwise.  The person to the left of the big blind will be big blind next hand, the last big blind will be small blind, the last small blind will be dealer.  In the case of heads-up play (one-on-one) the dealer will also be the big blind.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What is Texas Hold'em

Here is Wikipedia's definition of Texas Hold'em also known as the "Cadillac of Poker":

"Texas hold 'em (also known as hold'em or holdem) is a variation of the standard card game of poker. The game consists of two cards being dealt face down to each player and then five community cards being placed face-up by the dealer—a series of three ("the flop") then two additional single cards ("the turn" and "the river"), with players having the option to check, bet, raise or fold after each deal, i.e. betting may occur prior to the flop, "on the flop", "on the turn", and "on the river"."

     With a pre-flop bet, a bet after the flop, a bet after the turn and a bet after the river there are a lot of opportunities to get money in the pot, scare your opponent away, or throw your money away at a bad hand.  There are two types of limit games (limit meaning your raise is limited), fixed limit and pot limit, while there are others they ave variations of these two.  Fixed limit means you may only bet up to a specific amount, usually twice the size of the blind (blinds will be explained in my next article).   Pot limit you may bet up to the total amount which has already been bet, meaning if the amount in already in the pot is 5,000 chips, you may bet up to 5000 chips; this would now make 10,000 in the pot, so the next player may raise up too 10,000 chips.  I will get more in depth into re-raising limits and betting later on.  No-limit is self explanatory, bet however much you would like at anytime.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Do I Have The Best Hand?

     Hand ranking is essential to poker and since most games revolve around the best 5 card hand that is what I will provide rankings for.  Hands start at the bottom left and and move left then up, one pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight,etc.  If there is no ranking hand then high card decides winner, for example a hand of A9652 vs. a hand of A9675, the later will win.  both hands do not rank and both have the same top card however the forth ranking card in the second hand is a 7 making that the winning hand.  the hands are ranked as such by their rarity, a straight will happen more often than a flush, the difference in frequency will depend on the game.  I will get into probability when I discuss strategy, this is still intro level: assuming you know nothing.

Note: wild cards (req. for a 5 of a kind) will usually only appear in a 5 card draw game however many games vary from location to location.  House rules always apply.

Basics: Poker

     Before I can get into strategy or even get into basic play I need to get into what poker is.  If you are looking for advanced strategy you are in  the wrong place, check back at some other point, for now I want to get all readers on the same page.
     Firstly poker IS a sport, not a physical one, but it IS NOT a game of chance.  Proof for this can be found in various studies on ppa.org.  There are various types of poker 5 card stud, Omaha, Razz, Hold'em,etc.  My game of choice as well as the most popular is no-limit hold'em.  What sets no limit hold'em apart is the fact that at any point all your money can be at risk making this not only a game of mathematics but psychology and BALLS.  Don't have balls? then don't play no limit, play limit, which is pretty much a game of mathematics and proper play.