Experience, Improvement

Scared money don’t make money

10As the title suggests, scared money don’t make money.

I will be writing about a hand that I experienced recently.

My hand is 7 and 6 of clubs. The round starts by a player in mid position raising the bet to $13 pre-flop. After the action moves around the table, there are 5 total players in the hand.

The flop comes out 7Spades, 5Spades, 4Spades. Action begins and moves to the player who had raised pre-flop. He bets $15. When the action comes to me, I re-raise him $50, confident that no players made a pair on the board or have 2 spades in his hand completing a flush. I had a strong feeling everyone was chasing a flush with one spade in their hand or had overcards. The action moves to the player next to me and he re-raises it again to $150. The rest of the players fold and the action is on me to respond to the re-raise.

Continue reading “Scared money don’t make money”

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Experience, Improvement

Don’t Assume You’re A Loser

7After posting the bluffing article, theres no more appropriate time to write this article.

Don’t assume you’re a loser.

Strange name right? Well, don’t assume you have a losing hand. Don’t assume the opponent has the best cards.

For example, you have K J. The flop comes out A K 3. You have the second best pair available. Your opponent bets. You’d be inclined to believe he has an Ace right? Don’t. This is a trap for a lot of players. They get into the nasty habit that the opponent has the better hand.

This will cause you to lose more hands in the long run that you otherwise would’ve won. Never let people walk over you. Never let them get away with bluffing you. Stand up for yourself and test them. If your opponent bets, then you raise. Check his reaction and his actions and determine whether he really has Aces or not.

Imagine if that same opponent had 7 2 and you folded. You would have beat him cause he didn’t have anything. You would feel pretty silly, right? Punish people who think they can walk all over  you. Don’t ever assume you’re the loser. Test for yourself whether the opponent is being honest with their hand or not.

I used to be part of the crowd that allowed people to walk all over them. Sometimes, you just have to take a stand, re-raise them or all-in, even if you have a small stalk. It not only shows aggression, that people will fold to, but also show others you will not allow others to walk all over you.

And that, is the most important trait to have in poker.

 

 

 

 

 

Experience, Round Actions

The Art of Bluffing

6In a table of 8 players, the chances of you actually winning a hand are slight to none. Over the long run, each player should win 12.5% of their hands. Thats not very high. Thats also a lot of time invested.

So how does one increase their percentages? With the art of bluffing.

When you can bluff effectively when an opponent has a medium level hand, you can potentially steal a pot that he/she would’ve otherwise won. Effective bluffing can help raise your winning percentages from 12.5% to 20%, which is significantly higher.

Bluffing is acting like you have a bigger hand than you do. More than that, it is saying you have a better hand than the opponent. In essence, you have to bet an amount that the opponent wouldn’t feel comfortable calling with their hand, which is only effective when they have a medium or low tier hand.

For example, you have a 7 2 hand while your opponent has a K J hand. The flop comes out A K 2. The opponent has a better hand than you because they hit a pair and you didn’t. But, you can bet accordingly so the opponent might think you have a pair Aces. Imagine if you all inned. Would they be willing to risk all their chips just to call the second best hand? Likely not. And with that, you would have beaten an opponent with a losing hand. You can see why this can be dangerously effective in trying to increase your win percentages.

Of course, you have to determine the type of hand your opponent has before attempting this. If you bluff when the opponent has the best hand possible, then you are at risk of losing alot of chips. Or even if you bluff excessively, it can become apparent to the opponent and they can take advantage of you. This makes sense though.

With great power comes great responsibility. Bluffing is an art. And as all art, it takes time to perfect.

Experience, Improvement

Bad Beats

4Bad beat: a situation in which a player with the better hand bets and another player with the clearly weaker hands makes a bad call, lucks out with the community cards, and wins the hand.

How players handle bad beats will determine the type of player they are. If one reacts negatively to bad beats and starts raging or tilting, they are more prone to make poor decisions later on in the game and end up losing money they shouldn’t have. If one reacts positively, then he will have increased chances of maintaining a peak performance during the game. Poker is a game that requires immense concentration and focus.

What do you do when you get a bad beat?

The only viable option is that you accept that it happens to everyone. Not only you. It happens to professional players too. It can be hard to deal with a bad beat if you take it personally. Bad beats happen due to the variance in Poker. Everyone will have good runs and bad runs. Poker is not a 100% skill based game.  If a player is feeling lucky, then they will make a bad call and luck out.

Experience, Improvement

Tanking the Heat

3Anyone who has played Poker knows the feeling when someone makes a bet that outsizes your entire stack of chips, forcing you to go all-in if you want to proceed in the round. It’s an easy situation if you actually have a bad hand. All you have to do is lay down your hand and move onto the next hand. It’s also an easy situation if you have the best possible hand. You call the player’s bet and rack in some easy money.

But what do you do if you have a good but not great hand?

You’ll probably “tank” for a while, taking a period of time to critically analyze the situation and determine the correct decision.

This is normal. There will be huge heaps of pressure on you. You will double your stack and possibly more, or lose it all. These are the moments that define a player. These are the moments you analyze your opponent’s “actions” up until this moment and their overall demeanor. These are the moments you try to narrow your opponents hand down and try to figure out what two cards they have. You try to determine who has the better hand between you two or if they are bluffing.

It is at the end of this long silence you will come out a smarter player with another learned experience under his/her belt. A smarter player with double his/her stack or one forced to make the walk of shame, leaving the table with no chips left to play.

Regardless the results, these are the situations poker players yearn to be in as they have the potential for huge winnings.

Experience, Improvement, Round Actions

Why Play Poker?

2Now that we are a little familiar as to what Poker is, why should we play it?

The least important common reason in playing Poker is for the money. Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of players do not play to make money. It takes constant focus in order to make money from poker. Most people simply aren’t interested in that as it takes too much concentration. While winning money is never a bad thing, it isn’t their primary focus.

The average poker player plays casually. They play Poker as they would any other hobby. We use it to bond with friends, family, and even strangers. It is a past time that they can play in the background while catching up with friends, bantering and having a good time.

In a more serious setting, it is also a game in which we use to test our wits versus others. The act of betting, raising, and bluffing to force an opponent to fold away their hand is so satisfying. There  is a sense of excitement when pitting oneself with another person and seeing who will blink first. After all, who doesn’t like a challenge from time to time?

 

Experience, Improvement, Round Actions

What is Poker: Texas Hold’ em?

hiPoker: Texas Hold’em is a card game found in all casinos that mixes luck and skill. In it, players attempt to create the best 5 card hand with their 2 given cards and the 5 community cards. Texas Hold’ em, one of the many variations of Poker, uses a common hand strength hierarchy that many other card games follow.

Like other card games, there is luck involved in taking home victories in Poker. However, what draws it apart from other card games is that it’s a skill reliant game. It pits you against other players, which automatically cuts out the house advantage that is found in nearly every game at casinos. It is the only game that a player, if he has the ability to outmaneuver his opponents, can truly profit from.

Continue reading “What is Poker: Texas Hold’ em?”