Friday, October 23, 2009

Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold'em - Winning With Position

When playing Texas Hold'em, one of the most important factors to consider is your table position. It is also one of the most overlooked elements in a new player's game. Your position in poker is where you are sitting relative to the "button". As the button rotates every hand, so does your position. Whether or not you decide to play a hand and how you play it should always be heavily influenced be your position.

There are basically 4 positions in Texas Hold'em. These are early position, middle position, late position, and the blinds. Most people consider the blinds late position pre-flop and early post flop, but I prefer to list them as their own separate position for the sake of simplicity. Let's look at the 4 positions and how they should affect your game. Keep in mind, these are fundamental rules and specific circumstances will change the way you play hands in different situations.

Early position in Hold'em is the two positions just to the left of the big blind (BB). This is when you need to be the most careful. Before the flop (first set of community cards) is dealt early position players are first to act. That means that everyone gets to see what you do before they have to do anything. You should petty much stick to playing premium hands in early position. Playing marginal hands here can easily wind up with you trapped in a hand against a monster. I recommend raising with premium made hands (AA, KK, QQ) in early position and raising or limp/re-raising (limping in and re-raising a single raiser) with premium drawing hands (AK, AQ). You should almost always continuation bet the flop unless you know it hit your opponent.

Middle position in Hold'em describes the next two players to act after EP. MP is played a lot like EP, except that you can open up your starting hand selection just a little. Add JJ and suited AJ to the mix here, but be prepared to bow out if things get scary. If an EP player raises, you should fold all but premium hands. If an EP player limps, be careful. He could easily be limping with AK or AQ.

Late position is the player on the button and the player just to the right of the button (called the cut-off position). In Texas Hold'em, late position is king. Here is where you get to open up your game a bit. You can add a much bigger range of starting hands to your arsenal. In fact, if the table folds around to you in late position, you should be raising with any two cards that have good post flop potential. Suited J-10, 88, and suited A9 all start to look really good in late position. You have already seen most of the players act, so you get to use their actions against them. You also get to act after them in the later betting rounds, which gives you an opportunity to outplay them.

One of the most difficult positions to play in Texas Hold'em is the small and big blinds. You already have chips committed to the pot before it is your turn to act and everyone is trying to raise your blind. The good news is that you often have the correct pot odds to call raises, since you already have in the pot. The bad news is that unless you are really really good at playing from the blinds, your position will put you at too big a disadvantage to be able to outplay your opponent post flop. In less you can see a flop cheaply, or have premium hole cards, I would fold.

Texas Hold'em is really all about position. Have a little patience and play according to your position and you can be a winner at the Hold'em table. Good luck!

By: Steve Schafer

Before you play another tournament, make sure you head on over to Steve's Poker Strategies site for more great poker winning tips.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Online Blackjack Game - Learn to Play Better
By Anthony Burgos

Online Blackjack game gives you all the fun that you get from the table version of the game in a real casino. In fact, the facilities that come up with online blackjack game is much more than the table version of the game. Bonuses offered by online casinos to play online blackjack are very lucrative. In addition, free blackjack games are also offered by the online casinos, which are absent in most land based casinos. These free games help a new player to practice and consequently master the game to play like a professional.

Game Rules

Basic rules of online blackjack game are similar to that of the land based one. Every player playing online blackjack has the goal of achieving a hand with a figure as close as twenty-one as possible. But at the same time a player must keep in mind that the figure should not cross the twenty-one mark.

Some of the most important rules to play the game online are given below
The online blackjack game is played with a deck of fifty-two cards (excluding joker).

Multiple deck game is also played where more than one deck of card is used. A multiple deck online blackjack game can include anything between 2 to 8 decks.To play internet blackjack, a special form or design of table is used. A dealer is required in this game. In the online version, a specially designed software does all the works done by a dealer in a land based casino.

Limits of the online blackjack game must be printed on the specially designed blackjack table. Normally, there are two types of limits:
"Dealer must draw on 16 and stand on all 17's", or
"Blackjack pays 3 to 2"

You can bet in a blackjack table through chips, which are in turn available from the dealers. You need to buy the chips from the person who is dealing.

Different chips have different value:
A white chip values USD1
A red chip will cost you USD5
A green chip has the denomination of USD25
Black chips cost USD100.

Every table has its own minimum and maximum betting limit. Generally, the difference between the maximum and the minimum bet has a pre-assigned limit. The maximum bet is generally 10 - 20 times than the minimum one. Players in an online version of the game don't play against each other, rather they play against the dealer.

Values of different cards in a blackjack game:
Value of "Ace" is either 1 or 11, depending upon the choice of the payer
Value of "Jack" is 10
"Queen" value is 10
Value of "King" is also 10 points
Cards from 2 to 10 have the value equal to the face value of the card

Play Online Blackjack - Basic Playing Norms
Online blackjack game starts with the dealing of cards:
1.The dealer receives 2 cards, and
2.Each player also receives 2 cards

Cards of each player is played "face up" but in case of the dealer one of the card remains "face up" and the other "face down".

In any opening deal, the best hand is the one having one card of ace along with a card of 10 points. This combination of card is known as "twenty-one" or "blackjack". If a player possesses this hand then he/she automatically wins the game. But if the same combination of card is also possessed by the dealer along with the player then player gets a "push". Now, if the dealer possesses a "blackjack" combination of card and at the same time any player in the online blackjack game doesn't possess the combination then the player loses immediately.

Anthony Burgos is an online gambling aficionado. He has been playing online blackjack game from a very early age and has mastered the game. He is a professional gambler and lately has started to write articles to propagate the knowledge on the ways to play online blackjack.