Love Poker? Then you've come to the right place. My life is about poker poker and more poker and on these pages you'll find the very best information on the best online poker rooms as well as the best online casinos that offer video poker.
I play online poker everyday and can tell you that not every site is created equal. The poker rooms and online casinos, including USA Casinos, we list on poker poker and more poker, are the ones I play on myself and trust.
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Thanks to the recent boom in Texas Holdem Poker’s popularity, there are now more resources than ever for a new player trying to learn the game. There are hundreds of books, DVDs and internet poker devoted to teaching the novice player the fundamentals of the game. Many of these books are written by poker world winners in poker Canada, US, Europe and the whole world. While most of these instructional materials cover the basic set up of the game, the majority of the information provided revolves around strategy. Although most poker players now know basic game play and what makes a winning hand, there are still several rules that often become heated issues of debate at even the most friendly of home games. Learning to play online is easy, just do a freeroll search and find games that are free to enter but offer real money cash prizes. Many poker players also enjoy playing video poker both online and at live casinos. It's not uncommon to hear about a poker pro winning large sums by playing the popular game.
Show One Show All
Just as the title indicates, if you show one player your cards you have to show everyone. Normally in a friendly home game this doesn’t become an issue, but in an online casino card room this has been known to be a source of friction. The theory is that showing one person your cards will give that person an unfair advantage over the other players at the table. As with most of the rules in this list, this rule is in place to ensure that all players are given the same information and that the playing field stays level.
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Minimum Raise in No Limit Play
The term No Limit can be misleading to some players who think that the game allows you to bet any amount you want at any time. With very rare exceptions, there is almost always a minimum amount you must raise, and the maximum amount is restricted to the amount of money currently in play. Hollywood is wrong, you can’t bet your watch and the keys to your car. The minimum amount you raise in No limit Texas Hold’em must be equal to or greater than the preceding bets or raises during each round of betting. It may be easier just to remember that the amount of a raise can never decrease during a round of betting. What some new players forget is that once a round of betting has ended the minimum bet amount is set back to the amount of the Big Blind. If the blinds are $50 and $100 and you have just called a $5000 bet after the flop, you or your opponent have the right to bet as little as $100 to open the next round of betting. The minimum raise would now be $100 more, or in other words, a total of $200.
Asking To See Another Player’s Cards
There are no rules in regards to asking another player if you could see his or her cards after a hand is over. Common scenes would indicate that you should be polite and not do it too often. However, there are very specific rules when it comes to asking a dealer to expose another player’s cards once a hand is over. If the end of a hand results in a showdown (either the hand is checked down or a bet/raise is called) any player seated at the table can ask the dealer to show an active player’s hand. While this is a right that any player at the table has, it is a right that should be used sparingly. This rule was put in place to prevent collusion; specifically chip dumping. If you ask the dealer to show another players hand, you are in essence saying that you think that player is cheating.
Exposing your Hand
Like many of the rules on this list, whether or not you’re allowed to expose your hand depends greatly on the situation. The general rule is that if you’re playing in a tournament or if players still have yet to act, you may not show your hand. Showing your cards could influence the way someone else still involved in the hand decides to play. Imagine someone in first position raises with pocket Queens. The action folds to you and you go all in with pocket Aces. The action gets around to the button who shows everyone that he is folding pocket Kings. After seeing that the button folded pocket Kings, the player in first position is going to be much less likely to call with his or her QQ. In this scenario, the button’s actions have probably cost you a lot of money.
There is still a lot of debate over whether or not you can show your hand in an attempt to gain some information when only one opponent is left in the hand. In most professional tournaments, exposing your hand could result in a penalty. This rule is not usually enforced in cash games however. Check with the floor person at your local card room before you sit down if you have any reservations or try online gambling.
I have found that many poker players enjoy a game of video poker. Where video poker is definitely not as much of a skill game as poker, it by far, gives you the best odds in any casino, online or brick and mortar. If you play correctly, you can come out ahead almost every single time.
If you don’t know what a string bet is then just watch a poker movie; ANY poker movie. “I’ll see your fifty thousand dollars, and I’ll raise you another two hundred thousand on top of it.” That sounds good in a movie, but in real life you’ve just committed one of poker’s cardinal sins. When betting or raising, you must clearly indicate your action by either placing the bet in front of you in one motion or by stating that you are going to raise. If the pot has been raised to $100 you can not silently place $100 into the pot and then go back to your stack and put out a raise of another $100; the entire $200 must go into the pot in one motion. If at any point you indicate that you are calling the bet, either by placing an equal amount of chips into the pot or by saying something like “see” or “call”, then you are locked into that decision. Check out double hand poker.
When you are betting, raising, folding, or calling, you must be decisive and make your intentions clear. The reason for this rule is to prevent someone from pretending to call in order to get a read on an opponent. In this instance a player could say “I’ll call your ten dollars...” and then after seeing his opponent let out a sigh of relief continue with “... and raise you all in.” That would give the player an unfair advantage, and is a trick still used by some “angle shooters”.
The easiest way to avoid any confusion when raising or calling is to simply state your action. If after some one raises you $50, it is acceptable to say “raise” and then place the $50 into the pot as you ponder the amount of the raise. Placing the $50 into the pot may look like a call, but because you clearly stated your intention ahead of time, you are still able to raise the pot. As you play, try and remember that most players who string bet are doing it by accident and are unaware of the rules. While it is usually not advisable to educate your opponent, this would be an exception where you want to inform your opponent of the correct way to play.
Ultimately, the house is responsible for making and enforcing the rules. If you are playing in a home game where the host has stated that string bets are allowed, then guess what, string bets are allowed. You can politely ask the host to change his mind, and maybe even give him or her valid reasons to support your position. In the end, it’s still up to the host to decide what is and what is not appropriate. When you go casino gambling or to trusted online casinos, the rules will be a little more cut and dry. For a home game you may want to go over the rules before the game begins. If you’re not comfortable with the rules you are presented with, than there is nothing wrong with politely excusing your self from the game and going home to play online poker. Just remember that part of the joy that comes from playing poker is in the camaraderie of playing with friends. If you focus too much on the rules, then you might miss out on the fun.
In our next article we'll discuss other things like omaha strategy and how you can use it to make a small fortune playing online poker using a poker bonus report. Omaha is one of the hardest poker games to master.