Less than meets the eye

In online poker assessing the strength of a hand is a matter of skill and experience plays a significant role in making the difference between playable and unplayable cards. Depending on position, table image and the kind of opponents you are facing, the same cards can be both suitable for a call or raise while sometimes they should be discarded immediately. Knowing that the largest pots are not won with premium hands and an average set of cards can greatly improve over the course of flop, turn and river, many poker players start seeing opportunities when there really are none.

Finding reasons to call with hands that are supposed to be folded is one of the main errors that beginners commit and for many of them there is no time to learn from these mistakes. It’s only natural for people to want to think that there is more than meets the eye about the cards they’ve been dealt, especially during those sessions when premium hands evade him completely. Suited connectors are the most difficult ones to play, because in that case position is not the only factor that needs to be taken into consideration.

If you are playing against tight or passive opponents, there is nothing wrong in giving these cards a chance, by simply calling the blinds from early position. The odds are stacked in your favor for nobody to raise, and in these circumstances it is worth paying a small amount for seeing the flop. On the other hand the same cards should be folded even from late position if you know that the button is frequently raising or if players are aggressively protecting their blinds. The bottom line is that when in doubt the right thing to do is folding the hand instead of getting involved.

The alternative to World Series of poker

Many poker players will never get the chance to compete in the World Series of poker, and will have to settle for online tournaments. Whether they lack the funds to pay for the steep buy-in, or don’t like the idea of traveling long distances just to have a chance to play in a major event, they have a couple of alternatives. Every week some of the most important poker companies that operate over the Internet organized large tournaments that reward millions of dollars.

The main winner will cash in on several hundred thousands, but lower tier prizes are also juicy and justify the effort of playing for many hours in a row. The only downside is that unlike tournaments organized by land-based casinos, these events are less glamorous as everyone plays from the comfort of his home. Some of the most popular events are organized during the weekends, which explains why so many players sign-up despite the fact that the buy-ins are not insignificant. A list of the best online casinos for tournaments players can be found at http://www.pokerlistings.com/poker-tournaments.

Those who value the chance of playing against the best players in the world live more than money itself, can also find a solution online. Major poker companies are organizing satellites and their readers will receive a full package for some of the most important competitions in the world. In addition to the buy in for the tournament, they will also receive cash to pay for the accommodation, travel and even pocket money. One would need to go through a series of qualifiers to get that far, but it is still preferable to pay a huge lump amount for buying in.

Spot the fish or you might be it

The poker table is one of the most competitive environments, and even at low stakes you need to have the right attitude, experience and resources to prevail. One will encounter diverse opponents, and the difference between the best and the worst can be significant. Ideally, players should sit down at a poker tables where they are more likely to encounter beginners which are in the poker lingo known as fish. This is why it is so important to channel all your attention towards discovering the fish before the others do.

Although the beginner is fair game and everybody will try to get involved in as many parts as possible against him, is a mistake to overlook the rest of the opponents. It frequently happens that by paying attention to one or two players and ignoring the rest, some people wind up getting pot committed without having a backup plan. Spotting the fish is not as difficult as it might seem, but in order to do this it is important to understand which are the most common mistakes committed by beginners.

Among the leading causes of downswings is the inability to stick to a plan, and change your game style depending on short-term results. The fish is less likely to play conservative poker after winning or losing, because whether his morale is boosted or his patience is depleted, the result is the same. A novice will disregard position or play it poorly, and this is one of the earliest indicators that an experienced player will use to spot the fish. If you play for a long period of time and seem to be unable to detect the fish, then you should better sit out and join another table because you are probably it.

Calculate pot odds each time you draw

It takes some practice to master the art of calculating your outs in real time, but this is not the only thing that a poker player has to be capable of. Knowing exactly which are the chances to win a hand is particularly important when drawing for a flush or straight. You need to know whether it is worth paying to see another card, and only by accurately calculating pot odds one can determine which amounts are worth calling. For instance if you are drawing for an open ended straight and you have roughly one in three chances to make your hand and win, it is not worth calling someone who just bet the pot.

The sooner you start contemplating your pot odds, the less money you will invest in those hands that are not worth playing. On the long run all this money saved compounds and you will find yourself pot committed less often and only when you have some cards to back up an all in. One frequent mistake that players commit is to dismiss their opponents as bluffers and disregard completely the pot odds. Some try to convince themselves that it is worth calling further, because the opponent has a history of bluffing and is probably making another attempt right now.

This kind of wishful thinking is responsible for ruining many bankrolls, so players should be extra careful when choosing implied pot odds over regular pot odds. Making these assumptions is a risky business, especially if you overestimate your abilities to read your opponent, so when in doubt let mathematics guide your decisions. It is better to act in a straightforward manner and focus solely on pot odds when pit against difficult decisions, than to base your actions on instinct.

Choose the right poker table

Assuming that you have a good bankroll management and know exactly which units are the ones that you should be playing, the decision of choosing one poker table over the other appears to be very easy. Many players join the first table that has a free seat, and the only thing they take into consideration is whether they intend to play shorthanded or full ring. While this is not entirely wrong, one can go a step further when selecting the poker table he will be playing the next session. Depending on what style of play suits him, a player should choose a table full of loose or tight opponents to maximize his gains.

Next to each available table you can see statistics being displayed, and facts such as the average pot size and average number of players per flop can prove useful. If the numbers are high, this means that the players at those poker tables are more likely to get involved in many pots and play more aggressively. It is the kind of environment that will make tight aggressive players happy, because they can rest assured that they will get enough action when premium hands will be dealt to them.

http://www.thepokerbank.com/strategy/basic/table-selection/ can help any player looking for information about table selection. There are very few players who are looking for the exact opposite and try to land on tables where the number of tight players is overwhelming. The reason is that these opponents don’t get involved in many pots and this is why winning considerable amounts at these tables is very difficult. It is still a very good way of practicing your loose aggressive poker, because you know for sure that you won’t encounter stiff opposition in most of the hands.