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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Playing Bigger Hands

It is always great to see a big pocket pair like AA, KK or QQ when you look down at your holecards in Texas Holdem. These top 3 pocket pairs are the best possible hands you can be dealt before the flop, and so you should expect to make a hefty amount of money from them throughout your poker-playing career. However, if you are not careful with these big pairs and if you do not exercise good strategy with them, these types of cards can easily lose you money when not play them correctly.

One of the biggest mistakes novice players make when playing big pairs is that they tend to slowplay them at every opportunity. Whilst it may be a good idea to play very strong hands on the odd occasion in poker, it is far too early to start slowplaying a hand before the flop, and by doing so you will just be allowing your opponents to improve on the flop and on future streets. Therefore whenever you are dealt a big pocket pair you should almost always raise before the flop to thin out the number of opponents and build the pot to increase the amount of money that you can win.

Now although AA, KK and QQ have been lumped into the same category here, I am going to split these hands up into two, and give a few basic strategy tips whilst playing them. I will firstly go through a good strategy for AA, and then I will go through tips on how to play KK and QQ well. The KK and QQ have been grouped together due to the fact that there is the possibility that overcards can appear on the flop, whereas this is not possible whilst holding AA. So lets move onto the strategy for each of these hands…

With a hand like AA, you always want to be looking to raise or re-raise before the flop. It is never good Texas Holdem strategy with AA to limp or simply call a raise because you are missing the opportunity to get more money into the pot with the best hand, and you are giving weaker hands the opportunity to overtake you on the flop. You shouldn’t be worried about the fact that players might fold and you win the pot uncontested at this point, as it is always better to win a small pot than lose a big one.

After the flop you should again look to keep the action flowing by betting and raising. You do not want to give anyone the correct odds to call for any straights, flushes or drawing hands at this point, so make sure you put them to a tough decision for their chips. However, there could be the possibility that one of your opponents has made a better hand than you on the flop, and so you should always be aware of the fact that you may no longer hold the best hand. But in spite of this, you will normally still be ahead and so you should continue to build the pot unless you have reason to believe otherwise.

When playing hands like KK and QQ, you should again be looking to bet and raise before the flop. It is very rare to come up against a better hand before the flop when holding either of these hands, so be happy to be betting and raising to reduce the number of players that will be joining you to see a flop. Many players say that you should never fold KK before the flop because by doing so you are losing money in the long run, and I have to say that I agree. You especially want to be limiting the number of players that you are up against with either of these hands because of the fact that opponents can easily make a better hand than you be hitting an overcard like an

Aces to make a bigger pair.

Now on the flop you will be in one of two situations; you will either be facing overcards or you won’t. If there are no overcards on the flop, you should continue to play the hand like you would do if you were holding aces, as both situations are quite similar. However, playing a big pocket pair when there are overcards on the board can be a little tricky. A good way to play is to bet like you feel you still have the best hand, and then evaluate where you stand after your opponent responds. It is unlikely that you will be winning a big pot any more in this situation, and if the pot does get big it is likely that you will be on the losing end. So be prepared to let the hand go if you come up against a lot of action.

On the final few streets with big pairs you should continue to build the pot unless you are quite sure that you are no longer ahead. If you haven’t improved by the turn or the river, you should remember that you still only hold 1 pair, which is by no means a monster hand. It is important to never get ‘married to the hand’ when you have a big pair, as they are by no means invincible.

Always consider the possibility that your opponent could have a better hand than you if they are also playing aggressively by betting and raising too. It is not easy to lay down a big pair, but you have to learn to do so when you genuinely believe that you no longer hold the winning hand.

Trouble Hands in Texas Holdem

Just as there are many hands in Texas Holdem that will win you a lot of money, there are a number of deceptive hands that may lead you into believing that they are profitable when in real fact they will often lose you decent sums of money from your bankroll. The sooner that you learn about the hands that are costing you dearly, the sooner you can start saving yourself from losing money. This article will address the most common hands that novices play with and highlight the reasons as to why they can be dangerous hands to play.

The ‘any two suited cards’ is a very popular hand that all varieties of beginners like to play. A flush is a pretty strong hand in the game of Holdem, and so if you manage to make one there is good chance that you will win a nice bit of money with it. Therefore many new players to the game will be prepared to enter pots with any two cards as long as they are suited just in an attempt to catch a flush at some point during the hand. There are two reasons as to why playing any two suited cards is dangerous.

Firstly, it is not that much more likely that you will make a flush just because your cards are suited. The probability of making a flush in Holdem is pretty low, and so it does not justify calling bet and raises in an attempt to catch one on the flop. On top of this, amateur players will often continue to call bets and raises with bad pot odds to make a flush on future streets, which just adds to the problem of playing such hands. The second reason is that you can catch half a hand like second pair on the flop, and end up losing money to another player that has formed a better pair than you. So by playing random suited cards you are setting yourself up for two great opportunities to leak money, so don’t do it.

Another type of hand that always manages to cause the beginner poker players a problem is the low connecting cards. These are almost identical to the problems caused by any two suited cards and can help players to lose money over the long run. It is not too likely that you will form a straight every time you enter a pot with connecting cards like 5c 6h, so don’t enter the pot under the false pretences that you will. You will simply be losing more money in the long run, as well as losing money in pots where you catch half a hand and your opponent catches a stronger one. So save yourself some money and fold before the flop.One final hand that amateur players get overly attached to is a rag ace. Rag aces are simply aces that are accompanied by a low ranking holecard below a Ten.

The problem that these hands cause is that players find it difficult to let the hand go after they pair their ace, and so they will often end up losing a lot of (if not all) of their stack to a player that also makes a pair of aces but with a better kicker. The best way to play these types of hands is to exercise a little self-discipline and fold them before the flop. It is unlikely that you will win a big pot with them, but it is likely that you will lose a big one. Save yourself a bit of money by folding and catch out the other amateur players the next time when you hold a stronger ace than them.

Online Poker Versus Online Casino

There are a number of ways for people to satisfy their urge to gamble through gambling sites on the Internet. We surfers can sign up for gambling accounts at the numerous different sites that are available to them and start making bets and wagers in a vast array of gambling games on offer. Two of the most popular forms of online gambling are poker and casino games. Most people are familiar with the game of poker as well as the different forms of casino games, including blackjack, roulette, slots and so on. But how do both of these different forms of online gambling compare to each other?

In general, the casino games are more based on luck and focus on the thrills of wagering money on the roll of a dice or the spin of the roulette wheel, whereas poker involves an element of skill and strategy. There are some games such as Blackjack that allow you to use good strategy using odds and mathematics to improve your chances of winning, but the majority of casino games give you fixed odds, where the odds are more often than not in favour of the house. So although casino games can be very entertaining, if you play for long enough you will find that you will be losing more money than you win in the long run.

This is where online poker is a little different, as it is possible to actually to be a long-term winner. This is because with online poker, you are playing against other players, and not against the house. So therefore if you can employ a successful winning strategy against your opponents, there is no reason why you cant win money. There is obviously an element of luck as with all gambling card games, but there is an overriding element of strategy that allows you to be a long-term winner of the game.

There are a number of different poker variants online for players to choose from, including Texas Holdem, Omaha and Stud. Other less popular games like Razz can also be played online, but you will find the majority of players sat at the above mentioned tables playing for real money. Texas Holdem is by far the most popular out of all the poker variants avaialable due to the large amount of media coverage it receives. Therefore you will find that there are many online poker players looking for Texas Holdem strategy across the Internet and in books in an attempt to take their game to a winning level.

The online poker rooms make money via ‘rake’, which is a small cut of each pot that is built between players. So the poker rooms still make money, even if you do as well. Any wins that you make are coming from your opponent’s pocket, and not from the casinos. Therefore online gambling operators are more than happy to provide online poker rooms to the public.

The fact that you can win money from online poker sites makes online poker a favourite for many online gamblers. However, some can find it tedious and frustrating when the cards do not fall their way, so they stick to online casino to satisfy their gambling needs. Online casino can be great fun and attracts a lot of players because of the fact that the games are so easy to play. However, although you can get lucky from time to time and win money, in the long run you should find that casino games would be taking your money.

Overall, online casino is great for people looking for some quick and easy gambling entertainment. Online poker on the other hand is more suited to people looking to test their ability against opponents, in an attempt to outplay each other and win their money. However, it takes time and good strategy to be able to win money from online poker, which is something that not a lot of people have. But if you have the patience and determination, you may well be a candidate to be a long-term winner in the online poker world.

Understanding Baseball Betting

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Surprisingly MLB baseball betting is not at the forefront of sports betting. Those honors go to football and basketball. Why is this? Part of the reason could be due to the fact that sports bettors by in large are used to playing with spreads. MLB baseball betting doesn't make use of spreads for side betting—expect in the case of the run line. Today, we are going to cruise over the basics of betting on a MLB baseball game.

We will address three main components—Betting on a side, betting on a side with the run line and the over/under line. Betting on a Side For those that don't know, betting on a "side" simply means picking a team to win.

When you wager on MLB baseball, you are betting on the money line and not using a spread—unless you bet on the run line, which will be talked about in a moment. Here's a typical example of a betting opportunity in MLB baseball. Seattle Mariners +110 New York Yankees -120 In the above example, you can pick either the Mariners or the Yankees. The team on the bottom is the home team. If you want to bet on the Yankees, you will need to lay $1.20 for every $1.00 you want to win.

For instance, if you placed a $10 bet on the Yankees and they won, you would get back your $10 plus 8.33 in winnings. On the other hand, you could take the Mariners and get back $1.10 for every $1 wagered. If you wagered $10 on the Mariners and they won, you would get back your $10 plus $11. Either way you play it, the team simply needs to win. Betting on the Run Line

When you wager on the run line, you are either getting or laying 1.5 runs. The run line allows you to change the money figures. For instance, maybe there's a heavy favorite you like, but there's no way you are betting them at -200. You could bet the run line instead and knock that -200 down considerably. Betting on the Over/Under The over/under line is also called a "total" or "totals line."

When you make this wager, you are betting on the combined score of both teams. It's pretty simple. If the line is 8 and you bet the over, you need both teams to combine for 8 or more runs to win (the exact number, 8 in this case, would be a tie and you get your money back). If you bet the under, you need them to score less than the number. Betting on MLB baseball is not only fun, it's profitable too. You now know the basics of how baseball betting works.

The author conducts online casino reviews at his website, See more about Casino Tropez and Western Union Casinos there.

Manage Your Money

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Pick up any good book on gambling and you're bound to find at least a page or two that talks about money management. Some keep it brief while others go into great mathematical detail.

Some books tell you to manage your money by the playing session, other say by the month and still others come up with complex financial systems. Today, I will share with you two general money management systems that will help you regardless of how intricate you wish to take your money management strategy—even if you have none at all. Session Management No matter how detailed you want to get with money management, session management is always a factor. Even the casual gambler should have some sort of session strategy. It's real simple. Before you go to gamble, decide how much money you are willing to lose.

Next, decide how much money you would be happy winning. Be realistic. Answers like "as much as I can" are usually what eventual losers say right before they start. If you are going to risk $100, set a maximum goal at $200.

Doubling your money is not bad. If you are playing the slots or some other game with a big payoff potential, you might go well beyond this in a single moment. However, have a stop point in mind. Here's the critical point. When you have either lost your set amount or won your goal, leave the casino. Many people fail to do this and many end up losing as a result. Seasonal Management If you are a sports bettor, one type of money management strategy that you'll want to think about is seasonal management. This is where you decide how much money you are willing to lose for the entire season.

Even if you don't have all that money in the bank right now, come up with a figure. Keep track of your wagering throughout the season and stop when you've lost the amount you set. What about winning? Well, sports is a different animal. If you are going to use seasonal management and tracking, you will keep on wagering until the season is complete.

You could set a maximum win amount and stop there if you desired, but most sports bettors that use seasonal management only stop when they've lost their set bankroll. There are certainly more complex money management systems out there, but these two concepts can help most gamblers get the job done. When you decide to gamble as a business, then it's time to take money management to the next level.

The author conducts casino ratings online at his website, See more about Casino Tropez and Western Union Casinos there.

Players Club Card

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Every casino in Las Vegas has some sort free players club card. What's this card for? Well, they market it to you, the gambler, as a way to earn stuff, but the real purpose is to track money. However, don't let this stop you from signing up. It's a good idea to sign up for every players club card that you can. It can make you money.

Most casino cards have built in benefits for holders. These benefits end up making you money. For instance, there are casinos here that give cardholders a discount at the buffet. The discount is usually a couple of bucks. Not going to make you rich right? Well, $2 is $2. It's just one of the many features the card holds. Some casinos send mailers to cardholders every week, couple of weeks, or monthly. These mailers contain news, promotion tickets and valuable coupons. They are just for cardholders. For instance, just about every month one casino sends a friend of mine coupons for free Bingo play.

All my friend has to do is show up, redeem the ticket and play for free. That's potentially free money in the bank. Some places send free cash in the mail. Ok, not actual cash notes, but coupons redeemable for free cash. Arizona Charlies is a good casino to sign up with. They said great stuff all the time.

Many casino offer cash back on play. Sure, you need to play a lot in relation to the money you get back, but it's still better than nothing. Like free stuff? I think just about every casino club offers free apparel and other goodies—even trips and cars. Usually, you earn points towards these items. The casino will also hold special points days. Sometimes they giveaway great prizes and the drawings are only open to members of the players club.

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It boils down to this. If you are playing at a casino and not a member of their players club, you are missing out. Here's another great feature and this goes back to the first thing I mentioned—money tracking. It's nice to be able to get a printout of the money you won or lost at any time. Want to deduct gambling losses on your IRS taxes? The printout from the casino will give you legitimate proof. So, the next time you are at a casino, make sure you sign up for their players club before you spend a penny.

Jason A. Martin former casino dealer, professional gambler and Las Vegas insider. You can get your own content, links and marketing at his gambling website marketing website at

Video Poker

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Video poker is a casino game that has much in common with slot machines, but it is a slot machine game combined with the rules of five card draw poker in a very specific manner. Video poker is often considered by many experienced gamblers to be vastly superior to slot machines because of the effect that skilled play has on the potential payback of the machine. While slot machines are programmed to pay back a certain percentage of the money that is fed into the machine, video poker pays back a percentage that can be affected by perfect strategic play.

Video poker games first appeared in the 1970's, but didn't start enjoying widespread popularity until the 1980's, when slot machine manufacturer IGT became involved in the production of video poker games. Many people in casinos who are nervous or intimidated by table games find video poker to be a lot more "friendly" than blackjack or live poker. This is probably because video poker combines the strategic thinking of a table game like blackjack with the solitary playing experience of a slot machine.

Video poker games are easily played. The player wages 1 or more coins in order to get dealt five virtual cards on a computer screen. (A smart player always plays the max bet, usually 5 coins, since the max bet triggers the bigger payoffs on the higher ranked hands.) The player chooses which cards to hold and then draws cards to replace his discarded cards.

The final hand pays out based on the payout table for the particular video game.Popular video poker games include deuces wild and jacks or better, both of which are often played either as single hands or in a multi-hand version, where the player gets to play 3, 5, 10, 50 or even 100 hands of video poker at the same time. Depending on the payout schedule for the different poker hands on a certain machine, the payback percentage on a video poker can be very good indeed. Jacks or better with a "full pay", or the highest standard payback schedule, pays back at 99.5% with perfect play.

A full pay deuces wild machine pays back at 100.7% with perfect play. In actual practice, players who don't play perfectly and make mistakes reduce the practical payback percentage on those machines by 6% or more, making video poker one of the most profitable games in the casino, especially since many video poker players play upwards of 500 hands per hour.

Learning how to play video poker with perfect strategy is not terribly hard to do. There are numerous video poker strategy guides available for sale, and Bob Dancer's excellent tutorials and software teach video poker strategy through a series of both charts and lists of principles that will work effectively for different learning styles.Practicing has become much easier also, now that free video poker games have become so prevalent online.

Games like these allow you to play online with no download and no cost, and they're played using the same rules as the video poker games found in traditional land-based casinos.