Poker etiquette 101 – The ultimate guide to handle any table and opponent

If you’re new to the world of online poker, or if you’ve been playing for a while but still aren’t up to scratch on your poker etiquette, you may feel a little out of your depth. Poker etiquette is something that you have to get right in order to have the best experience, and to get on with your fellow players. You may already know the basics of how to play poker, but if you’re unaware of the unwritten rules when at the table, you could end up looking like an amateur, or annoying other players. This can be frustrating and can also lead to your game being ruined by players that doubt your poker playing skills. This article will focus on poker tips for good etiquette at the table.

Keep Quiet If You’re Not Playing A Hand

If you’ve decided to fold and are no longer playing a particular round, it is very important that you keep your thoughts to yourself as the other players finish the round. Never attempt to give advice to any other players or discuss their hand while you are out of the game, if you do, you’re likely to end up very unpopular.

Keep Foul Language To Yourself

If you are playing with friends at home, then using foul language may be a different story. However, if you are playing online and swearing at players in the chat or being abusive towards them, then you might end up alone on the table. It is very common for players to leave if they are on a table with an abusive player, it ruins the game for everyone involved. Furthermore, if you allow yourself to get wound up and become abusive, then it is likely that your own gameplay will be affected. Many angry players end up putting themselves on tilt out of frustration, (or just to spite other players), and this isn’t helpful.

Be Quiet About Your Folded Hands

Many players use the chat feature to take out their frustration on the game. This often means that players will declare the hands they have folded while still watching the game progress. This is a very inconsiderate thing to do as it can ruin the gameplay for other players that are still in the game. For example, if you announce that you folded an ace and another player in the game is all in with an A-9 against JJ then this is very unfair and will likely earn you a very bad reputation.

Be Alert And Part Of The Game

In online poker, it is very common for players to play on several tables at the same time, this is all well and good if you are paying attention. Frequently, players can be sat on a table waiting for an opponent’s countdown clock to go all the way to zero before their hand is automatically ‘checked’. This is usually because the player’s attention is elsewhere. Most players like each round to go as quickly as possible and usually check/fold/bet/raise within seconds of their turn. Leaving other players on the table waiting around because you’re not focused on the game is very irritating, and it can also be very detrimental to your play. If your focus is elsewhere, then you are likely to make bad decisions, it’s usually best to stick to one or two tables at a time.

Don’t Be A Sore Loser

Sore losers are very prominent in the world of online poker, mainly due to the anonymous nature of the chat feature. Sore losers will often take to the chat box to bad-mouth the play of other players, simply because they lost to them. Being a sore loser is incredibly immature and is likely to get you a bad reputation amongst other players. Always remember that poker is a game, yes there is money on the line but at the end of the day, it’s a game and there will always be winners and losers in any type of game. If you lose, try to take it well, because your next big win may be just around the corner.

Be A Good Winner

In addition to being a sore loser, being a bad winner is also a very unattractive trait to have. Boasting about your win and belittling the actions of other players is equally as childish as being a sore loser. In fact, it may even make you more unpopular, and make other players think twice about playing against you. Never brag about your win or try to make others feel bad about losing, as you could very easily find yourself on the receiving end of such abuse as you lose all your money to that same player in the next hand.

Originating in Finland but soaring in UK casinos – Open-Face Chinese Poker

The Open Face Chinese Poker traces its roots back in the 21st Century from Finland and Russia. Its debut to the poker competition series was an initiative of Russian players in Paris. Open Face Chinese Poker has since become a favourite and highly valued game among many poker players in many parts of the world, especially in the US and UK casinos.

How to Play Open Face Chinese Poker

Prior knowledge in the standard Chinese poker gives you an upper hand on the basics on how to play the Open FacePoker.

Before the game commences, the players agree on the stake each point bears. Each representing themselves, the Open FacePoker has two to four participants. The players place cards on a deck that can hold 52 cards. Two of the arranged poker hands bear five cards while the other consists of three cards. The three cards follow an arrangement from the best to the worst.

Notably, the Open FacePoker aims at enabling players in determining the best course of the deal. The deal is from their favourite backhand comprising of 5 cards; the average hand made up of five tickets as well as the hand consisting of three cards, all from a composition of 13 cards. To ensure that the hands remain valid while playing the Open Face Poker, it is essential that the backhand remains favourable over, or equivalent to the middle hand. Besides, the central hand should be superior to the front hand. A breach in any of these conditions is considered a foul, and you could lose your earned points in the game.

Moreover, wildcards do not appear in playing the Open Face Chinese Poker. The hand types used range from high to low-value start, starting with the royal flush, then the straight flush and 4 of a kind. Moreover, the next is the full houses, the flush straight follows and then the three similar cards. You are not to forget the two pairs, the first one pair as well as the final high card.

Interestingly, one player is set to issue a total of five cards to every player, each card facing down. Starting with the player on the left-hand side of the dealer begins by placing the cards on the deck, and ensures that each falls under the front, middle or otherwise on the backhand. The process applies to all the other players up to the dealer as the last. Once this is over, the players are engaged in a clockwise direction from the one on the dealer’s left side. The cards cannot interchange to another hand, and once the hand is full of the required combination of cards the player cannot add more cards. Playing the Open Face Chinese Poker reaches its climax when each player gunners a total of 13 cards whereby the hands are compared to determine the scores. Afterwards, the deal shifts to the left side following every single hand.

Online Poker Casinos

Various online gaming sites offer very competitive bonuses. You can play poker in online poker casinos and win good money at your convenience. Online Poker Casinos are efficient since the player chooses the favourable schedule to play. Besides, you are likely to have a maximum concentration in the game.

Open Face Chinese Poker Strategy

The joy of winning a game is unimaginable. The ever-growing popularity of the Open Face Chinese Poker has opened an avenue where the professionals in the game share their winning strategies with starters and other players. In most instances, the players manage to set the first five cards correctly. However, you are likely to ruin your chances of winning while organising the choice of hand.

Nevertheless, the most critical strategy you should use in playing the Open Face Poker, and make it to the fantasyland is the ability to set your first five cards well. Besides, you have to be extra keen and play your cards tactically. By doing so, you increase the chances to use a good hand when you land on the right cards. Also, when playing the Open Face Chinese Poker, it is advisable to strategise on your aggressiveness, as well as aim for the highest points. Always give yourself an upper chance early enough in the game to enable you to calculate your moves and decide on the best choice of hand.

Therefore, the Open Face Chinese Poker is a classic game that creates an avenue where players can sharpen their thinking skills. It is easy to learn and play. You should also give it a try and find your luck to the fantasyland.

Blinding your Opponents – Poker Blinds and how to use them

So, you’re learning how to play poker. Maybe you’ve read a tutorial on what a basic strategy in poker might look like, or maybe you’ve signed up to an online casino where poker players tend to congregate. You’re learning quickly, and you’ve got a good idea of the rules, but there’s a few things you’re still not entirely sure of. For example, what are blinds, and why does everyone seem to consider them so important? Don’t worry, it’s really not as complicated as it might seem at first glance. Just keep reading, and all your questions will be answered.

What are they, and why do they exist?

In poker, everyone plays for the same shared pot, hoping to either win on the strength of their hand or bluff their way to victory. But what happens if no one bets? Without something to play for, it becomes tempting to just fold on anything less than a really good hand, or wait for someone else to make the first bet… and when everyone is waiting for someone else to make the first move, the whole game simply grinds to a halt. This is why poker blinds were invented.

Poker blinds are, in effect, mandatory bets; the two people sitting to the dealer’s left are forced to bet a certain amount of money before they even look at their cards, getting the action going and providing at least a modest pot that everyone can play for. As compensation, it is the player to their left who has to make the next move, allowing the two blind players to see how everyone else bets before making their own decision.

How do I tell if I’m the blind?

Most online casinos in the UK will go out of their way to make it very obvious who’s turn it is to be one of the blinds for this round: icons, visual effects and even pop-up text boxes can all be used.

How much will I have to bet?

This is a question with no set answer; high-stakes games will have appropriately large blinds, while more casual games may only require a couple of pounds in a given round. Online Casinos in the UK are legally obligated to make it clear what the blind will be before the game begins, so make sure to check the menu screen before playing.

Most games will feature both a big blind and a small blind. As the name suggests these two hold different values, with the big blind traditionally being twice the value of the small blind.

How can I use the poker blinds to my advantage?

This is the big question, and as with anything to do with poker there are a great many answers out there. It is no exaggeration to say that entire books have been written on the subject of blinds and how to use them, but for now we’ll stick to the basics, proceeding around the table from the blinds and all the way back to the dealer.

If you are one of the blinds, then you’re in a strong position. You’ve made your bet, so now the pressure is on everyone else at the table to decide how best to react. You’ve got plenty of breathing room to watch what they do and calculate your next move, so take full advantage of it.

If you’re an early player, one of the first people to respond after the blinds have been placed, then you’re in a tough position. Everyone is watching you, trying to guess what you’ve got in your hand, and you need to make a decision without knowing what everyone else will do in response. In general, you’ll want to only play the very best hands, calling or folding with anything you’re not entirely confident in.

If you’re a middle player, you’ve got a pretty decent position to work with and can afford to take a few more risks. You’ve seen what the first few players have done and you’ve had a chance to properly consider your hand in some depth, so you can afford to call or raise even with a less impressive hand.

Being a late player, especially the dealer, is perhaps the easiest position in the game. You’re making your decision fully informed on what everyone else has decided to do, and should you choose to raise then everyone else at the table needs to react to you with no time to think. Take full advantage.

All of the above are, of course, general guidelines more than iron-clad rules; there’s always something to be said for switching it up everyone now and then to remain unpredictable. Still, now that you know the basics, why not try them out in a couple of games for yourself? There’s no substitute for experience, after all.

Play safe, and I hope you enjoy yourself.

Guide To Final Table Poker Tournament Success

Playing in a poker tournament is an incredibly exciting way to play poker, although they can be lengthy the financial rewards can be life changing. Getting to the final table in a tournament is a real achievement, but walking away empty handed after investing significant amounts of time and money can be soul destroying. This guide will give you some great final table poker tips to help you on your way to being a poker pro.

Poker Tournament Tips

  1. Getting to the final table it great, but to walk away with money you may need to make some bold moves. Often you will see players being far too cautious on the final table and folding most hands but still being hit with high blinds. If you are on a table with increasing blinds and are being too cautious with the hands you call, your chip stack is just going to whittle down to nothing just covering the blinds. Instead, it is often more useful to identify players that are being too cautious and exploit this. This is much easier to do if you have a chip advantage, as the type of player that is nursing their final chips is very unlikely to call big bets, particularly bets that require them to go all-in.
  2. You should however be aware that most players that call your bets in the final stages of a tournament will probably have good hands. Therefore, elaborate bluffing should be avoided and you should be very cautious in your play.
  3. Be aware of unpredictability, do not invest your entire bankroll in a tournament. It is very easy for you to go from first place to last in a tournament, so it is recommended that you have at least 200 times the buy-in in your bankroll.
  4. Try not to get into big confrontations unless you have a fairly high ranking hand, at this stage in the tournament you have to play strategically to walk away a winner. However, do be aware of the number of players left on the table, with each player that is eliminated your chances increase.

Final Table Poker Strategy

Towards the end of the game you should think about using a poker tournament strategy to maximise your chances of winning. The key to winning a tournament is taking risks, this means that sometimes an aggressive strategy is best on the final table. The blinds and antes will be eating away at your chips stack, therefore sometimes it’s best to go hard or go home. Some players will choose to bet high on lower ranking hands which usually results in intimidating other competitors in to folding. Remember that you don’t need to have a high card or pair in your hand before the flop to be in with a good chance of winning. Suited connectors have good potential to create a flush or straight after the community cards have been revealed, in a tournament situation having suited connectors in your hand should not be dismissed.

A Passive Strategy

Some players are content with placing in third or fourth place in a tournament and winning a smaller amount of chips. If this is your goal, then you may wish to consider using a passive strategy and holding tight at the final stretch. Although this does come with its risks, you are likely to reach your goal if you wait for other players to go all-in and take this opportunity to fold. When more than one player goes all-in, it is very likely that at least one player will be eliminated from the tournament after the round. Always be aware of blinds and antes however and don’t let your chip stack suffer too much by being way too cautious, take risks, just calculated ones.

Be Aware Of Your Style

Your betting style in poker is very important when it comes to being unreadable to other players. Try to vary your betting style and don’t perform the same moves too often. For example, if you are the type of player that bets the pot when you have a strong hand every time, other players will be able to easily read you. Instead, consider mixing it up a bit by betting small, half pots, or checking and varying these actions with each hand. This is not as important in earlier stages of the tournament, but on the final table this could be the difference between you winning or losing.

Omaha Hold’em Poker Guide

If you like poker, then chances are that you are keen to explre a few of the variants of this game. One of the key variants of poker is Omaha Hold’em. Learn how to play this exciting poker variant, and learn a little about its history too, with this handy little guide.

The history of playing poker according to Omaha Hold’em rules

The precise origins of the game of Omaha Hold’em Poker are currently somewhat mysterious, and it is likely that we will never know exactly when and where the first game of this poker variant was played. However, one important moment in the histoy of Omaha Hold’em Poker has been documented: the moment when it was first played in a casino. This was when it was introduced into the Las Vegas Golden Nugget Casino in the 80s by Robert Turner (the casino’s executive) and Bill Boyd (a professional poker player who sadly died in 1997). At the time, the Golden Nugget Casino was a prime location for playing Texas Hold’em Poker. The game that we now know as Omaha Hold’em was initially called Golden Nugget Hold’em, after the casino. Boyd and Turner did not invent the game, however: they simply popularised it. It is likely that they were just formally introducing a game that had already developed in Midwestern cities such as Chicago into a casino setting.

What are the Omaha Hold’em Poker rules?

Five cards are dealt face up on the table. These are called the ‘community cards’ and all players can use them. Then, each player is dealt four of their own cards, which they do not reveal to the other players. These cards are called the ‘hole’ cards. The aim of the game is to create the best possible poker hand using two of your hole cards cards and three of the community cards.

The difference between Omaha Hold’em Poker and Texas Hold’em Poker

The main difference is that in Texas Hold’em, players are only given two hole cards each. By contrast, with Omaha Hold’em Poker rules, each player gets four hole cards and can only select two of them to use in their hand. The result is that with Omaha Hold’em, players use the same number of hole cards in their hand, but they get more autonomy with regard to which hole cards they use. With Texas Hold’em, like it or lump it, you can only play with the hole cards that you are dealt.

Omaha Hold’em tips

Here are a few helpful Omaha Hold’em tips for when you start to play Omaha Hold’em online:

  • Be fluid with your hole cards: do not just choose the two ‘best’ cards to play with in the flop (i.e. the first round) and stick with them. Be prepared to switch your chosen hole cards around in each round.
  • Practice some elementary card counting: try and work out which cards each player is likely to have in their hand by deducting the cards that you know have been dealt out into the community table plus the cards you have in your own hand.
  • Learn your percentages and the statistical possibility of winning with a given hand: you may be excited to get a king among your hole cards but it is statistically almost impossible to build up a royal flush during a game of Omaha Hold’em. Experts suggest that your chances of doing so may be as little as 2%. Lists of probabilities for each building up each type of hand can be found online.
  • Stay within your bankroll at all times: Omaha Hold’em is a game that it is best to play tightly and cautiously. The tighter your play, the better.
  • Don’t get committed to aces before the flop: before the flop (the ‘pre-flop stage’) it’s too early to say if you can develop a good hand with that ace you got dealt right at the start. Keep your mind open.

As the games are quite similer, you will find that you can use many of the strategies that you use to win Texas Hold’em Poker in order to succeed at Omaha Hold’em too.

Enjoy playing Omaha Hold’em online

So many online casinos offer Omaha Hold’em games, both in automated and live dealer formats. Run through the tips above once more, make sure that you know the rules, and then jump right in to a game.

Tips to get better at Hold’em Poker without playing poker

Intuitively, the best way to improve your Texas Hold’Em skills would be to play plenty of Texas Hold’Em Poker. Whilst there is no denying that practice makes perfect, sometimes it pays to think outside the box and to find new ways to up your game. Here are seven handy online poker tips for getting better at Hold’Em without actually playing poker. Do them alongside your regular poker practice to freshen up your strategy.

1. Learn to manage your time

Poker can be addictive – sometimes in a way that is fun, and sometimes in a way that can become draining and hard to shake off. The last thing that you want is to associate poker games with exhaustion and boredom: your mind needs to stay fresh and alert for every game. Learn to manage your time properly by creating a schedule and sticking to it. Interleave your poker games with periods of rest and relaxation, work and designated periods for pursuing other hobbies.

2. Get better at maths

You don’t need to solve the Riemann Hypothesis or become a genius at fluid mechanics, but it does help to brush up on your number crunching abilities. Being able to calculate the statistical possibility of a win with a given set of cards is a huge advantage in poker, as is the ability to guess your opponents’ hands by a process of elimination. Sudoko, mathematical brain teasers and getting into the habit of adding up numbers in your head instead of reaching for a calculator are all effective ways to train the mathematical part of your mind.

3. Get into a winning routine

Do you find that the household chores distract you when you have settled down to play poker? Do you end up feeling tired because you tend to play after a big Sunday lunch or late at night after work? It’s time to reshuffle your routine. Find the optimum time to play: a time when there are no distractions, no guilt from the idea that you should be doing other things (playing online poker secretly whilst at work can be a very bad idea), and no creeping tiredness.

4. Upgrade your tech

Does a slow internet connection make it hard for you to play live dealer poker, introducing annoying time lapses into the most tense and time pressured parts of the game? Do you wish you had a larger, high definition screen so that you could scrutinise other players’ faces more easily? It’s time to go tech shopping!

5. Stop being dependent on your phone

Are you the sort of person who will read a book with their smartphone in their hand, ready to drop that classic novel at a moment’s notice if your phone buzzes with an alert? Do you find it hard to switch your phone off at night? Smartphone dependency can distract us detrimentally no matter what we are doing, and it can really kill our concentration during a game of poker. Switch your phone off when you are playing, or physically place it in another room, and you will find it so much easier to focus on the game.

6. Practice controlling your emotions

‘Poker steam’ is the term used to describe the situation that an individual player can get into when they begin to lose and feelings of despair, rage or distress overwhelm them. Some very bad decisions are made as a result of poker steam, and though the best thing to do when you feel that pressure rising is to fold and step away from the table, very few players find that they can do so. Instead, they chase their losses with bigger and bigger sums, and lose a whole lot more than they should do. Avoid this issue by learning to control your emotions in all aspects of life. Meditate, take up martial arts or get into the habit of talking problems through with your partner or a trusted friend so that they do not explode onto the poker table – whatever works for you.

7. Watch experts play

Sit and watch a few poker guides or filmed tournaments on YouTube and see how the pros play. This will give you plenty of ideas for your next game, and no doubt you will be itching to try out all of the new techniques you have learned at your favourite online casino.

Texas Hold’Em Poker Guide

This game is more focused on betting on cards played. The Texas hold`em poker tournaments are similar to other hold`em games but with a few more rules unique to the tournaments. The game is played on a single table. The number of players ranges from two to ten with the goal of obtaining the highest number of chips for every pot.

The Texas Hold`em Rules

The texas hold’em rules are simple and easy to follow. Players are first given chips after which the dealer is chosen. The dealer is chosen by either dealing every player a single card or by spreading the cards face down on the table for everyone to choose one card. As a rule, the card with the highest value determines the first dealer and player acts as a dealer for only one hand.

The next rule is to put out the small and big blinds. The small blind is put out by the player on the left side of the dealer while the big blind is placed by the player on the left side of the small blind. After the players have the blinds out, they are issued the hole cards for the first hand. A hand consists of one to four betting rounds. The next texas hold’em rules are followed through the betting rounds to the showdown.

Preflop

The players get into the preflop betting round once they have received their hole cards. The rule here is that player on the left side of the big blind starts the betting round by either making a fold, a call or a raise. The next player on the left side follows the same steps and the betting comes to an end when all the players have acted and those still in the game have bet equally for that round. Once this is over, the flop follows.

Flop and Turn rules.

The flop is dealt by putting the top card face down on the table followed by three cards face up and then the first post flop round of betting starts. After the flop, a turn is made; the rule here is that the dealer puts two cards on the table, one face down and another one face up. After this, the third betting round begins.

River and Showdown

When there is more than one player, the river is dealt. The rule is to deal a card face down followed by a single card face up and this marks the last street. Finally, the players enter the showdown. The rules for the showdown are:

  • If a player holds a losing hand, they can reveal their cards or surrender the pot.
  • By default, the player who made a bet when dealing the river becomes the first to reveal their hand.
  • If there was no betting on the river, the player to the left of the dealer opens their hand first and it goes on clockwise around the table.

Texas Poker Hold`em Strategies

It is important to learn every texas hold’em strategy that you come across for yo to be able to win or improve in playing poker. Some of the strategies include but not limited to;

  • Knowing the best position for a player. The dealer is the strongest player since he is the one on the button. The dealer on button plays last and can, therefore, make the best decision considering all the others have played.
  • Keeping an eye on the other players on the table is important in letting you know the trends of other players, estimate the number of chips they have, what their best hand could be, and the cards they have.
  • It is ok to get out after the flop to avoid losing a lot of chips.
  • You should also know when to rise. You can raise big if you have the best hand; this texas hold’em strategy will make weak players fold and the stakes are raised. You can raise if you want to know how strong the hands of other players are.
  • Knowing when to call is also another worthy texas hold’em strategy among other useful strategies.

Texas Poker Hold`em Tips

There are texas hold’em tips that can guide you through playing poker professionally. Selecting the right game and doing a lot of practice are some of the basic tips. The other tips include bluffing at the right time, looking for the opportunity to win, playing within your bankroll, and having the best betting tips always at hand.