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‘Poker Strategy’ Archive

Should you play Poker Tournaments or Cash Games

Poker TournamentsOne of the age-old questions in poker will always be, ‘should I play cash-games or tournaments?’ While there is no easy answer for this question, one answer, the notion that they don’t differ all that much and you can therefore learn both, is potentially harmful. While it’s true that an experienced poker player can jump back and forth between tournaments and cash games, new or struggling players are far better off focusing on just one of these games.

In this article I will take a look at how these two formats differ, and which strategies and player types compliment both tournaments and cash games –which will help you decide which of these two formats is better suited to your individual style of play, or just has more appeal for you than the other..

Poker Tournaments

Playing tournament poker requires a strong, diverse, knowledge base. A tournament player must be proficient playing under a number of different circumstances to excel, since conditions are constantly changing in tournaments. Solid tournament players are adept at each phase of the game, and rely on their lesser skilled brethren to be deficient during certain periods of the tournament; whether it’s the beginning stages, bubble play, or when the tournament becomes short-handed. –In this way tournament players are very similar to mixed-game specialists who simply cannot have a glaring hole in their game.

Additionally, tournaments require a larger bankroll, and some serious mental toughness, since players can have extremely long cold-spells in between big scores. BUT, when a player does make a big tournament score, it’s a big number –tournaments are the “Hare” in the Tortoise and the Hare race.

Poker Cash-games

Unlike tournament players who need to be well-rounded, cash-game players are able to excel at a particular game or format, so instead of being able to seamlessly transition between very different stages of a tournament, and hoping that  their opponents are not as malleable, cash-game players seek out lesser skilled opponents and use their long-term edge to make their money.

Since a cash-game player can re-buy at any point, and is never “eliminated” from the game, the situation that a cash-game player faces on hand number 1 of his session, is just as important as hand number 1,000 (provided the stacks at the table haven’t changed drastically).

Both groups (titan poker tournament players and cash-game players) feel that their chosen path is the more skillful than the other groups, and the point will likely be argued for decades to come. What can be agreed upon is that tournaments and cash-games both require a tremendous amount of skill in order for a player to be successful, but both also require a different skill set than the other –although some core principles will obviously be the same.

Poker language

If you’re new in this card game, you may be confused by some of the terminology used in poker game. It is normal for a beginner, it can be learned easily. Poker language is not that difficult to understand. So here are some pokers terms that often use by poker players.

General Poker terms or language

  • Pot – it is the amount of the money that can be won in a given poker hand.
  • Dealer button – it is a plastic disk use as a marker that indicates which player is the dealer for the current hand.
  • Poker blinds – blinds are forced bets from one or more players, depending on what game you’re playing. There are two kinds of blinds small blinds and big blinds.
  • Antes – these are similar to blinds except that everyone at the table must pay them. It is a forced bet for everyone, but the amount is much smaller than the blinds.
  • Flop – the first three community cards, put out face up all together.
  • All-in – to run out of chips while betting or calling.
  • Slow play – to play a strong hand weakly so more players will stay in the pot.
  • Kicker – when two players have identical poker hands or two pairs and both pairs are the same.
  • Betting actions – this includes folding or pass, betting, calling or agree, raising or agree without raising the bet and checking.
  • Under the gun – this is the position to the left of the big blind which acts first before board cards are dealt.
  • Underdog – referred to a hand not mathematically favored to win a pot.

You may not have all the poker language for the first game but with the help of these terms you should have an easier time entering the world of poker.

Signs of a Good Poker Player

Whether you’re a beginner poker player or not, spotting a good poker player in a game or when choosing a table gives you an advantage over him.  It is better to play it safe and be prepared.  Below are the common signs of what a good poker player does and has.

  • Playing tight. An experienced poker player is educated about the starting hands of poker. This is actually a problem for most players, especially those who fail to use the image they have created during a tight play. Players without this knowledge struggle most during shorthand plays. Most of the time, what used to be a key to winning 10 handed hold em deem to have no chance at all in winning shorthanded just because of the lack of this trait. This is something to really ponder about.

  • Playing selectively aggressive. No one becomes successful without being selectively aggressive at some point in the game. This is even more effective shorthanded. When a good player is in the pot, that’s the time he bets aggressively. That only means that he plays it tight to get into the pot, and then becomes aggressive once he is in it.

  • Variety on his speed of play. Just like in a game of chess, there are decisions that take longer than the other. This means you would have to think things first before making a move. This goes best in heavy games where everyone in the table is actually thinking about every move they do. A good player is able to adjust his play depending on who his opponents are, and the game selection he chose.

  • Plays the same hands differently. This works perfectly with the above point. A good player not only changes his speed of play, he at the same time varies his manner of playing it. This means that this player doesn’t just open raise an ace from any position unless maybe if the blinds or the table are tight. Just remember though that the most common mistake for most shorthanded players is raising any ace from any position. The point here is to know when not to and when you should do so.

  • Folding his blinds. It might sound a little odd but almost 30% of the players defend their blinds whole heartedly. This is an aspect in Poker that one should realize. The aim of the game, if you still remember is to gain more chips. This means that you should learn to use the chips to your maximum advantage. Wasting chips would get you nowhere.

These tips may be as simple as it may seem, but knowing how to spot it from a good player gives you an upper hand because you will be able to prepare yourself and be able to make the appropriate moves against him.  When you’ve spotted who the good player is, or Signs of a Good Poker Player, or if you’re in a game with one, you will be able to adjust your play accordingly.

Tips for Poker Beginners

Tips for Poker Beginners

Before you even begin playing poker, there are some tips you should consider to avoid losing so much from the game.  Make sure that you follow and study the guidelines below, and equip yourself for your game ahead.

Remember:

Not to play a game where you will lose more money than you can afford.

Everyone knows that poker involves an element of luck no matter how good you are in it.  See, even the best poker players around experience an unlucky streak once in awhile in several games.  It’s not unusual at all hearing stories of great players going on a cold streak.  But the idea here isn’t about the losses, it’s all about how they handle these losses and still maintain a profit at the end of the year.  What’s their secret?   It’s actually very simple.  These players make sure that they have enough money to weather these unlucky streaks.  In other words, you really shouldn’t push your luck putting all your money in just one game.  Make sure that you’ll have enough savings that would keep you going the rest of the game, or the year.  Keep in mind that the more you know that you have money properly bankrolled and all that, the more comfortable and confident you will be along any game.  Maintain a regular limit because scared money is already considered as lost money.  Even the experts agree that a player needs to at least have enough money in your bankroll to account for 300 big blinds in the game you are playing, and at least 20 full buy ins for big bet games like no limit and pot limit.

Know your spots.

This is all about your game selection strategy.  The tip here is to make sure that you’re playing in a game where you know that there isn’t too much competition or that the players won’t play as well as you do.  Having an idea about whom you’re playing with truly is a plus.  So before proceeding to sit on a table, try to analyze and observe a few games first just to become familiar with the players.  For example, imagine if the poker’s top ten players decided to play with each other every day, wouldn’t that put the tenth place player on the losing end all the time?  Thus the need to change tables and knowing the best one that would suit you will help a lot on whether you’ll win or not.

Never involve yourself in a game if your head is not in its place.

Just like any other sports or game around, it is never beneficial if you join in on it in a terrible mood or state.  So if you’ve just had a fight with your wife, had a very stressful day, been drinking or has done drugs, it’s best that you stay out of any poker game for the time being.  Remember that poker is a game that needs concentration or focus.  When you’re distracted, it’s guaranteed that you won’t be able to play your best.  You’ll probably make stupid calls and lose buy in after buy in, and will be throwing money recklessly.  So chances are, you’ll lose, end up agitated and might even pick a fight with your co-players.  Be careful not to make a scene and simply stay at home or just watch the game when you’re not in the right state to play in it to avoid all the trouble and the consequences that goes with a bad mood.

And lastly,

Don’t over bluff.

Although bluffing seems to be highlighted on televised poker games, it’s really not that much an advantage on the real thing, especially if you over do it.  Learn to reserve those bluffs for worthy causes.  The reason for this is plain and simple: if you bluff too much, you’ll eventually be figured out by your opponents ruining your strategy.

Try to remember these simple tips and make sure that you are emotionally, physically, and of course financially prepared for the game to be assured of not only a probable win, but a fun and exciting time in it too.

Knowing More About Titan Poker at ECPokerTour Malta

One of the most anticipated events of the year is the ECPokerTour or European Poker Tour that happens in Malta every year.

This tournament is quiet known in the poker world and due to its expanding tournaments and prizes at stakes it is guaranteed to be one with big leagues when the time is right. Continue reading Knowing More About Titan Poker at ECPokerTour Malta »

The Ins and Outs of Club Titan Poker

Intro

When you happen to be a member of the prestigious online poker club named Titan Poker then you might be wondering what’s behind the organization. You can pick up a bit about the Club by reading this article. This is short but descriptive on the benefits you can get from signing in to the Club and will help you get started if you’re just a beginner. Continue reading The Ins and Outs of Club Titan Poker »

Pot Limit Omaha: Beginner’s Guide Part 2 – Dealing With a Maniac

A maniac in the poker table can evoke varying responses on its occupants – several players will take pleasure in their aggressiveness, others will feel threatened making them play poorly. It may sound strange to you but a lot of poker players don’t enjoy having a maniac on their table, they are not ready to be on a war of raises heads-up against a maniac unless they have an AAxx hand. They protest having this kind of action player in their midst instead of welcoming the change.

I’ll be using the next profile of a maniac in the subsequent examples: A maniac who raises and re-raises most of the time including the first round of betting. He only wants to win it all before the flop shows that’s why he’s showing such kind of aggressiveness. Continue reading Pot Limit Omaha: Beginner’s Guide Part 2 – Dealing With a Maniac »

Finding the Most Excellent Poker Games Online

The finest thing about playing poker online is that you get to choose from dozens of poker variants all the time. Poker players have a freedom to select the best tables, joining the finest waiting list and even check out the best sites where they can play. You only need to do some research and patience to find out the best poker games online. Continue reading Finding the Most Excellent Poker Games Online »

Studying Pot Limit Omaha Poker: Thoughts in Pre-flop PLO

The first part of this series talks about the beginning hands in PLO being close to each other in conditions of value. It’s not sensible to place a large part of your pot if you don’t have a big hand to contend with. The reason for this thought is that anything may pop when the flop is turned and not all the time you’re not on the positive side of luck.

You may want to raise your bet if you think you have a better hand but it’s recommended not to place more than 10% of your stack during pre-flop. Only when you have an AAxx or KK/QQ hand that you can bet more than that. Continue reading Studying Pot Limit Omaha Poker: Thoughts in Pre-flop PLO »

Knowing Your Way in Pot Limit Omaha Part 1: A Short Description of PLO

Pot Limit Omaha is a poker variant that is slowly gaining it’s much deserve fame in the world of poker. It’s been in the poker rooms of Europe and high stakes poker games for a long time and because of the accessibility of low stakes action in the Internet PLO is becoming a house hold name.

But prior to knowing the strategies needed to win PLO you need to know the idea behind the game and how it is dissimilar to other poker games. Continue reading Knowing Your Way in Pot Limit Omaha Part 1: A Short Description of PLO »

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