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Posts Tagged ‘tips’

The Three Ways to Make Money Playing Poker

Poker is a game full of contradictions and competing ideas, and one of the trickiest balancing acts players will have to manage is betting, and walking the tightrope between getting value and bluffing your opponents. In this article I’ll try to outline the three reasons you should be betting your hand, and how you can find some kind of balance between the two.

The three reasons for betting are: To get value from your best hands; to charge players on a draw; and to bluff better hands out of the pot. Below you will find some basics of these three concepts, and I highly recommend you put some serious thought and study-time into this part of your game.

Value betting

Value-betting is about as simple a concept as you will find; bet your hand when you have a better hand than your opponent. However, knowing when to value-bet and precisely how much you should bet is a bit trickier. Value-betting is one of the hardest parts of the game to master: when to bet, how much to bet, and how to avoid being bluffed.

The less secure you are that you have the best hand means you will want to value-bet less often, and for less money. But there is another reason to avoid going for the jugular too, and this is when you’re not sure your opponent has an overly strong hand.

Charging draws

Unlike value-betting, where your goal is to extract the maximum amount of money from inferior hands, when you are charging players to draw you are trying to give them a reason to call, but make sure they are paying as much as they are willing.

Think of charging for a draw like a negotiation where you can only make a single offer, you want your opponent to either pay the maximum or just walk away. What you don’t want is for your opponent is to haggle with you, lowering your price to where you are only eking out a little bit of profit, essentially giving him the upper hand in the negotiation.


Bluffing is the wild-card in poker. By bluffing a player gives himself a chance to win with the worst hand. Bluffing is what makes poker so different from other strategy games, allowing players to win without having the best hand –imagine a game of backgammon where you are at a huge disadvantage but convince your opponent you are going to win and he should just resign now instead of accepting your double.

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The 3 Most Important Dynamics in Poker: Focus

Before I get into the gist of this series let me start off with a DISCLAIMER: Quantifying the importance of different strategies, concepts, and theories in poker is often a difficult if not impossible undertaking. For one thing, different situations put an emphasis on different strategies and concepts. For instance, when you are playing a 10 Big Blind stack in a tournament the only thing that is of importance is getting your chips in the middle with some fold equity, where playing in a cash game with 200 big blind stacks there are a multitude of factors to consider: position, cards, your opponent’s tendencies, table dynamics, your table image, and so on.

Ok, with the disclaimer out of the way let’s get down to business and discuss the Three most important factors players need to know and utilize while playing poker.

  • A Solid Understanding of the Basic Strategies
  • Focusing at the Poker Tables (Tells)
  • Adjusting to Different Opponents and Table Dynamics

Focusing at the Tables

When you are playing poker you are basically on a fact-finding mission. Reading a newspaper, watching TV, surfing the Internet, or conversing with your neighbor would be like studying for a test and skipping every third paragraph in your text book. When you are playing poker you need to focus on the game, your opponents, and even yourself.

Think of it this way; how many times have you been playing cards and seen a player make a terrible mistake only to lament that they weren’t paying attention and didn’t know the action? It happens multiple times in every session; players don’t realize a pot has been raised, or act out of turn, giving away chips and valuable information.

As a poker player you must focus on the game, just like you must focus on the road when you are driving; there is no way around it and the consequences are deadly.

Of course, it’s not the easiest thing in the world, since poker is a fairly boring game with long moments of inactivity. But there is always something to be learned by focusing on the game and your opponents, not to mention a way of staving off tilt if you keep a close eye on your own mentality throughout the session.

Here are a few ways you can maintain your focus at the poker tables:

  • Leave the distractions at home or turned off: Phones, iPads, etc.
  • When the dealer shuffles the cards at the start of ah and ask yourself, “How did I play the last hand and am I in a good state of mind?”
  • Every time a hand is revealed or you pick-up a piece of physical information on an opponent add a point; every hand that is played where you learn nothing subtract a point, and see how you do at the end of each session.

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The 3 Most Important Dynamics in Poker: Adjustments

Before I get into the gist of this series let me start off with a DISCLAIMER: Quantifying the importance of different strategies, concepts, and theories in poker is often a difficult if not impossible undertaking. For one thing, different situations put an emphasis on different strategies and concepts. For instance, when you are playing a 10 Big Blind stack in a tournament the only thing that is of importance is getting your chips in the middle with some fold equity, where playing in a cash game with 200 big blind stacks there are a multitude of factors to consider: position, cards, your opponent’s tendencies, table dynamics, your table image, and so on.

Ok, with the disclaimer out of the way let’s get down to business and discuss the Three most important factors players need to know and utilize while playing poker.

  • A Solid Understanding of the Basic Strategies
  • Focusing at the Poker Tables (Tells)
  • Adjusting to Different Opponents and Table Dynamics

Adjusting to the Situation

Adjustments are a critical part of being a solid poker player, and the ability to adjust on the fly is generally the mark of a high-level, winning, poker player. In a session of poker players typically sit down ready to play their basic strategy, but as you get deeper and deeper into the session there are multiple adjustments that need to be made:

Adjusting to the Table Dynamics

Everything from where you are sitting to how the table as a whole is playing should be considered when you try to tweak your strategy for maximum profit. A table full of aggressive, fun-loving, raisers needs to be approached differently than a table full of nits.

Additionally, precisely where you are located at the table will also factor into how you play. If you are surrounded by agro players than you’ll need to step with a little more caution and tone-down your aggression with marginal hands. On the other hand if the three players to your immediate left are all relatively tight you can join in on the agro-fun.

Adjusting to particular opponents

A hand like AT can be 3-bet against some opponents, and should be snap-folded against others. Far too many people fail to consider not just what their opponent plays, but how they play post-flop and how they react to different situations.

One example of this is the player who never folds when you re-raise him pre-flop (maybe they just hate being bullied). In this case you should be more inclined to see flops with your marginal to good hands and raise with your powerhouses.

Making adjustments based on your table image

The final determinate in how you should play is your own table image. How your opponents view you is crucial to exploiting them. When you get a good run of cards you can use your new loose/aggressive image to get paid off with your monster hands, as everyone will be looking to take down the bully. When you are card-dead you can start stealing blinds, and if caught you can then switch back to the strategy outlined above and get paid-off with your good hands.

The point is, whatever happens during a hand (whether you win five hands in a row without a showdown or get caught playing 48s for a raise) you can then use it to your advantage.

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The 3 Most Important Dynamics in Poker: Basic Strategies

Before I get into the gist of this series let me start off with a DISCLAIMER: Quantifying the importance of different strategies, concepts, and theories in poker is often a difficult if not impossible undertaking. For one thing, different situations put an emphasis on different strategies and concepts. For instance, when you are playing a 10 Big Blind stack in a tournament the only thing that is of importance is getting your chips in the middle with some fold equity, where playing in a cash game with 200 big blind stacks there are a multitude of factors to consider: position, cards, your opponent’s tendencies, table dynamics, your table image, and so on.

Ok, with the disclaimer out of the way let’s get down to business and discuss the Three most important factors players need to know and utilize while playing poker.

  • A Solid Understanding of the Basic Strategies
  • Focusing at the Poker Tables (Tells)
  • Adjusting to Different Opponents and Table Dynamics

Understanding the Basic Strategies

The basic strategies of the game often get overlooked in today’s world of light-five-bets, equilibrium plays, and ICM decisions, but the basics are far more important than any of the advanced concepts and strategies you’ll learn. The reason I say this is quite simple: Without a complete understanding of the basics you’ll never fully understand or be able to implement the far more advanced strategies into your game.

Think of it this way; when you learn to do math you don’t spend a couple weeks on addition and subtraction and then grab a calculus book. There is a progression that must be followed, and if you are lacking in any of the previous areas (addition, multiplication, fractions, algebra, geometry) the chances that you will be able to do calculus are close to zero.

The same holds true in poker. In poker you have hand strengths, position, pot odds, and other concepts that need to be mastered before you can start adding things like re-steals, third-level thinking, and fold equity into your game. Going a step further you need to understand re-steals, third-level thinking , and fold equity into your game before you can move on to four and five-betting ranges, floating out of position, and so on.

The reason the progression needs to be followed is that if you don’t understand continuation betting you can’t understand floating. If you don’t understand the proper times to float an opponent you will never realize when it’s correct (and incorrect) to float out of position. Without the basics you will constantly be trying to plug leaks in your game, and while you might think you don’t understand the advanced concept, it’s actually a lack of understanding and grounding in the basic strategies of the game that are causing you fits.

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How to Win at Poker

Poker can be a very rewarding experience, both in terms of fun and profit. If you’ve been playing at Titan Poker for quite some time now and have been getting mediocre results, then it’s time to stop losing money and give your game a boost.

Here are a few tips on how to win at poker.

Don’t play at stakes you can’t afford

High-stakes games also mean high prizes. But if you’re a novice player, it would be wise to start at lower stakes tables. Playing the higher stakes tables increases your chances of losing very quickly. If you’ve previously lost money at a certain stakes table, go down a notch. Regain your momentum and rebuild your bankroll at a table where you can afford to play. Making money at poker should be your long term goal. Don’t risk your cash at tables beyond your financial abilities.

Know the odds and the outs

Outs are the cards remaining in the deck that will help you improve your hand. Odds are the likelihood that you will get the cards you need. In addition to the calculated odds (which don’t guarantee that you’ll win), you also need to consider the size of the pot and your opponents. Poker is a very mathematical game, and while you don’t have to be a math whiz to win, you do need to know the fundamentals and how to relate to your cards in order to stay clear of losing.

Understand the importance of position

Your position at the table with regards to the blinds is a key factor in how you play a hand. If you make your bets according to your position, you’ll have a better chance of winning the hand. In some cases, having excellent position is more important than having excellent cards. Knowing how to take advantage of your position can help you win in poker.

Observe your opponents

Before you take a seat at a Titan Poker table, take the time to observe your opponents. Their actions and tells and game play can say a lot about a particular player. If someone is going all-in on every single hand, you could end up losing your chips very quickly.

Manage your bankroll

The most important rule in bankroll management is to play money than you can afford to lose. Every player loses at one time or another. But if losing everything you brought to the table can get you in financial trouble, step back immediately! You should only join tables and tournaments with a small percentage of your bankroll. A good guide for a recreational player would be not to risk more than 10% of your bankroll at once.

Stop before you go broke

Every time you join a poker table, set a budget for yourself. Don’t replenish your stack with a purchase of additional chips just because one of your hands busted. Take a break. Come back to the table after a good night’s sleep, when you’ll be fit to play strategically and not emotionally.

Play only when you’re fit to play

It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing online or at a cash game in your living room – only play poker when you’re mentally and physically ready for the game. If you’re tired, you won’t play your best. It’s better to call it a night and return to the game when your batteries have been recharged.

While bad luck can always be a factor in losing at poker, you can limit your losses with a good long-term strategy. Follow these tips and be on your way to becoming a winning poker player.

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Tips on How to Win Titan Poker Multi-Table Tournaments

If you’re serious in making money from online poker, then Titan Poker multi-table tournaments are the best route to a massive cash out. Finishing in the money is quite an accomplishment, but ultimately your goal is to get to the final table where the big bucks are. Here are a few tips on how to win at Titan Poker multi-table tournaments.

Don’t play too many hands

Be selective about the hands you play, taking into consideration your position in the deal. A hand that can be played in late position may not be a playable hand if you’re sitting in early position.

Watch your stack

As you play a tournament, compare your chips to the average stack. You should also consider your stack in relation to the blinds. The more chips you have, the more you can make risky plays. On the other hand, if you’re far below the average and the blinds are going to deplete your stack momentarily, you will need to move quickly to stay alive.

Play as many tournaments as you can

You’re not going to become a better online poker player just by reading strategy tips. You need to play. The more tournaments you play, the better you can perfect your skills.

Make sure you can afford re-buy tournaments

When you play a re-buy tournament, you need to have the bankroll to make re-buys, otherwise you’ll find yourself at a huge disadvantage to the other players. Players with big bankrolls may play in a wild manner knowing that they can always re-buy. You need to be on an even playing field with them. If you can’t afford re-buys, play only freezeouts.

Play to survive the early stage

Make sure to play to survive the early stage of a tournament and go into the middle stage with an above average chip stack. With the blinds so low in the early stage, attempts to steal them won’t increase your stack that much. In the early stage, you’ll best benefit from tight-aggressive play.

Don’t wait around for good hands in middle stage

You need to be more aggressive in the middle stage of a poker tournament. Stealing blinds is encouraged. Make sure to protect your chips as well, as your goal is to survive and make your way into the money.

Don’t bluff too much

You need to know how and when to bluff. Never bluff more than two players and make sure your bluffs are believable. Bluffing should be a tool in your repertoire but don’t overuse it.

Sometimes you need to take coin flips

There is an element of luck in the game of poker, and what better time to experience this than in a poker hand where the result could go either way. Conservative players can save up their chips, but at some stage, they’re going to have to commit to an iffy pot. Make the best decisions you can, but sometimes you’re just going to have to go out on a limb to win a hand.

Be aggressive on the bubble

When the tournament reaches the bubble stage, players are going to become extremely tight with hopes of surviving just one more hand and making it into the money. If your chip stack will allow it, you can take advantage of this situation and steal blinds and antes with little opposition.

Play for the money

In every online poker tournament you play, your goal is to finish in the money. While winning the tournament outright is the best possible outcome, it should not be your goal. You’ll have a better chance at tournament success if your goal is to win money.

Tips on How to Succeed at Titan Poker

Competition at Titan Poker is relatively soft compared to the bigger poker sites. With a solid strategy, you can make your online poker experience truly enjoyable and profitable. Here are a few things to consider when playing at Titan Poker.

Observe Your Opponents Carefully

Poker is a game of incomplete information. You will never be shown what your opponent’s cards are during a hand so you must use educated guesswork to put your opponents on a range of potential hands and make your decision on how to proceed from there. Their betting patterns, previous play, table talk, and body language can give you clues to their hole cards.

Always Play Within Your Bankroll

Playing sensibly allows you to remain part of the game and gives you time to learn the optimal poker strategy you need to win. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Do Not Play Too Tricky

Remember to practice and use your ABC poker game more often than your fancy plays. Fancy plays are good, but it is your solid game that will reap you the most reward at the online poker tables.

Review your Hand Histories

Session reviews allow you to check that hands you won and hands you lost were played correctly. Winning poker is about making the right decisions as often as possible so reviewing and critically analyzing past hands teaches you what you need to gain from each hand. It is a vital part of obtaining relevant and useful experience.

Heed the Pros’ Advice

Players like Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, and Lou Krieger are prominent poker theorists who update their personal blogs regularly. You should check their latest work and pick up as many tips as you can. These blogs posts do not appear in poker magazines so their pearls of wisdom are a secret to much of the poker community.

Watch Before You Check Your Hole Cards

Most players check their hole cards as soon as they are dealt, but you should wait. Watch your opponents check their hole cards as many give a reaction as they look that gives you a clue whether their hand is strong or not. Remember not to react to your own cards when you look at them!

Watch for Players Trying to Fool You

When poker players try too hard to look weak, they may not be giving out the true strength of their hand. Most players try and disguise their actions in order to fool you. Be suspicious if one player suddenly starts shaking their head, saying how unlucky they are, or openly looking glum.

Do Not Get Distracted

The chat box is a temptation to many players. Some players can type fast and draw you into a conversation. Remember to focus on the play. If you get distracted by the chat box, change the tab or disable it. You play to win, not to chat.

Re-Raise with Strong Hands

Especially when out of position, re-raise the raiser with premium hands only. You should always know what you will do if he shoves after you re-raise before you act. Re-raising with very strong hands means in a flip situation you have a good chance of being ahead, presuming your opponent also has a strong hand.

Always Play to Win

If you are playing only to scrape into the money, you are not playing correctly. Aim for the win at all times. You may bust out where you could hold on for a few more dollars but do not worry. When you win a tournament it will be down to risking it all instead of coasting.

Hard Work and Experience Lead to Poker Success

Despite the general caricature of poker players as lazy slackers who sleep until noon every day, the truth is that to get the upper levels of the poker world usually requires putting in 15-hour days for months and years, including playing cards, but also studying the game.

To be a winning poker player you need to not only be a practitioner, but also a student of the game. Poker evolves so rapidly (you can see it evolving during a session as players constantly adjust to their opponents) that if you’re not learning you’re falling behind. In the book “The Raiser’s Edge”, professional poker player Tony Dunst describes how after a month of playing live poker he’ll come back to find the online game has already evolved to the point he has to make severe adjustments to his strategies!

Complicating things is the simple matter that hard work is simply not enough to be a great player. You have to have an extremely strong work ethic, but you also need to put in the hours of actual play, otherwise you’ll be nothing more than what the NBA and NFL calls “a great practice player”.

Hard work in poker begins at home, in the way you study and think about the game. It extends to your circle of friends, and is completed with the way you approach your poker sessions (staying disciplined and focused on the game).


There are two components to being a student of poker: One is learning the theories and concepts of the game, and the other is how you study your own play and that of your opponents.

So, how much time do you need to devote to studying the game before you are proficient? The answer is likely to be different for every player, as some players will learn better with a little bit of study and then through their own trial and error at the poker tables. Other players will fare much better by devoting extra time to studying, especially when they first start out in the game.

What is known is that to remain at the top of the game you’ll need to constantly be working on your game, devoting up to 10 hours a week on keeping current with the latest strategies and trends.

The way you decide to study the strategies and concepts of poker is entirely up to you. There are numerous outlets that can be used, including:

  • Books
  • Articles
  • Poker Training Sites
  • Browsing and Contributing at Poker Forums

When it comes to the second part of studying, studying your own game and your opponents, you’re required to pore over hand histories, discuss questionable plays you have made, be honest with yourself over how you played recent sessions, dig through your PokerTracker or HEM databases, and so on.

While you need to use a critical eye when you’re reading a book or article as well as when you are looking at your own play, the difference is that critiquing another players ideas and trying to determine the veracity of their ideas is far easier than turning that same critical eye on your own play.

Your Poker Circle

In addition to the work you do in solitude, one of the best ways to improve your poker game is to surround yourself with like-minded poker players, and form what amounts to a study-group, where you pick each other’s brains.

This circle can be close friends, players in your game who you respect, or even people online in poker forums.

100% Effort (Playing your “A” Game)

When you’re playing poker you need to stay focused, disciplined, looking for tells, taking notes, and most importantly taking this gathered information and poring over it in your home study sessions.

How to Play the Blinds to Your Advantage

Knowing how to play the blinds in Texas Hold’em poker is crucial to winning the game. Learn when to attack your opponents’ blinds and when to defend your own.

What are blinds?

Blinds are compulsory bets made by two players at the start of each hand of Texas Hold’em poker to ensure that there is always money in the pot. The blinds rotate around the table just ahead of the dealer button. The mandatory bet placed by the player to the left of the dealer is called the small blind, and the player to his left places the big blind.

Big blind advantages

The big blind position means you are the last to make a move. If everyone folds, you win the hand even if your cards are bad. If someone calls your big blind, you still get to see the flop at no additional expense. Quite often, if there is a raise and your cards are mediocre, you will just throw your hand away.

Small blind advantages

Having placed the small blind, you’re already half way to a full bet. You can see the flop just by completing the bet. You also have an opportunity to raise and win the bet if the big blind folds. In any case, you should only play the hand if your cards are good. Being in the small blind has a major disadvantage – you’ll end up throwing away most of your hands at the cost of losing your bet.

Late position

With an aggressive strategy you can try to steal the blinds when you’re in late position, especially in tournament play when the blinds are high and players are less likely to call with mediocre hands. Frequently you will find all the hands being folded around you and your bet can cause the blinds to give up as well. This strategy has its limitations, though, when it comes into play against a strong hand being held by either the small or big blind.

Fewer opponents

With fewer players at the table, the blinds rotate much quicker. Your playing strategy needs to take this into account, both when you’re attacking your opponents’ blinds and when you’re working to defend yours. Fewer opponents also mean that your marginal hands have a better chance of winning, so you should play accordingly.

For more tips on how to play the blinds to your advantage, visit the Titan Poker Texas Hold’em Academy online.

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.


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.