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Poker in General

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      03.11.2011 15:15

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      Great poker site to play if you are looking to make some cash or just play for fun.

      Pokerstars is in my opinion the best site to play poker online and here are the reasons why i think this is the case -
      The Bonus- Whatever you decide to deposit on Pokerstars, you can double when you play a certain amount of poker and earn enough points.
      The Software - The lobby is easy to use and they have endless amounts of features to help you find the table you want to play of the tournament/sit n go etc.
      The School - They also have a school that you are able to use to learn the game, this gives you access to a number of instructional videos and gives you the chance to win cash prizes fro free when you play the freeroll league tournament.
      Freerolls - there are many options on pokerstars as to where you are able to play a tournament for a free buy in and win cash from it. There is also the league which i just talked about or you could sign up to an affiliate site as to where you can get passwords fro freerolls to earn money from it.
      Small Stakes Tournaments - There are a number of small stakes tournaments daily as to where you are able to play for guaranteed prizes and cash in for a big win for just a small investment.
      High Stakes Tournaments - For all you high stakes gamblers out there they do a special tournament every sunday called the "sunday million" as to where you are able to play for a million dollars guaranteed for just a $200 buy in.
      Overall this is a highly popular site that i suggest if you are looking to play online poker you see for yourself how good the site is :)

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      10.02.2011 22:23
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      very entertaining card game

      This game is very easy to learn and very hard to master. The game is usually played on the internet, if you want to try you can go to pokerstars.com and check it out!

      The information needed for Texas Hold'em is very easy to find over the internet, best website for it is pokerstrategy.com. There are many tournaments happening everyday, if you want to try you can make a small deposit on poker site (I recommend reading basics and some strategy articles before depositting). There are actually some tournaments happening daily, where you can make over 13000 USD from 3,30 USD within the same tournament.

      If you don't want to deposit, you can try completing quiz on pokerstrategy.com and receiving your free 50 USD bankroll which can be used for playing, and you can try poker with no risk.

      All in all, poker is very fun to play live and online, it is sometimes addictive, sometimes can be a good source of money, but I think it shouldn't become anything more than hobby.

      Good luck at the tables!

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      22.11.2010 13:24
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      A general review of Poker.

      Poker Introduction - A short history and background of Poker

      The game of Poker has exploded in recent years. The advent of the internet has taken poker from smoke filled backrooms to being one of the most popular games found in online casinos. Poker comes in many forms and its history can be hard to pin down, but its birth can is widely attributed as coming from New Orleans in the early 19th century with the first written word of "poker" happening in 1834. A whole host of skills are applied when playing poker, providing a constant challenge and a test of abilities. The excitement attributed to Poker and widespread availability online, has made Poker, especially Texas Hold 'Em, the immensely popular game that it is today.

      Rules of Poker - How to play Poker online or anywhere else

      There a number of different Poker games to play, all with a varied rules to learn and sometimes operating under different house rules. Overall, rules in Poker are exactly the same playing live, to those when playing online, but that's where the similarity ends. The online version is a much quicker game to play. Decisions have to be made quicker as the time limit can be only 30 seconds in an online Poker game, whereas in live poker, this can be minutes. More skill is required in online Poker, and generally you will find better players playing more varied strategies than in a home cash game. It will not take long to learn the strategies and the different hand values, as poker has a very quick learning curve.

      Poker Tips - What you need to know to be a successful Poker player

      Just about all online Poker sites have free tutorials for you to learn with and most have free tables for you to practice and get a feel of the game, its rules and its strategies. It is definitely worth trying these and the best way to understand the many nuances of Poker is to actually play it. Your success in online Poker is directly linked to how much you know about the game, and this can only be maximized by playing it. To be the best in Poker requires time and effort, and probably requires more skill and strategy than any other casino game. Whilst the concepts of the many different forms of Poker are the same, the strategies differ greatly. Within a short space of time a player will learn importantly when to play tight, when to play random, when to play aggressively and how to capitalize on others mistakes.

      Poker Odds - Learn how to maximize your bankroll by mastering the odds behind Poker

      The free tutorials and free tables offered by just about all the poker sites are a great way for players to familiarize themselves with the game. Naturally free games are often wilder, but it is possible to learn by watching how others play. At its heart, Poker is a game of mathematics. The odds of each pot can be calculated and once this is mastered along with recognizing betting patterns, bluffs and using patterns, any player who can remain patient and unemotional can compete with the very best in online poker. This, however, doesn't happen over night and the skill of how to consistently succeed in poker can take years to hone, but will be a great deal of fun and could well be very profitable.

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        18.02.2010 15:40
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        A great game. Give it a go.

        ==Introduction==

        Those of you who read my Full Tilt Poker review last summer will know that I have a passion for poker. After that review was extremely well received, I thought it appropriate to try and explain more about the game in general in the hope that I may inspire some of you to give it a go. Inevitably some of the content in this review will overlap with parts of my previous review. I hope you feel that these have been kept to the bare minimum but certain aspects are relevant to both reviews. I hope that after reading this review, the basics of poker will become clearer and a game that on first impressions looks complex is now more understandable. I apologise for the length of this review, however to make it useful and not leave things ambiguous, I have had no choice to but go into such detail.

        ==Poker Buzz Words==

        As with most games and pastimes, there is some terminology in poker that, once understood will enhance your enjoyment of the game. I am going to keep these buzz words down to an absolute minimum and just concentrate on the major ones otherwise you will lose the will to live. I feel that by getting an understanding of what these words mean, will make this review easier to follow.

        Check - Checking allows you to stay in the hand without committing any more chips to the pot. You can only do this if nobody else has made a bet. Checking is not necessarily a sign of a weak hand, you could be laying a trap in order to make another player think they have a stronger hand than yours, thus committing more chips to the pot.

        Call - If another player has made a bet, you can opt to match their wager. This is known as calling. I use this type of bet when I think I have a decent hand but I'm not confident enough to increase the bet.

        Raise - This type of bet increases the amount another player has to commit to the pot in order to stay in the game. A lot of players make the mistake of raising early with a high quality hand which scares off other players, meaning a smaller pot than you could have had by calling or checking. If you want to make other players believe you have a strong hand, the raise is a vital part of the bluffers armour.

        Pocket cards - These are the initial cards you are dealt that nobody else sees. You have to decide just from looking at these cards whether you want to pay to stay in the game or fold your cards. In my opinion, strong pocket cards can be a pair from jack up to ace, an ace with any other picture card or 2 high cards of the same suit. If I hit any of these combinations then I would definitely be betting.

        Flop - The flop is the first set of public cards (known as community cards) which everyone can see and use. These cards are used in conjunction with your pocket cards in order to make the best hand. If you find that your best hand is made up of the community cards alone, it is probably time to fold as every other player will at least have the same hand as you and the probability of another player having something better is high.

        Turn - This is the 4th community card and if you are this far into a hand, you need to evaluate if you really do think you have the best hand. Even if you still have a weak hand at this stage you can still steal the pot with a bluff. If you are thinking of bluffing however, this is the time to do it before the final card is revealed.

        River - This is the 5th and final community card. By this time, your ultimate hand will be in place. If you are confident that your hand is strong, this is the time where you can make big profits. I would strongly advise against making a big bluff on the river as the sheer fact that other players remain in the hand indicates a good chance that they will have a competitive hand. A lot of players refuse to fold on the river as they see it as wasting any chips they have already committed to the pot. I beg to differ, sure, you could have lost a few chips but if you have a feeling that someone else has a high chance of beating you, back out gracefully and save yourself from an even bigger loss.

        Blinds - At the start of each hand, there has to be money in the pot. This money is called the blinds. Players take it in turns in a clockwise sequence to post these blinds. The big blind is the least amount that every other player has to bet to stay in the hand. The small blind is always half the amount of the big blind but if this player wants to remain in the hand, he must top up the small blind bet in line with all other players. If all other players fold then the person who has posted the big blind wins the pot.

        The nuts - This is an unbeatable hand. You will need a bit of luck along the way to get the nuts as it is very rare to get into this position before the turn card. If you find yourself with the nuts, you still need to play the hand correctly to maximise your winnings.

        Kicker - A kicker is your highest card that does not make part of your declared hand. For example if you had 2,2,7,9,10 then your hand would be a pair of 2's with a 10 kicker. If another player also had a pair of 2's then this kicker card would decide who won the pot, the winner being the person with the higher kicker card.

        ==Hand Strengths==

        The beauty of poker is that the strength of your hand is consistent whichever variation of the game you are playing. It is impossible to play quality poker if you are not sure if you are playing a weak hand or if you have a really strong hand. By not knowing this basic information, you could very quickly lose your chips and ultimately your money. The hand strengths I am describing below are listed in order of their strength from weakest to strongest. In the hand examples the following notation will be used :- J-Jack, Q-Queen, K-King, A-Ace, C-Clubs, S-Spade, D-Diamond, H-Hearts

        High Card - This is the worst hand you can have. What this means is that all of your cards are of different value and you don't have a run of five consecutive values, nor do you have five cards of the same suit. My advice with this hand would be to stay in the running as long as possible with this type of hand in the hope of hitting something better but as soon as somebody makes a sizable bet, bail out. Hand Example : 4D,5D,7C,9S,KH represents King High

        Pair - As the name suggests, a pair is 2 cards of the same value. A pair of 2's is the lowest ranked pair with a pair of aces being the highest. In my experience, people play the lower pairs like they are unbeatable. This is a dangerous tactic in my opinion, for example if your pocket cards are 3H, 10C and the flop gives you 3D,8S,JD, you have made your pair but there are still possibilities for your opponents to have a pair of 8's, a pair of jacks or they might also be sitting on a nice pocket pair. In this situation I would try and stay in the hand if cheap enough to do so but as soon as the betting got serious, I would fold.

        Two Pair - If you have grasped the concept of a pair then it will come as no surprise that two pair is exactly what it says on the tin, The best way to get two pair is to match both of your pocket cards with two other community cards. If you are only matching one pocket card with a pair that is already in the community then you run the risk of another player having a third card of that value which will make three of a kind which will beat your hand. If more than one player has two pair then the highest first pair will decide the winner, if these are equal it comes down to the second pair. If things are still equal, the kicker will decide the winner.

        Three of a kind - This hand is also known as a set. If you have 3 of a kind then the chances of winning the hand are greatly increased but you still need to use caution. If your 2 pocket cards are both being used for your 3 of a kind then you are in a very strong position, however if 2 or even 3 of the cards are in public view then be careful of other players making better hands or even the same hand with a higher kicker card. An example hand here would be 3C, 3H, 3D, 8H, 10D which would be a set of 3's with a 10 kicker.

        Straight - A straight is a run of five cards in sequence but from different suits. This is a very strong hand but if played badly can be catastrophic to your chip count. A good example of this is if the community cards were 6C,7D,8S,9H,2C then we already have the making of a straight. This is actually called an open ended straight draw as either a 5 or a 10 will complete the straight. If you are holding onto a 5 at this stage then you are potentially in trouble as if another player has a 10 they will beat you as you will have a straight, 9 high (5,6,7,8,9) whereas they will have a straight. 10 high (6,7,8,9,10). Although there is no way of knowing what the other player has, you need to be able assess their eagerness to bet to try and read what they are doing. The killer hand in the situation above is to have a 10 and a J as your pocket cards. Other players could make an educated guess that you would be holding the 10, but the probability of the J as well is quite low. This hand would make you the winner with a straight, J high (7,8,9,10,J).

        Flush - A flush is a series of five cards, all of the same suit but not in sequence. The most powerful flushes are made when at least one of your pocket cards is high ranking as you are reliant on at least three community cards of the same suit in order to make your flush. As we need these three community cards, the chances of our opponents also making a flush is greatly increased, especially if we then get a fourth or even fifth community card of the same suit. The winning hand for a flush is always the one with the highest card, for example 2H,6H,8H,10H,AH beats 2H,6H,8H,10A,KH as the first hand is a ace high hearts flush while the second hand is a King high hearts flush.

        Full House - The full house is a real nice hand to hold. Basically what it means is that you have three cards of one value and two of another. The full house is a tough hand to beat but it can go so badly wrong if you are holding three of the lowest card. For example, if your pocket cards are 6S, 9C and the community cards are 10H,6D,10S,6C, AS then you have a full house of 6s over 10s. Whilst this looks good, you only need another player to be holding a pocket 10 and they will beat your hand with 10s over 6s. It is always worth bearing this in mind before betting big.

        Four of a kind - This is a very rare hand to hold. Personally I like this hand when I am only holding one of the cards as a pocket card, therefore showing the other 3 cards in this hand in public. By doing this, there is a high probability that another player will have a full house and will be betting big. If this is the case, you should match their bets until the river card and then hit them with a big raise at the end.

        Straight Flush - This is the best type of hand to hold and if you lose with a straight flush you can consider yourself to be extremely unlucky. A straight flush is a sequence of five cards all of the same suit, for example. 5D,6D,7D,8D,9D. The only hand that can beat a straight flush is a higher straight flush. The highest straight flush possible is known as a Royal Flush because it contains all of the picture cards along with the 10. Hitting this hand is very rare so if you are lucky enough to achieve this, you need to play it perfectly to maximise your winnings.

        ==Variations==

        As previously mentioned, there are a number of variations of poker. All of these versions use the same principal in terms of betting and hand strengths but each has slightly different rules to the others.

        Texas Holdem - This is the most popular version. Each player is dealt two pocket cards and is required to make their hand by using these pocket cards along with the five community cards. A full hand can only consist of a maximum of five cards with the winner being the player with the highest ranked hand.

        Omaha - Omaha is very similar to Texas Holdem with the main difference being that you are dealt four pocket cards. In Holdem, you can choose whether to use both, one or none of your pocket cards to make your hand. In Omaha you MUST use two of the cards. This results in exciting gameplay as you could be using 2 particular pocket cards for your hand but at the turn of a community card, your hand could be stronger if you change the pocket cards you wish to use. I find Omaha needs a great deal of concentration as occasionally I think I have a killer hand, only to discover I've mentally made my hand using three pocket cards. An example of this would be pocket cards of 7H, 7D, 7S, 10C and community cards of 6H, 2S, 6C, AD, JS. If I was not concentrating, I'd think I would have a full house here (three 7's and two 6's). In reality though I would only have two pair as I am only allowed to use two of my pocket cards. This would be a significantly weaker hand as, as there is a Jack and an Ace in the community cards, there is a really high chance that another player will have one of these cards making their hand stronger than mine.

        Stud - Stud is greatly different to anything we have come across up until now. With Stud, there are no community cards with each player working with their own seven cards. The first two cards are pocket cards , then the next four cards for each player are visible to all players with the seventh card again being a pocket card. This format makes for a great game of bluff as other players can try and piece together what kind of hand you will have. After all, they can see over 50% of your cards. Because of the openness of your hand, big pots in Stud are less likely but I still enjoy a game every now and then when I fancy a change from the more popular formats.

        Razz - Razz goes against everything I have talked about so far. The objective of this game is to make the lowest hand possible. Razz is played in the same format as Stud but flushes and straights do not count. The best hand you can have in Razz is 5 high (this being made up of 5, 4, 3, 2 and Ace). I must admit I am not a great fan of this game as after teaching myself all the hand strengths for more traditional games, I find it hard at times to reverse this thinking which is what Razz requires.

        HORSE - Think of HORSE as the decathlon of poker, this game combines several rounds of each of the different types of poker to find out who is the best all rounder. After each hand, the poker game is changed. These games are Holdem, Omaha, Razz, Stud and Eight High Stud (spelling out the word horse). It is very rare for me to play Horse as I am not a fan of Razz and I never play Eight High stud as if I'm being honest, I don't really understand it.

        ==Online v Offline==

        Unlike other forms of gambling, there is a massive difference between online and offline play. With standard betting, whether you go into a bookmakers or place your bet online, you are not effecting the outcome of the event. With poker however, certain players are more successful when playing with people they can see whilst others can only win when sat in front of a computer screen. There is a simple explanation for this and that is body language. My body language as a poker player is pretty poor, if I were to have a good hand, my eyes would light up and I would struggle not to look happy. If an opponent was to see me act like this then they would be less likely to add funds to the pot as they would know I had a strong hand. When I am sat in front of a computer, hiding behind my players avatar, other players don't have any idea at all what kind of hand I have. Reading body language is a fundamental part of 'live' poker which is why I personally prefer the online game as I am less susceptible to give anything away.

        ==Betting styles==

        The beauty of poker is that it brings together players with different styles, from tight players who bet very infrequently to loose players who cant resist having a bet each hand. The key to being a successful player in my opinion is to learn how to play against both of these types of players and to be flexible in your own game in order to beat them. I would recommend playing tight against a loose player and playing loose against a tight player. This way, I wouldn't be throwing away chips against the loose player but as soon as I had a decent hand, I would be confident that he would play along to any raise I may make. With the tight player, I know that if I put in a raise, he is likely to fold as he too doesn't like losing his chips. If the tight player then either calls or raises my bet, I know that they have a strong hand and I can act accordingly.

        ==Cash Games v Tournament ==

        For each of the variations of poker, you can either play simple cash games or single or multi-table tournaments. Whichever you choose, you can play from as little as 1 cent right up to hundreds of dollars (the currency for poker is US dollars). This means that even beginners can have a go without the worry of losing too much money. I personally prefer tournament play, the only drawback with this is that if you get to the latter stages of a decent tournament then you can expect to play for upto 5 hours at a time with a short break every hour. After playing for this amount of time, I cant deny, my head hurts and it is mentally draining.

        If using (and most probably losing) your own money is not your thing then you can play both cash and tournament poker for pretend money. This is where I spend most of my time at the poker tables as for me, it is a hobby rather than a money making exercise.

        ==Techniques to Improve your game==

        Poker is a game that you can never actually say you have reached your peak as there is always room for improvement. There are many ways in which you can aid this improvement. Obviously by playing as much as possible and getting experience is the best way to learn from your mistakes but there are plenty of other methods which you can make use of.

        Currently Poker is getting a lot more TV coverage than it has ever done before. In the past year, Channel 4, Sky, Bravo, Challenge and the now defunct Setanta have all shown various tournaments. In fact, Poker is now a weekly feature on Sky Sports. I often find myself analysing what I would do with each hand and I am often surprised that the pros are playing hands that I would usually fold without a second thought. Seeing how the pros play has helped me improve my game considerably but it is also worth remembering that these TV shows are heavily edited and they only show the hands where something spectacular happens. The point I am making here is that possibly 8 times out of 10, the player will loose the hand playing it this way but the TV coverage only shows the hands they win with an outrageous move. Another good TV station to watch in order to improve your game is Sky Poker. This channel analyses amateur players playing on its own website with expert opinion from selected guests. This channel probably offers more useful information than watching the pros, as the players will be making similar types of mistakes to those that I would make.

        ==Bet safely==

        At the end of the day, poker is gambling. If you want to play for real money, you should never bet with more money than you can afford to lose. A lot of the online tournaments look so appealing offering prize funds of over $50,000 which is only going to cost you $25 to join. Whilst this looks like a massive profit, you seriously have to ask yourself what chance you have of actually winning. In reality, unless you are an exceptional player you are going to say goodbye to that $25 or if you do make the top 10% who get paid, you are only going to make a small profit. The thing to remember is that poker is a game and is there to be enjoyed. When it stops becoming fun, its time to give in. If you follow this advice then poker is a wonderful game which brings together, luck and skill in one moment. I challenge you to give it a go.

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          05.12.2009 10:22
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          Skillful game of bluffing

          Poker is a card game that has increased in popularity over the years and is not widely seen and played all over the world. There is poker on every day on TV now if you know the channel to watch.

          The game of poker has many different forms but by far the most popular form of the game is texas hold em which you will now see the majority of casinos playing and any coverage on television

          The idea of the game is to get the best 5 cards you can at the end of the hand. Each players is dealt two hole cards which are kept secret from other players. Dependent on how good these cards are or your think they are a round of betting takes place. You have the option to check but only if no-one has bet in front of you and if so you can either raise their bet, match it of fold your hand if you think it's no good.

          Next 3 community cards are dealt in the centre of the table which can be used by all players. So this is how you start forming your five cards. Another round of betting takes place and any players still remaining in the hand after this continue on.

          A turn card is dealt face up on the table and another round of betting takes place.

          The final card is the river card that is also dealt face up and this completes the 7 cards you are given, your two secret hole cards and the five commuity cards. From these cards you have to make your best hand with 5 cards. The winner of the hand after a final round of betting is the player with the best hand.

          Here is a run down of the best hands from highest to lowest:
          Royal Flush - An ace high stright of same suit
          Straight Flush - A straight of same suit
          4-of a kind - Four cards of same rank
          Full-House - Three of a kind and a pair
          Flush - 5 Cards of same suit
          Straight - Five cards of sequential rank
          Three of a kind - 3 cards of same rank
          Two pair - 2 cards of same rank and 2 other cards of same rank
          Pair - 2 cards of same rank
          High card - The highest card in your hand if you have nothing else

          For me texas hold em is my favourite form of the game and I regularly hold poker nights with friends at my house. I feel that this form of the game means that everyone can get involved more with the community cards and there is alot more bluffing as well.

          Bluffing is a big part of the game of poker as you may have the worst hand but still win if you can bet someone else off the pot and the best hand. This is where the real skill of poker comes in, however if you are lucky and get the best hands time after time then you will have a great chance.

          It is a great social game too and you can play pot-limit or no-limit poker. We tend to play no-limit poker whereby you can bet your whole chip stack at any time by pushing all in. We often put in some cash for each game and allocate chips to each player and winner is the player that is left with all the chips at the end

          I would recommend this game to anyone as it's a great way to catch up and have a laugh while betting for small stakes. You don't have to bet for much.

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          16.10.2009 12:32
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          5 stars

          Intro
          ------
          After a late night poker session with the boys at my house last night i decided to write about the benefits of having a bit of a get together for a casual poker evening.

          It really does produce a really good way of keeping in touch with your mates and also having a nice social occasion. I will retell our events of last night and hopefully it may inspire you to do the same!


          Our night
          ------------
          We started off by having a good indian takeaway! You cannot beat these on social occasions! We had this delived for 7pm so that we could be ready and sat down at the table for about 8pm. This all worked out, and the game kicked off at 8.

          We then played through about 5 hours of poker, with the game finally ending at about 1pm. This may seem massively boring to you, oh my god, poker for 5 hours, but it really is not.

          The great thing about poker is that you only play about 1 in 4 hands if you actually want any chance of winning any money. That means, that on the other 3 hands your free to sit out, have a chat and a bit of a social with your mates, something i would only usually do down at the pub.

          However, the pub gets both boring and expensive after consistent meet ups in there, so this provides a really neat alternative to get you the same social occasion, combined with a nice bit of poker involved as well.

          It turned out, that one of my mates, joe, won the prize, a free drink off everyone! So he will be very much looking forward to the next night out i am absolutely certain!


          Summary
          -----------
          So, if your getting a little tired of the same old social occasions, want to meet up with a few mates, and generally have a great laugh, then get a set of chips, organise yourself a poker night, and have some fun!

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            12.02.2008 14:45
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            see review

            Well I would not say I was an expert on poker, as I always lose loll, but I do know how to play the game so thought I would maybe help others understand the game.

            Firstly there are the options that you have during a game theses are:
            Call: A bet exactly equal to the highest bet made by the preceding player to stay in the play. I would only call a bet if I thought that I could make a hand.
            Fold: A player discards his hand and gives up his chance of winning the pot in this play. I would normally fold when I only have a small high, with no chance of making anything out of it.

            Raise: A bet equal to the highest bet made by any of the preceding players plus some extra amount. I would only ever raise if I have a good hand and thought that I was going to win. Or maybe you can bluff your way through it with a rubbish hand and hope everyone folds. But that is a high risk, as you don't know what others have.
            Check: It's like pass, where a player doesn't bet any amount and still stays in the play. If all players check then the next card will be dealt.

            Now on for the hands that can be made during the game.
            Know the order of cards, from low to high 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack (J), Queen (Q), King (K) and Ace (A). The ace (A) can usually double as the lowest card when necessary. There is no ranking between the suits - so for example the king of hearts and the king of spades are equal. Poker ranks are always based on five cards only.
            Ok I will start from the lowest hand to the highest possible hand.
            One pair refers to two cards out of five cards with the same numerical value Ex: A-A-K-7-6 (or) J-J-8-5-3.
            Two pair refers to two different pairs of cards and one another card. EX: A-A-K-K-5 (or) J-J-10-10-7.
            Three of a kind refers to three cards of the same numerical value and two other cards. EX: A-A-A-3-2 (or) 5-5-5-K-J.
            Straight refers to five cards in the sequential order of different suits. EX: 6-5-4-3-2 (or) Q-J-10-9-8.
            5-4-3-2-A is the lowest kind of straight,
            Flush refers to five cards in non-sequential order of the same suit. EX: A-9-7-5-2 (or) K-J-8-6-3.
            Full House refers to three cards of the same numerical value and a pair EX: A-A-A-5-5 (or) 6-6-6-2-2.
            Four of a kind refers to four cards of the same numerical value and any other card. EX: A-A-A-A-3 (or) 5-5-5-5-7.
            Straight Flush refers to five cards of the same sequential order of the same suit. EX: 7-6-5-4-3 (or) 9-10-J-Q-K all spades.
            Royal Flush refers to 10-J-Q-K-A (or) A-K-Q-J-10 of the same suit. It's nothing but the best straight flush. As all suits are equal, all royal flushes are equal.
            Now when you do not have any of the hands above that would be classed a high card hand, but most likely someone would have at least a pair to gamble with.
            There are many different types of poker games and I will give you a quick run down of each.
            The most popular game is Texas holdem, as this is the easiest and the fastest to play. It can be played with as little as two players, up to ten players. The game consists of four betting rounds. Texas holdem is played with each player receiving two cards facedown that no one else can see and five cards face-up placed in the centre of the table, to be shared by all the players. Player with the highest hand at the showdown wins the pot.
            Then we have Omaha hi which is also a popular poker game played between two - ten players. The game consists of four betting rounds. Omaha hi is played with each player receiving four cards facedown that no one can see and five cards face-up placed in the centre of the table, to be shared by all the players. Each player creates the highest valued hand, using any two of their four cards in their hand and any three of the five community cards.
            Then we have Omaha hi lo which is another version of the game above with same rules but each player creates the highest valued and/or lowest valued qualifying hand, using any two of their four cards and any three of the five community cards.
            Then we have Five-card draw poker, which is the oldest and still one of the best poker games. The game is played between two - five players. Betting in Five-card draw poker consists of an initial Ante, preceded by two betting rounds. Each player receives five cards facedown and may discard or draw up to five cards after the first betting round. The player with the highest hand at showdown wins the pot.

            As Texas holdem is one of the main games of poker that people play I will also add the rules, but I can't do it for all the types of poker or my review will be huge loll.
            A small dealer button identifies a player as a dealer. The dealer button moves left in a clockwise fashion to the next player, after every hand. If playing at home you can use anything, an empty matchbox anything loll.
            Before any cards are dealt to the players, the pot is formed through bets known as blind bets or ante. First player to the dealers left puts the first blind bet called small blind. Second player to the dealers left puts the second blind bet called big blind. The first blind bet is smaller then the second blind bet that's why we call them the small blind and the big blind. Since the bets are placed with out seeing the cards they are called blinds. According to poker rules, blinds are considered live bets and can be checked, called, raised or folded.
            Each player is dealt two cards facedown called private cards. Face down this means no body else sees your cards except you.
            The player left of the big blind makes the first bet starting the first betting round, where you can call, raise or fold.
            Now three cards are dealt face-up placed in the centre of the table starting the second betting round. Player left to the dealer bets first. These cards are called community cards, since they are available to all players. This round of betting is called "Flop".
            The fourth community card is dealt face-up in the centre of the table starting the third betting round called "Turn". In this round the betting amount doubles from the previous one.
            The fifth and the final community card is dealt face-up in the centre of the table to start the last betting round called "River".
            After the final round of betting it's time for showdown and the player with the highest hand wins the pot. Where as identical hands split the pot. The dealer button moves to the next player to play the next hand.
            Now for my input into the game. I really do think this is a fun game to play, but it is very addictive too loll, especially if you play online, like myself. But I do really have fun while playing, I just don't win often. But hopefully I have taught you the basics of how to play the game.

            Also Kineticspade on ciao

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              08.08.2007 13:21
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              To succeed in Poker you have to recognise your opponents style of play

              This is an introduction to the different types of poker playing styles. It is aimed at people who already have an understanding of how to play poker and are familiar with poker terminology. See if you can identify which category you fall into and more importantly....see if you recognise which style your opponents online are....if you can this will give you an advantage over them

              CONSERVATIVE PLAYER
              This is the style which the majority of poker players adopt and it basically involves folding any bad hands and playing only decent hands. This is a low risk strategy as there is not much bluffing involved. I would recommend this style of play to all beginners and novices.

              Playing conservatively means that you:

              **Play fewer pots because good hands don't come round too often but when you do play you will no doubt have higher quality cards than most other players. The type of cards conservative players play are usually Ace (A) with King (K), Queen (Q) or Jack (J) or any combination of those cards

              **Avoid all-in moves unless your hand is pretty much guaranteed to beat your opponent's hand

              **Play poker in a way that makes your decision making process easier and easier (especially useful in online tournaments)

              **Make better decisions - Since you only start with a good hand, once the flop has been drawn, if you get a match you're laughing and if it misses you (ie no matching cards), you're probably still holding the highest card....the Ace

              **You will win lots of small pots but not many big pots (it all adds up though)

              AGGRESIVE PLAYER
              Aggresive players as the name suggests are not as picky about their cards when it comes to joining the action.

              Are you an aggressive player? Typical hands with which aggresive players will enter the betting are:

              **Any Pair
              **Any 2 High Cards (J,Q,K,A)
              **Ace with anything else
              **Suited Connector Cards (eg 5,6 of the same suit)

              Aggressive players tend to:
              **Play a lot more pots
              **Steal more pots
              **Be much harder to read than a conservative player
              **Be hard to tell if the flop has helped them
              **Win more huge pots

              There are however negative sides to being an aggressive player, because:

              **By player lower quality hands, you will be faced with difficult decisions after the flop, especially if you haven't caught a pair
              **By playing more hands, an aggresive player will be much more likely to run into an opponents unbeatable hand
              **An aggressive players pot of money (stack size) will swing rapidly as they win and lose huge pots

              ULTRA AGGRESIVE PLAYER
              I've only come across 2 players of this type online and they are difficult to play against, yet with some courage and conviction you can also take a huge amount of money from them....which is nice

              An ultra aggresive player (UAP) will Bet and Raise every single hand - the bets are usually about 3 to 4 times the size of the current pot, so it makes it difficult to know when they have a good hand or not.

              An ultra aggressive players goal is to steal the blinds that people have put in pre-flop.

              So lets say you have 6 people at a table with the UAP last to act - everyone puts in the $1 big blind (so the pot is $5), the UAP will then bet $15 - everyone around the table folds and the UAP has bagged himself another $5 without seeing the cards. He may only have a 2,3 in his hand and you had J,J - but you've been bullied into submission.

              If everyone allows this to go on, which I have seen happen, before you know it you've lost your chips.

              There are 2 things you can do:

              1- Leave the table and join another one

              2- Fight fire with fire - If you have a good hand, say AK, then when the UAP raises pre-flop - put a big re-raise right back to them. The chances are they have a rubbish hand and they will fold and you get all the blinds plus the UAP's raise. It's a calculated risk because one time the UAP will actually have a good hand, but this is gambling ;-)

              Hopefully you've found this review useful, I will be updating this when I get a chance and adding further poker guides soon...

              Please rate my review if you have the time ;-)

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                16.10.2005 17:35
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                Excellent when you know how.

                I have only just started playing poker on the internet and live games with my brothers at our local casino in Hastings. I would say that there is quite alot to take in when you are just a beginner. Anyway here is my review on Poker and the best places both online and offline. If you are ever in East Sussex pop in and have a wager.

                How to Play Texas Hold'em:

                Players receive two 'hole' cards that only they can see and use. Then, five 'community' cards are dealt that everyone can see and use. Players can make their five-card hand from both, one or none of their hole cards in combination with the community cards.

                The game is divided into four rounds of betting, and the betting moves clockwise around the table. Betting starts from the position next to the dealer button, which moves one place to the left after each hand. In online games, the dealer button replaces the 'real' dealer.

                The Blinds

                Before a game starts, the two players to the left of the dealer post 'blind' bets, so-called because they are made before the players have seen any cards. The blinds ensure that there is some money in the pot to play for at the very start of the game. The player to the left of the dealer posts the 'small blind' and the player to his left posts the 'big blind'.

                The Pre-Flop

                Now the game starts to heat up! Each player receives two cards that only they can see, called 'hole' cards. After this, the first round of betting is started by the first player to the left of the big blind. This player, who is known as 'on the gun', can:

                Call - Match the amount bet in the big blind,
                Raise - Increase the amount bet;
                Fold - Surrender his cards and stake in the game.

                When the betting returns to the player who made the big blind (the first full bet), that player can 'check' or opt to stay in the game without adding anything to the pot. However, if an opponent has raised, the big blind has three options: he must fold, call, or re-raise.

                The Flop Cards

                Three 'community' cards, which all players can use to make their five-card hand, are dealt face up on the table. A second round of betting follows.

                The Turn Card

                A fourth community card is dealt face up on the table. The third round of betting follows.

                The River Card

                The fifth and final community card is dealt, followed by the final round of betting.

                The Showdown

                If there is more than one player left in the game, there is a showdown in which the players reveal their cards and the highest hand wins (see below for the rank of hands). If two players share an identical hand, the pot is split.

                How do I know what I have got?

                In Texas Hold'Em there is alot of different hands that you will need to get used to. Overall there are different hands that you can try to beat your opponent(s) with.

                Please see below for our little explanation:

                A Wheel - Bicycle

                If nobody gets five different cards inferior or equal to eight, then there is no low hand and only the highest hand is taken into consideration to elect the winner. There will only be one winner and the pot won't be split.

                One Pair -

                When you get 2 cards of the same.
                (Example) 2 Aces but in a different suit.

                Two Pair -

                A pair of cards from one rank and another pair of cards from a different rank.
                (Example) 2 x Queens, 2 x Fours

                Three of a Kind - A Set

                Three cards of the same but in a different rank.
                (Example) 3 x Queens or Jacks or Two's

                Straight -

                Five cards of sequential rank.
                Every possible straight will contain either a 5 or a 10.
                (Example) 3,4,5,6,7 or 6,7,8,9,10

                Flush -
                A flush is any five cards, all of the same suit.
                (Example) DIAMONDS - 3,9,Jack,4,2 (Order is not relevant)

                Full House - Full Boat -

                A full house, or full boat, contains a set (three) cards of one rank and a pair of another rank.
                (Example) 8,8,Q,Q,Q or 3,3,K,K,K

                Four of a Kind - Quads -

                Quads, or four of a kind, are four cards of equal rank.
                (Example) 4 x Jack's 4 x Aces

                Straight Flush -

                A straight flush is a five-card straight, all in the same suit.
                (Example) A,2,3,4,5 of HEARTS OR DIAMONDS

                Royal Flush -

                A royal flush is an ace high straight. All of the cards are in the same suit.
                (Example) A,Jack,Queen,King,10 of HEARTS

                I can't go into the ODD's as it's a prejudiced system. The Dealer on most poker websites has a computer generated deck so you don't know what he is going to throw about.

                If you want to play poker then the best way to play is online. You can bluff as well as take large stacks of chips. You don't even have to pay the company for using them. Start out FREE as I did and then go on to the real money once you are confident that you know what you are doing.

                The best online poker websites are based at the following address:

                www.PartyPoker.com
                www.PokerRoom.com

                Hope to see you all there.

                Dom

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                  25.07.2005 10:56
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                  Good fun, and often easy money

                  Poker has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years, emerging from the smoky backrooms of casinos and into mainstream culture. This is almost wholly due the boom in internet poker coinciding with poker becoming a regular televised event, creating millions of new fans and an outlet for them to hone their skills for little or no money.

                  There are literally hundreds of internet poker sites running these days, some with hundreds of thousands of members. Stakes range from one cent / two cent to thousands of dollars, and most sites offer regular freeroll tournaments where players pay noentry fee but can battle through (stupidly) large amounts of players and gain free cash.

                  The most common form of poker these days is No-Limit Holdem, and as the old adage goes the game 'takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.' This couldn't be more true.

                  NL Holdem works like this - two cards (known as hole cards) are handed face down to each player. There is a round of betting and once everyone has bet the same amount of money - three cards (the flop) are placed face-up on the table. There is another round of betting and then another card (the turn) is placed face up, again followed by a round of betting. Then one final card (the river) is placed face up on the table - there is a final round of betting and if there are still two or more players left in the hand each player flips their hand over and the best 5 card poker hand wins, using either zero, one or both of their hole cards.

                  During each round of betting a player can fold (give up the hand) check (make no bet) or raise (bet - no upper limit on betting)

                  The ranking of poker hands is as follows from lowest to highest:

                  -High Card (Ace is highest)
                  -One pair (22 is lowest AceAce is highest)
                  -Two Pair (AceAce & KingKing is highest)
                  -Three of a kind (AceAceAce is best)
                  -Straight (Ace,King,Queen,Jack,Ten is best
                  -Flush (five cards of the same suit - highest individual card of that suit wins if both players have a flush)
                  -Full House (Three of a Kind + one pair - AceAceAceKingKing is best
                  -Four of a kind (AceAceAceAce is highest)
                  -Straight Flush (Five cards in a run of the same suit - An ace high straigh flush is known as a Royal Flush and is the highest hand possible)

                  I became interested in poker about five years ago, when flicking through the channels late one night I came accross Late Night Poker on channel 4 - which as the name suggests involves poker and was on late at night. What makes this show - and all televised poker - exciting is that you can see the players hole cards via under-the-table cameras, enabling the viewer to see when and why the players bluff, and making for some fascinating TV. There is the heart-wrenching horror of seeing some guy who has no chance to win move all his chips into the pot and the humour of his face dropping as he realises this.

                  TV Poker has progressed in recent years - mainly due to the World Poker Tour, a series of the biggest poker tournaments in the world. Each player starts with the same level of chips and play until down to six players, and the televised section begins. Commentary is provided by Mike Sexton and Vince van Patten, with links by the gorgeous Shawna Hiatt. The commentary is at times irritating, rather extrovert and over-the-top but the show's format is exciting and the poker is usually of a good standard and always entertaining.

                  However, anyone looking to learn the game would do well to steer well clear. Because these are some of the best players in the world they are playing a style of poker that will lose any amatuer money.

                  The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the biggest event on the poker players calender. It is a over a month long, features over thirty events encompassing all variations of poker and, like poker itself, has had an upsurge in interest in the past few years (This years main event had a !st prize of $7.5 million.) It's broadcast on Challenge, available with Sky and cable, about three-five months after the event actually happens.

                  Poker is a fun and constantly challenging game, far removed from the vision many have of it as a game of chance. Poker is a game of skill and luck, although evident sometimes, isn't that important. Right now, poker sites are filled with new players all eager to learn the game and make money. The enviroment is right to learn for any new player, and provided you don't try to move through the levels too quickly, success isn't that hard to come by, although it may not be much in monetary terms initially.

                  To any new player looking to take upthe game I would recommend the following -

                  -Find a poker site with easy to navigate software that offers low stakes and freeroll tournaments, to help you get a grounding in the game, and an understanding of how the game plays out.

                  -Buy a book: Doyle Brunson's super system is generally recognised as the best, but is so widely used that you may be playing the same game as everyone else. There are many available out there, try to choose something that takes the process step by step and focuses on the variation of poker you want to learn.

                  -Watch Poker Night Live: This show, broadcast on Pokerzone (226 on sky) is a revelation for a beginner player. The idea is that an internet poker game is screened on a five minute delay, with everyone's hole cards turned face-up. There is top quality commentary (and their enthusiasm for the game is infectious) that exemplifies what hands you should be playing and why. The main advantage this show has over competitors is that the players taking part aren't millionaire poker geniuses, they are regular players. You can get a real feel for the game and learn a great deal in a short space of time. I know it improved my game immeasurably.

                  -Be disciplined- the most important thing for a player at every stage of poker development. If you don't play with the right mindset you will lose money - simple as that. If you begin to lose money through your own bad play you must stop, i've learned that the hard way. Also never play when drunk, that will hurt your bankroll.

                  Above all play sensibly, don't mock other players and have fun.

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                    14.04.2004 20:29
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                    Poker, thought to be derived from a French card game called Poque, has enjoyed huge popularity throughout the last century, in one form or another. The variation most familiar from the movies is 5-card draw. Players are dealt a starting hand of 5 cards, and the aim is to win as much money as possible. This is usually - or at least often - done by holding the strongest hand; this can also be achieved by having all of the other players fold without seeing your hand. After the deal, there's a round of betting, then each player has the option of replacing any, all, or none of the cards in their hand, before a final round of betting and the showdown to see which player has the strongest hand - unless, of course, everyone else has folded and only one player remains, in which case they need not turn over their cards. Does anyone still play 5-card draw? Lots, probably. But is it the best poker game, in my humble opinion. Lordy no. There are myriad variations: stud or draw in 5 or 7 card flavours, lowball, Omaha, Texas Hold 'Em. At present, from the online poker world to the World Series, it's Hold 'Em that's king. It's often called the Cadillac of poker games, and as the saying goes, it "takes an hour to learn, and a lifetime to master". HOLD 'EM RULES Here's how it goes: 2 cards are dealt face-down to each player, then there's a round of betting; 3 cards (the flop) are dealt face-up in the centre of the table, followed by another round of betting; the 4th community card comes (the turn), then another round of betting; lastly the 5th community card (the river) and yes, a final round of betting. Each player makes their best hand of 5 cards taken from their 2 hole cards and the 5 community cards in the centre - so yes, your best hand could well be the 5 community cards... but your big worry would be whether the other players had better hole cards. ORDER OF HANDS is as follows, from worst t
                    o best: HIGH CARD - in a field of more than a couple of players, this is usually a total wetwash. Ace, King, Jack, 10, 9 of different suits would still only give you ace-high. 7, 5, 4, 3, 2 of different suits is about as woeful as it can get PAIR - does what it says on the tin. Ace-pair beats king-pair beats queen-pair? you know how it goes TWO PAIR - better. Ranked by your highest pair, then lowest pair, and as with all the hands, if you're still tying with another player, then your other card(s), or "kicker(s)", comes into play, so that J, J, 5, 5, 3 would beat J, J, 5, 5, 2 THREE OF A KIND - aka trips, or a trey STRAIGHT - five cards of consecutive ranks but unmatched suits, e.g. 9 of clubs, 10 of spades, J of clubs, Q of diamonds, K of diamonds FLUSH - five non-sequential cards of the same suit STRAIGHT FLUSH ? a STRAIGHT made using only one suit FOUR OF A KIND - quads ROYAL FLUSH ? a STRAIGHT FLUSH using the royal cards, AKQJ10 A game commonly features between 7 and 10 players, though a 2-person "heads-up" contest can be a real test of your abilities, and theoretically as many as 23 can participate. Friendly games often have a betting limit for each round. Pot-limit games have the vastly more thrilling? But for real thrills, try a no-limit Hold 'Em game. From hand to hand there can be huge swings in fortune from one player to another, and when you're heads-up, trying to knock out the only other player left standing in a freeze-out tournament, then the game is almost entirely psychology. BLUFFING Novices sometimes think the point of poker is to bluff all the time, but pros use bluffs sparingly and intelligently: · If you're on a roll, and seem to be winning all the showdowns, other players may start to become less inclined to call and see your cards; · If you read the other players for having weak cards ? maybe because their betting patterns
                    are timid ? you may be able to convince them you have good cards, or better cards than you really hold; · A semi-bluff, when you have a good pair or a decent drawing hand, at least has an escape route if nobody buys your bluff. POSITION Being the last player to act is a huge advantage. You can see who wants to bet, who's folding, how strongly they're betting. After six folds and two reluctant callers, and aggressive bet *could* win you the pot ? providing the weak callers weren't setting you up with a check-raise (disguising a strong hand with an initial "call" in order to attract more action, and test the strength of the other hands). Conversely, acting first means you have to guess how many strong hands are out there. In early position, especially when "under the gun" (first to act), keep your play tight and only bet with premium starting hands. POKER MAXIMS PLAY TIGHT The idea here is, if you don't have good cards, you fold. And I'm not even talking about when you get to the flop: pros fold something like 90% of their starting hands. Yes, there is a chance that if you hold 8-7 unsuited, the flop is going to come 8-8-7, giving you an unbeatable full house? but it's a very small chance. What if you have the aforementioned 8-7, and your opponent has 9-6 (also a poor hand)? Well, you only need to hit one of your two cards to be ahead, the same goes for your opponent - surely it's about evens? (I'm ignoring the complex statistical mathematics involved in which has the marginally better chance of making a straight for the moment.) No: if neither of you pairs any card, or makes a lucky flush or a straight (because both of these hands would have a shot at a straight) then high card wins, and his 9 has it. In a home game, when you've just trashed four or five hands in a row before seeing the flop - and maybe there was one flop that you wish you'd stayed
                    in on, because it paired your 5 and your 2 - the temptation will be to loosen up your play, start calling with weaker cards. The voice that nags you to loosen up (take a chance, what the hey!) will only end up losing you a lot of money. If you're way ahead with more chips than you know what to do with, then you can afford to take more risks; if you're on a roll, and everything you play turns to gold, then maybe you should listen to lady luck: but never because you're bored, or because you would have won the last hand if only you'd stayed in with rags while everyone was raising and you would have made a straight on the last card. No! That's a voice that will take you from a modest profit to a painful deficit, then dry up on the advice when your stack is dwindling away to nothing. So, keep it tight. You want a A, K or Q with a strong kicker (preferably a suited kicker if it's less than a 10). Suited connectors (consecutive cards, e.g. 9-10 of spades) are worth playing, because they give you a shot at both a straight and a flush - or if the gods are smiling, a flush straight. You might go so far as to say if you don't find yourself folding weak hands that would have gone on to win, you aren't folding enough. If that sounds wrong, think about how many weak hands you'd have held that would have lost before that one freak occurrence that *seems* to disprove this tactic. DON'T CHASE CARDS If you don't have anything on the flop, the chances that you're going to make your hand with the next two cards are slim. Many players won't play on at this stage with only three to a flush or straight; you need four of your five cards to have much of a chance of completing. If you get to 4th street, you still don't have a made hand, and you don't think you're going to bluff your opponent out of the pot (maybe he's a "calling station" and will always pay to see your cards; or maybe they
                    have a much bigger stack than you and can afford to call) then it's prudent to fold. It's all very dramatic and wonderful when you find the one card in the pack that can make your hand on the 5th card, but remember that it's called "the river" because so many players have drowned on it. Chase cards with nothing in your hand and you will usually be throwing your money away. POKER IS NOT GAMBLING Yeah, this one gets a few raised eyebrows. There is indeed an element of chance in the cards you receive, but given that the idea is to make money when you have strong hands, and minimize losses when you're dealt poor ones, received wisdom states that over a long enough period of time the element of chance will be negated: all players will be dealt approximately as many good hands as bad, and at the end of the day it is the strongest players who will be showing a profit, not the luckiest ones. It's important to remember that un/lucky streaks are just that, runs of particular luck, and if you haven't seen any good cards it doesn't mean you have to play with rags - you wait for the good stuff to inevitably cycle back to you in turn. What's even tougher than this is watching a player continually riding their luck, raising with trash hands only to make two pair or trips on the river. While it's entirely possible that you *could* win hands playing what look like poor cards before the flop, it would be unwise to pursue this as a lifelong policy. (That said, all of us at the superb monthly game I have the honour of attending are currently trying to work out how one "maniac" player can consistently play with trash - unsuited 3-7 a seeming favourite - and still win. There are too many examples to list here, but he has regularly beaten A-K and K-Q with no better than the likes of J-7. Poker lore tells us that this winning streak may last weeks, months, or even years, but that sooner or later common sense and statis
                    tical probability will prevail, and your pair of queens will indeed stand up against 2-9 offsuit. WHERE TO PLAY Find a home game. If you can't find one, start one. There's nothing like sitting down with ten good friends and new acquaintances and enjoying an evening of lively chat, belly laughter, and the joy of busting your pals out of the game to take all their money. If that sounds a mite on the mercenary side, I'm afraid to say that the game wouldn't work without something at stake. It doesn't have to be high-rolling no-limit cash games with a minimum £200 buy-in; a ten-strong tourney with a £10 buy-in could still give prizes of £20 for 3rd place, £30 for 2nd, and £50 for first. My love for the game was undoubtedly given a huge kickstart by winning the first tournament I played in (yes, beginner's luck - but hey, I wasn't the only beginner at the table). For a buy-in of £15, I walked out with £80. But it was the thrill of the game that really sucked me in. Y'know, in addition to the company, the atmosphere, and the banter: we were creased up when, after folding every hand for the first hour, I won a big pot and came out betting aggressively on the next hand? a mate of mine cut me back down to size with the hilarious comment, "looks like he bought himself some balls with that money". If you get hooked like I was hooked, your once/twice a month home game might not satisfy the poker cravings. There's been a huge boom in online cardrooms, such as the Ladbrokes Casino and pokerroom.com, where you can play with real money, or just hone your skills with play money. The disadvantage with play money is, as there's nothing at stake, everyone plays much looser, and some players will call every bet, making it difficult to try out bluffs or semi-bluffs. Pick a European site if you want to cut out the endless chat about home states from US players. FURTHER READING Channel 4 books have
                    thoughtfully printed a very helpful accompaniment to their popular Late Night Poker show called "How to Play Poker and Win" - it's a comprehensive basic grounding, slanted heavily towards Texas Hold 'Em, with a good discussion of starting tactics, and some info on other poker games. For a book that's also a good read, try Anthony Holden's brilliant "Big Deal", which chronicles his year spent trying to become a poker pro. Andy Bellin's "Poker Nation" is another page-turner. But if you're serious about strategy and tactics, you're going to need to get your hands on former world champion Doyle Brunson's "Super/System"; Mike Caro's Book of Poker Tells; and it's worth having a look at anything by David Sklansky.

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                      17.08.2003 06:15
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                      Everyones played poker at one time or another. It always seemed the 'cool' thing to play while you were skipping lessons at school. I first played poker when i was about 13. There was a bunch of us, including the guy no one really liked, but seemed to be there anyway. No one knew the rules, and after mindless betting of 1ps and 2ps, we finally displayed our shameful hands, and after the customary argueing over whether his straight beat her 3-of-a-kind, we paid up. Except when the kid no one liked won, he just got pieces of paper with IOU written on! So, 7 years on, im playing again. Whether im any better is debatable, but at least ive got a sound knowledge base to build upon. The program that really showed me how to play was CH4s Late Night Poker, in which they played a tournament of No-Limit Texas Hold'em. Now, this game is excitement! None of your 'how many cards do you wanna change??? Ill have 5, you cant have 5, yes i can..........' Everyone starts out with just 2 cards. 5 cards are then periodically dealt face up on the table, and you use any 5 of the 7 cards available to you to make a hand. The betting is as follows, before the cards are dealt, the player to the dealers left has to pay the 'small blind', and the player to his left, pays a 'big blind'. The 'big blind' is usually twice as big as the 'small blind', and they are so called as they're 'blind bets'. then each player receives 2 cards face down. On the strength of these cards, you will call the big blind, raise it, or fold your hand. Once betting has finished, i.e everyone has folded or put in an equal amount of money, the first 3 face up cards are dealt, this is called the 'flop'. Now everyone has a 5 card hand available, this is where the serious stuff starts. The player nearest the dealers left either bets, or checks (doesnt bet), and this starts the next round of betting. Once this is completed, the 4th
                      face up card is dealt, this is the 'Turn' card. Another round of betting insues, then the final face up card is dealt, the 'River'. The final round of betting is then started, and when finished, a showdown of hands, and the best hand wins, simple as that! The hand rankings are as follows (worst to best): Highest card 1 Pair 2 Pairs 3 of a kind Straight (5 consecutive cards of any suit) Flush (Any 5 cards of the same suit) Full House (3 of a kind AND a Pair, ie 9,9,9,2,2) Four of a kind Sraight Flush (5 consecutive cards of the SAME suit) Now, thats how to play it, but how much fun is it?? Well, personally i love it. The thrill of winning a big hand is a huge rush, and im not saying its better than sex, or anything STUPID like that, but its awesome. The way it differs from 'draw poker' the kind you played at school, is that you always kind of know, what people have. For instance, you know that if there isnt a pair in the 5 face up cards, then people cant have a full house, or 4 of a kind. Also, if there isnt at least 3 cards of the same suit in the face up cards, then no one can have a flush, etc etc. Its a lot faster, and exciting, as you have to wait agonisingly for that one card to come that would give you the best hand! If you play online, you can play in very very low stakes games, where the blinds are 5 and 10 cents (3p and 7p), also you can play in tournaments that will cost you $1 to enter (70p) and you can win say $25 depending on how many people entered. I dunno why some sites use dollars, and some pounds, but its all the same in the end. On these sites, you can play for hours, and lose alllll the time, and end up losing say, a fiver! but its still fun, and once you get going, you might even get good, and fleece the lot of em! If you go to casinos, you can expect to pay a LOT more to enter tournaments, and there wont be any low stakes tables, so unless you drive a Pors
                      che, or Ferrari, then its best to stick to the good old internet. The community at the particular place i use (UK-Poker.co.uk) is really cool, everyones friendly, and the staff there will always be helpful. This makes losing all that easier to bare, trust me. You can also play for fake money online, which is really good for gettin that much needed practise in, as if youre new to Texas holdem, it takes a little getting used to. Some tournaments are free, but you can win money from, so this really is money for nothing! Also, some sites offer tounraments, in which, if you win, you could win a place at the World Series of Poker, in Las Vegas, to play with the big boys. I think the last winner of the world series (and a $1 million prize!) was a guy who won a place from playing an online tournament, so it can happen! Obviously poker is a form or gambling, and as such will always have its critics. There will always be people who will gamble away their wages in some smokey card room somewhere. But if thats the case, these people are gamblers, and if it wasnt poker, itd be the geegees or 'heads or tails' with their equally flush friends. At the end of the day, poker is a game, a very fun game, and sometimes a very expensive game, but believe me its really cool, and if you play small money games, you'll only lose small money. So get yer green tinted visor out and give it a go!

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                        29.11.2002 07:37
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                        • "I know
                        • I've seen em in action!"

                        Thanks to Channel 4's excellent "Late Night Poker", this popular card game has come back to the fore somewhat in recent years. Until recently only played by wealthy cheats in casinos and horny students in a variety of forms, more people are getting the urge to get some chips and play some cards. Being a skint, gambling sort, I stumbled into this mullarkey down the local drinking cesspool. With almost all of my money having disappeared into the robbing fruit machine, this was a definate last chance saloon. 15 minutes later and with tail firmly between my legs, I left the pub in what can only be described as "mild rage" before kicking several bells out of an unfortunate nearby tree. Typical of my luck that night, the tree won... Traditionally, there are two main types of Poker-Stud and Draw. Personally, I think they are both crap. For more info on these games, check out on of the other ops on this topic. I'm gonna take you through the game played on Channel 4: No limit Texas Hold 'em. Players sit around a table and are dealt 2 cards each which they can look at(and then hide from the other players!!!) and place bets accordingly. A "dealer" button is passed round the table, with the person to the left of this having to put into the pot a compulsary bet known as a "small blind", while the person to the left of that puts in a "big blind". This is how there is a pot in every hand. Players can either "call"-put in the same amount as the big blind, "pass"-throw away their pitiful hand, or "raise"-up the ante by sticking an extra wad of cash into the pot in order to get rid of weak-willed players. If this happens, a player can re-raise if they like, or they can call the bet by matching the raise. If a player has a big fat hand or is becoming "short stacked" and fancies a last desperate bid for some cash, they can bet &quo
                        t;all in" and chuck their full stack into the pot. Players consider this as a normal raise, and have to match the bet to continue. When all the bets are in, those remaining will see 3 cards dealt. This is called the "flop" and these cards are community cards and can be used by all the players in order to help make a five card hand. They are not taking from the table! They are "used" by all players together with the two cards they were dealt, and must be left on the table for the use of any player. Then betting begins again with all those still in. It is as before: pass, call or raise, but if the first player to bet(the original caller/raiser from the first round) decides to "check"-see another card without adding money to the pot, than all players left can also check the bet around. A 4th card is put into the community hand, and again can be used by all players left. A final round of betting takes place, the same as before, and this time there will be a "showdown"- the hands will be played. If a player makes a large raise and the others fold in response, the raiser is not at liberty to disclose his hand!!! A 5th card is dealt, the "river" card, and the hand is decided in accordance to the following ranking system(weakest first): High Card(ace high etc). One Pair. Two Pair. Three of a kind. Straight(2,3,4,5,6 etc). Flush (five of the same suit). Full House(one pair and three of a knid 2,2,3,3,3 etc). Four of a kind. Running flush(straight with the same suit 2,3,4,5,6 of hearts etc). The player with the hand highest up the rankings wins the pot. Hold 'em has several advantages over many other games. All players start with the same amount of cash, so you won't be throwing your car keys into the pot!!! In a pub with mates, £50 quid each should be more than enough, but in a casino about a grand is
                        how much it will cost before you can take a seat. Unlike many other games in Casino's, you are not playing a rigged game against the dealer-you are only playing the other players. Take care when nominating the dealer-make sure he is not someones best mate or brother/sister, or you may find some suspisious hands being dealt. The winner takes all! The game is played until there are only two people with money left, and they play "heads up". The winner takes the cash. Hold 'em is a bluffers paradise. Because everyone can see the flopped cards, it is very easy "represent" a card in the deck. The game is not decided in five minutes- it can last hours and is therefore a great idea if you and mates have nothing to do and want to make a night of it. TIPS Pick a style of play and stick to your guns. Either be patient or aggressive, do not change mid game. Although it is a perfect game for bluffing, be careful. If you place a weak bet on a bluff, then you might find yourself being sucked into a pot you cannot win. If you chuck everything into the pot to frighten everyone else out of the hand, someone might just have a monster hand. Do not get whittled away by the blinds: keep betting and stay active in the game. If you are playing against people who are less than pro's, try using a "double bluff". Pretending to be hesitant about betting when you have a royal flush will normally draw opponents with good but weaker handS into the pot. Be subtle- if you have a good hand and then throw a massive amount of cash into the pot, people will fold like a cheap suitcase. Try "trap-checking" instead. If you find yourself short-stacked, try and go all in as soon as you see something worth a bet. If you are dealt two picture cards, especially aces and kings, try having a bet. You have a chance of a high pair, or at least a g
                        ood kicker. Be careful betting on pairs which can be beaten by something higher in the flop. Try to stay off the hard stuff when you play. Your judgement will be poorer, despite what you think at the time!! If you smoke, have your cigs near you when you start-do not leave the table and be wary of anyone who does. Play in a neutral venue like the pub. Only go a mates house if you know them well. Do not play for huge amounts-would you really like to send you mate home early after taking all their cash? If you wanna look cool and wear shades, do not wear a £3 pair you bought at the market. Chances are they are reflective, and will show the other players your cards!! Play the cards and no your opponent. Do not allow yourself to be "bullied" by the loadmouth of the table. Just do not get involved, stare ahead and play your cards. Do not respond to gaoding or talking when in a casino-the person is trying to get information out of you, and they probably will, so stay schtumm. Try to avoid games with gangsters, hoodlums and other associated bad lads. Even if you win, you will probably not get your money. There are some cheating ba**ards out there. Oh yes, and if an opponent turns over 5 aces, slowly rise from your seat, remove the person from theirs, and then proceed to beat several bells of s**t out of them... For more info, if you are confused, or if you wanna see the pros play the game, watch the final of Late Night Poker on Friday night at about 12.30am on Channel 4. Have fun and good luck! Thank you for reading and rating this opinion.

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                          01.03.2002 09:58
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                          This is a game that everyone has heard of, yet not many know how to play, and those who do often have different rules to each other anyway. We’ve all seen the serious poker nights on soaps and sitcoms (well I’m just guessing with the soaps bit because I don’t watch any of them) along with the stereotypical poker-player cheating going on accompanied by heavy drinking, but believe me you don’t have to be a dishonest alcoholic to win the jackpot and discover how to play that famous and infamous game: poker. There exist three main types of poker, which I will describe briefly coupled with my opinions on each, and then if you’re lucky (ha) you’ll suffer me rabbiting on for a bit longer about poker as whole and… well… nothing in particular really. Before we begin I ought to say that poker is a game usually played with five cards and you bet on yourself having the “best” hand. The order of value of hands, from best to worst is: Straight Flush (five cards of the same suit in sequence) Four Of A Kind (four cards of the same numerical value) Full House (three cards of one value and two of another) Flush (five cards of the same suit) Straight (five cards in sequence) Three Of A Kind (three cards of the same value) Two Pairs (2x two cards of the same value) One Pair (two cards of the same value) Bag O’Nails (five unmatched cards) It is worth adding that when two or more players have a hand of equal importance according to the above list, the player who has the “trick” (i.e. one of the above) of the greatest numerical value wins (NB ace is always high). The Types Of Poker: ~Basic Draw Poker: 1) Decide upon a dealer, then the player to his left shuffles the cards and the player to his right cuts them. 2) All players put an agreed amount of money (eg 10p) into the middle of the table (the po
                          t) and the dealer deals each five cards, face down. 3) The dealer asks the players (in anticlockwise order) if they wish to change any cards. They may change up to three cards, with the old ones being laid face down on the table and the new ones dealt face down. 4) Each player then bets (in anticlockwise order) on their hand. The first player adds a certain amount of money to the pot (depending on the strength of their hand and any max/min limits), and then the next player has the choice of dropping out (and surrendering the money he has put in the pot), “seeing” the first player’s bet (i.e. adding the same amount of money) or raising it. The next player has the same choices and so the betting continues in an anticlockwise direction (and can go around many times- each time the players have the same choices). The game finally finishes when the highest bet has been “seen” by all other remaining members of the game. 5) The remaining players reveal the cards and the one with the aforementioned highest value hand wins all the money in the pot. As you can see it is really quite simple. There is a fair amount of tension because of the money at stake, but this simple version of the game will become boring after a while. However even your gran should understand this one and the easy playability is its advantage; it’s quick, easy and cheap… unless you’re unlucky of course! Incidentally the highest value hand I’ve ever gained is a Full House, which I have managed of a couple of occasions, but frequently you do not even gain a pair, and the trick is to know when to throw down your cards, and of course let the money go. Bluffing can be quite effective providing you can keep a poker face and you do not attempt it too often. Good luck! NB: I usually play a slight variation on this called Jackpot Poker, where you require at least a pair of jacks to open (so two pairs etc would enable to open as
                          it is higher in value) the betting- so at stage 4 the dealer asks each player in turn if they can open, and the person who can commences the betting. If nobody can open then the cards are collected in and new ones are dealt, with each player having to add more money to the pot. This time at least two queens are required to open and the game progresses as before. If nobody can open this time then the cards are re-collected and dealt again, with two kings required to open, then two aces, two aces, two kings, two queens, two jacks etc. Although usually somebody can open first time this variation occasionally leads to a very large pot (not unlike a National Lottery rollover on a smaller scale). ~Stud: My original intention was to give the rules of this as well… but after careful consideration I have decided it would only confuse you, as there are a large number of steps combined with a complex betting system. The basic object is the same; to gain the hand of highest value, this time from 5 cards out of a total of 7 cards dealt, two face-down to each player and the other 5 face up in the middle (I can’t guarantee if this is entirely correct but it’s how I play it)! However the cards are dealt in stages with several rounds of betting (with strict upper and lower betting limits). For a fuller overview of the rules visit ‘http://www.winneronline.com/rules/7cardstud.htm’ or any of the many similar pages hosted by online gambling sites. This game is for serious pokerists only and adds a little spice to the basic game. However its main attraction to gamblers is that it involves skill and (usually) large amounts of money changing hands. ‘Proper’ games are likely to be very serious and I have only (attempted) to play this on a couple of occasions and needless to say not very seriously. To a non-serious pokerist it is really pretty boring! ~Texas Hold’em Up: I have a tendency to con
                          fuse this with 7-card Stud and indeed the two games are very similar. I believe this is more fashionable in casinos etc., but being only 17 I have never frequented a casino and harbour no intentions of gambling seriously anyway. This is another one for serious pokerists and I don’t think I’ve ever played it. Having however checked out the rules at ‘http://www.pokerrulesonline.com/rules.htm ’ my advice is to leave this variation well alone! ~Conclusion~ Although poker has a reputation for being a very serious game played by solemn ant stupid alcoholics it can, in its most basic form, be a simple game reasonable enjoyable for just about everyone. There are concerns around about gambling and its harmful effect on society, but if this really bothers you then play with pennies or matchsticks! I usually play with bets from 10p-£1 in a darkened room with reflective surfaces removed and a few beers handy, but it doesn’t even have to be that serious. There are many different variations of poker (this op is just an overview) so make sure you all get the rules sorted out before money is at stake otherwise serious arguments could ensue. Lack-of-argument permitting I would recommend poker to just about anybody with some time to waste and who fancies a cheap flutter. Of course it is not a gripping game that you will want to play every Friday night, but it is generally good fun and costs no more than a pack of cards (with “pot” poker the players win all the money so theoretically you should end up with about what you started with- but of course there is always an element of skill involved).

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                            24.10.2001 05:47

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                            The game of poker involves 4 people with a pack of cards. what you do after the cards have been dealt is enitrely up to u. in 1 game of poker i have seen, 4 blokes just got up and walked out, which was really dramatic. one of the best poker games i have seen was on tv, when 2 men and 3 women played poker on a dustbin lid. the man in the cowboy hat had three kings, and ripped everyone else, but the woman in the bra got three aces out and slapped him across his bare cheek, which was ludicrous. it was almost as ludicrous as the time when jeff hardy took his shirt off and swanton bombed raven from the top of the entrance door. shocking. move aside citizen, theres a hurricane coming through.,..

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