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How much to bet

I see a lot of players who are rather new to online poker and come to me and ask me the same question all the time. How much should I bet and when should I bet.

There’s definitely no exact answer and there’s a lot of great players who bet a lot of different ways. In poker like in most games you must develop your own style that you feel comfortable with and build up from there. In online poker the rule number one is to be aggressive, so the answer to the question when you should bet is as often as possible. Practice and see for yourself your comfort level, but do not fall in the trap of playing passively, a sure recipe for not making money.

As for how much to bet, here are some basic guidelines that can help you develop your betting style.

Try to bet according to the size of the pot. I often bet somewhere around 2/3 of the pot, this is my benchmark. Around this level, I may bet more or less depending on the circumstance. For example if I know my opponent is very aggressive I may start my betting at a lower level, such as 60% of the pot. Or if there is an obvious draw, I may bet 100% of the pot or even 125% (overbetting) sometimes so that calling with that draw is a clear bad play.

Adjust your bet sizes when the blinds get high. It is usually not advised to min-raise pre flop, but once the blinds are expensive in a large multi-player tournament, it can actually be a fairly large raise, sufficient to produce its result.

Make your bet size consistent. If you make the same size bets and raises, with good hands, bad hands, bluffs, you will be much harder to read. What the top poker pros do is that they will change their bet size depending on their position, not on the strength of their hand. Bet more early to discourage callers who will have the positional advantage over you post flop, but bet less in late position as you can open-bet with weaker hands and use position to your own advantage.

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Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 online poker Comments Off on How much to bet

Selecting the right poker games

How to select the right game at online poker

It is important to be in the right poker games for you. The games where you are comfortable and where you can earn good money.

Select the games that allow you to play your way, but give you the best chance to win. Here are a few pointers to find the right games:

  • The lowest limits you can tolerate:
  • The smallest antes or blinds.
  • Lots of loose-passive players.
  • No more than one loose-aggressive player.
  • A large pool of players.
  • A full table.

Why low limits and small antes or blinds? Generally, the lower the limits, the weaker the players. In the smallest games many players are loose and passive. In addition, most of them will not recognize your style or exploit your predictability, but the better players in the larger games will quickly identify and adjust to your style, turning you from a winner into a loser.

The ratio of antes to bets also favors you in the smallest stud games, but works against you in the larger ones. You are virtually unbeatable at the smallest stud games because there are no antes (or trivial ones), and the players are so loose. The one negative in the smaller games is that the rake is relatively high, but you still have the edge in them. Unless you play at some micro-limits games without rake.

As the game gets larger, the antes become a larger fraction of the bets, and the players get tighter and better. These changes cause your style to shift slowly from an asset, to neutral, to a liability.

The same process occurs more slowly in hold ‘em because the blinds are always about the same percentages of the bets.

A good idea is to play at an online poker room that has a lot of traffic and attracts plenty of new players with their promotions. This way you are guaranteed to find loose or new players who make mistakes while playing poker.

In this respect, the largest poker room pokerstars has plenty of small fish. Use a pokerstars bonus code 2014 in order to qualify for their 100% bonus up to $600. That is a cool incentive to boost your bankroll when you sign up.

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Sunday, May 2nd, 2010 online poker Comments Off on Selecting the right poker games

Anatomy of a tilt

As I have a tendency to tilt too much, I thought I would sit down an analyze what is going on. I believe as a poker player, understanding and mastering tilt is a major skill, as this has a large effect on your bankroll.

One typical scenario goes as follows:

I am losing slowly. I am sitting at pokerstars playing four tables of NL100. It seems not much is going on. I am not getting good cards pre or post flop. So my stacks all decrease slowly like under the influence of a fast paced erosion. This obviously does not put me in a great mood already.

In addition it seems that I miss all my draws. This adds to the fire of my rising anger. If this was not enough, I try a few continuation bet bluffs and I face a monster once, losing a good chunk of my stack. I get raised a lot pre and post flop, and this annoys me and makes it even worse. Because it feels like the other players at the table are able to play me like a puppet.

So I fold most of the times to these raises, but when I decide to take a stand and to defend my hand, I am against a big hand. Then I pre flop raise AK, miss the flop but got donk bet. This is aggravating as this is the case of a donk calling station making a donk bet, and if I had not missed this would have been the opportunity to take a big pot, but instead this makes me feel even lower.

Finally I cannot take the aggression anymore. A few hands later I reraised at the flop when I have two pairs but got 3-bet. This normally signals a very strong hand in this type of game and the prudent route is to fold as I have no strong draw to back me up. But given how pissed off I am already, I call and end up losing my entire stack to a set.

I could feel it when I got 3-bet, but it was stronger than me, I could not resist calling, as if to say “Ok, you want my stack so much, just take it”, in great desperation.

And that is it I have reached the climax of my tilt and I cannot take it anymore. I am not reloading as I know I have totally lost it and cannot play poker anymore. Only one option for me at this stage: leave the tables and go hit my head on the wall…

So after this self-analysis, the point is: tilting is when I am losing and I lose even more; I cannot stand losing and I lose my self-control in this situations.

Remedy: I need to read about self-control (blogs and books) and be systematic about learning to control myself. Self-awareness first, self-control next. The great players control their tilt, so this must be my goal as well.

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Sunday, April 18th, 2010 online gambling Comments Off on Anatomy of a tilt

Catching a bluff

This hand was played at the $100NL table at Full Tilt Poker…

I had just sat down so I had no read on the anyone at the table. It was folded to me in MP. I raised to $4 with a pair of tens. Everyone folded except for the big blind who called.

The pot was $8 and the flop came Q77 with two clubs. The BB checked to me and since I was the pre flop raiser, I fired out a pot sized bet of $8 hoping to fold him off, but unfortunately he called.

The pot was now $24. The turn card was the ten of clubs. This was the perfect card for me. He checked to me and I checked it right back. I could have bet here but I wanted him to think the flush card scared me.

If I bet now and he has something like AQ, he will fold because he is afraid of the flush. If I check, I can induce him to either bet his queen, bet if he has a flush (which I beat of course), or he may make a big bluff thinking I have AK and that is why I checked the turn.

The pot is still $24. The river is the queen of diamonds. Now that is a really bad card. If he has a queen he now has me beat. He goes all in for his last $21. I used all of my allotted time but finally decided to call for a couple reasons.

1/ I set him up to bluff me and he may well be bluffing

2/ He may be betting his flush (even though thats a bad idea on a double paired board)
3/ He’s playing a short stack. A lot of times a short stack is a sign of a bad player. This is not a huge factor is most hands, but I sometimes use it to sway me when I am teetering over a decision

So I called him and he had KTo and I took down a nice pot.

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Monday, April 5th, 2010 hand histories Comments Off on Catching a bluff

Hello world!

Good morning and this blog edelamerica.com is just getting started today.

This is a blog about all good things American, in particular from Nevada and Las Vegas. After all, why work a lot and sweat a lot if this is not for paving the way for our entertainment time. And there is hardly a better place in America for entertainment than Las Vegas.

It is not just gambling, casinos and Baccarat that you can find in the Sin City. There are many other attractions, such as beautiful luxury hotels and swimming pools, many shows including singers, dancers, magicians, stand up comedians, circus, and other original artistic creations.

For gastronomy, the wealth at Las Vegas is attracting top chefs from over the world who offer their magnificent cuisine to high rollers and more common people too. As you can always find good bargains or perks from the casinos who use that as a way to reward their most loyal players.

In Las Vegas there are many organized events and conferences attracting thousands of participants. Or course the most prestigious gathering is the World Series of Poker event that takes place every year in June. The total prize pool is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. But there is a multitude of other less well known conferences, in Internet technology, gaming, hotel business, traveling and many more. And they have a lot of sporting events such as boxing matches. So whatever your line of business, you will always find a reason to go to Las Vegas. You should at least go visit once before your die.

I forgot another reason to visit, and there is no better way to explain it than the movie “The Hangover”. Simply the place to have the time of a lifetime before you get married. Las Vegas is probably the city the most filmed in movies after New York City by the way, so it shows that there is always a lot going on there.

So why not share the fun. Come and visit the Sin City today.

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Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 las vegas Comments Off on Hello world!