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Poker is still going strong across the online communities, with players battling for millions each day. Though the legalities may seem chaotic, there are many options within the US that allow players to do what they love. You will want to ensure you play the best poker out there so check out Legalpoker.com for some of the best sites.
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Although the poker boom is already over, online poker remains one of the most lucrative and entertaining forms of online gambling to date. The gaming halls have moved to servers, and they have expanded with no geographical boundaries (well, some legal ones still remain), so today almost everyone can have access to a game of Sit-n-go Hold’em by using a smartphone, a tablet or a desktop or portable PC. Not all poker rooms have their own custom software, though. With a few exceptions – like Unibet’s poker room, for example, that uses proprietary software – most poker rooms run on software provided by online poker networks. Here is a short list of the biggest ones of the world where you can play and win at online poker non stop.
1. iPoker and iPoker 2
iPoker is the largest online poker network maintained by online gambling expert Playtech. It gathers some of the best names in online poker under its virtual roof – Ladbrokes, Coral, Bet365, TitanPoker, Betfair, Betclic and many others. It constantly has thousands of people connected – tens of thousands during peak hours – and it runs one of the best online poker tournaments in the poker world.
iPoker has split in two recently, and the split gave birth to iPoker 2, the tier-two network for the biggest poker rooms out there.
PartyPoker was once the largest poker room on the planet, but the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006 has knocked it out of the US, which almost caused it to go bankrupt. After its merger with Bwin it has managed to stay one of the largest poker networks of the industry. Today it goes downhill, though – players are complaining about glitches, bad customer service and similar things. The company behind PartyPoker – the Bwin.party Digital Entertainment – is going to be bought this year, so maybe its services will improve.
3. Microgaming Poker Network
Microgaming is one of the biggest online casino software developers of the world, and it also runs a fairly successful poker network. The MPN has a decent attendance of mostly casual poker players and some really attractive GTD tournaments, which makes it an attractive destination for many.
+1 – PokerStars
PokerStars is not a poker network, but an online poker hall – and the largest one there is. When it comes to its number of players, PokerStars – together with Full Tilt – is the largest in the world, exceeding all poker networks put together. PokerStars and all of its operations was acquired last year by Canadian online gambling firm Amaya Gaming, which has in the past acquired the OnGame poker network as well. PokerStars has recently ventured into the world of casino gaming as well – let’s see what this decision’s effect will be on its poker standings.
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Adjusting your play – An introduction for beginners
This information is not a template for a winning game. It is on the contrary an explanation of the factors that matters when you only play a few players and what the game at shorthanded tables looks like. Will you make a profit or a loss? Well this is mainly up to your ability to read the game and to change and vary it and of course pick the right opponents. Therefore it is recommended that you do not play any NL games before you have played for quite a long time and thus have gained some experience.
The major part of this text applies to fixed low limit shorthanded Holdem although it to some extent also applies to NL.
When the number of players at a table has gone down to about 6 or fewer you start talking about shorthanded play. Playing FL Texas Hold’em like I earlier have been recommended at full 10-tables is a completely wrong method to manage well. When playing shorthanded you are more or less forced to play more hands to be successful at the poker table. Rule of thumb: The fewer players the more played hands by you (If the blinds aren’t smaller than usual). You should also play more aggressively.
This in the first place is due to:
- That the blinds go quicker around the table. If you do not play they will finish your stack. In other words – what you spend on blinds will not be covered by the occasional winning hands you get by playing tightly.
- That you have fewer opponents. Thus luck or chance affects fewer opponents. This of course minimizes the risk that a fairly high pair with a pretty good kicker card will be beaten by somebody else. At a 10-player-table it is fairly easy to take down a cocky player who plays bad starting hands as the player frequently will meet high cards or high pairs. When playing at shorthanded tables this is not as obvious.
- That you have bigger chances to blind steal. The blinds are generally more valuable when playing shorthanded.
- That players are more afraid of opponents who raise often. More players than you expect can join in up to the river card without calling your bluff after the river card. Calling stations are welcome, that is the players that from the odds point of view play wrongly by being too much in love with their high cards and call all the way without having at least a pair on the hand.
Some background to make the above way of thinking more complete:
Let’s say you are playing heads-up, fixed limit at a $2/$4-table at an online poker room such as Bodog Poker Canada.
You pay the Small Blind ($1) and your opponent the Big Blind ($2)
You raise before the flop and plan to go on playing if the flop will give you anything. This means you are prepared to pay $3 to win the $3 that already are in the pot.
If your opponent call you 50% of the times this means that you already at this stage have an advantage as you are the one who decide if you want to go on, that is if you have got a good hand. You always fold if the flop does not give you anything after first having checked your opponent and he then has made a bet.
If your opponent call you less than 50% of the times you have the best chances to make a profit. This is partly due to the fact that he is folding his Big Blind to you and partly that you sometimes win more hands after the flop.
Now to the extra nice part. If your opponent only calls, for example 33% (1/3) of the times, this means that you win $3 two times out of three and lose $3 the third time. This means that you on average make a profit of $1 per played hand. Add further profits that you make when flopping a good hand and go on playing.
Countermeasures to this way of playing are of course, as you already might have guessed, calling and raising more frequently. This is not a recommendation – it is a must!
The winning concept is often: Raise or fold frequently.
Very often it is better to raise than just calling when you have a playable hand and when the table consists of few players and these are passive. By doing this you take the initiative and can use this in different ways – disguise your hands, bluffing and get some good action when you have the nuts. This is particular suitable when you are in a position for blind steal when players aren’t defending their blinds strongly enough.
Selecting tables – Aggressive play
Passivity is a sign of weakness when you play shorthanded. That is why I look for tables with LOW flop percentage when I want to play aggressive shorthanded. This is in other word completely opposite to what I look for when I play fixed limit with full tables.
Selecting tables – Passive play
It is of course possible to play fairly tight Hold’em at these tables but in order to make this work satisfactory you would like to have 5-6 players around the table and a high flop percentage. The rule of thumb “Call more hands when playing shorthanded than at full10-player-tables” is however always valid.
In most cases it is enough to have a fairly high card in combination with a fairly good kicker card (7 or higher) to call or raise. Overdoing the aggressive play can sometimes pay off at certain tables but it can also make you lose a lot if you do not notice that your opponents have started slowplaying or that they simply cannot be defeated easily – cause they know that you know how to defeat these tables…
A starting hands table will not be shown here. These hands are far too dependent on the playing conditions at the table.
and something about FL odds
When the flop has been dealt you should see to it that you always have something on your hand when calling somebody. Making a a draw for something else than a flush (when you have 4 cards to a flush) or straight (when you have an open straight draw, for instance 9-T- J-Q) is from an odds point of view a completely wrong decision if you are sure that the opponent has a stronger hand than yours and you also know that he will not give up. And very often it is much better beeing the agressor in those hands.
If you have an A with a fairly good kicker card without anything else worth mentioning I do not say it is wrong to raise as you with frequent raises can force a player with a mediocre pair to fold. This is more common than the fact that you will hit an A on the turn- or river card… This however to a large extent depends on how scaring the flop is to your opponent and your own certainty that your opponent does not have anything that is favoured by the flop.
Even if you join up to showdown and lose your way of playing might have created good conditions for coming hands when you really have a strong hand. As mentioned before it takes a lot of reading and thinking/planning when playing shorthanded compared to playing longhanded (10 players).
Shorthande playing contains lots of hands that goes all the way to showdown with an A as the highest card with a low kicker card after loads of raises which might be good to know (there is of course a big difference between playing against 6 players or against 3 players – so be wise!). You keep your game balanced.
Risk of trouble
The shorthanded tables are probably the place where the players tend to use bad language and cause trouble the most ;-). If you learn to play winning shorthanded you should not expect to hear that you are good player. It is more likely you will be booed at and asked to go to a place which is slightly hotter.
You have to disregard this and merely establish the fact that these comments come from players who do not know what they are talking about and who play too tightly. That is why they literally hate your raising standards with QTo (well, it should’t be standard raise either – it depends on the table…) and even worse hands. Calling the flop in this way is not a problem but going on calling is wrong unless you have something of value.
Does this sound simple? Unfortunately it is not. Reading the players and picking the right opponents is incredibly important in order to beat these tables which is the difference from the low limit-tables where you in the long run nearly make a profit automatically by playing very tightly and by using your positions ( if many players call the flop and play their hands too far).
Be aware that your bank roll will be exposed to BIG fluctuations.
Playing shorthanded or heads-up without rakeback is a big waste of money. Even at the limit tables the pots will be raked for hundreds of dollars each month. This is an amount that you could have yourself.
PokerStars has recently purchased the rights to Full Tilt Poker; they reopened the Full Tilt Poker rooms on November 6th, 2012. Poker players in the United States will be able to play for fun but will not be able to play for real money. However, you can visit these legal sites if you would like to do so. If you were owed money by Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars will honor the money owed to you.
You can contact them for more details by going to Full Tilt Poker's website. This includes being able to switch the money over to a PokerStars account. Find out more about the PokerStars bonus code that can allow you to make more money for free.
If you would like to see a list of the best US poker sites that currently allow real money poker players from the U.S., you can find the latest list at usafriendlypokersites.com. If you live in Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah or Washington, you should not play online poker sites for real money because of state laws that forbid online poker.
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Aced Poker has been around for several years. However, they have not always been available to the US poker market. This has recently changed as the Aced Poker site has recently changed domains. Aced is part of the Merge poker network along with the more commonly known Carbon Poker. If you are new to the poker network concept, it means that all of the poker players in the Merge poker network will be shared among the different poker sites that use the network.
Being a part of the same network, Aced and Carbon have many similar features which will be explained below. So the obvious question would be “Why would I want to play at Aced Poker instead of Carbon?” The simple answer is that you may have already used your sign-up bonus at Carbon and playing at Aced Poker will allow you to earn a similar bonus.
Aced offers a 200% sign up bonus up to $5,000 when you use the Deposit Bonus code ACEDPK. You must enter this code in the appropriate bonus code box when you are making your deposit (not after the deposit). The amount that you deposit is directly correlated to the amount that you can earn.
Most people aren’t going to be able to afford or want to trust any site with $2500, but the option is their if you want to earn the maximum amount. More likely, you are going to want to deposit at least $100 or up to a thousand if you are a baller. You will be able to earn twice the amount that you deposit in bonus money.
So, how does the bonus work?
Unlike some of the other sites that have complicated bonus structures or levels to earn, Aced Poker makes it simple to understand. For every 1500 Reward Points that you earn, you will receive $10 into you account. You will have 90 days from the time of your deposit in order to earn your bonus money. After that, the bonus expires and the remaining money cannot be claimed.
How do you earn Reward Points
Reward Points are earned by playing at the real money poker tables. You will be contributing rake if you play at the Cash Games tables or tournament entry fees if you play in the Sit & Go’s or Tournaments. There are three reward tiers if you are a consistent player at Aced; otherwise, here is how the reward points are earned:
Ring Games: you will earn 10 Reward Points for every $1 of rake contributed. Fractional points are awarded if you play at the lower limit tables.
Sit & Go and MTTs: you will earn 10 Reward Points for every $1 paid for entry fees into the tournament.
The three reward tiers are Aced, Aced Plus and Aced Elite. These reward tiers are limited to players that earn a certain number of Reward Points in a month. The Aced Elite is invite only, so if you aren’t a diehard player, don’t ask.
The Aced level is relatively easy to receive. All you need to do is receive 500 Reward Points in the month. If you do this, you will receive a 10% Points for Cash exchange, meaning that you will only need 1000 Reward Points in order to receive the $10 cash bonus. You will also be eligible for the Reward Point tournament buy-in.
Aced Plus is more difficult and requires you to play much more often. You will need to 5,000 Reward Point in a month to be eligible for this. To put that into perspective, you will need to contribute $500 in rake or tournament entry fees combined in a month. If you do this, you will be eligible for 15% Points for Cash exchange, meaning that you will receive $150 cash bonus if you accumulate 10,000 Reward Points.
If you play at the Aced Plus level for several month in a row, you can ask to be invited into the Aced Elite level. This includes 35% Points for Cash exchange, VIP tournament buy-in, and exclusive bonuses, promotions, and tournament entry coupons. You must continue to play at this level month-to-month in order to maintain this elite level.
One note about these other promotions: you can only claim one promotion or accolade at a time. If you claim an additional promotion or accolade, it will replace the current promotion or accolade that you are using. This means that you should continue with your Initial Deposit bonus until you have collected all of the cash or the promotion expires before you accept another one of these.
Aced Poker now offers a mobile poker app for Apple, Android and Blackberry devices. You can find this by going to m.aced.ag on your mobile’s browser.
There are both Cash Games and Sit & Go’s offered on this mobile platform. If you play in one Cash Game or Sit & Go, you will receive a special mobile accolade.
If you are finished with your initial sign up bonus, you can use a monthly reload bonus. This month’s bonus code is APRIL375PK which is a 75% bonus up to $375. Each month will have a different reload bonus available to players. These bonuses expire 60 days after your deposit.
You have to opt-in to this promotion. You will receive 1.5x the Reward Points when you play between 10:00AM ET and 3:00PM ET from Monday to Friday.
Free Poker Training
Earn 10 Reward Points to receive free poker training at DragTheBar for the current month and the next month. You must opt-in to this promotion by visiting the Poker Training page at the Aced.ag website. This is a great tool for any beginner or moderate poker player that wants to improve their skills.
Screenshots of Aced Poker
With so many poker sites, where should you go to for live poker strategy and guide to online poker? PlayingPokerOnline has you covered so check them out today.
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If you read any types of advanced poker ebooks or strategy articles at any of the online poker sites, you’ll learn that one of the biggest flaws amongst even winning players in the micro-stakes games is that they don’t value bet the river properly.
Unfortunately a lot of regulars butcher the river. They either don’t value bet the river enough with strong hands, or they value bet in awkward situations where they would be much better off checking for value and taking the safer route.
Think about this one for a second. Have you ever caught yourself with Ax or mid-pair and decided to raise the board after a check only to get bluff-raised off the pot and fold? Well this is precisely what I’m talking about when I say that most players don’t play the river profitably enough or exploit enough value from the regulars.
There are no rigid safeguards or rules for how you play the river. In fact, the river encapsulates what Texas Holdem is all about. Getting the meta-game right, understanding your opponent’s playing style and narrowing down his hand range is the only right way to playing the river. If you are having to guess at these stage whether your opponent has something or not then you’re probably not at a very good player yet.
Against calling stations and weak TAG players you should be value betting lightly more often, since they are more likely to call with dominated hands. Against decent LAGs and solid players however you should only be value betting with strong hands.
Value Bet or Check the River?
You only want to value bet the river when you’re ahead. Typical hands that I will value bet the river with will be 3 of a kind, the nut flush/straight or top two pair. For example, if I have K10 on a board A-K-4-9-K then it is 99% likely that you are ahead.
Your aim should be to extract the maximum value possible from the board, however knowing how to do this will depend on your opponent’s playing style and how he played the flop and turn. If he showed some aggression by betting the flop and continuing by betting the turn then he’s probably got the Ace and will be calling you down.
On the other hand if he checked both the flop, turn and river then he’s very unlikely to call any sized bet on the river. He might have even had a drawing hand like JQ and missed it on the river. Against these types of players you need to make much smaller value bets to encourage them to call. I’d make a ¼ pot value bet for example rather than a 50% bet which I’d do if my opponent had the ace.
Most players fail to recognize dangerous boards and value bet when they are not 100% confident that they are ahead. A bad time to value bet the river for example would be when you have 78 on a 9-10-J-Q-4 board. Although you have a very good hand you could easily be drawing dead to the nut straight. Hence, if your opponent checks to you then you are better off checking for value and seeing a cheap showdown.
To explain why checking is the best option let’s say you value bet for instance. By value betting 50% of the pot you are only likely to get called by hands that beat you since there are 4 cards to the straight on the board. What’s more, if you value bet the river then there is a greater chance that your opponent will try to bluff-raise you by representing the nut straight. Hence, checking for value is the best option in the long term.
Now, obviously there will be much more difficult situations to assess on the river. Let’s say that you have JQ for example and board shows 6-J-K-2-7. If you’re opponent checks over to you then your decision to bet the river should be based on your opponent’s tendencies. If he c-bet the flop but checked both the turn and river then he could have hit the bottom or even mid-pair.
You should value bet against this opponent since there is a high chance they will call with an inferior hand. On the other hand, if he raised pre-flop, bet the flop and the turn but then checked the river, then there is a greater possibility that he has the K. Since he showed so much aggression earlier in the hand I will check behind a check under these circumstances and avoid an ugly re-raise.
Wild Jack Mobile Casino offers outstanding promotions, for both beginner players and especially repeat players. Open and account at the casino and get a 10% matching bonus of up to 250 credits a month. That means you play games like mobile blackjack and still get up to 3,000 credits a year free.
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There are many strategies for playing video poker. These strategies come in one of two forms: either it is a general theory for how to wager and the best practices for gambling or it is a direct strategy for playing the individual video poker variations. This article will give you both types of advice to give you the best possible chance of winning some money.
First, you need to know where you should play video poker. Most people will play the video poker machines that are located inside of the casinos across the country. You can also play for real money at some of the online casinos; however, you will want to make sure that you visit a website with a good reputation. Also, mobile games are all the rage these days. You can check out some cool video poker games for mobile devices as well.
The one advantage of playing in a casino is that each video poker machine has a guaranteed payout rate that is regulated by the state where the casino is located. Before you start playing video poker for real money, either at a casino or while playing on a website, you should read this overview of gambling laws and regulation. This will answer a lot of the legal questions that you may have.
Video Poker Advice
The first strategy that most players will need to know is the payout percentages that the various video poker machines offer. The two most popular version are Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. Jacks or Better offers a return of 99.5% when the appropriate strategy is applied. Deuces Wild has a return slightly over 100% when using the proper strategy. Of course, these payout percentages are base upon the operator of the video poker machine or video poker software.
The return percentages and hand payouts can be manipulated. This is something that you will need to be aware of because some shady operators (primarily online casinos) will change these features to give the house a better chance of winning. The most obvious of these is when a casino changes the normal payouts of the winning hands. Here is an example:
This is two screenshots from separate online casinos that are using the exact same software. The one on the top has the appropriate payouts for Jacks or Better. The one on the bottom is a shady online casino that reduced the payouts for the Full House and Flush on the same Jacks or Better game. This is what you have to watch out for. If you would like to see the normal pay schedule for several different video poker variations, you can check them out on this strategy page.
On the other hand, there are many different variations of the traditional Jacks or Better game. This is any video poker game where there is no wildcards and the minimum winning hand is a pair of Jacks. This would include Aces & Eights, Bonus Poker, All American Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Jackpot Poker, Double Jackpot Poker, and several others. All of these games have slightly different payouts than the Jacks or Better game. Each game will add a bonus to a particular winning hand; it will also reduce the payout for another more common hand to even the return percentage of the machine.
For example, All American Poker will offer an 8x payout per coin for a Full House, Flush and Straight. The Flush and Straight hands receive a bonus, while the Full House is reduced and the Two Pair payout goes from 2x to even money. Other games will offer bonuses for a particular hand, most often a 4 of a Kind. You might receive a very large bonus when you receive 4 Aces for example.
The trick with all of these variations is to use the basic video poker strategy for the base game (Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, Double Joker, Deuces and Joker, Tens or Better) and slightly adapt you play to go after the bonus hand on that machine.
Basic Strategy for Video Poker Games
As I stated above, there are six basic types of video poker games available: Jacks or Better (52 card deck, no wildcard, Jacks or better wins), Tens or Better (52 card deck, no wildcard, pair of 10’s or better wins), Joker Poker (53 card deck, 1 wildcard, Kings or better wins), Double Joker (54 card deck, 2 wildcards, Two Pair or better wins), Deuces Wild (52 card deck, 4 wild cards, 3 of a Kind or better wins), and Deuces and Joker (53 card deck, 5 wild cards, 3 of a Kind or better wins).
Of these games, most casinos only will offer Jacks or Better, Joker Poker and Deuces Wild. The others are specialty games that are only rarely offered. These are the three games that have a general basic strategy.
Jacks or Better
(In order of lowest hand to highest hand, follow the highest number possible)
* High card = Jack, Queen, King, Ace *
1) Discard all 5 cards when you have no high cards and no connectors.
2) Discard 4 cards if you only have one high card.
3) Keep a suited 10/Jack, 10/Queen, or 10/King.
4) Discard 3 cards if you have two high cards. Keep the lowest 2 if you have 3.
5) Keep 3 cards to a straight flush.
6) Keep 2 suited high cards.
7) Keep 4 cards to an inside straight draw (one possible card to complete).
8) Keep a low pair.
9) Keep 4 cards to a flush or an outside straight draw.
10) Keep 3 cards to a Royal flush.
11) Keep a high pair.
12) Keep two pairs.
13) Keep 4 cards to a straight flush.
14) Keep a three of a kind.
15) Keep a pat hand (completed straight, flush, full house).
16) Keep 4 cards to a Royal flush.
When you keep the cards, the other cards that don’t match are discarded.
* High card = King or Ace *
(Always keep a Joker/Wildcard)
1) Discard all 5 cards when you have no high cards and no connectors.
2) Discard 4 cards when you have one high card.
3) Keep a low pair.
4) Keep an Ace/King.
5) Keep 3 cards to a straight flush.
6) Keep 4 cards to a straight draw.
7) Keep 4 cards to a flush.
8) Keep 3 cards to a Royal Flush.
9) Keep a high pair.
10) Keep two pairs.
11) Keep 4 cards to a straight flush.
12) Keep a 3 of a kind.
13) Keep a pat hand (completed straight, flush, full house).
14) Keep 4 cards to a Royal flush.
* With no wildcards or winning hand *
You will discard all 5 cards except:
1) Keep 2 cards to a Royal Flush.
2) Keep 4 cards to an inside straight draw.
3) Keep 3 cards to a straight flush.
4) Keep 4 cards to a flush or outside straight draw.
5) Keep 3 cards to a Royal Flush.
6) Keep 4 cards to a straight flush.
7) Keep 4 cards to a Royal Flush.
* With 1 wildcard *
You will discard the other 4 cards except:
1) Keep 3 cards to a straight flush.
2) Keep 3 cards to a Royal flush.
3) Keep 4 cards to a straight flush.
4) Keep any 3 of a kind or higher.
5) Keep 4 cards to a straight flush w/ 3 natural connectors.
6) Keep 4 cards to a Royal flush.
* With 2 wildcards *
You will discard the other 3 cards except:
1) Keep 4 cards to a straight flush.
2) Keep 4 cards to a Royal flush.
3) Keep any 4 of a kind or higher.