Author: Dave

Foolproof Ways How to Find Out if Online Casino is Safe

Almost every casino player has at least once asked one crucial question: how safe is it really to play online casino games? Safety is a real concern always when dealing with money and internet, not to even mention there are more than a few rogue online casinos that might seem tempting but in reality never pay out your winnings. So, how to make sure your information and money are safe? Here are a few things you should consider.

Check whether the casino uses safety measures

The first red flag should be missing SSL certificate. Though it surely doesn’t mean hackers can’t ever access your information, it does add a layer of security.

More than that, all reputable casinos use a variety of safety measures, sophisticated encryption and more. If the casino site doesn’t refer to any safety measures being used, then it’s quite reasonable to assume they don’t use any.

Is the casino licensed and ran by a legitimate company?

As with every service provider, if you can’t find company details or licensing information from their website, it’s clear they have something to hide. All casinos should have company information listed on their website (usually on the ’contact’ or ’about us’ page). If you find their legal information, you can easily check business registries to confirm the company is truly registered and legitimate.

Most casinos have also obtained a number of official licenses in order to provide gambling opportunities for the people of that area. If such license is required in your state or country, make sure you find relevant information from the casino website as well. There’s nothing worse than playing in a casino that isn’t licensed since it often means there’s no chance of ever getting your winnings or deposited money back. European Union does regulate gambling, so if you play at a casino licenced in Estonia or Malta, you should be good to go.

Some countries have their own licencing system. Whereas licence obtained from Malta covers all of the world, if you live in some European country where the lawmakers have decided to regulate gambling within that jurisdiction, you should stick to casinos licenced in that country. There are numerous examples, such as Latvija, where all international kazino have been blocked and you can only play at State licenced iGaming sites.

Fair software is a must

Every reputable casino maintains their software regularly and makes sure everything’s up to date. However, the factor that you should especially consider, is RNG testing. Testing the casino’s random number generator ensures the casino supports fair play and doesn’t tamper with the outcomes. All legitimate online casinos have stated something about RNG testing on their website, but if you can’t find any reference to such testing being done, there’s a good chance the casino might not use fair software or might even mess with the outcomes.

Check blacklists

There are several casino blacklists available online and those lists tell you more than plenty. A casino can end up in such list after practicing unethical strategies, tampering with games, having payout issues or crazily unfair gambling terms. No matter the reason, you should immediately opt for another casino that isn’t blacklisted.

Read reviews

Last but not least, you should always take a quick look on reviews that have been published by other players. If vast majority claims something similar, there’s a fairly good chance it’s true and you might encounter such troubles yourself. Learn from the mistakes others have made and be clever by avoiding such casinos completely.

Playing in online casinos can be a safe and fun experience but only if you are careful. Don’t be afraid to take extreme caution – in the end, you are risking with your money.

7 Biggest Mistakes You Can Make When Playing Online Blackjack

Blackjack is notorious for two reasons – it is simple and it has tens of strategies out there that promise you will earn a quick buck when using such strategies. Unfortunately, nearly all of these strategies are nothing but scams that don’t really work, meaning you are likely to lose money. As Blackjack is surrounded by so many myths and issues, we put together this quick list so you could avoid some of the greatest mistake you could ever make while playing Blackjack.

1. Using the Martingale system (or any other progressive system)

There’s nearly no Blackjack fan that hasn’t at least heard about this infamous strategy. Essentially, the strategy states that after every loss you should double your next bet so in the long run you would compensate the lost amount and stay profitable. The followers of the Martingale system claim it’s impossible to lose money this way, however you can clearly see the biggest error in the strategy. If you’re on a losing streak, doubling your bet can drain your bankroll until you end up with nothing.

2. Betting on side bets

Side bets are tempting because they are cheap, but the house edge is so high that there’s nearly no chance for you to win a nice sum in the long run. It’s better to just avoid side bets completely.

3. Playing with a CSM

Continuous shuffling machine is an automatic shuffler that’s created to make the dealer’s life a little easier. As with side bets, the house edge remains very high and hardly even changes from one round to the next one, so it’s another clever way for the casino to earn more money. The house edge can even increase every round, which makes playing with a CSM pretty unreasonable. That’s also one of the reasons why you should prefer live Blackjack over an automated computer version.

4. Playing a game that pays 6-5

You should keep 6-5 payoff Blackjack games far away from you as they unfortunately increase the house edge quite significantly. 6-5 payoff essentially means that for a 10-dollar bet you would get 12 dollars. It’s more reasonable to stick to the more common 3-2 payoff.

5. Not paying attention to the rules

Blackjack may be easy but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the table rules. Not all tables are created equal and just a slight deviation might bring you greater losses. By taking a brief look at the rules, you’ll just avoid unnecessary troubles later.

6. Overbetting

There’s no denying that Blackjack can be thrilling, however you should treat it cautiously as with every gambling type. It’s easy to fall into the bottomless pit of overbetting and depleting your bankroll just for the sake of hopefully making up the losses. Set a solid budget and don’t overstep it.

7. Not using bonuses

One of the perks of playing Blackjack in online casinos is the variety of available casino bonuses. Would you ever say no to free money? Probably not, so why do it in a casino? Before starting the game, make sure you’ve claimed possible bonuses.

Even if you are tempted to give some strategies a try, don’t rely on them too heavily. Trust your instincts and play for fun, not for winning.

Reasons Why You Should Try Playing in Online Casinos

Casinos, money and internet – sounds like a mix that is deemed to fail? If that has been your biggest worry and the reason why you’ve so far preferred land based casinos, it’s time to face the music. Things have changed big time and nowadays online casinos are safer than ever. More than that, there are various reasons why you could actually consider ditching the brick and mortar casino and try playing in online casinos instead. That being said, here are a few reasons why that change might be a good idea.

1. House edge is lower

The infamous enemy of every casino player – house edge – is especially high in land based casinos which in a way also makes sense. After all, it’s a lot more expensive to keep the wheels spinning in a brick and mortar casino. Most online casinos however have the advantage of offering much lower house edge. For example, in slot machines the payback is usually from 95 to 97 per cent while Blackjack may have 0,5 to 1,0 per cent house advantage. There’s no single truth to this but in general, online casinos take the point here.

2. You can still enjoy authentic experience

When you ask gambling enthusiasts why they visit land based casinos, they usually say “because of the atmosphere”. Technological advancements have allowed online casinos to almost replicated that via their live casino games. In live games, you get to play against a real live dealer as you would in a traditional casino, but you can do that while comfortably spending time in your home.

3. It’s more convenient

Have you ever stepped inside a land based casino and instantly realized it’s not really the place you want to be at and you should visit another one? One great reason why you should try online casinos, is the ease of moving from one to another. Even more, you can simultaneously play in several different online casinos. Many internet casinos have also introduced the possibility to play several games in one window, allowing you to play different games at once. Land based casinos can only dream about such convenience.

4. You are the boss

All land based casinos have strict rules you need to follow, in order to ensure the comfort of all casino players. That means, you have to abide by their rules for etiquette, clothing, game speed, table rules etc. If you want to avoid such hassle, then online casinos are clearly for you.

5. You can play for free

Words “casino” and “free” don’t seem to go hand in hand, but in reality they do. If you want to relax and spend time but don’t want to risk with your own cash, you can score several no deposit bonuses to try gambling in a casino or you can just play demo versions that are completely free to play. This is virtually impossible in all land based casinos. If you live in Nordics, this would be the best list to choose your kasino bonus from.

There are definitely more reasons to try online casinos, but if you appreciate convenience, speed and the ability to set your own terms to how you spend time in a casino, then online casinos are the way to go.

Quick Guide to Understanding Casino Bonuses

One of the reasons why online casinos have grown in popularity are bonus offers. These promotional goodies are created so players would have continuously reasons to return to that particular online casino. The greater the competition in the field gets, the greater the casino bonuses get and now it’s not unlikely to encounter bonuses that reach to even thousands of dollars. As a first time online casino player, you might initially be confused by the vast choices, so we put together this quick guide that explains the most common casino bonus types.

Bonuses for new players

Every decent online casino offers some sort of a sign-up bonus that you are eligible for if you don’t have an account in that casino yet. These bonuses can be various, but often they are matching bonuses that you can receive after depositing money to your casino account. Several casinos offer a welcome package not only for the casino games section but as well for poker, betting and other gambling categories the casino has. More info about casino bonuses for new players on Casinotarjoukset.com (in Finnish).

No deposit bonuses

Bonus that doesn’t require even one cent of your money – sounds too good? Well, you better believe it because many online casinos offen no deposit bonuses for new players. Such bonuses are rather small and might just give out a few free spins, but in the end the bonus still means you don’t need to risk with your own funds.

Bonuses that match your deposit

These bonuses are undoubtedly most common. Matching bonuses mean that the casino will give you a cash bonus according to the amount you deposited and the percentage up to which they’ve agreed to match the deposit to. For example, if the casino offers a 100% matching bonus up to 200 dollars and you deposit 100 dollars, you will receive 100 dollars. These bonuses are commonly around 50 – 200% but may be even higher.

Loyalty bonuses

Besides rewarding new players, casinos also need to keep their loyal players happy. For that they have implemented VIP programs and loyalty bonuses that are meant for players who’ve become regulars at the gambling site. You can usually receive a bonus according to your VIP level and by playing more you can climb to higher levels.

High roller bonuses

Not only long-time players are rewarded generously – same is often done for those who like to splurge on games and spend more than an average player. For such players, casinos have implemented larger deposit bonuses that often work as percentage bonuses.

Cash-back bonuses

Cash-back bonuses are common in sports betting but they ain’t no stranges in casino games section either. As you could assume from the name, a cash-back bonus gives the player back a little sum of their money. Often, the cash-back bonus can be redeemed only if you’ve already lost something. However, if there’s such bonus available it can cheer you up a bit even after suffering some losses.

No matter which bonus you redeem, you should always keep an eye on offers. After all, it’s free money, so you shouldn’t waist an opportunity!

Best Progressive Slots to Play in Online Casinos

Online slots with progressive jackpots belong to a league of their own. With an ounce of luck, hundreds of players have walked away from the online casino with a million dollar jackpot and that could happen to you too if you play progressive slots. There are several choices though and in this article we’ll introduce some of the most popular progressive slots to you a bit closer.

Mega Moolah and Mega Moolah Isis

Microgaming’s Mega Moolah and Mega Moolah Isis are legends. Mega Moolah, which is a 5 reel and 25 pay line slot machine introduces wild jungle theme. Similarly to other jackpot slots, you need to trigger a function that resembles Wheel of Fortune. From there, you have the chance of landing on a gigantic jackpot. What’s noteworthy is that Mega Moolah is responsible for producing the most online slots millionaires and the biggest win so far reached over 20 million dollars.

Mega Moolah Isis that shares the same jackpot is Egyptian themed and rather similar to the original game, except for the theme that features Cleopatra, Egyptian artifacts and more.

Mega Fortune and Mega Fortune Dreams

Another “mega” comes from Microgaming’s greatest competitor Net Entertainment. As the name suggests, the central theme of this slot game is fame, fortune and riches – diamonds, gold, champagne and everything else you can imagine. Both Mega Fortune and Mega Fortune Dreams are known for great return and similarly to its’ competitor, Mega Fortune has produced several millionaires.

Hall of Gods

This slot game has a fitting name. The theme revolves around mythology and includes famous gods like Loki, Odin and Thor. While the previous two games had a lighter and more energetic tone, this slot machine is all about mystery and taunts with dramatic music. However, noone can deny it’s one seriously fun game!

To win the jackpot, you need to get 3 or more Thor’s Hammers on your pay lines. Bonus round features mirrors that need to be broken with the hammer in order to reveal the symbols and hopefully land with jackpot symbols.

Arabian Nights

As you might have guessed it, this slot features Arabian theme – camels, Fez hat, genie and a lot more give you an exotic thrill every time you spin the slot machine. When in most other progressive slots it’s enough to bet the minimum stake, it’s not enough in Arabian Nights. Here you actually have to bet the maximum stake in order to qualify for the jackpot at all. In spite of this slight limitation, Arabian Nights never stops impressing people and bringing more slot machine millionaires to the society.

King Cashalot

Though King Cashalot slot might not be as famous as the previously mentioned ones, it’s nevertheless a delightful slot with exciting theme. The slot is based on royal theme, featuring a gold-crazed king. Microgaming’s slot machine has 9 pay lines and you’ll get the jackpot if you end up with 5 King symbols in the 9th line.

All of these slot games can be found at most online casinos but there are tens of others that didn’t make it to this list. If you want to put your luck to the ultimate test, try these progressive slots and perhaps you’ll be the next slot millionaire!

Video Poker Strategies

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 casino 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.

Joker Poker
* 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.

Deuces Wild
* 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.

Your Bitcoin Poker Guide

The world of poker seems to be constantly evolving, after all, you might consider the internet as the biggest game changer of all. Whilst technology has helped dramatically change the landscape of poker, there’s a new contender on the block which has also effected how we can play poker. What’s that I hear you ask? Bitcoins.

Whilst many might argue that poker has its own currency, that’s because you play with poker chips, the Bitcoin is a new kind of money which is officially listed as a currency. This new currency is starting to become popular among gamblers and poker fans. You should also check out bitcoincasino.org for additional information surrounding the world of Bitcoins and gambling – where you’ll find reviews, tips, guides and more information.

This article takes a brief look at what the Bitcoin is and why it can be beneficial when using it with poker gambling. Without further ado…

What is the Bitcoin?

Before you consider using this new currency, it’s important to understand exactly what it is. As you might guess, the Bitcoin is a new form of currency which doesn’t involve a bank – it’s a digital currency.

Bitcoin was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto and it went live in 2009. Because there isn’t a bank involved, you can think of it as a way in which to transact without the need for a middle man. You’re probably wondering how it can work without a bank, however, there is a unique methodology to the Bitcoin. It basically uses computing power, which is used to solve mathematical problems, people and companies across the globe mine for Bitcoins, making it an ever-growing currency. Of course, you can also trade between other currencies like the USD, Euro and GBP. Currently, 1 Bitcoin is worth around $225 – making it a very valuable asset to have. More retailers across the globe are accepting it and the same can be said for online casinos.

One of the frustrations of using a credit card is that a transaction fee of around 1-3% is involved, however, the fees associated with the Bitcoin are often much lower – a great advantage to using the Bitcoin when gambling online.

A number of countries including the USA have recognised the Bitcoin as a legitimate currency, suggesting that it could continue to grow without problem. However, some countries have had the opposite approach by making it illegal, these include Russia, Iceland, Vietnam and a number of other smaller nations.

Below are a few advantages to using the Bitcoin…

Why use the Bitcoin when playing Poker?

  • It’ safe and secure
  • It’s new and exciting
  • The fees are minute
  • Bitcoin is increasing in popularity
  • Governments are starting to notice it as an official currency
  • You can remain anonymous
  • No bank involved

Remember that you can use Bitcoin for many online gambling games, these include: poker, roulette, slots and dice. Give it a try! Just remember to avoid new and untested casino sites, always use reputable sites which are officially licensed and comply with all of the usual legalities.

The biggest poker networks of the world

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.

2. PartyPoker

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.

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.

Shorthanded Texas Holdem

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.

Starting Hands
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.

Addition

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.

The rake

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.

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.

Aced Poker Review

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.

Other Promotions

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.

Mobile Poker
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.

Reload Bonus
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.

Happy Hour
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.

Value Betting the River in Texas Holdem

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.

Becoming a VIP at PokerStars

PokerStars is currently the most popular online poker room in the world. They have between 100,000 and 150,000 real money players at any given time. Therefore they also offer the best perks for VIP members. You might ask yourself, “How do I become a VIP poker player at PokerStars?” That is what this article is going to answer in a simple and straightforward way.

First, when you create a new account with PokerStars, you are automatically enrolled into the VIP Club. However, this VIP Club has many different levels. You will begin with the BonzeStar status. This is followed by ChromeStar, SilverStar, GoldStar and Platinum Star. You will attain these different levels by collecting VIP Player Points (VPPs).

These VPPs are based off of the number of Frequent Player Points (FPPs) that you earn. The VIP levels will offer a multiplier to the number of FPPs that you earn. The higher the VIP level that you attain, the faster you will earn these FPPs. There are a variety of things that you can do with the FPPs. This includes buying poker items at the VIP Store, win seats for live or online events, enter cash tournaments at PokerStars, enter VIP Club satellites, or get cash and bonuses in exchange for these FPPs.

When you earn a certain number of VPPs during the course of a month to gain a VIP level, you will instantly earn the benefits for that level for the rest of that month as well as the following month. Here is the number of points and the benefits that each of these VIP levels will offer to you.

* Note – The FPPs that you receive when you make a deposit or receive a bonus do not convert to VPPs. VPPs are only earned by playing in raked hands or by participating in tournaments.

BronzeStar – Less than 100 VPPs per month. You have no special rewards when you are at this level.

ChromeStar – Between 100 and 499 VPPs per month. You can receive up to $100 in VIP Stellar Rewards. You will also gain access to the 100K Privilege Freerolls and the Weekly $5,000 VIP Tournament.

SilverStar – Between 500 and 2499 VPPs per month. You will earn 1.5 FPPs per VPP earned. Receive up to $300 in VIP Stellar Rewards. You will earn $25 per 2,250 FPPs earned. Monthly VIP Club Statements and Tournament Tickets. Access to the Weekly $30,000 VIP Tournament, the Monthly VIP Bash satellites, and satellites to the Monthly $100,000 VIP Tournament.

GoldStar – Between 2500 and 7499 VPPs per month. You will earn 2.0 FPPs per VPP earned. Receive up to $900 in VIP Stellar Rewards. You will earn $75 per 6,250 FPPs earned. Access to the Monthly $100,000 VIP Tournament. Access to satellites for the Quarterly $1,000,000 VIP Tournament.

PlatinumStar – 7500 VPPs or more per month. You will earn 2.5 FPPs per VPP earned. Receive up to $1,000 in VIP Stellar Rewards. You will earn $200 per 15,400 FPPs earned. You will have access to the Live Event packages. Access to the Weekly Sunday Million VIP satellites.

The top poker players can also earn the best two VIP levels: Supernova and Supernova Elite. Once you earn one of these two levels, you will stay at this VIP level for the remainder of the calendar year.

Supernova – 100,000 VPPs per year. You will earn 3.5 FPPs per VPP earned. Receive $1,200 in VIP Stellar Rewards. Up to $23,200 in Milestone Cash Credits. Receive $1,600 per 100,000 FPPs earned. Ability to earn a Porsche Cayman S. Access to the Concierge Service. Receive quarterly exclusive newsletters, prioritized support, and live event benefits. Access to the Quarterly $1,000,000 VIP Tournament.

Supernova Elite – 1,000,000 VPPs per year. You will earn 5.0 FPPs per VPP earned. Receive at least $43,200 in Milestone Cash Credits. Gain entry to the WCOOP Main Event ($5,200). Get monthly access to the exclusive newsletters.

Earning VPPs

How do I earn VPPs?

Earning VPPs for poker tournaments is relatively straightforward. You will earn 5.5 VPPs for each $1 USD paid in tournament entry fees. This translates into 7 VPPs for every €1 or 8.8 VPPs for every £1 in tournament entry fees paid. Freerolls and Play Money tournaments do not charge a fee, so no VPPs can be earned.

The rake contributed during the cash games is very different and will need to be calculated on a per hand basis. The rake collected is based on the total cash in the pot. If the total pot is $100, $3 of rake is collected. This means a total of 16.5 VPPs are awarded to the table for this hand. This is broken down to award the individual player the points for the percentage of the pot that they contributed. The fractional VPPs are awarded in hundredths.

VPPs awarded per $1 USD in rake collected: $0.01/$0.02 tables earn 10 VPPs; $0.02/$0.05 tables earn 8.5 VPPs; $0.05/$0.10 tables earn 7 VPPs.

William Hill Poker Review

For the UK visitors to the website, I’ve decided to review several of the poker rooms that are based over in England. Of those that specialise in British poker players, I find William Hill to be the top flight. You will find up to 20,000 poker players at the tables during peak hours (evenings and weekends).

Now, I know what you’re going to say; “Your not from England so how can you review these sites.” You have a good point. I can’t play at these poker rooms for real money. That doesn’t mean that I can’t play at the Play Money tables. It also doesn’t mean that I can’t watch the players at the Real Money tables and tournaments.

That just means that I can’t comment on how fast the transactions are. But, I know for a fact that depositing and withdrawing from poker accounts in the UK aren’t an issue. Unlike the U.S., England regulates the poker sites and gives a lot of different fast deposit and quick withdrawal options such as Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, PayPal, Neteller, CashDirect, Ukash, Click2Pay, ClickandBuy, and many more.

William Hill Poker Features

Getting started is easy. Simply download their free software and create your poker account. Then, log in and choose a Nickname. You will have access to the poker lobby as you can see below.

Next, click on the green Cashier button at the bottom of the screen to fund your account. Once you have done this, you will have access to enter and join any of the Cash Tables, Sit & Gos, Scheduled Tournaments, and Casino Games.

You will see all of the these options on the left side of the screen. You can filter out any of the table stakes and card games that you don’t want to see by sorting through the Choose Game section.

Above, you can see the poker room that you will enter. You can choose from Texas Hold’em, Omaha High, Omaha High Low, 7-Card Stud, Sit & Go Tournaments, Multi-Table Tournaments, Cash Games, Speed Poker and Casino Side Games.

If you have some down time, you can click on the Blackjack link to play a couple of hands while you wait for the next hand or between breaks during tournaments.

Poker Promotions

You can find a lot of promotions here including the William Hill Poker Bonus for new players who make their initial deposit at the poker room. It is a £10 Free with No Deposit Required. This way, you can give their Real Money tables a try without having to make a deposit. Use the Coupon Code WHP2000 at the Cashier.

In addition to that, there are monthly rewards, Summer Freerolls, Points Booster, Casino Refund, and the $20,000 Summer Spirit. View the Bonus Terms for more details. This winter, you can play in the Caribbean Poker Tour at Will Hill (8th to 25th November) as well as Irish Winter Festival (26th to 28th October).

Poker Tournaments

There are plenty of tournaments to play at weekly and in the upcoming months. This includes the £45,000 Super Series, the Friday $40,000, the Saturday $25,000, and the Sunday $150,000 guaranteed.

There are also lots of daily poker tourneys with more modest prize pools. Check out the Sit & Gos if you want a better chance to win some money. Simply sit down at a table and wait for the one to four table poker tournament to begin. You can choose the stakes to match your bankroll. The general rule of thumb is that you should always have at least 20 buy-ins left when you are choosing a poker tournament.

Bovada Poker Review

Bovada has been earning their reputation as the best choice for players in the United States. You will usually find roughly 500 players in the Cash Games section even during non-peak hours (I.E. working hours and in the middle of the night). This easily goes over 2000 players during the peak hour in the evening.

The Scheduled Tournaments section offers at least 1500 players at any given time. This increases two or three fold when you play during peak hours. This lets you know that the state of online poker USA isn’t dead yet.

The number of players that are in the Sit & Go Tournaments sections can leave something to be desired, however. You may only want to play in this section during the peak playing hours. Otherwise, you may be waiting for 10 minutes or more to get one of these small one or two table tournaments started.

The state of online poker in the US has been in decline now for more than 2 years. However, there are companies that are taking steps towards the complete legalization of this game for Americans. You can find several of these companies promoting themselves in the states that have already legalized online poker rooms such as Nevada and New Jersey.

Bovada Poker Features

One of the features that some people like about Bovada Poker (and also some people hate) is that there are anonymous tables when you play. This means that the tracking software that a lot of the pros use will not work. It also means that you will not have a clue who is a great poker player until they start beating up on you.

Most of the times, this only really affects the Cash Games that are offered. It is the only time where you can sit down for hours at the same table and face the same players. People can tell based on your experience level with the numbers that they get from the trackers how they should play against you.

Most of the tournaments are played differently. Since everybody starts with the same amount of money in the tournament, you just have to be aware of which players are aggressive and which players are tight. This is just the same as if you were going into a live poker tournament against players you’ve never played before. It usually doesn’t take more than 30 hands to figure most non-pros out.

You will find most of the normal features that are found at any online poker room. However, there are a couple of nice ones that I’ll point out. For instance, you can check the box to Hide Empty Tables if you don’t want to be the first one to enter or save a table. This way you can at least start to play against someone else right away.

There are the normal check boxes that will allow you to sort between the various card games, the buy-in amount, and the table limits. You will find three sections where the Cash Games, Sit & Go Tournaments and Scheduled Tournaments can be found.

In addition to that, you can find the new Zone Poker tables. This feature mimics the Rush Poker tables that you may have encountered if you played at Full Tilt Poker. You can choose to play the hand that you are dealt or you can Fold Now and be moved to a new table where you will quickly be dealt another hand.

Since the Zone Poker is new, there isn’t a tremendous number of players that are participating yet. However, I do see one table where there are almost 100 players in action.

There is also one other option in the poker section which is the Single Player Blackjack tables. This is the one casino game that you do not need to log into the casino in order to play. You can play these blackjack games from the Poker Client while you are playing at the tables. This can be useful if you are waiting 5 or 10 minutes for the Tournament Break to finish and start play again.

Customer Support and Cashouts

Everyone that plays these online games knows that depositing and making money is only half of the battle. Many of the poker rooms or online casinos will take up to 2 weeks to get money back into your bank account. Not with Bovada! They have by far the best customer support and the fastest cashouts by far for the USA facing sites.

* Note – Citizens of the following US states should not participate at Bovada: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington. There are specific state laws that forbid playing online poker in these states. *

Full Tilt Poker Games & Tournaments

Full Tilt Poker offers a wider selection of poker games and tournaments than the majority of competitors.

With traffic starting to grow at the poker site again (5000+ Players on Average) the tables are filling up quickly and there is plenty of action on the felt.

Types of Poker Games at Full Tilt

Full Tilt Poker spreads over a dozen poker games that can be played on real money tables. Full Tilt offers Holdem, Omaha (Hi/Lo), 7 Card Stud (Hi/Lo), HA, 5 Card Draw, Razz, 2-7 Triple Draw, Badugi, 2-7 Single Draw, a-5 Triple Draw, 10-Game Mix and HORSE.

The poker games above can be played at varying limits (NL, PL & FL) and stakes ($.01/$.02 to $2000/$4000). No other poker site has as ring table games with stakes as high as Full Tilt Poker (click here for source), which is why FTP is home to many of the world’s pro players.

Watching the nosebleed tables was a popular pastime for many aspiring poker players. Action on the high stakes poker table is starting to pick up again at Full Tilt Poker with the likes of Phil Ivey, Scott Seiver, Tom Dwan and Viktor Blom all playing.

From time to time Full Tilt runs promotions where their team pros play on designated low stake tables. Keep your eye out for these promos because it could be your chance to play against a player like Dwan or Blom in a real money cash game.

Full Tilt Poker spreads real money games and play money games that allow you to practice with play money chips. If you don’t know how to play one of the more exotic poker games like 10-Game Mix you can learn how on the play money tables for free.

Types of Poker Tournaments at Full Tilt

Full Tilt runs a lot of great poker tournaments with millions on the line every week. They have the common tournament formats such as re-entry, multi-entry, double/triple chance, turbo, super turbo, rebuy, knockout and shootout tournaments.

One of the unique tournament formats is the “Cashout Tournament” where you have the option to cash out your chips. You can opt to cash in 10% of your chip stack or 100% of your stack during a tournament at anytime when playing this tourney format.

There are a variety of sit and go tournaments as well at Full Tilt. You can play heads-up 4-way, 6-way, single table or multi-table sit and go tournaments 24/7. There are also steps S&G’s and Matrix S&G’s, which is a format where you play 4 S&G’s at once.

Full Tilt offers players the chance to win and purchase (FTP’s) tournament tickets (T$). T$ is basically a second currency, but it can’t be exchanged for real money. You can only use your T$ to enter tournaments at Full Tilt Poker.

Tournaments are Full Tilt Poker have synchronized 5-minute breaks, so that if you’re playing in multiple tournaments your break will be at the same time in every tournament. Some tournaments also allow you to register late in case you missed the start.

Signing Up to Full Tilt Poker

The only way you can get in on the action at Full Tilt Poker is to download the free software from FTP. Full Tilt will only work on the computer and not mobile devices currently. The software is compatible with Windows and Mac computers.

Players in the United States won’t be able to play in the poker room, but almost every other country is welcome. You need to fill out a simple registration form and make a deposit using one of the many deposit methods before you can play for real money.

Poker Rakeback mistakes you should avoid

At first sight a very large rakeback percentage might seem like the perfect deal, since it looks so attractive. The truth is that a great headline with a high rakeback percentage might not be an excellent deal in case you are planning to take everything into consideration over the long term.

In this article we are planning to offer you some of the most important rakeback mistakes that you can make. By knowing what the mistakes that can be done are, it’s going to be easier for you to avoid doing them.

Poker Rakeback Mistake #1 – Choosing the wrong poker room

There are currently many online poker players out there that are going to sign up for an online poker room just because they are offering a good rakeback percentage and they will not have a look at what that poker room has to offer.

You need to make sure that you sign up for an online poker room that is offering a good rakeback percentage but at the same time you must make sure that you are dealing with a well-established and reputable poker room.

You should always know a good amount of information about the online poker room that you are planning to sign up with. Some might offer you an incredibly high rakeback deal, but at the same time they might have very little players.

Usually when the rakeback deal is too high (40% or higher), there is something fishy around and you have to investigate that before signing up.

For instance, one of the poker rooms that I suggest for US poker players is http://www.carbonpoker.ag. For a long time, they did not offer any rakeback program, but they now offer a 35% rakeback program that is paid daily. Use the Bonus Code: 35CARBON in order to receive this.

Poker Rakeback Mistake #2 –Too much multi-table action

Some online poker players are starting to see the benefits that a player will get from signing up for a rakeback deal and they will start doing some multi-table sessions in order to improve the rakeback that they are going to get.

When you are playing at more than one table you should be able to handle all the games that you are playing. This means that you shouldn’t force yourself too much and play at too many tables at once.

Poker Rakeback Mistake #3 – Have a look at the other promotions too

The online poker rooms are packed with tons of other promotions along with the rakeback. This is the reason why we suggest that you take into consideration the other promotions like sign up bonus, loyalty rewards program, freerolls and others, the moment when you are planning to sign up for a room.

Poker Rakeback Mistake #4 – Check out the cash out procedures

The online poker rooms that you sign up with must have a good history regarding the experience that other members had while trying to cash out their earnings. And this means that you should always take into consideration the cash out payment methods before signing up for an online poker room.

Even if they do offer some nice promotions and a good rakeback deal, you must also make sure that you will be able to cash out your winnings out of an online poker room. Usually the small and less popular poker rooms are going to have some cash out procedures that are very slow and difficult; these are the rooms from which you must stay away.

Poker Rakeback Mistake #5 – Thinking that rakeback is not that important for micro stake games

There are many players out there that are thinking that while playing at the micro stakes games, you will not going to have a rewarding rakeback experience. The truth is that rakeback is not something that is great for the mid or high stakes players only. Even if you are a beginner and you are only playing at some very low stakes, you will still be able to cash in some nice money by signing up with a rakeback deal.

Different Types of Poker Games

Poker Games are not only a games that may bring you a lot of cash in your pocket, but they can also give you a lot of full of excitement hours and new friends. The Poker Games are not just a games – these are huge groups of card games played in order to bet on the cards that players receive or form with the help of the cards dealt in the center of the table.

The Poker Games can be differentiated into three groups according to the way the cards are dealt.

Community Card Games – this type of games use board cards – a number of cards dealt in the middle of the table in order to be used by all of the players to form their best hands. This group consists the most popular Poker Games, played both online and offline.

This includes Texas Holdem, Omaha, Cincinnati, Pineapple and many more. The two most popular versions are Texas Holdem and Omaha.

  1. Texas Holdem – this game is played with two hole cards and five community cards. The object is to form the best hand by any combinations between these cards. The game starts with Blinds and has four betting rounds.
  2. Omaha High – this game is similar to Texas Holdem, but instead of two hole cards are dealt four. The betting structure is the same. The players must form their hands by two of their hole cards and three of the community cards.
  3. Cincinnati – in this game five cards are dealt face down to each player, with five more dealt face down in the center of the table. The community cards are exposed one at a time, with a betting round after each one. In the showdown, each player may select any five cards from among his hand and the five cards in the widow.
  4. Pineapple – this game is similar to Texas Holdem. Each player is dealt three hole cards at the start. The community cards are five, dealt in the middle of the table. One of these cards is discarded before the flop or after the flop, which is the more common version. The betting is the same as Holdem. At the showdown, a player can use any combination of his remaining two cards and the boardcards. A player who still has three cards in his hand at the showdown has a dead hand.

Another kind of Poker Game is played at USA Online Poker and offline:

Stud Games – this type of games doesn’t use board cards. Each player receives the same number of cards, depending on the variation they play. They use their cards to form their best 5-card hand. This group consists Poker Games such as 7 card stud, 5 card stud, 6 card stud, Straight Poker.

  1. 7 card stud – this is the most played stud poker game at card rooms. It is played with seven cards – three down-cards and four up-cards. There are five betting rounds and the game starts with an ante.
  2. 5 card stud – it is also called “open”, because one or more cards dealt to each player is openly visible to everyone. The first card is dealt face down to each player. Four more are dealt face up with a betting round after each. The best high hand wins the showdown.
  3. 6 card stud – it’s the same as 5 card stud but here the players receive one extra card. The first card is dealt face down to each player. Four more are dealt face up with a betting round after each. A sixth card is dealt face down to each active player, followed by a final betting round. You may use any five of your six cards to form your poker hand in the showdown. The best high hand wins the pot.
  4. Straight poker – This is the simplest form of poker, and probably the most ancient. Five cards are dealt face down to each player. There is one betting round, after which the highest poker hand takes the pot.

Many of these poker games can be played both online and offline, despite the fact that playing poker in California is currently illegal like many states in the US. These are just some of the endless combinations of different ways to play poker. There are also Triple Draw games where you get to draw multiple times in the same hand and Razz games where the object is to receive the worst hand.

You will also find other options that are available for each game. For instance, some poker games like Omaha and 7 Card Stud offer a split pot for the Low Hand winner. In order for the Low Hand to be in play, the player has to have 8 high or lower. In a community card game, the low hand will not be in play unless there are 3 community cards that are ranked 8 and lower.

Just remember, you will always be a beginner when you try taking up a new poker game. There are particular strategies and tactics that are unique to the particular card game. You will only become more familiar with these games through practice. The advantage of learning a variety of games is that you will have an edge on those players who only play Texas Holdem seriously.

Simple Online Poker Tips

If you feel like you’re in a rut when it comes to playing poker, there are some simple things that you can do to get you moving in the right direction again. The following tips are very easy to follow for even the novice poker player.

Joining an online poker site is simple

You can play free games without giving any credit card information. You should play the free games for a while to get the hang of how the game plays, what buttons to click, what happens when you click a button that you aren’t sure what it does. The free games have almost no value in learning to play to win though.

They are excellent for a novice, offering a way to practice calculating basic odds and discovering the relative strengths of hands. Positional is key when playing this game. You will find that some hands that you would fold in early position might be good raising hands in the late position of the game.

Sometimes you must bluff

You must do this from time to time so you don’t look like a weak player. A simple raise when you haven’t played in 10 hands will chase all the weak hands away. No one wins Online Texas Hold’ em tournament today without bluffing, but it must be used appropriately and at the right time. If you bluff and get re-raised, be careful as the opponent may have drawn a good hand.

Also, don’t call an all-in bet heads-up unless you have a real hand, since it’s likely that your opponent also has a very strong hand and is deliberately trying to pull you in. It’s best to have a good hand and to be the one calling the other player all-in, if possible.

Find the strong poker players

Within the first 20 hands that are played, you should have a really good understanding about the other players at the table. At least one or two of them will play aggressively. You’ll soon discover whom the strong poker players are at the table. As tempting as it is, try to resist the temptation of trying to beat them at risk of losing sight of the other aspects of your game.

Be aware of pot odds

There is a certain number of outs you have to estimate if calling is a positive expected value play – count the number of outs. In loose games, outdrawing becomes much more important, but then the pots are so big that you usually have odds for any half way reasonable draw anyway.

Don’t be afraid to raise

There are certain situations where you are setting yourself up for a big loss if you do not raise a strong hand. This will get most of the weaker hands that may get lucky (people trying to draw flush or straight) out of the hand before it becomes an issue. You want to raise when you have the top two pair on the turn, but if the board is three-suited (this could be a threat) do not raise.

If you’re having a bad time at the tables, take a break

You take refreshment breaks when you are playing with friends or at the casino. Likewise, you should take breaks while playing online.

I find that people lose the most money when they have lost discipline and are trying to force their luck. This happens most often at the end of a frustrating night. Before any of that happens, you have to realize that your luck wasn’t good that night and it wasn’t that you were playing bad.

Don’t chase away the bad players

If you have found a person that consistently plays bad cards, don’t mock them or get mad at them when they get lucky and win. Instead, become friendly towards that player and beat them much more often in the long run. The more they get lucky and win, the better. It means that they won’t learn from those mistakes in the future when they think that they are good.

Different Types of Poker Tournaments

Texas Hold em poker has become one of the most popular poker games played both online and at land based casinos. Several yearly major poker events brought that popularity including large tournaments, which give the opportunity to the players to gain big amount of money.

What exactly does a poker tournament looks like? Mostly at tournaments the competitors play No Limit Texas Hold em but it is not unusual competing in the limited version of the game. The online poker tournaments are structured competitions where players compete against each other to gather all the chips held by the opponents.

In normal cash poker games, each hand is unrelated to any other. Players can quit whenever they want but in tournaments, players cannot quit and cash out their chips. Play continues until there is a winner.

There are some different types of tournaments:

Single Table Texas Hold em Tournaments (SNG)

This format is very popular in online Texas Hold em, and is also referred to as a shootout, or a ‘sit and go’. Single table Texas Hold em games can be interpreted a couple different ways. All the players start with the same arbitrary dollar amount.

This format has both advantages and disadvantages, but for most good online poker players the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. If player’s running well and hr has won a couple nice hands and has a healthy stack, unfortunately he can’t win more than what first place pays.

At the same time, if player’s catching cold cards all he has at risk is how much he put up to enter. Unlike a Texas Hold em Poker cash game, especially no limit Texas Hold em games, the risk is defined in a tournament. If his tolerance for risk is low or he is a player that goes on tilt, at least, his downside is limited.

Multi Table Online Poker Tournaments (MTT)

There are multi player online poker tables, where everyone pays the same entry fee. This format is similar to single table online poker tournaments, in that players are 9 or 10 starting with the same amount of chips.

The difference here is that the table can be one of a hundred tables, all-playing to make one final table. This is the format of the tournament used in World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour. The risk is limited to the entry fee, which every player pays to participate at the tournament.

Elimination tournaments (Freeze Out)

These are the most common type of poker tournament. All players begin with the same amount of chips, and play continues until one player has accumulated all the chips. As players are eliminated, the active players are re-seated at fewer and fewer tables. While the winner of the tournament is the player who accumulates all the chips, the payout structure rewards several players. Commonly the final table of players would receive prize money.

Rebuy Tournament

These are tournaments where players who lose all of their chips are allowed to rebuy more chips and continue to play. This is only allowed for a certain amount of time, most often 1 hour. There are also “Add-on” tournaments where you can rebuy more chips once you reach a certain threshold before you bust out.

Rebuys often lead to larger total prize pools being played for than would be standard for the initial entry cost. Rebuy tournaments generally feature more aggressive play earlier on as players do not face the prospect of elimination if they lose all their chips.

Shootout Tournaments

In this style of tournament, each table plays down to a single winner. Then table winners proceed to a finals portion of the event. So, if a tournament starts with sixteen tables, the sixteen table winners then compete elimination style until there is a winner. Shootout tournaments normally last several hours less that the other.

I have also seen other shootout tournaments that will play a certain number of hands or a certain amount of time before the round ends. Then, between the top 1 and 4 players are selected out of the 10 to advanced to the next stage of the shootout.

Satellites

These are preparatory, mini tournaments. These mini tournaments are one of the strategies used by the online casino sites to attract poker players. Often the prize pool includes a seat for one of the biggest poker events for the year.

Many satellites at online poker rooms will offer a prize of a free seat into an expensive poker tournament ($100+ entry fee). The thing that makes these tournaments popular is the small chance to win a lot of money while you are only risking a small amount of money.

Omaha Basics

Many poker players say that if you can play Texas Hold’em, you can play Omaha. While it is very true that these two poker games have many things in common, there are also a few fundamental differences between the two. In this section we will show you the basics of playing Omaha and the different variations of this very popular poker game.

The main and most commonly played version of this game is played as a split-pot game. The highest ranking hand shares the pot with the lowest ranking hand. Because it is a high-low split-pot game, you will tend to see more players staying in the game, more action, and higher pots than Texas Hold’em.

Omaha is a nine card poker game. Each player must make their best five-card poker hand by using precisely two cards from their four private cards, and three from the shared cards.

Game Play

At the start of the game, each player is dealt four cards face down. After this is done, a round of betting will take place. During this round of betting, players can either fold, call, or raise the blind bet. Depending on where you play, a bet and (usually) up to four raises per round can take place, but when there are only two people vying for the pot, the amount of possible raises becomes unlimited.

After the first round of betting is finished, three shared cards are dealt to the board. This is known as the flop. After these cards are revealed, another round of betting takes place. From this round on, players can check if no one else has bet when it comes their turn to do so. If there is in fact no bet, a player can check or bet. If there IS a bet, players have to either fold, call, raise, or re-raise.

After that round of betting is finished, a fourth shared card is dealt to the board. This card is known as the turn. After this card is revealed, another round of betting takes place. Then the fifth and last shared card is dealt to the board. This card is known as the river. After this card is revealed the final round of betting takes place.

At this time, the best five-card high poker hand and the best five-card low hand will split the pot. However, to win the low hand the player must meet the following requirements. The player must combine any two unpaired cards with a rank of 8 or lower. Also, remember as stated above, each player must make their best five-card poker hand by using precisely two cards from their four private cards, and three from the shared cards.

Tips for the first four cards

By having four private cards to work with, you have six times the amount of potential starting hands as you would playing Texas Hold’em. Meaning, at the start of the game, you have six different possibilities of forming a hand here. With four cards in your hand, you are more likely to find something to go on here.

Position is key in this game, even in the first round of betting. Your position will be the same for the entire hand. Basically, if you are in a late position and the pot has not been raised yet when it is your turn to act, you are able to see the hands that are weaker than yours at this point. This gives you a chance to get a feel for the other players hands even though it is still early in the game.

Positions in a basic nine person game are determined as follows: both blind players and the two players to their left = early position. The fifth, sixth, and seventh players = mid position. The eighth and ninth players = late position.

Tips for the flop

Like Texas Hold’em, the flop needs to meet the needs of your hand. It should deliver you a strong hand. You should be able to believe, at this point, that you can at least tie for the best high or low hand. If the flop doesn’t enhance your hand to that point you need to fold your hand.

At this point in the game, with six possible two-card combinations in every players hand, there are many possible hands going on. It is key for you to understand how your hand could be comparing to the other players hands. For example, if you are playing a LOW hand and your hand does not havean ace and a two, it is very possible someone else will have a better low hand. Be cautious here, many Omaha players lose many in this situation.

Tips for the turn

If the other players are loose players, it is quite possible you could draw the second best high hand, however, if the other players are tight players, most likely you’ll want to fold unless you have a draw to the best hand, or you already have it.

If the pot is already raised when it comes your turn, and other(s) call that raise even, you definitely want to consider want hands these players might be holding.

At this point, if you think you could be raised if you call, you need to make sure you have a much stronger hand than you would if you have no reason to fear a raise.

You will want to call with a draw if the pot odds are more than the odds are against making your hand and you know that you WILL have the best hand if the final card delivers you the card you need. This is a basic risk or reward situation. For example, if you think you can win $60 on a $10 investment, you would definitely want to stay in the game if the odds against making your hand are less than 6-to-1.

Tips for the river

Since there are so many possibilities generated for straights, flushes, and full houses when each player’s four-card private cards are added to the five shared board cards, this game is commonly decided on the river (last card).
When you have the best high hand:

After all the cards have been dealt and you have the best high hand, you are able to bet or raise without any reservations. You are confident of winning half of the pot, perhaps even the whole pot if there is no low hand. This is also the time to be very aggressive. You’ll want to get the most money you possibly can of any remaining players. You will get at least half of it back.
When you have the best low hand:

You will find that having the best low hand can be more complicating than having the best high hand. If you are completely sure you have the best low hand, you can bet the same as you would if you had the best high hand. However, if another player has the same low hand that you have -which is very commonplace in Omaha, you will be quartered.

This means you will get 1/4th of the winnings. This most definitely makes winning any notable amount of money very hard to do. For example, you would need at least five players still in the game to make any profit. Even then the amount of profit you make will be minimal.