It’s always smart to keep one eye on the poker table, and one eye on your bankroll: Money management 101
Whether you’re a sports fan or a poker player, a whiz at the roulette wheel or a superstar on the slots, proper bankroll management is a core skill. To be an effective casino gambler, you need to manage your money carefully. Going over your budget can mean that you end up making decisions based on emotion rather than strategy — and often paying the price. Sensible money management techniques will help you make the most of your resources. Here are some solid money management tips to put you on the road to stability.
Determining your online casino budget
Deciding how much you can afford to set aside for your online casino needs is often a tough process. Taking a long, hard look at your current spending may make you wince a little, especially if you’ve been chasing your losses recently. Be firm with yourself, though — this is the hard part, and it’ll get easier from here.
Look at your household’s incomings and outgoings.Think about the other things you’ll want to do with your diaposable income — going out, entertaining, holidays, treats for the kids. Once you’ve looked at your disposable income and decided how much you want to spend on gaming, you’ll be able to make smarter choices in future.
Staying within your budget
When it comes to money managing casino banks can help. Most online casinos offer a bank that you top up from you credit or debit card or from an online wallet. Limiting the amount you add to the bank is a surefire way to stay on-budget — once it’s gone, you step away from the games until it’s time to top up again. If the temptation proves a bit much, consider only topping up from a pre-paid credit card that you only load with your designated casino budget. This will make it harder to add too much and go overbudget.
Random, progressive and flat betting
There are three general types of betting. Deciding which one will help you manage your money best will depend on your aims.
Random betting may be the most exciting type of betting pattern but it may also be the most costly. In random betting, the amount you put down depends purely on your personal feeling in the moment and varies based on your instincts.
Progressive betting is a little more cautious and cerebral. In progressive betting, you take into consideration the amount you’ve won or lost. When things are going well, you bet more; when you’re losing money, you bet less.
Flat betting is the best option if you’re trying to reduce your spending. In flat betting, the amount of every wager is the same. Long or short odds, winning or losing, you only ever gamble a single flat sum.
How to improve cash flow
If you find yourself running low on funds, you may be tempted to put everything on one last big gamble. This is potentially counterproductive, however. Once your money’s gone, you’ve lost the opportunity to get back in the game. Instead, switch to smaller wagers with better odds. You’ll be able to keep gaming longer as you recycle your winnings back into the pot.
Change your focus
In the long run, you’re unlikely to make your fortune playing casino games. It’s a thrilling, exhilarating way to spend your time, not a financial investment. By focusing on the thrill you get rather than chasing the phantom of that one big win, you’ll get more out of your gaming. When gaming stops being fun and becomes another source of stress, then it’s time to step away from the game. The highs, the lows, the joy when your team romps home or you get that perfect poker hand — these should be what you come back for.
Heads Up poker is outstandingly different from other online poker games. In this variant, there are only two players which makes the game more intense. So, how do you play heads-up?
You must devise a practical strategy to counter different types of opponents. You will encounter many different plays in Heads up poker and you must always be ready. Here are some heads-up poker tips.
1. What is heads-up poker
A game of Heads Up poker happens when there are only two opponents.
To find an efficient strategy, you must understand the game of heads-up poker. It will be easier to manoeuvre through the cards if you know the game well. Having deep knowledge of the science behind the game will help you identify and seize winning opportunities.
Regularly sharpen your poker skills by practising on demo versions and playing friendly games. Also read and watch similar tournaments to better your poker skills.
2. Learn your opponent
Always pay attention to your opponent’s facial expression and body language. Being observant helps you to learn your opponent. If you observe your opponents’ behaviour from the beginning of the game, you are more likely to tell when they are bluffing. People who are lying on the table say one thing but their body acts in a different way.
On live poker, watch out for the tiniest signs. From fidgeting fingers, sweaty upper lip, tapping a foot and shifty eyes.
If you notice any signs of a weak game, take advantage by increasing your aggression. Always be on the lookout for weaknesses that you can exploit.
If your opponent only bets the flop, when they have a pocket pair or hit the board, start betting the flop out of position.
If you have played for much too long, be patient as your opponent might soon get tilted and start overbetting frequently. This is a perfect opportunity to extract maximum value you hit your hand.
In this game of heads up, aggressiveness is the line between victory and loss. Since you are only two players, it is unlikely that your opponent has anything huge worth betting.
Stay ahead by making a lot of bets on the flop to steal pots. Once your opponent makes a stand, they will not have sufficient chips to affect your stack.
Also be aggressive whenever you get any pair, a face card or ace. If you get middle pairs and above, feel free to be extra pushy when your opponent raises pre-flop.
4. Check and use your position
Apply pressure on your opponent as long as you are in position (small blind). Raise, in position, the majority of the time to allow you to collect more pots pre-flop. You will also be able to control pots after the flop.
If you encounter an opponent who is pulling this strategy on you, pick your spots and make a stand.
Things to remember about the button position:
- Avoid limping from the Button with Deep Stacks. Limping makes the game easier for the big blind. It is also impossible to win the pot by limping.
- Pot odds to call from the small blind position are 3-to-1
5. Stay Focused
Heads Up poker is quite more personal than normal poker. There are only the two of you, going against each other, and only one can win.
Many poker players say a lot of mean things to distract their opponent. Those who fall for the ‘trash talk’ usually end up getting emotional and losing. Have self-control and keep your mind in the game. Remember that the words of your opponents do not have ant effect on the cards in your hand.
Avoid playing with emotions, even when you have weak hands. Use logic to determine which move to make next.
6. Be unpredictable
Ultimately, you will need to mix up your gameplay to avoid predictability. Make it impossible for your opponents to forecast your next move. Since there are only two players, your opponent is likely to notice your betting into him after checking the flop. Therefore, apply different plays throughout the game.
In conclusion, your proper heads-up poker strategy should practical. If you can play No Limit Hold’em, you are most likely to have fun playing heads up. However, if you are completely new to the game, a strategy is the only way to avoid being crushed blind.
Any successful poker player has to be armed with the right strategies before starting a game, and the options are many. Your choice of poker moves is the difference between small wins and substantial ones. Not every poker move, however, will suit all plays, and that is one aspect that a beginner must remember.
The poker squeeze play is one of the moves that you can add to your playing arsenal to increase your chances of getting away with a large pot at the table. A novice player can learn how the move works, how to include it in an online poker strategy and use it to win.
What is the Squeeze Play?
Poker squeeze is a bluff that is carried out pre-flop. What happens is that a loose player raises too early and the next one calls the raise before you, leaving you to make a higher raise and snatch the whole pot. The basic concept of this poker move is that you are capitalising on the poor judgment of your opponents. The first player thought he/she could call a bluff and get away with it, but now he/she has a weak hand, meaning calling is not an option. As for the second player, he/she also had a weak hand and called the first raiser. An example; player A raises £10, Player B calls the raise, Player C raises £40, Player A and B fold and Player C wins. The cards that Player C is holding are irrelevant at this point.
Executing the Poker Squeeze Play
The secret to making the squeeze an effective online poker strategy is knowing how to read the situation. A poorly placed squeeze can end up costing you a lot of money whether you are playing in a tournament or not. Firstly, you must know how to spot aggressive players. Player A, in this instance, is making loose open raises to make up for the fact that he/she doesn’t have a strong hand. The player is opening the table up for a raise pre-flop. Player B may have a playable hand, but it not good enough for a three-bet, so a call is the best move. You should be cautious about observing the players before you so that you can estimate the kinds of hands they have for the poker squeeze to work.
Another element you need for this online poker strategy is to raise big. It is called the ‘Squeeze’, meaning you want to squeeze your opponents into folding. Your raise has to be large enough such that other players will have no option but to fold their mediocre hands. Try to make a bet five times the initial one. A bluff only works if the other people at the table believe it. The size of your bet is particularly critical when making an out-of-position play.
Your strategy from the start of the game is a big determinant to how your opponents will respond. A person with tight plays throughout the game will have a better chance of convincing the others to fold light. Be careful about the poker moves you make the minute you join the table to establish credibility. Your players have to buy the idea that you have a big hand, which will not happen if you have been making small plays all along.
Of course, you have to consider the number of players behind you when making the poker squeeze play. It would be a waste to make such a play only to be outsmarted by someone with a better hand. Ideally, a squeeze is effective when you have fewer people playing after you. In instances where you have other players to worry about, make sure that your hand has potential when making the squeeze just in case someone else with a premium hand calls it. Alternatively, you can wait to execute the poker squeeze at a later position.
The squeeze is one of the most popular poker moves in all-in tournaments. This strategy is effective in tournaments because you don’t have to worry about the post-flop play. The options during a tournament are to get called or not, which gives you the perfect opportunity to make the squeeze. You have to apply the same online poker strategy here as well – identify a loose raiser. Additionally, consider the size of your stack when making a squeeze in a tournament. Be confident that your chips are enough to force a fold. The blinds you have will also determine if a poker squeeze is effective; the blinds have to make sense.
A poker squeeze play is one of the poker moves that can make your games worth it, so know when to use it.
Two names have almost become synonymous with online poker and they don’t need any further introduction, at least not when it comes to their poker offering.
But these two giants of the poker world, we are of course talking about Pokerstars and 888, are also trying to get to grips with the ever growing and popular online casino market space.
As poker players we all know that both of these brands offer a magnificent poker experience, but which one is better for us who also enjoys online casino games? That is what this article will try to find out as we pit these two poker giants against each other.
This UK online casino has an attractive and user-friendly front page for starters, and customers can quickly navigate around and register easily to download their software and start playing.
Bonus: one of the features that draws new customers in is a bonus of up to £400 for new players, and this is literally a 3 step feature to get players started.
Promotions: this online casino consistently has a range of exciting offers includings chances to win a trips to Las Vegas and competitions to attend premium poker playing championships in exotic locations such as the Bahamas for instance.
Customer service: this online casino is big on support with a team on hand 24-7 to help and answer questions.
Another big brand online casino, 888 Casino has a very flashy front page and with an easy tool to start new customers off including quick registration and download it has proved to be very popular.
Bonus: this casino offers a welcome bonus of up £100 although this all depends on the amount of your first deposit, however you can claim this instantly on making your deposit and start playing games.
888 Casino also offer what they term as one of the most prestigious welcome offers in the casino sector, and if you become a premium player you can get up to £1,500 in the first week – again subject to the amount of deposits you make in this timescale.
Promotions: this colourful and lively casino also offer a range of diverse promotions that often reflect different seasons and times of year and that catch your eye with chances to play a range of games in live casinos. In addition they have daily deals for each day of the week to keep the interest factor for regular visitors to the site. 888 Casino also offer a no-deposit casino bonus of £88 to new players from the outset with regular opportunities to pick up new rewards.
FreePlay: 888 have a promotion called ‘FreePlay’ which entails being awarded vouchers that can be played on a specified number of online casino games and which also entitle the holder to win a jackpot prize. Once you have a selected amount of vouchers you can use them on any of the games you want up to their total value.
Does one casino win out over the other?
Both of the online casinos featured have a lot to offer in terms of established, user-friendly sites that offer quick and easy registration and great prizes. However, as they both feature a number of different gaming experiences, and dedicates most of their time catering to online poker players, it may be a better option for those who want to concentrate on casino gambling alone without the distraction of other options to chose a site more dedicated to casino. Dedicated sites may also enable keen poker players to pick up more tips and specific support instead of the more generic help given on the big two featured above. However, as long as you choose an established, secure site which is easy to use, and there are many excellent options to choose from, you can easily tell that it might be a better idea to have one account for your poker needs and another for when you want to play online casino.
If you are a player of online poker in the UK then it is likely you have heard about video poker. Many people play slot games online, and video poker is essentially like a slot game and a poker game combined. If you regularly play poker games online, then video poker can have some appeal. Many online casinos in the UK are now offering video poker as well as many different slot games and poker games, but there is still a debate over poker vs slots and which is more profitable in the long term.
Poker Vs Slots
When it comes to weighing up the differences between poker and slot games, the first major difference that most people focus on, is the skill involved in each game. Success in poker is based on skill, players must learn many aspects of the game including knowing hand rankings, be able to calculate probability, and master the art of bluffing. Slots on the other hand take very little skill, and all players really need to know with most slot games is how to press a button and adjust their bet sizes.
What About Video Poker?
Video poker combines both poker and slot principles, it does require some skill but less than a regular poker game. There is no way to deny however, that video poker requires a lot more skill than slot games. Although they are both casino games with a house edge, video poker allows players a much higher chance at beating the house. The house advantage on slot games means that players will ultimately always lose eventually.
In video poker, players can choose the cards that they hold and discard, giving much more control over the outcome of the game. Some players have spent years studying the game to ensure consistent returns, this highlights the difference between video and poker and slots. It is impossible for players to master slot games and guarantee consistent returns. Many argue that the only way to make money with slots, is to know when to walk away, and keep playing sessions relevantly short.
How Do Slot Machines Operate?
Slot machines operate using a random number generator (RNG), this means that the outcome of each spin is not determined by the previous spin, or any other spins that come before or after it. RNGs are used in all casino slots and work by randomly generating a number that will determine where the reel will stop. All RNGs are programmed in a way to give the house advantage however, meaning in the long term, you will lose to them.
What Are The Benefits Of Playing Slot Games Online?
Although slots are programmed heavily to benefit the house, many still favour slots over other casino games. Slots are very attractive to casual players due to their lack of skill and ability to win big from short term play. Because slot games use RNGs, a player that has never touched a slot machine before can win as much as six or seven figure jackpot by simply pressing a button. Jackpots are very uncommon in video poker games.
Different Types Of Slot Games
There are a number of different kinds of slot games online, the main types are:
- Three Reel Slot – This is the most basic form of slot, sometimes referred to as ‘fruit machines’. These slots only have one pay line and usually require players to match 3 or 4 symbols to win.
- Video Slots – These slots have multiple pay lines and have five reels, players can win by matching the winning symbols over different pay lines. Video slots also often include bonus games, jackpots, and free spins features.
- 3D Slots – These are similar to video slots but are more interactive, often with themes and characters that interact with the player.
What Are The Benefits Of Playing Poker Games Online?
The main benefit to playing poker games instead of slots is the opportunity for improvement in your play. Good poker players win more than bad poker players due to practice and the mastering of certain skills that poker requires. This is the same in video poker, although video poker is similar in appearance to slot games, players can improve their skills to beat the house. In the long term a video poker player is far more likely to make a profit than a slots player.
Different Types Of Poker Games Online
There are a number of different kinds of online poker games, these are the main types:
- Texas Hold ’em – Probably the most popular, the game requires multiple players to compete for the best hand and bet against each other from the two cards in their hand and the community cards on the table. Hands are ranked and the highest ranked hand wins.
- Video Poker – Video poker usually follows the principles of standard poker hands but only requires one player, and is played against a computer. The game is very different to traditional types of poker however and games are usually very quick.
- Omaha – Omaha Poker is similar to Texas Hold’em but players are dealt four cards each and must make the best hand using only two of the cards and the community cards on the table.
Video poker and other types of poker games are generally more reliable for long term players that want to make a profit. Due to the high house advantage that slot games have, slots are generally more suited to casual players or those looking for a fast and fun way to gamble.
In poker, even one mistake at a poker table could cost you money and make your opponent a big winner.
Are you just beginning to learn and play online poker? Thought to keep in mind is; poker is an easy game to learn but a hard skill to master. If you want to increase your chances of winning poker games, you have to be a master of your plays; know your weaknesses and strengths in poker. To master the game of poker, you have to;
- Look out and take advantage of as many opportunities as you can.
- Avoid making any mistake.
In this article, we are going to explain mistakes made by beginner online poker players and how to avoid them.
Make up your mind, whether you are playing poker for fun or money. Constant time and effort are required if you want to be an excellent poker player. While playing for fun does not need much practice, playing for cash calls for more seriousness and keenness.
Not understanding the game
If you are serious about winning poker, you will try to increase your knowledge in the game. Read poker books and other articles, watch tutorial videos or get a private coach.
Know all the standard terms and their definitions. You should also research on common poker table ‘slang’ and variants so that you can keep track of the game, efficiently. Remember to have familiarity with the different poker hands, to know which moves to make.
List of common poker variants:
- Texas Hold’em Poker
- Omaha Poker
- Seven-Card Stud Poker
- 2-7 Triple Draw Poker
- Seven-Card Stud 8 or Better
- Omaha-Hilo Poker
- Chinese Poker
- 2-7 Open-Face Chinese Poker
- Razz Poker
- Six-Plus Hold’em Poker
- Pineapple Open-Face Chinese Poker
List of poker hands
- Royal flush – Combination of queen, ten, jack, ace, king and the best hand you can get in Texas Hold’em
- Straight flush – Five cards of the same ensemble, in a sequence
- Four of a kind – Four cards which match numerically
- Full house – Combination of a pair and three of a kind in the same hand
- Flush – Any five cards of the same suit
- Straight – Five cards of any suits in a sequence
- Three of a kind – any three cards with matching numerical
- Two pair – Two unlike couples in the same hand
- One pair – Two cards with matching numerical
- High card – The most top poker card, with ace as the highest and two as the lowest
Relying on coin flips
Beginner players suffer from over copying TV poker without spending enough time mastering the game. TV players continuously are searching for flips on the poker table. Beginner players often get excited to take coin flips, to increase their time on the table.
However, it is not right to be desperate for a pre-flop coin flip. Cash-game poker is not the same as tournament poker. It is only in the last stages of a tournament game, where players can search for a hand with any showdown value and put it all-in with pre-flop. In a cash game, the only hands that players seek to push with pre-flops will almost comprise pocket pairs and A-K.
If you can understand the players you are up against, you can be able to increase your earnings. That is where poker bluffing comes in. Making a well-times bluff could help you make a win or lose. The whole point of bluffing is to make your opponents fold the best hands. A sensible should make your opponents think that you are holding cards to beat them. Before making a bluff ask yourself, “How would I have acted if I were my opponents.”
Not understanding poker positions
You should understand all the positions of poker. The ‘dealer,’ also known as ‘button’ plays last in a betting round, giving this position a tactical advantage. The ‘button’ position changes after every hand, so that the game remains fair. It is wiser to take advantage when playing more hands when in ‘late’ position or after other players.
Whether you are an international or uk online poker, we hope that the above online poker tips will help you. Beginners poker can turn successful, as long as there is adequate focus and an online poker strategy.
The World Series of Poker, abbreviated as WSOP, is a poker competition created by the late Lester Ben Binion in 1970. The poker tournament, which has received international acclaim from poker players and gamblers, is held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The poker competition consists of a series of separate poker events, each with a winner. Each winner receives a WSOP bracelet and a cash prize whose amount is determined by the number of participants and buy-in amounts. The peak of the WOSP annual tournament is the no-limit Main Event, which has attracted thousands of participants in recent times. The poker player who wins the WSOP Main Event is crowned the World Champion of Poker, a highly coveted award considered the ultimate success any poker player can achieve.
The series of poker events that led to the birth of WSOP was known as the Texas Gambling Reunion, an invite-only event organised by Tom Moore, a Texan, in 1969. The event, held at the city of Reno’s Holiday Hotel and Casino, was won by a fellow Texan, Crandell Addington. The following year, Ben Binion, a poker player and casino owner, grabbed the opportunity and organised the first WSOP tournament in his Binion’s Horseshoe casino in Las Vegas. Out of this event, the first World Champion of Poker was presented to Johnny Moss, who received no monetary award for the crown. Johnny won the tournament not by defeating the other participants but by being voted the best overall player by his peers. At that time, Binion’s Horseshoe casino did not even have a designated poker room, and the first WSOP tournament attracted only about thirty gamblers.
In 1972, WSOP began to attract public attention. The previous year, Binion had already raised the entry fee to over 3,000 pounds in an attempt to raise the bar and gain prestige for what WSOP was going to become. 1972’s WSOP champion, Thomas Austin Preston Jr., helped publicise the event by holding nationwide public tours to celebrate his victory, making ordinary people and mainstream media take notice in the process. The following year, the World Series of Poker events were televised by CBS Sports for the first time. Since 1988 to date, the event has been broadcast by ESPN and The Discovery Channel, with ESP taking the lion’s share of the number of WOSP events it has broadcast.
Modern History of WSOP
The spontaneous and unprecedented growth experienced by the World Series of Poker in the 1990’s came with many changes and challenges. More popularity meant more young poker players were going to register for the annual event and subsequently create the need for a more organised event with adequate rooms and tables. In 2004, Harrah’s Entertainment, the present day Caesars Entertainment, bought Binion’s Horseshoe casino and also acquired the rights to the two brands, including the World Series of Poker. Caesars Entertainment Corporation is among the largest gaming companies in the world, and this move was not a surprise to the poker or business community; beauty was finally merging with the beast.
Fittingly, in 2005, Harrah’s Entertainment changed the home of WSOP to its casino, the Rio Las Vegas. With more gaming space, rooms and tables in the new casino, more tournaments were added. Surprisingly, the event has attracted thousands of poker players as well as spectators into Las Vegas, exceeding the numbers projected by business analysts and the new WOSP owners. By 2006, WOSP had 45 tournaments, with all winners receiving gold WOSP bracelets. WOSP is the richest sporting event with players winning over 100 million pounds in prize money.
Today, the World Series of Poker has extended its reach beyond the city of Las Vegas, to over a dozen casinos throughout the United States. Critics have argued that the event cannot get any bigger, but with the new World Series of Poker Circuit, this is debatable. Big corporations and advertising agencies have also taken notice. Car manufacturers and beer companies are now interested in associating themselves with the success that is the modern WOSP.
Poker newbies might be wondering how they could venture into the world of poker without unexpected risks or incurring a lot of costs. They also need to understand so much the poker freeroll tournaments. Poker freeroll tournaments are a great way to usher in first-time poker players. These tournaments cost not even a single cent to enter and play. Not only do you get a chance to enter and play for free but you will also most likely be lucky to be awarded a real cash prize. This kind of ceremonious welcoming is a plus to both newbies and experienced gamers since you can start building your poker bankroll without incurring financial risks. Freerolls are completely free and you can be assured that there is no catch or trap and no hidden fees for that matter.
Why Poker Freeroll Tournaments are Good
You will find these tournaments interesting since they are popular and they require no tournament buy-ins. Due to the fact that there are no buy-ins, you get the opportunity to try new strategies without risking your bankroll. The experienced poker players also appreciate the freerolls since they can try out a poker room`s features and software for the first time. Poker freeroll tournaments are good, but there is only one downside which is not that discouraging – the prizes offered are mostly small.
Types of Freerolls
The common types include the new player freeroll and the freeroll that rewards you when you make your first cash deposit on the poker site you are registered. The first time cash deposits usually attract a larger prize but this takes place only when you make your first deposit during the qualifying time. The new player freerolls on the other side are only available to players joining the site as a way to thank you for joining them and to enable you to try out their software. Different poker rooms offer unique freerolls that all have their own advantages so you can be fine with any of them that interest you the most rather than trying t look for the best freeroll available.Apart from the common freerolls, there are alternatives which include play money games, but they are not so beneficial though they are free.
Poker Freeroll Strategy and Tips
Though you won`t win so much when playing freeroll poker, it is still worth playing. It is fun to play, you build your bankroll, and you gain experience among other advantages but how do you work around so that you rip big? You need to get all the necessary poker freeroll tips and strategies. First, you should know your opponents. Most of the people who play these tournaments are ignorant, care so little about the tournaments, or completely lack a clue about poker. It, therefore, becomes hard to know what`s going on in the game.
For you to win a freeroll you should be simple and at the same time be rough. You should consider playing only good starting hands, bet large and make bigger raises, attacking if you have a good hand and if you have got nothing then you can quit. The main point to note here is that you only go with the good cards.
Another strategy involves managing how you play the early and late stages. It is so hard to thin the players` field by making the normal raise. This means that you go all-in before the flop if you have got a strong starting hand. After the flop, you should be aware that the game is over for you if you don`t have anything. You can only go all-in if you have got two pairs or better. If you are holding an open ended straight draw or a flush you only go all-in if most of the opponents have been putting chips in the pot. If you have a top pair, you go all-in if you have not more than two opponents. Be very careful if you are against more than two opponents.
During the late stage, you either raise or fold preflop and you go all-in soon after an opponent before or after you raise. Watch the players with low chips and avoid challenging aggressive players who have got more chips than you have since you will require a stronger hand to play against them.
A few tips will guide you through the final table. You should be more attentive to the positions and take advantage when all players fold and you are the first one with the ability to raise. You should also be nice to your opponents who raise in the early position since they often are holding something interesting.
An online poker network is a collection of poker rooms which, instead of each creating their own gaming software, join a network that shares the same software platform and players. Each poker room on the network uses its own unique skin, colour theme and branding, but the interface and players at the tables are the same, regardless of which skin is used.
Most poker networks are available to players who reside outside of the United States. Tournaments and cash games are the same across the various skins on the network — the only differences are promotions, support information, and banking methods.
The History of Online Poker Networks
The history of online poker rooms can be traced back to 1998, when the Mike Caro-endorsed Planet Poker opened its doors in 1998. For the first time, player were able to join real money tables online and bet on real poker games. These first few real-money poker games were revolutionary because poker games could now take place in real time, with players worldwide, and with a wide variety of stakes to suit any bankroll.
As connection speeds improved, so did the online poker rooms. Today’s players enjoy slick, fast games that can be enjoyed on every device. Due to segregated online poker pools, however, individual poker sites continued to struggle to generate enough traffic for their games. Online poker networks make it possible for poker rooms to fill their game rooms and for players worldwide to find the best gaming offerings.
The Largest Online Poker Networks
There are over 50 different online poker networks worldwide. Most o them are standalone, meaning they are the only casino owned by the parent company. Others are comprised of dozens of online casinos with different skins, sharing a software platform owned by the same company. The majority of online poker networks are available to players who reside outside of the United States. In this section, we’ll take a brief look at each of the biggest poker networks.
With an estimated 100,000 players online at any one time — and more than that during tournaments — PokerStars is the biggest poker network in terms of online poker traffic. PokerStars also has arguably the best software platform in the world. Founded by IBM Canada programmer Isai Scheinberg and his son, Mark Scheinberg, PokerStars offers an impressive number of features in an app that looks and works great on iPhone, iPad and Android.
888 Poker is the second biggest online poker network, with over 10 million registered users and having received a bevy of awards. The company has developed native apps for iPads, iPhones and Android devices that can be used simultaneously, offering the player a seamless experience while playing on up to four tables. 888 Poker is known for its social features; players can connect with each other, join games by webcam, share photos, participate in forums, and watch videos.
Owned by PlayTech, the largest casino software and services provider in the world, iPoker operates one of the most extensive multi-room online poker networks. The network operates through several skin partners, including Bet365, PaddyPower and TitanPoker, which all use the same PlayTech software for their online poker games. iPlayer has dozens of online poker gaming options from sports books who have partnered with the network.
Party Poker is one of the most popular online poker networks for players from around the world. It was one of the first online poker networks and has built up an impressive player base over time. Many of the site’s initial players still play at the casino today. The network offers a wide selection of cash games and tournaments, from penny games to games with stakes of thousands of dollars.
Microgaming Poker Network (MPN)
Microgaming Poker Network has been in operation since 2003. The parent company also co-founded eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA). The Microgaming Poker Network is renowned for its innovative concept and offerings, which have changed the ways in which online poker games and networks are perceived.
An integral skill that you need in order to succeed in the world of online poker and beyond is the ability to quickly calculate and act upon basic poker math. It is all well and good learning special poker strategies and techniques but without such a fundamental skill, it is impossible to win big.
What are outs?
Cards that give a player the winning hand are known as ‘outs. Calculating how these outs might come about is therefore an essential skill for a successful poker player. The key is to be able to put your opponent on a range of likely hands and once you have gauged this approximate range, it is much easier to calculate your poker outs. It should be noted, however, that calculating outs is by no means an exact science and so you should apply the idea of implied odds; the probability or likelihood of your opponents’ hand.
There are however different components to outs that need to be identified, which could contribute to some poker faux-pas if not identified:
Half outs- You must be able to spot half-outs, which is essentially when you will make your straight, yet still fall victim to your opponent’s flush.
Hidden outs- These are outs which may not immediately improve your hand but may hurt your opponents’.
Calculating and identifying your outs will soon become second nature to you and once you have mastered this skill the rest will come. Without even thinking about it the pot odds will come to you and the decision to continue with a hand will be an easy one. While poker can seem a complicated game at times, the fundamental basis for success in the game is the ability to identify and invest in good hands and odds.
Poker Pot Odds:
Pot odds take into consideration the number of outs you may have and enable you to calculate the amount of money a player needs to call in order to see another card.
In poker, pot odds can be read in terms of fractions, percentages and ratios, for the purpose of calculating the maths behind improving your hand. On a basic level, a player should divide the number of times they won’t make their hand by the amount of times they will do so. This can then be expressed in terms of fractions, percentages and ratios. For example 1/3, 33% and 2:1.
Poker Pot Odds Formula:
In a game situation, a player should calculate the total amount of money that was already in the main pot with the additional funds put forward in the current betting round and divide this by the amount they have to call.
For example in layman’s terms, if there was £300 in the main pot and £200 added to it in the betting round, while the player at hand had to call £100, then the pot odd ratio would be 5:1. Based on these calculations, if the player’s chances to improve their hand to a winning one is greater than the pot odds they’re getting for a call, then this is a worthwhile and profitable
Rule of Two and Four: calculating Pot Odds quickly and effectively:
In a match situation, players obviously need to quickly calculate and determine pot odds and decide their plan of action for the betting round. The ‘Rule of Two and Four’ can be employed to achieve this, in which the player multiplies the number of outs that they have by four with two cards to come. This will provide them with an estimated percentage, providing them with the probability of them making their hand.
Overall, calculating outs and pot odds should guide the successful poker player’s every decision and are fundamental skills necessary in the poker world. Using pot odds will help you gain a strategic advantage over players who do not have this basic grounding. Poker is inevitably a long-haul game and so possessing such skills will enable you to pursue a successful long-term poker strategy that will reap greater rewards.