A guide to Texas Hold’em – Part2

Hold ‘Em allows a player to use both his hole cards and three from the board, or only one hole card and four from the board, or indeed he can choose not to use any of his hole cards and instead play the five board cards as his hand. This latter case is known as ‘playing the board’. Thus, if the board cards were AC, KD, QD, JH, 10S all the players left in contention would have the highest possible straight (called the top straight) and hence would split the pot between them. Note that in this case there is no flush possible because there would have to be three cards of the same suit on the board. Similarly, for there to be a full house or four of a kind there would have to be at least one pair on the board.

Here is an example:
              Hole Cards        Flop              4th Street    5th Street

Hand1     AH, KD             

Hand2     AC, QC              AS, 9D, 7S     QD             9S

Hand3     7H, 7C

Hand4     JS, 10S

On the flop, hand 3 is ahead with three 7s (called ‘trip 7s’). Hand 1 is second best with two aces and a king as the next highest card (the king in this instance is called the ‘kicker’). Hand 2 is third best also with two aces but only with a queen kicker. Although hand 4 is last at this stage the player is not without hope as fourth street, turn, could bring a spade card giving a flush or an 8 making a straight. Notice that two of the players are using the same board card (the AS) as part of their hand which is allowable.

On fourth street, there is minimal change in the order. Hand 3 is still ahead, but now hand 2 is second with two pair and hand 1 is third with one pair. Hand 4 is still last, but now any spade, 8 or king will improve this hand to make it the winner.

On fifth street, all five board cards have now been dealt. Each player can use a combination of the board cards and his own hole cards to make the best five-card combination or hand. In this case, hand4 has indeed improved to a flush (five spades), but hand3 has also improved to a full house and wins the pot.

Another example is:

               Hole Cards       Flop              4th Street     5th Street

Hand        AC, KC            KS, 9C, 7C      AD              3C

On fourth street, the player can use the AC and KC from his hand along with the AD and KS from the board to make two pair but on fifth street he can use the two clubs in his hand and the three dubs on the board to make a flush. Therefore, at various points in the play of the hand, the player used different combinations of cards to make the best five-card poker hand.
Remember that poker is a five-card game, so if the board was 10-10-10-10-3, all players would have four 10’s, but the winner of the pot would be the player with the highest hole card. The best possible hand is known as ‘the nuts’, so if the board was KH, 6S, 3D, 4H, 10H the player holding two hearts, including an ace of hearts would have the nuts and win the pot. But if the 3D were instead a 6D, this player would no longer have the nuts, since now a full house or four of a kind is possible. Of course, the player might still win the pot with his ace-high flush, but he would not have the nuts.

 

Previous article

 

 

Rubyfortune Casino

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RubyFortune Casino have been around a few years and in that time have firmly established themselves in the online casino business. Ruby Fortune Casino are one of the trend setters in the online casino industry and that is always a good sign for a casino which takes itself and its customers seriously. In terms of looks and usability Ruby Fortune Casino is in a league of it’s own, it has a very nice and clean interface to its online casino. Ruby Fortune Casino have always had a good selection of promotions and bonuses to tempt its players with and I will discuss this more later on in this review of Ruby Fortune Casino.

Ruby Fortune Casino have a superb selection of games split into the following main categories:

– Progressive Games: Nothing quite beats the thrill of chasing an enormous progressive jackpot. At Ruby Fortune Casino there are plenty of progressive jackpot games to choose from.

– Slots Games: A nice selection in this category from classic single line all the way to video 20 line games.

– Table Games: In this category you’ll find all the games which you normally associate with all online Casinos, Ruby Fortune Casino have Sic Bo, European Roulette, American Roulette and Craps to name but a few.

– VideoPoker Games: This section contains a very healthy choice, there’s about 15 different video poker games too choose from at Ruby Fortune Casino.

– Card Games: Ruby Fortune Casino have a really great selection of card games, and it is card games which most people associate with online casinos. Games like Blackjack, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em and many more.

On the chance that this isn’t quite enough casino games for you Ruby Fortune Casino have a few extra sections, these are Arcade Games.

Now we get to the best bit, promotions and bonuses and this is where Ruby Fortune Casino really excel. The majority of online casinos these days offer signup bonuses and Ruby Fortune Casino is no exception, they will give you up to £750. Ruby Fortune Casino have really raised the level with their loyalty scheme. It’s based on points which you can convert to money and other things plus you get entitled to special bonuses and promotions. It’s well worth signing up for. Ruby Fortune Casino are constantly introducing new and exciting promotions and bonuses so I suggest you check there pages frequently for the very latest offers.

All in all then I really rate Ruby Fortune Casino as a great place for online casino players to gamble, they have loads of fantastic casino games and excellent bonuses.

A guide to Texas Hold’em – Part1

Texas Hold ‘Em (usually just called Hold ‘Em) is the one most commonly played in casino card rooms. Hold ‘Em can be played with only two players or, theoretically, with as many as twenty-two players (this exhausts the number of cards in the deck). In practice, however, it is rarely played with more than ten players due to the size of the table, with six to ten players considered the optimum range.
The first betting round is structured slightly differently from draw or stud. There is usually no ante put in by every player. Instead, the two players on the dealer’s left each put in small initial bets called ‘blinds’. These bets are called blind bets (blinds for short) because they are made at a stage before the players receive their cards. As the deal passes round the table a different two players put in (or post) the blinds. Thus over time every player will post the same number of blinds.
In the majority of casino games there is a house dealer, and to ensure that every player has a chance of sitting in what would nominally be the dealer’s position a small disk or’button’is moved around the table. The house dealer always deals the first card to the player on the left of the dealer button. The player with the dealer button is last to act on every round of betting for that hand, with the exception of the first one where the blinds are ‘live’, meaning that the players who posted the blinds have the option to raise.
The game starts with each player receiving two cards face down. After they have looked at their own cards, there is a round of betting. As the first two players on the dealer’s left have put in bets, it is the third player on the dealer’s left who is first to act and because a bet (blind) has already been made he cannot check. He must call the blind, raise or fold. If the action proceeds all the way around to the players who posted the blinds, without being raised, then these players have the option to raise themselves. If they do not wish to do so, they simply say’no raise’ or tap the table.
Once the first betting round is over, the dealer discards (or ‘burns’) the top card of the deck. It is dealt face down on to the table, this card is called a ‘burn card’ and it is not used in the play of the hand. This is to ensure that cheating is made difficult or impossible to achieve. If the top card was not burnt then players might be tempted to mark particular cards and try and spot them on top of the deck. If the cards are marked, a player who is able to read the backs will know what the top card is and this information could be very advantageous. For instance, if a player had 6-6 in hand and knew that the first card dealt would be a 6, then that player could bet and raise with impunity.
After the first betting round, three cards are turned face up in the middle of the table. This is called’the flop’. After a further round of betting, a fourth card, called the’ turn’ or ‘fourth street’ is turned. Another round of betting is followed by a final face-up card (called the ‘river’ or’fifth street’). The five cards in the centre of the table are collectively known as the ‘board’, After the last round of betting the players reveal their hole cards.

 

Part 2

MummysGold Casino

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I think that MummysGold have to be one of the largest online casinos around. MummysGold are one of the trend setters in the online casino industry and that is always a good sign for a casino which takes itself and its customers seriously. MummysGold looks fantastic and runs on very good gaming software offering a lot of high quality games. I always think that whilst big bonuses aren’t essential for an online casino they certainly give a clear statement that the casino is serious and MummysGold is in this respect at the very fore front of online casinos.

In terms of casino games MummysGold certainly won’t let you down, they have:

– Progressive Games: At MummysGold the majority of the progressive jackpots are slots games but there are a few others as well, all offering huge top payouts.

– Slots Games: MummysGold have a great choice of games for slots fans. Their slots games come in many different shapes and sizes, like classic slots, reel slots and video slots.

– Table Games: In this category you’ll find all the games which you normally associate with all online Casinos, MummysGold have Sic Bo, European Roulette, American Roulette and Craps to name but a few.

– VideoPoker Games: This section contains a very healthy choice, there’s about 15 different video poker games too choose from at MummysGold.

– Card Games: MummysGold have a really great selection of card games, and it is card games which most people associate with online casinos. Games like Blackjack, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em and many more.

In addition to the games listed above MummysGold also have the following sections of games, Unique Games.

MummysGold online casino has some simply fantastic bonuses and promotions. The majority of online casinos these days offer signup bonuses and MummysGold is no exception, they will give you up to $25. Loyalty schemes are becoming better and better as online casinos battle amongst themselves to offer their players the best value for money. This is great news for us as we get even more bonuses through these loyalty programmes and MummysGold is no exception. The loyalty programme from MummysGold Casino have a series of levels which you will promoted to the more games you play, and the higher the level you acheive the more loyalty points you will earn. These points can then be converted into free casino money!

All in all I can’t recommend MummysGold enough, I have always enjoyed playing at their online casino and I expect I will for many years to come.

Analysis of Poker Hands – Common situations

Hand 1

This hand is an example of a common situation which often occurs in tournament play. A small pair is up against two overcards which is effectively even money on both hands. The hand is between Marty Wilson and Somkhuan Harwood. Based in Wolverhampton, he says he got his nickname ‘Mad Marty’ because of the way he is – one day he is cash rich and the next day he’s got nothing. Somkhuan has been playing for seven years but considers that she is still learning with every game she plays. Her advice to beginners is to get a good teacher. She feels that she has been lucky in this respect, learning a lot from her husband Malcolm, Somkhuan’s ambition in poker is to beat her husband head-to-head in a decent competition (she thinks he would ‘go bananas’) .

Marty hasA-K and, as he is short of chips, goes all-in for £500.

Somkhuan calls with 3-3.

The board comes 10-10-10-6-4.

Somkhuan wins with a full house. For all practical purposes it was even money on both players for the hand, but Somkhuan’s hand held up and Mad Marty has to count himself unlucky.

 

Hand 2

This is an example of where a player fills a hand by the ‘backdoor’. The hand is between Debbie Berlin and Malcolm Harwood.

Here the flop brings JH, 7H, 6H.

Debbie bets £500 with AH, 10S . This is a semi-bluff as Debbie has a four-flush and one over card. If another player has a jack (making two jacks) or better they are slight favourites over Debbie’s hand.

This turns out to be the case as Malcolm holds 7-7 making trip sevens. Malcolm only calls. Note that this is not another example of slow playing a hand, for although Malcolm is taking the risk of letting Debbie complete her draw, he has to fear that she has made a flush already.

The other players in this pot all pass.

Fourth street brings a 8D, which does not help Malcolm but means that Debbie is now drawing for both a flush and a straight.

Both players check, probably each fearful of what the other holds.

Fifth street brings a 9D, making a straight for Debbie. This straight was completed by the backdoor, as it was made using both of the last two cards and Debbie was originally drawing to the flush.

Debbie bets £1000 and Malcolm wisely passes his trips.

21Nova

21Nova Casino

21Nova are regarded as one of the very best online casinos in the industry and they have built this reputation through a lot of hard work and more importantly by listening carefully to what their customers want. Apparently what the customers wanted was a huge number of games and great service and this is what 21Nova deliver.

21Nova are fully regulated and this is something which is very important in the online gambling world as it gives you the customer assurance that this online casino plays fair and will pay out your winning in a prompt manner and that the games at the casino are all fair and even.

The gaming software used by 21Nova is Playtech and they have been growing steadily over the years until they now rival Microgaming in terms of quality of games. The graphics at 21Nova are very good and overall the gaming experience is very pleasant, 21Nova offer the following games:

Table games: There’s about 20 table games to choose from including the following, Blackjack, Pai Gow, Baccarat, Casino War, Pontoon, Casino Hold’em and many more.

Live games: I just love live games because you really get a sense of being in an online casino when you play them, 21Nova have Baccarat, Roulette, Baccarat and Sic Bo.

Slot Games: Plenty to choose from in this category in a lot of fun variations like, Video 5 Line, Video 20-line as well as classic reel games.

Video Poker: Again a very respectable selection in this category, there’s about 15 different video poker games too choose from.

Arcade Games: As the name suggest these games are a bit more light hearted but that doesn’t mean that you can’t win big money on them!

Progressive: These games offer the really huge jackpots, and when I say huge I mean huge. The majority of these games are slots games.

Asian Games: If you want to try something a bit different why don’t you try your hand at some of the Asian Games.

21Nova online casino have some fabulous promotions and bonuses to tempt you with. To start off with there is the very nice signup bonus which is paid out in three stages with the final stage offering a 320% bonus up to $320! If you make your deposits via Neteller, Bankers draft or a Wire transfer then you get an extra 15% bonus on every deposit and if you deposit with Citadel, EcoCard, FirePay, Maestro/Switch Card, Moneybookers, PaysafeCard, Solo
Card, UseMyBank or WebMoney then its a 10% bonus. They even give you €50 for every friend you introduce to 21Nova so if you are popular that could be a very nice extra bit of money. 21Nova  online casino run a very nice loyalty programme with comp points which I recommend that you join if you decide to sign up with them.

In summary I think this is top online casino and I’m sure you’ll enjoy playing at 21Nova. 

 

Analysis of Poker Hands – Luck

Hand 1
This is from the semi-final of the second series and illustrates the fact that, despite excellent play, luck can often be a factor. This is a hand between Jonas Slovenia and Ross Boatman. Jonas is the host of a Slovenian chat show and Ross Boatman is a London-based actor well known for his role in London’s Burning. Ross is following in the footsteps of some other (perhaps more famous) actors like the late Telly ‘Kojak’ Savalas and Gabe Kaplan by being an extremely accomplished poker player. The hand developed as follows:

Jonas held AD, KD and raised the bet to £300.

Ross re-raised all-in with AS, KS.

Jonas called.

The board came QS, 7S, 8S, 9H, 3S.

Jonas went out having played the hand (of identical value to Ross’s) perfectly well but having suffered bad luck.

The theme of luck cannot be emphasised too much as it is a factor in all poker games. Over the long term, each individual player gets as much good luck as bad. Hence skill comes into play in that good players will minimise their losses during a run of bad luck but maximise their gains during a good run (or a ‘rush’ as some players would call it).

 

Hand 2
This hand illustrates one of the most famous recent pieces of poker bad luck. In addition, it illustrates the sort of ‘at the table’ analysis that sophisticated players are able to make. It is the final hand in the main event of the World Series of Poker 2000. This tournament takes four days to play and is the ultimate test of a poker player’s stamina and character.
When the tournament got down to the last two players, T J Cloutier was up against Chris (Jesus) Ferguson, not an unknown in Vegas poker circles, but certainly less famous at the time than his opponent. However, to compensate for this, he had 90 per cent of the chips.
Cloutier soon got to work. A master at head-up play, he had Ferguson on the run. Time after time, he would bet or raise and Ferguson would throw his hand away. Soon, Cloutier was nearly level. Then came the key hand. Ferguson made an initial small raise and Cloutier moved all-in. Ferguson thought for five minutes before calling. (That he was allowed such time might surprise some readers. As stated in the chapter on rules, many card rooms in the UK have a rule that ‘thinking time is restricted to two minutes’. But two minutes from when? Most dealers don’t wear watches. The correct rule is two minutes from when another player requests that a player be ‘put on the clock’.) The dealer should have no authority to put a player on the clock. Thus, if Cloutier said nothing (as in this case), Ferguson could have sat there for half an hour if he’d wanted to. However, even five minutes can be a long time sitting at a poker table when nothing is happening.
He called. The hands were turned over. Cloutier had A-Q offsuit, Ferguson A-9 suited.
I must confess the first time I heard this I thought Ferguson had made a poor call but actually it was quite clever. Here’s why.
I suspect that Ferguson realised that he was up against a superior player (this is something a lot of players would be reluctant to admit). So what does he think Cloutier has? Remember, Cloutier had moved all-in, a bet much bigger than the size of the pot, so he’s unlikely to be bluffing.

1.    A Small Pair This would be ideal for Ferguson, as he’d then be about even money to win the tournament. But would Cloutier go all in with, for example, two 4s?
2.    A Medium or Big Pair This is much more likely. It wouldn’t be a disaster, however, because Ferguson could still hit his ace and win (unless he is very unlucky and Cloutier has two aces). He’d be about two to one against if facing any pair but
aces.
3.    Ace-High Kicker A-K, A-Q or A-J. This seems to be most likely. Again Ferguson’s not out of it, though, because he could still hit his 9 and win. Here, he’d be about five to two against.
4.    Two High Cards K-Q or K-J. This seems most unlikely.Cloutier would be more inclined to just call with such a hand. Ferguson would be slight favourite here, though.

Ferguson probably took the view that he could take a stand with his A-9 where he was likely to be at worst, five to two against, or he could keep on folding and let Cloutier ‘ante’ him away. On balance, it wasn’t such a bad decision.
What happened? The flop came K -4- 2. Fourth street was another king. So, on the river, Ferguson needed a 4 or a 2 to tie. But a 9 would win him the tournament and the title of world champion. And a 9 is what came. Ferguson was crowned as champion and received the $1,500,000 first prize whilst Cloutier, who was most gracious in defeat offering the winner his warm congratulations, received a mere $896,500. Nevertheless, Cloutier’s bad luck cost him some $600,000 or £400,000!

888 Online Casino


888 have an outstanding track record when it comes to treating its
customers in a fair way. 888 aren’t content to rest on their laurels,
they are always adding the very latest features and gaming technology to
their online casino. 888 looks fantastic and runs on very good gaming
software offering a lot of high quality games. I always think that
whilst big bonuses aren’t essential for an online casino they certainly
give a clear statement that the casino is serious and 888 is in this
respect at the very fore front of online casinos.

Below are the main sections of casino games offered by 888, I could list
every single game they have but I fear I don’t have enough space on
this page!

– Progressive Games: At 888 the majority of the progressive
jackpots are slots games but there are a few others as well, all
offering huge top payouts.

– Slots Games: For some people Slots games are their favourite
casino games and it is certainly the area where online casinos excell as
they can offer such a massive choice. 888 is no exception with a superb
choice of games

– Table Games: In this category 888 offer Craps, American Roulette, European Roulette and a whole lot more.

– Video Poker Games: I know some players who are absolutely
hooked on VideoPoker and I can see the attraction, they offer a lot of
excitement and you also have very good odds compared to many other
casino games. 888 have many different types of VideoPoker for your
gaming pleasure.

– Card Games: 888 have a really great selection of card games,
and it is card games which most people associate with online casinos.
Games like Blackjack, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em and many more.

In addition to the games listed above 888 also have the following sections of games, Arcade style games.

Some times it can almost seem like there are too many promotions and
bonues to choose between, but is that such a bad thing! 888 have some
very nice bonuses for you to choose from but as always check the small
print before you sign up for them. The bonuses at 888 kicks off with a
fantastic welcome bonus of £/$800. Now that’s a nice way for any online
casino to say hello! Online casinos take player retention very seriously
and with good reason as the online casino market has never been more
competitive. The loyalty scheme offered by 888 is amongst the best I’ve
seen. In addition to the signup bonus they also have many other
excellent promotions and I recommend you check out their promotions page
for the very latest info.

888 is a great online casino but don’t just take my word for it. Click
on the link on this page to take a look for yourselves, you have nothing
to loose as they offer free money games so that you can test the games
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Baccarat – Matingale system

One of the most famous – and most destructive – Baccarat systems is called the “Martingale”. It would be a perfect system, but is foiled bv the casino’s insistence on a maximum bet which is common to casino en ligne bonus. The object is to win one unit at a time. The Martingale system counts on the finiteness of streaks; that is, a streak always ends. In baccarat, the Martingale player would bet one unit on either the Banker or the Player. If he wins, he takes his one unit profit and leaves one unit as a bet. If he loses, he doubles his bet to two units. If he loses the two-unit bet, he makes a four-unit bet. If he loses the four-unit bet, he makes an eight-unit bet, and so on, until he wins the bet, making his one unit profit, and reduces the bet back to one unit.
The danger of the Martingale system is that you need to have a huge fund and be ready to risk it for a reward of only one unit. In a £5 minimum baccarat game that would generally have a maximum of £2,000, a streak of ten would wipe out the Martingale player to the tune of over £3,000. That’s a lot to risk for a £5 win.

More typically, a baccarat game carries a £10 minimum, and a £2,250 maximum. In that case, it only takes a streak of seven to induce “gambler’s ruin”.

Review of Eurogrand Casino

Eurogrand online Casino

Eurogrand is a fairly new casino but they have some fantastic promotions and are constantly growing bigger and bigger and attracting a very loyal group of players. That is fairly hard to do with online casinos where players tend to me more fickle than most but by offering great service and actually listening to their players they are achieving it.

Eurogrand have all the main casino games which you would expect to find in a good online casino, these are split into the following main areas:

– Exclusive Games: Eurogrand also offer a few exclusive games which you won’t find anywhere else like EuroGrand poker slots which is a lot of fun to play.

– Slot Games: A nice selection in this category from classic single line all the way to video 20 line games.

– Card Games: All your favourites are represented here like Blackjack, Pontoon, Baccarat, Casino War, Caribbean poker, Pai Gow Poker, Red Dog, Casino Hold’em and Tequila Poker.

– Arcade games: I just love these games as they add a bit of fun to the gaming experience and some of them even have progressive jackpots. Eurogrand have about 15 games in this section.

– Progressive Games: Lots to choose from, they have about 15 games offering extremely healthy jackpots.

– Video Poker: Again a solid selection of video pokers in this section, my favourite here is probably jacks or better but I also enjoyed the 4-line Aces and Faces game.

– Table Games: Sic Bo, European Roulette, American Roulette and Craps.

– Live Games: I really like the fact that live games are becoming more commonplace as it adds so much to the gaming experience, Eurogrand have Live Baccarat, Live Blackjack, Live Roulette and Live Sic Bo.

– Asian Games: This is a new category for me but I had a lot of fun trying out the game Dolphin paradise, which actually involves a bit of skill as you have to try and guide a ball into the dolphins mouth.

It’s the promotions which really set Eurogrand apart though and I recommend you visit the promotions page on their site for the up to date list but at the time of writing this they had, on top of the $1000 first depsoit bonus, a $500 second deposit bonus and $300 third deposit bonus, this is one of the best bonus schemes I’ve seen. They also give you an extra 15% bonus if you deposit with Neteller, Wire Transfer or Bankers Draft and 10% if you deposit with Moneybookers, FirePay, Citadel, EcoCard, PaysafeCard, UseMyBank, Maestro/Switch Card, Solo Card and WebMoney. As a cherry on top they even give you comp points for every $1 you bet and these very quickly add up to yet another nice little bonus.

All in all then I really rate Eurogrand as a great place for high-roller casino players to gamble, they have plenty of action and excellent bonuses.