Playing Your Poker Hand – The flop

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What to Do after the Flop’s Out

1.lf you have nothing, get out.
This simple rule will save you a lot of money over your poker-playing lifetime. But a lot of players violate it. If you have queen-jack of hearts, a good starting hand, and the flop is the king of diamonds, and the 6 and 3 of spades, get out. Throw your hand away and wait for the next hand.

2. If you don’t have much, get out.
This is a harder rule to follow than the previous one but it’ll probably save even more money. For example, you have a 9D, 8D and the flop is QC, 8H, 3D, i.e. all of different suits (called a ‘rainbow flop’). The optimist in this position sees a pair and a back door flush draw. But if someone bets the pot, representing a pair of queens, or better, where are you? You need to hit a 9 or an 8 for an immediate improvement, which still may not win. If a diamond comes, that gives you a four flush, but your opponent, if he’s a quality player, is likely to bet the pot again. Do you want to call a pot-size bet with only one card to come? I suggest not.
After the flop, you have seen five cards out of seven or 70 per cent of your hand. It is usually a weak play to call on the flop, only to pass on fourth street if there’s another bet.
As a general rule, then, inside straight draws, back door flush draws, second or third pair, or even top pair with a weak kicker, are better off in the muck (that is, you are better to pass them). Of course, if you have a strong suspicion your opponent may not have a solid hand or is attempting a bluff, that’s a different matter.
David Sklansky introduced the concept of semi-bluffing into the language of poker and it is now part of the lexicon of table talk. This is a hand that you are betting with which you hope will not be called, but if it is called, still has a chance to win. So, in the hand above, for example, you might bet your pair of 8s as a semi-bluff if your opponent checks to you, showing weakness. You hope he folds, but if he doesn’t you still have a number of ways to win. This is better than a pure bluf( where you have no hand at all. If your opponent calls in the latter case, you know for sure you have lost your chips. Note that a semi-bluf( by definition, can only be made if there are still cards to come, as you are hoping your hand will improve.

3.lf you’ve hit something, and you like it, bet it.
Say you’ve played a small pair and now you’ve hit trips. You should usually bet here. For example, if you’ve played pocket 4s (two 4s in the hole), and the flop comes 10-9-4, I would definitely bet. This applies particularly if two suited cards come on the flop which means somebody might have a flush draw. If you checked this type of hand and the next card is, say, the jack of the same suit, your three 4s don’t look so good any more (the jack could have made your opponent a flush or a straight). It’s always tempting when you flop a big hand, to check and hope somebody else bets, or check and hope somebody catches something on fourth street that gets them involved. But unless you are against a very aggressive player, who nearly always bets if he is checked to, it is usually safer to bet to protect your hand. If you get raised, of course, you have to re-evaluate your hand – it might be second best, but don’t let the fear of being raised stop you from betting.

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. 

Playing Your Poker Hand – Position and the flop

Position means how far round the table you are in relation to the dealer. The nearer the dealer you are (on the dealer’s right), the better off you are. The dealer has the best position of all as he gets to act last on each betting round (except the first).

Having to act first is a major disadvantage in Hold ‘Em. Say you have raised with an ace-jack, and have hit nothing on the flop. What do you do if you are first to speak? If you bet out, you take the risk of being raised by those behind you who have made good hands. If you check, those behind may bet forcing you to fold. However, if you had that same ace-jack on the button things are vel)’ different. If you make a strong hand, you are forcing the others to ‘bet into you’ (i.e. bet before your turn to act) and if you flop nothing, and somebody bets, you can then pass, risking nothing.
Generally then, the earlier your position, the better your hand needs to be before you should enter the fray. In a tough game, with many people raising before the flop, expect to’pass’ (i.e. fold) nearly all your hands in the first two seats in a full game. Ace-jack and ace-10 offsuit, for example, are definite non-starters here. As are ace-small suited and small pairs (say 6s and below). If you call with two 6s and somebody raises you, what do you do? If you call him, you are seven to one against to make trips on the flop. Anything else and you’ll have to check (unless you attempt a bluft), thus handing the initiative to your opponent! He does not even need a pair to bet. He has position and this is all that is needed.
If you do call with, say, ace-jack suited or ace-queen, in an early position, and a solid player raises you, I would recommend folding because there are too many uncertainties. If an ace comes, do you bet into him or not? He might have ace-king. Better not to get into this dilemma in the first place. I am not advocating tight or conservative play here, just solid, sensible play, which is something completely different.

The Flop and Beyond

The person who invented Hold ‘Em came up with a fantastic idea in deciding that the first three cards should be dealt at the same time. This means that the flop is the defining moment in the hand. In five or seven-card stud, where cards are dealt one at a time, the value of your hand changes slowly. In Hold ‘Em, a strong hand before the flop can be made almost worthless on the flop, while an innocuous-looking hand before the flop can turn into a monster. Hence the expression often heard around Hold ‘Em tables, ‘any two cards can win’. So, 7-deuce? (Deuce is a term for 2.) No problem, but only if the flop comes 7-7 -deuce. In reality, any two cards can win, but it is much more likely that A-A will win than say 7 -4 and it is on the likelihood or chance of a win that you risk your money.

 

Part 2

Unibet Casino

Unibet have been around a few years and in that time have firmly established themselves in the online casino business. Unibet always seem to be able to offer me something new each time I come back to freshen up the review. Unibet uses one of the top online gaming software’s and benefits hugely from this in terms of playability and looks. Unibet have some fantastic bonuses and promotions which I will talk more about later on in this review.

Unibet are well known for their fantastic choice of exciting online casino games, below you’ll find the main categories of casino games which Unibet have:

– Progressive Games: In this category you find the really massive payout casino games, and when I say massive I mean massive. At Unibet the majority of these games are slots games.

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

– Table Games: Unibet have a good selection of table games for your enjoyment, amongst these are Roulette (American and European), Craps and Sic Bo and many more as well.

– VideoPoker Games: I just love VideoPoker games and for some reason they tend to be the games where I get the most luck. Unibet have a superb selection all the way up to 100-line video poker games which I find a bit confusing but handily the game tells me which of my 100 lines have won!

– Card Games: Unibet have all of the most popular Casino card games including Tequila Poker, Red Dog, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em, Caribbean poker, Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, Casino War and Pontoon.

Unibet have a few more sections of games as well, they are, Sportsbook, Poker, SuperToto, Scratch Cards, Skill games.

Now we get to the best bit, promotions and bonuses and this is where Unibet really excel. To start you off at the online casino Unibet offer you a very nice signup bonus, €100. You can add this money to your stack to give yourself more leverage in terms of betting for most of the casino games but make sure you check which casino games qualify for the bonus as not all of them do! 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 Unibet is no exception. Unibet have a good selection of bonuses and promotions which they tell all their registered players about.

Great Games, Great Bonuses, Great Promotions, Great Customer Support, Unibet have the lot. So what are you waiting for?

An Introduction to Gambling

Gambling is as old as the human race, and as all encompassing as passion, anger and joy. But in many places around the world, casino gambling brings with it a different feel and experience to other forms of gambling. In the UK, it currently involves small, private, “members only” casinos, free-standing machines in pubs, restaurants, clubs and on ferries, a wide selection of betting shops and extensive Internet gambling when players can bet on anything and everything. There is currently a proposal before Parliament that would expand the scope of casino gambling to make it much more like the Las Vegas experience in the US and other parts of the world.

So what is it that makes gambing so pervasive in human nature? Every choice you make in life is a gamble. When you are finally old enough to make your own choices, you gamble with your future with every decision you make. The choices you make each day in real life are easily translated into the choices you make at the casino.

Luck is, of course, the essential element in casino gambling. Sure, you can mitigate that factor by understanding the odds and the most favourable ways to play the games, but you can’t eliminate it.

Similarly, luck plays an enormous role in your life. You can get a good education and be totally prepared for your career but, if you don’t meet that one key person in your professional life, or you don’t get an unexpected break, you may only be moderately successful.

Unlike gambling, where the decisions on the various games will break even over the long run, you can’t depend upon real life to “even up”. Bad luck can dog an individual his entire life, for reasons unknown to anyone except for a higher being. Don’t expect things to turn around because you are due for a break. You have to make your own breaks.

CHANGING YOUR LUCK
When you’re gambling and losing, the natural inclination is to try to do something to win. That can often be the worst strategy. By continuing to gamble, you’re risking more of your money, and you have a greater than average chance of losing. Why? Because now you’re playing with “scared money” – that is, money that you never planned to risk, but now believe you must. Because it’s more than you planned to risk, your decisions will often be suspect, you will play more emotionally than rationally and expose yourself to some very harsh results.

The same is true in life. If things aren’t going well for you on a particular project, for instance, you can get angry. Anger never makes it better, it can only make things worse. And when you get angry, emotional, exasperated or you feel that you simply don’t care, you are going to lose … and that also applies to gambling.

It doesn’t matter how much time or money you’ve invested, either. If you’re playing blackjack, and you have to make a difficult decision, don’t think about how much money you’ve lost already. It doesn’t matter, and it certainly won’t affect whether you win or lose that particular hand. If it affects how you play, you’re in bad shape.

Let’s take the stock market as an analogy. Suppose you purchased stock in a particular company for £5,500. Now suppose that company suffered some downturns that no one anticipated, bringing your stock down to £2,750. But another investor is willing to pay you £4,500 for that stock. You don’t want to take that offer because you believe you’ll be losing £1,000. But if you accept his offer, you’d actually be picking up £1,750. It doesn’t matter what you paid for the stock initially; it only matters what it’s worth at the moment you get the offer. Make the decision on that basis, not on past events.

SpinPalace Casino

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Right from the first look at their website I had the feeling that I would really like Spin Palace Casino. Spin Palace Casino keep on getting better and better each and every time I come back to them. Having a good look and feel is absolutely vital for an online casino if it wants to do well in the highly competitive gaming market and Spin Palace Casino have one of the best online casino interfaces I have seen. Having big promotions and bonuses is not the be all and end all of an online casino and it is important to really look at what is being offered as some of them look a lot better than they really are. In the case of Spin Palace Casino I can confirm that the bonuses are superb as I will demonstrate later in this review.

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

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

– Slots Games: Spin Palace Casino 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: Table Games are probably what is most synonymous with a casino, it includes games like Sic Bo, Roulette and Craps. Spin Palace Casino have all these favourite games and many more.

– VideoPoker 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. Spin Palace Casino have many different types of VideoPoker for your gaming pleasure.

– Card Games: Spin Palace Casino have all of the most popular Casino card games including Tequila Poker, Red Dog, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em, Caribbean poker, Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, Casino War and Pontoon.

On the chance that this isn’t quite enough casino games for you Spin Palace Casino have a few extra sections, these are Unique games.

Spin Palace Casino online casino has some simply fantastic bonuses and promotions. To start you off at the online casino Spin Palace Casino offer you a very nice signup bonus, £1000. You can add this money to your stack to give yourself more leverage in terms of betting for most of the casino games but make sure you check which casino games qualify for the bonus as not all of them do! A lot of online casinos offer loyalty schemes to keep hold of its players and this is something you should take advantage of. The loyalty scheme at Spin Palace Casino is excellent and if you intend playing there then you should definitely sign up for it. When I was writing this review they were running a promotion which gave you an extra £1000 bonus if you hit a progressive jackpot, talk about getting the cherry on top! 🙂

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

Betting in Poker – Part3

After everyone remaining has exchanged there is another betting round, which proceeds along the same lines as the first, except that the rule is that the player who has opened the betting before the draw always speaks first. At the end of the second betting round, the remaining players show their hands and the person with the best poker hand wins the pot. (This will be the first time in the playing of the hand where players get to see any cards other than their own.) If one player has made a bet that nobody calls, he wins the pot without showing his cards.
In the previous example at the start of the second betting round there is £106 in the pot and the betting might proceed as follows:

 

Here player C was first to act (because he opened the original betting) and checked, player F bet and player B folded, player C then raised, even though he had already checked (this is called a ‘check-raise’). Some people consider a check-raise to be unethical and some home games prefer not to allow it, but it is allowed in all games held in casinos. Player F then chooses to call player Cs raise although he had the option to raise again. Indeed if both chose to they could have continued raising until one or other ran out of money. Once the last bet or raise made by either player has been called by the other, they then show their hands and the one with the best five-card hand wins the pot, which has now reached £146. This is called the’ showdown’. There are often more than two players involved in a showdown. Note that at any stage if one player makes a bet that the others do not call th~n that player would win the pot without having to show his cards. 

That’s the mechanics of the betting dealt with. In the above example, all of the bets were in units of £10 but the limits you place on the game you play is up to you. You might allow units of say £5 before the draw and £10 after or simply allow any amount between £1 and £10 to be bet at any time (but bear in mind that a raise must always be at least as much as the original bet). Usually in a fixed limit game there is a constraint of one bet and three raises per round to prevent two players constantly re-raising each other and trapping a third in between them. To show how this could arise let’s look once again at our example.

 Player                 B                  C                F

Betting Action:                        Bet £10          call

                        raise              re-raise         call

                        re-raise          re-raise         call

                        re-raise          re-raise         call

                        call                call

Total bet            £70               £70               £70

 

Put yourself in the position of player F. It is probable that he would have been happy to just call the first £10 bet and have a showdown. But because the other two players are constantly re-raising each other, player F has to continue to meet the extra bets or fold, losing any chance of winning the hand. On this occasion, player F has had to put in £70, but with the restriction on raising described above, the most he can be forced to put in to have a showdown would be £40, i.e. a bet of £10 and three raises of £10 each. Of course, when only two are left they can raise and re-raise as often as they like.

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.

Betting in Poker – Part2

At the end of the first completed betting round then, the action has moved from player A (the player on the dealer’s immediate left) to player B then to player C and so on back to player B. The action ends at player B because he is the last to match all of the previous bets and raises. After the betting round there are three players remaining in contention for the pot. They are players B, C and F and they have each contributed £31, including their antes. Player E contributed £11, but has folded giving him no further claim to the money he has already put in the pot, in the same way players A and D have each lost their £1 ante. Therefore at the end of the betting round there is £106 in the pot.
All of this looks complicated on paper, but in reality it is easy to grasp. But be sure you understand how a betting round works, because the same principle applies to all types of poker game.
It is interesting to note that at this stage in the game in the example above, each player has only seen the cards that were dealt to him and can only guess what the other players have. However, there are clues to what a player’s hand is, and these clues are identified in the bets that the player makes. Several tentative conclusions can be drawn just from the bets alone in this betting round. Firstly player A had a poor hand, so he initially checked and when later he was faced with a bet he folded his cards. Player B initially checked but then called’ a bet and a raise and then subsequently-he called a re-raise, so he must have liked his hand to some extent. Player C made the first bet, called a raise and made a re-raise of his own, so again he must have liked the hand, possibly thinking it to be the best hand at this stage. Player D folded at the first opportunity, so he most probably had ‘a very poor hand. Player E called the initial £10 bet but none of the subsequent raises, so it is possible that he considered his hand to be of moderate value. Player F called the initial £10 bet and then raised £10, so he must have liked his hand, but he only called player Cs final re-raise rather than raising again himself, so he may have had doubts about whether his was the best hand at that stage.
After this first betting round player F, the dealer, then asks the remaining players, starting from the one on his left, how many cards they want to change. By the way, in cases where the dealer h~s folded early in the progress of the hand, he would still continue with the job of dealing and controlling the action. Remember it is the dealer’s job not only to deal the cards, but also to control the action. Each player, when asked, tells the dealer how many cards he wants to exchange. This exchange of cards is called the draw. A player can keep the original five cards, or change up to five (some poker schools allow only a maximum of four to be changed). The dealer exchanges his own cards last and announces how many cards he is changing, e.g. ‘dealer takes three’. He makes this announcement so that the other players know how many cards he is exchanging. It is important that every player knows how many cards each other player has exchanged, because this is another way that one gains information on the strength of an opponent’s hand. An extreme example to illustrate this point is to consider a player who decides to change none of his cards. You could make the reasonable assumption here that the player had a strong hand (you might also think it was possible that the player could have a weak hand and intended to bluff – but this sort of consideration is left for later in the book). By contrast a player who changes all five cards at the draw will undoubtedly have a worthless starting hand. The cards are dealt from .the top of the remaining deck, that is, folded cards are not reincorporated as part of the deck. For this reason, usually draw poker games are limited to seven players to avoid running out of cards. The cards that have been folded are put, by the dealer, into a separate pile beside the pot, and near the centre of the table. These cards are collectively known as the discards or colloquially as ‘the muck’. Thus folded cards are said to have been discarded or mucked.

PreviousPart 3

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.