Posts Tagged ‘poker table’

Online Poker Tells

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

One very important aspect of poker strategy involves figuring out online poker tells, or actions by an opponent that tip you off to their hand strength. Unfortunately, online poker is not like live poker where people give off physical tells that help you out – i.e. somebody picking their nose when they have a great hand. Instead, online poker tells are much more subtle and hard to read.

Now most people will advise you to look for how long it takes an opponent to make a call or raise. For example, if a player makes a quick call, they might have a great hand, and didn’t need to think twice about doing so. On the other hand, a marginal hand would require more thought on their part.

However, the truth is that you can’t really tell much from the time it takes a player to perform an action because there are too many variables. For instance, somebody could be multi-tabling, and their decisions are lengthy.

So instead of relying on the amount of time a person is taking or what their avatar looks like, a better online poker tell is to watch their poker betting patterns. For example, if a player frequently calls from late position with marginal hands, but makes huge raises when they have a big pocket pair, you can use this as a tell. Likewise, if a player makes a two-thirds pot-sized bet when they’re bluffing, you can also store this information away.

Of course, you’ll need to spend some time observing opponents in order to figure this information out, so don’t come onto a poker table and start making snap judgements. Instead, watch how each person is playing, and try to figure out online poker tells based on their betting actions. The more time you spend doing this, the more successful you’re going to be with the game.

Bet Sizing Tips

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

One intermediate concept that you learn about later in poker is bet sizing. As the name implies, bet sizing simply refers to the size of bet that you make in a given situation. For example, if you have pocket aces preflop and you shove your whole stack in, the bet size was your whole stack in this instance. Okay, that was a horrible example, and it’s exactly what you want to avoid with the bet sizing concept.

Instead, your goal should be to make appropriate bet sizes based on a given situation. Taking the aforementioned pocket aces preflop example, most people suggest raising just enough so that you isolate one opponent, yet not so much that you make everybody fold. This helps maximize your advantage with pocket aces, while keeping drawing hands out of the equation.

Depending on the stakes and dynamics of the table you’re at, this amount will differ in every instance. But for the purpose of this article, we’ll say that you are in a $0.25/$0.50 game, and a 4 times the big blind raise should isolate one player without encouraging others to call.

For another example, let’s say that you’re holding As-Qh on a flop of Ad-7h-Jd against one opponent; in this instance, you have top pair and a good kicker, but you are vulnerable to a flush draw (assuming you don’t already think your opponent has a set or two pair). This being the case, you don’t want the opponent to see cards for cheap if they’re on a flush draw, so you should size your bet to offer bad calling odds.

To do this, consider that the opponent has around 4:1 odds of hitting their assumed flush draw, so you need to raise enough to make this a profitable play for you in the long run. If $20 is in the pot, you need to make at least a $6 raise to give them worse pot odds (3.3:1 pot odds).

As you can see, sizing bets properly goes a long way to helping you reach a desired result on the poker table.



How to Choose a Poker Table Online

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

One of the most frequently overlooked factors about playing poker online is deciding which table you will play at. Contrary to popular belief, not all poker tables are created equal. Once you’ve determined which poker variation you want to play and the stakes you want to play at you still may have your pick of 20 or more different tables you can join. So how do you decide which is the “right” table?

The list of tables in the poker lobby at most poker sites gives you specific details about each table. You can usually find out how many players have been at each table, how long the table has been filled, the size of the players’ stacks at each table, average pot size, the percentage of players seeing the flop and more.

As a rule of thumb, a table at which most players have small stacks and at which a large majority of players are seeing the flop will have more non-skilled players than a table with huge stacks. You’ll want to choose this table. If you are looking for a table of aggressive players then choose one with a large average pot size. However, be prepared for a challenge! If you are a great heads up player then try starting your own game. As soon as one more player joins you you’ll have the opportunity to show off your heads up skills.

Remember as well that you can usually enter a room and watch before you sit down to play. Size up the competition and decide whether or not this is the table for you.

Choosing the Best Seat at the Poker Table

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

If you make your decision about where to sit at the poker table based on the seat’s proximity to the snacks or the bathroom then you have a thing or two to learn about poker strategy. In my experience, the right seat at the poker table can make all the difference when it comes to winning.

In order to effectively choose the best seat at the poker table you need to have a general idea about what type of poker players the people playing with you are. If you are playing online then watch a few rounds before you sit down at the table to determine who the aggressive players are and who are the more conservative players. If you play on a regular basis with a group of poker buddies you should get to know their playing styles pretty quickly.

When you choose your seat at the poker table you want to try to put the aggressive players on your right. This way you can act after these players, opening up more raises and re-raises for yourself. If an aggressive player is seated to your left then you will be forced to play more conservatively, as you don’t know what move they are going to make after you and you could wind up losing more money.

The next time you are getting ready to sit down at the poker table, stop, observe the situation, and try to choose the best seat to optimize your winnings.