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Poker Room Reviews
The poker rooms listed below are the places that World Series of Poker Bracelet Winners play at on a daily basis. The poker room reviews recommend these over others because of their positive attributes like reputable security, tournament options, game choices, and the amount of player traffic. These Poker Rooms offer a sign up bonus for you when you make your first deposit, however, you may also sign up for an account to play for free to practice and get a feeling for the poker room's software.
Some are open to US Players - 100% Deposit Bonus. Players Welcome Worldwide including United States. Learn from the Pros and play with the Pros. All your favorite games offered in both real money and play money.
Opinion: My second favorite online poker room. A wide range of tournaments for all buy-in levels around the clock and plenty of sit and go tournament options. However, cash games may be tougher then other online poker rooms so if cash games are your thing look elsewhere.
Some sites have US Players Welcome Important! #1 Online Poker Room - Play Poker at the Most Popular Poker Room - Home to World Series of Poker Champions Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, and Joseph Hachem.
Opinion: My absolute favorite poker room for the past several years. Pokerstars is home to the biggest tournaments and also dominates other online poker rooms with the sheer number of tournaments offered. As the industry leader in customer service, Pokerstars has over 100,000 active players at the tables every day of the week.
US Players Welcome - Great Poker Room with lots of No Limit Holdem Action. Also offers Sports Betting.
Opinion: Pure action. Poker has plenty of players at the table who are beginners lured over from this sites sports betting business. Probably the best place to play cash games because of the looser action. With loose opponents you may experience a higher percentage of bad beats, but you will also be paid off more often when you make a strong hand. Stay the course by playing solid poker and do not go on tilt if you take a bad beat.
Where to play online poker and strategy for playing online poker tournaments and cash games is great information to know once you understand the basics of the game. The online poker game below will give you a basic understanding of the poker hands similar to playing at the best Las Vegas Strip poker tournaments in the famed Las Vegas where you can find all sorts of limits, players and excitement. You have to quickly be able to understand what the value of your poker hand when playing and be able to ascertain your hands value going forward. For instance, after the flop recognizing that you have a pair is a good start, but then you must quickly analyze the possibilities of improving during the turn and river cards. Do you have a chance at a flush, a straight, or a full house? After that, you must begin to think about what your opponents might have in their poker hands.
But for now, just get comfortable playing this free online poker game as a warm up.
Poker Room Skins
Many poker rooms operate together in the same network. Basically, the poker rooms in the same network have a different look, but the software and games offered are exactly the same. For instance if you are playing at Cake Poker which is part of the Cake Poker network you may be playing at the same table with players from Power Poker, Doyles Room, Lock Poker, Hot Shot Poker, Red Star Poker and Players Only.
Though some large poker rooms like Pokerstars operate independently, many other online poker rooms find it advantageous to join a network so there is enough action in tournaments and cash games for their players to be happy. The term Poker Room Skins comes from the idea that the player is playing in a network of poker rooms that all have the same tournaments and cash games but each has their own unique look and design. The rooms are said to have a skin of the major poker room on that network.
Nut flush draw in poker is when you need one card to have the highest ranking flush hand possible. To make the nut flush, the single card must match your suit. The nut flush gives you the best possible flush, a hand that beats all other lower flushes.
Nut flush draw example, your hole cards are the Ace of spades and the ten of spades. The flop has two more spades on it, giving you a total of four spades. In this situation, you are drawing to the nut flush. Another spade on the turn or river will give you the best possible flush. One thing to look at is if it is possible to make a straight flush from the board cards. If a player could have a straight flush using the board cards, then your ace high flush is not the nut flush.
Nut flush draws are a common situation in poker that are taught at online poker schools and one that is pretty important to the strategy decisions you make during the hand. Whenever you are on a draw it is always best to be drawing to the nut hand. A nut flush draw is a lot stronger then a regular flush draw especially in no limit holdem. In no limit holdem poker schools , if you and your opponent both make a flush, the person with the nut flush is going to win a big pot because the other person is going to mistakenly believe that their flush is the best hand.
In holdem, you will always have 9 cards in the deck that will complete your nut flush draw. There are 13 cards of each suit, if you have two in your hand and two on the board, then there are 9 cards remaining that will complete your flush. Check the Poker Odds that you will make a flush after the flop when you flop a flush draw is about 34%. 34% is the likelihood that you will make a flush on either the turn or the river. The chance of making a flush on just the turn or just the river when you have a 4 flush draw is about 18%.
Oftentimes, a player will aggressively bet their nut flush draw hoping to win the pot at that moment. This is called semi-bluffing, a betting technique whereby a player bets their draw hoping everyone folds and they win right away, but if they are called they still have a chance to make their hand.
Steam Raise is a pre flop raise by a player who just lost a pot and is visually upset. Players often go on tilt after taking a bad beat or losing a pot where they got unlucky. Oftentimes, a player on tilt will raise the very next hand in order to release their frustration and try to win back the money they just lost
Steam Raising is commonplace at the poker tables and is often seen in poker high stakes. However, just because a player lost the pot before and they immediately raise the very next hand in what appears to be a steam raise, there is always a good possibility that player is not really tilting but instead was dealt a very good hand.
Steam raising and how to deal with playing on tilt is some of the information about poker strategy you will learn at a poker school where you can find out a lot about how to play.
Blinds are forced bets placed into the pot by normally two players before the cards are dealt. The blinds simulate bets made during play and act as a catalyst to start the action after the deal. Holdem calls for two blinds, a small blind (half the bet) and a big blind (full bet). The player left of the dealer puts up the small blind and the next player the big blind. A Blind Raise is a raise before the cards are dealt by a player that acts as a raise when it gets to that players turn. Some special blind raises can often be seen in poker games like the straddle and Mississippi straddle.
A straddle bet is an voluntary blind bet made by a player before receiving his cards. Straddles are used only in cash games played with fixed blind structures. Normally, players voluntarily put up the straddle when it is a live straddle. A live straddle blind bet is voluntarily put up by the player to the left of the big blind and is a raise over the big blind. For example, in a $10-$20 game a small blind would be $5, the big blind would be $10, and the live straddle would be $20. The live part of the live straddle is when nobody has raised when it comes back to the person who straddled. The live straddle has an opportunity to now raise.
Mississippi straddle is a special type of live straddle. Mississippi straddles popular in house games and casinos in the southern United States. The Mississippi straddle buys the right to have the last action before the flop. A Mississippi straddle can normally be made from any position at the table, however some house rules only allow the button or cutoff seat to place a Mississippi straddle. The button always has the first option to straddle, if he declines the next option goes to the cutoff seat and continues in that reverse direction until someone wants to straddle or nobody elect to straddle. Similar to a live straddle, a Mississippi straddle is double the big blind similar to a raise. The Mississippi Straddle allows the action to start with the player to the left of the straddle.
For example, in a $10-$20 blind game, if the button puts out a live $40 Mississippi Straddle, the first player to act would be the small blind, followed by the big blind, and so on. When the action gets back to the straddle with no raise, the straddle has the option of raising.
Good Lay Down definition in poker is when a player makes a smart fold when facing a bet from an opponent. Good Lay Down is a common term you hear at the poker tables when a player saves his money and chips by folding a hand that would have probably lost to a better hand.
Sometimes, one player will tell another player "Good lay down" to let the other person know he made a smart decision to fold. However, sometimes a player will say "Good lay down" when they executed a bluff because they want the other person to feel they made the right decision to fold even though they really had the best hand.
Every player needs to make good lay downs to conserve their chips when their poker instinct and gut feeling tells them that they have a losing hand. Occasionally, a player will make a fold a winning hand but that is normal, as you have to make your best decision given the current circumstances and calling too often is a recipe for a bankroll disaster.
Good lay down is often abbreviated in the chat boxes of online poker games as gld.
Re-raise all-in is a combination poker term. Re-raise means to raise a player who has already raised the initial bet. For instance, if player A bets 100, player B raises to 200, then Player A can has the option to raise again, this second raise is called a re-raise. An All-in is a poker term meaning a player has all of his chips in the pot and does not have anymore to bet with. To re-raise all-in is to make the second raise while pushing the rest of your chips into the pot. The All-in Re-raise is the maximum amount of chips you can re-raise with because you will not have anymore chips left since you are all-in
Loose call by definition is when a player calls a hand that they are statistically unlikely to win. Usually the poker player making the loose call knows they have a very low chance of winning the pot but decide to make the loose call anyway for a variety of reasons. For example, a player makes a substantial all-in raise and another player makes a loose call with the 9-10 of spades in their hand. That player is said to be playing loose, meaning they are making loose calls knowing they are taken the worst of it odds wise but decide to gamble in that situation.
Sometimes players make loose calls because they are steaming or on tilt after suffering a string of bad beats. Other times, players make loose calls because they are normally loose players that regularly give a lot of action to the table through their loose style of play.
A loose call is a borderline, very marginal call. Often a loose call is inadvisable or even a totally incorrect call. Loose players who make loose calls tend to be big losers in the long run, but in the short term a loose player can cause solid players to go on tilt when one of their loose calls beats the solid players good hand.
Playing loose means playing more hands and holding on to them longer instead of folding when you probably should. Playing loose is like being loose with your cash. Occasionally, an entire table starts to play more hands then they should be and this makes for a loose table. A loose table is often gambling it up and having a good time, a situation which can be very profitable for a pro poker player to be involved in.
You can spot a loose player pretty easily, they are usually involved in nearly every pot.
Cutoff Seat is the seat before the dealer. The dealer is represented by the dealer button that is placed in front of him and the players take turns being the dealer each hand by moving the dealer button clockwise. The Cutoff Seat is therefore the player that acts right before the dealer.
Recently, the cutoff seat has become a popular topic of discussion in No Limit Texas Holdem because of the regularity with which players not try to steal the blinds from the cutoff seat instead of the more traditional blind stealing position of the dealer.
Dealer Button Steal
The definition of a Button Steal is where a poker player steals the blinds from the dealer position, also known as the button. The button steal occurs often in poker tournaments when everyone has folded around to the dealer button and the dealer position player decides to try to get the small blind and big blind chips by making a raise.
Button steal is a necessary aspect to winning poker tournaments, as you will not make it to the final table by simply playing only the cards in your hand. A major aspect of poker skill is the ability to take advantage of situations when they happen. A major positive expectation situation occurs when you are in late position. Poker is a game of skill, and you need to take advantage of situations when you see them. One of the most important situations that you can take advantage of is being in late position. Late position gives you the chance to act last on each betting round after the flop and gives you the chance to steal the blinds before the flop if nobody else has entered the pot yet.
Stealing the blinds from late position like the dealer button or the cutoff seat (one spot in front of the dealer button) increases your chip stack without you having to get involved in playing a big pot where you put a lot of your chips at risk. Instead, performing a button steal, a small raise from the button when no one else is in the pot often wins the blind without any contest from the small blind or big blind.
Many poker tournament experts recommend the button steal as a great tool to use to increase your chip stack during middle and late phases of multi-table tournaments. Tournament poker strategy shows that a raise of three to four times the big blind with any two cards late position puts enough pressure on the blinds that most of the time they will fold and give you have the pot. If the blinds to defend themselves by calling, you have the advantage on each betting round of acting after them.
The drawback to the button steal is that the button steal play has become rather predicatable. The button steal is used so often that it is almost expected to happen every time the hand is folded around to the dealer. Occasionally, skilled and observant opponents in the small blind or big blind will reraise the button to find out if he has a real hand or if he was just stealing. If you were stealing the blinds, then you should fold but remember the player may try to resteal again if you try to steal the blinds in the future. Because of the predictability of the button steal, many players now try to steal the blinds from the cutoff seat to give the appearance that they raised with the button still to act so they must have a good hand.
The button steal is usually superior to trying to steal the blinds from any other position because there are less players to act behind you. With each additional player to act there is a better chance that someone will have a good enough hand to play back at you.
Ideally, when you button steal you want to be holding a playable hand. In case you get called, it is better to have a one-gap hand like 7-9 or small suited connectors like 4-5 diamonds that can hit the flop even if you did not want to play the hand. If you try to steal with garbage like 2-3, 9-4, or 2-7 you will usually not flop much of a hand.
Observe the play of the small blind and big blind. If the blinds are tight players, then they are likely to not defend their blinds and are great targets for button steals. If the blinds regularly defend themselves against raises then they are more likely to call or reraise you button steal play and you should try to steal the blinds less often against them.
Note the stack size of the blinds before you make a button steal. The chip leader at the table may make a looser call or reraise you if he thinks your stealing because he has the extra chips to play with. On the other hand, an extremely short stack player may be forced to call or go all in against your steal raise so make sure your hand has a chance to win at showdown. These two situations are times when the button steal may not be effective at all so pay attention to stack sizes.
Having a solid, tight table image will also lend some credibility to your button steal. Players that think you are tight may throw away decent hands figuring that you must have a big hand. On the other hand, if you have been caught trying to steal the blinds recently your image might incline some players to look you up by calling your raise or restealing from you by reraising your steal.
The Squeeze Play in No Limit Texas Holdem
A tricky and somewhat advanced play in no limit Texas holdem is the squeeze play. A squeeze play requires some fortitude and good control over your opponents, but when used correctly, can result in a big win.
How Does the Squeeze Play Work in No-Limit Texas Hold’em?
In a Texas holdem squeeze play, a player opens for a raise and another player calls. When the action gets to you, holding a marginal hand, you make a big re-raise. The original raiser folds, as does the caller, winning you a substantial pot with a weak hand.
Why Does the Squeeze Play Work?
The squeeze play works due to the presence of the third player in the equation. When the first player raises and gets a call and a raise on top of it, he is in a tough spot. He has to put you on a very big hand, since you were able to raise two hands that indicated strength. Furthermore, even if he thinks you may be bluffing, he is “squeezed” between you and the middle player. If he flat calls to see a flop, the original caller may re-raise all-in. If he does, the initial raiser will have to put him on kings or aces. Unless he has kings or aces himself, he will have to fold. Once he does fold, the original caller, who may have been lying in wait with a monster, but is more likely to have a hand that is worth seeing a flop with but no better, should fold as well, conceding the pot to the second raiser.
Does the Squeeze Play Always Work?
Definitely not. Sometimes the first raiser or caller really does have kings or aces, in which case the squeezer is usually in real trouble. However, under the right circumstances, this can be a masterful play that changes the tide of a poker game.