Strategy for Playing Small Pocket Pairs

There is no doubt that in your time of playing Texas Holdem, you have had a few small pocket pairs, and they may have won for you or lost for you. Generally low pocket pairs won’t win the hand and you only have about a 12.5% chance of hitting a hand even worth calling, and you still risk losing the hand. Small pocket pairs well say are any pairs from 22-77.

When you’re dealt a small pocket pair the first thing we need to look at is our position in the hand. If you’re early to act in the hand, then I recommend only calling the big blind and try getting a cheap flop. If you’re late to act then you need to see what the other players do in front of you before you can play. If the pot is raised up pre-flop before it even gets around to you then you need to consider the risk/reward factor that you have. I usually will call a small raise of 2-3X the big blind, but nothing more than that. There is no point calling a big raise with small pocket pairs because unless you hit your set you’re in trouble as there will almost always be an over pair that hits for an opponent.

The money from small pocket pairs comes from the time when you manage to hit a set. The goal that you should be aiming for when you have small pocket pairs  is to get to the flop cheaply and hope you hit your set. If you don’t hit your set then you’ll need to see how the hand is played out, but I have to say that you shouldn’t become dead set on small pocket pairs. Small pockets can be a complete bankroll drainer and I’ve seen a lot of beginner player’s play there small pockets way to strongly.

If you get involved into pots with small pocket pairs and you don’t happen to hit your set, which will happen more often then not, you still can win the pot. Depending on how many players are left in the pot you might be able to steal the pot away with a bet, so don’t feel if you don’t hit your set you should shut down. You shouldn’t stab at the pot all the time, but in some occasions you’ll be able to get away with it and I recommend trying so every once in awhile.

So to summarize the article when you get dealt small pocket pairs you should look to enter pots with cheap flops. If you don’t hit your set you could fold, and if you do hit your set then you could potentially win a monster pot. The only things you’ll need to watch out for are straights and flushes and the odd full house if the community cards pair up. There is money to be made by playing small pocket pairs correctly, but be weary about getting too many chips invested into a pot without hitting your set.

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What are Poker Hand Values and Tie Breakers

Poker is a card game where the goal of each player is to create the highest possible card combination using the cards that have been dealt to them and the community cards that are dealt face up on the middle of the table. Of course, the player with the highest hand value wins the pot. But there are also instances wherein two or more players have the same poker hand values. In some cases, the tie will have to be broken. In other cases, a tie is called between the players and the pot is split between them. Here are the different poker hand values from lowest to highest as well as the different tie breakers that are implemented.

Two Pair

A two pair is comprised of a hand that contains two pairs of cards with the same value. Because this is the most common combination that can be completed, the person with the highest values on both pairs wins the pot. In the event that there are two players on FullTilt that have the exact same pair values and these are also the highest pair values, the tie is not broken and the pot is split between the players.

Three of a Kind

A three of a kind comprises of three cards having the same value. In the event that there are two or more players that have a three of a kind poker hand combination, the player with the higher card value wins the main pot.

Straight

A straight is created when the player has five cards in consecutive, numerical order without having the same suit. If there are two or more players that are able to create a straight with their cards, the player with the highest end value in the straight poker hand combination wins the pot.

Flush

A flush is created when a player has five cards, all having the same suit. In the event that two or more players create a flush, the person that has the higher suit value wins the main pot. However, in the event that two or more players have a flush with the exact same suit, a tie is called and the pot is split among the winners.

Full House

A full house is comprised of a three of a kind and a pair. In the event that there are two or more players with a full house, the player with the higher three of a kind value in the full house poker hand combination wins the pot.

Four of a Kind

A four of a kind is created when the player is able to have all four cards of the same value and one card kicker. If there are two or more players that are able to create a four of a kind, the person with the higher card value wins the pot.

Straight Flush

A straight flush is created when a poker player has five cards of consecutive, numerical value with the same suit. In the event that there are two or more players that are able to create a straight flush, the player with the higher end card value in the combination wins the pot. If there are two or more players with the same numerical values for their straight flush, the tie is broken with the player having the higher suit value winning the pot.

Royal Flush

A royal flush is created when a player has five of the highest cards – ten to ace – with the same suit. In the event that there are two or more players with a royal flush, the pot is immediately split between the players regardless of the suit value.

Find more poker hand rankings and strategy tips here.

Blackjack Card Counting

During the peak of the card-counting trend, the card-counting strategy was considered a type of way to bend the rules to your favor when playing blackjack. However, when card-counting players began to win too effectively with their tactics, casinos such as Harrhas started changing the conditions of the game to bring back the house edge in order and to level the playing field once more. Players opted to boycott, which then forced casinos to revert to the standard rules. Nevertheless, casino management reserves the right to throw out winning players under the suspicion of card-counting even with lack of evidence to support such a case.

Card Counting History

These days, blackjack card-counting math, system, and logic are prerequisites to regularly succeeding at this popular casino classic. After all, it has become common knowledge that, depending on how skilled you are at card counting, you can completely beat the house advantage in such a way that almost seems unfair. At any rate, this technique has existed long before the professional players swearing by it nowadays even first started using it. It’s been around for so long that there’s a whole collection of systems and techniques dedicated to this particular topic, proving that it’s been fine-tuned specifically to maximize its capabilities with the casino being none the wiser.

Whenever an expert blackjack player becomes so skilled at his card counting methodology that he begins to get refused at the casino door, he typically retires and shares his discoveries to the world by writing a book containing the system of counting he used to hustle people out of their hard-earned money. However, the true pioneer behind this tired cycle of discovery and publication all roots from a certain Doctor Edward Thorp, a professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Back in 1960, he published a book entitled “Beat the Dealer”, which was the first time such a book of its nature actually confirmed and verified that mathematically gifted players actually stood a great chance at winning against casino-style blackjack.

Card Counting Facts and Features

All the different card-counting systems have one objective regardless of what methods they use to satisfy that end: Keep track of the ratio of high to low cards on the deck that’s being played. No more, no less. Once a player has developed the ability to remember the cards being played, he gains complete control of the pace of the game, reading it like an open book of sorts. For example, a gamble can raise his bet whenever the cards in the deck are in his favor or lower it whenever they’re not. With that said, he doesn’t need to keep track of every last card; he’s only required to take note of the total score, otherwise known as the “count”.

The key to a sound online black jack card-counting system stems from how well it clues you in on whether you’re at an advantage or disadvantage. Card counting is best taken advantage of with decks that’s short of cards with the values 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2. Whenever a deck is inclined towards the values of Ace, 9, and 10, you’re free to bet as much money as you can or modify your moves so that the chances of winning a certain hand will increase. Meanwhile, a disadvantage merely means the lack of high numbers and aces and the presence of number 8 and below in the deck.

The Advantages of Internet Poker Sites

Poker is now something that goes hand in hand with the Internet. There are still a lot of offline casinos offering poker, but players will find that any successful poker professional will now be playing poker on the Internet in some form or another. Here are some of the reasons why poker players are now flocking to play poker online:

Around the Clock Action

Although many casinos are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, they rarely have a poker game running for all of that time. With so many poker players on the Internet, there are always numerous poker games to choose from. Poker players are able to play pretty much any game they want at any stake and at any time. Poker players can also choose from multiple tables are there are thousands of players online at any one given time.

Hand Volume

Poker players are able to play a lot more hands online than they can offline. This is because each Internet poker table deals so much faster than an offline dealer does. Not only is this the case, but poker players can also play multiple tables or games at any given time. Some poker players play more than 30 tables at a time, which is just not possible in an offline casino. This means that Internet professionals can play far more hands in a given period of time – meaning they can win more and improve faster.

Convenience

Most of us do not have the luxury of living next to a 24-hour casino. With Internet poker sites, it does not matter. Poker players are able to play around the clock without having to move from the comfort of their own home. Poker on the Internet allows poker players to play from anywhere in the world that supports Internet access. Poker players do not have to plan a trip out to the casino, as they simply have to turn their computer on and the game is there to play.

Ability to Improve

Poker on the Internet allows poker players to analyse their game in a far easier fashion. Poker players are able to take the hand histories online, put it into a poker tracking analysis bit of software and see what leaks they have. This is something that live poker players simply do not have access to. Poker players can easily see the flaws in their game and improve them if they so wish. Poker players can also replay any hand that they have played online that has been recorded by their software.

Save the Children: Measures to Combat Underage Gambling

In many countries, gambling is considered the sole province of legal adults. Of course, the actual age at which a person reaches legal majority varies from country to country. In some places, it is 18, and in others (such as much of the United States), 21. Underage gamblers can develop problem gambling behavior, just like “adult” gamblers. One of the patients who was admitted to a newly-established gambling rehabilitation center in Soho, London was just 16 years old at the time.

Let’s discuss some measures often used to try to prevent underage gambling.

Online

Many online casinos, particularly those who claim to support the set of principles known as Responsible Gaming, strive to ensure that they are keeping underage gamers away—or at least appear to be doing so. Small logos proclaiming that nobody under 18 is allowed to gamble on the site are common. More detailed policies usually state that a player must either be at least 18, or the majority age in his/her area, whichever one happens to be older. Law often requires casinos to keep records of the identities and ages of their users. Some people might consider this an intrusion on their individual privacy, but it is really a response to laws for the protection of minors.

Of course, managers of online casinos also know that mere instructions and statements are not enough to keep determined underage gamblers away. Therefore, instructions are included to help parents with site accounts ensure that their children are not gambling. Parents are advised to take certain measures to safeguard their passwords, or are pointed in the direction of a reliable Internet filter.

Even so, it is still possible for underage people to register at some sites, because a debit card can be used to create an account, and you only need to be 16 years old to have a debit card.

Offline

Offline (or brick-and-mortar) casinos such as Circus Circus are, arguably, taking greater risks than online casinos because they are subject to greater surveillance. For instance, a Pennsylvania casino was recently fined $100,000 because it did not report to state authorities that it had caught four underage gamblers using its slot machines. It is common practice for casinos to check visitors’ ID’s at the entrances—and of course, to keep an eye out for fake ID’s.

Tightening Up the Law

Recent years have seen the introduction of stricter gambling laws, notably in the United States. For example, many casinos no longer allow underage people onto their premises at all, even if they have an adult accompanying them. Underage individuals are allowed into bingo parlors, and even then, some parts of the premises may be off limits to them. The tightening of legislation has even affected sweepstakes and lotteries, which are so common that many people simply consider them innocuous. Now, you have to be at least 16 years old to even purchase a ticket. Store owners often check the identification of people who look like they might be under 16.

These measures are how mobile casinos try to prevent underage gambling. However, to be truly effective, these measures also need the cooperation of other actors, such as parents and counselors.

Internet Poker satellites for the 2010 WSOP

The World Series of Poker is the largest poker tournament series in the world. Poker professionals flock from all over the world to try their hand at winning a bracelet, which is the trophy of sorts for those select few who are fortunate enough to take down a WSOP event. Many poker players have won multiple bracelets and they are considered a large career achievement. Poker professionals are not the only people who participate in the tournaments however. Many amateur and recreational poker players try their hand at winning a World Series of Poker bracelet. Take Darvin Moon for example, a complete amateur who took second place in the 2009 WSOP Main Event.

A lot of amateur poker players get into the World Series of Poker through satellites. WSOP 2010 Satellites are typically offered at a fraction of the large tournament’s buy-in. Poker players can buy into a satellite tournament for just a few dollars and play for a seat at a much larger tournament. Internet poker rooms send thousands of players each year to the World Series of Poker through satellite tournament entries. A satellite works by waiting for the value of the prize pool to reach the tournament buy-in entry and then awarding another seat up for grabs. For instance if a $10 satellite tournament was running for a $1000 World Series of Poker tournament, for every 100 people that entered the satellite one entry to the $1000 tournament would be up for grabs. The top finishers in the tournament would win the tournament entry.

Satellite tournaments allow poker player with a small bankroll have a chance to enter the tournament of their life. For just a few dollars, poker players can win their way into the World Series of Poker Main Event and play for the chance to win millions. Chris Moneymaker is a great example of what a satellite can do. Chris Moneymaker entered a poker satellite at a large poker room and managed to win it for entry into the main event. Moneymaker managed to win that event and take home 2.5 million dollars in the 2003 World Series of Poker. Satellite tournaments tend to be a lot tighter than the normal standard of tournament and poker players can usually exploit this by adapting their game. By playing a little more aggressive in tight situations, poker players can build their stack without risking too many chips. When it comes to the bubble poker players are best playing a little tighter however because every place it paid the same. If a poker player is comfortable in his position it is sometimes a better idea to allow the shorter stacks to go at each other instead of possibly putting himself in danger of being knocked out with nothing.

Basic Information about Bluffing in Texas Hold Em Poker

Bluffing is an extremely important part of many types of poker, i.e. for the live, multi-player games like Texas Hold ‘Em. Not everyone thinks of bluffing as a technical skill. Perhaps memorization and calculation can be counted as “skills,” but bluffing is just something you pick up, or know how to do in your gut. Right? Well, yes and no. To an extent, bluffing does depend on charisma and experience. However, bluffing can also be learned and taught. It is not just a matter of learning techniques and gestures, but of developing the right attitude towards bluffing itself. This article is to help show people how to use bluffing to their best advantage in a game.

Why

Understanding the motivation behind bluffing is the key to doing it well, since you might compromise your position by doing it for the wrong reason. Some people might bluff simply because they find it fun to deceive other players. However, the only real tactical reason to bluff is because you want people to believe you have a better hand than you actually do. That is all.

When

Now that we have set out the “right” reason to bluff on Party Poker, let us talk about the right time to do it. Some people might assume that it is always good to try to fool other players. Actually, it is not. Bluffing tends to be harder when there are many players, because it is likely that somebody will have the cards to prove your bluff wrong.

It is usually not a good idea to bluff when you are one of the first players to be dealt cards. You will have a disadvantage vis-à-vis players who get their cards later and thus have more time to see how everyone probably feels about their hand. Furthermore, you should probably save your most aggressive bluffing until after the flop. Otherwise, you might just be wasting your effort on people who will suddenly change their minds once all the cards are on the table.

Also, focus your attention at smart, experienced players. This might seem counter-intuitive. After all, aren’t good players the most likely to spot your deception? Actually, the truth is that the bad, inexperienced players are usually the real waste of time. They are likely to not even understand what a bluff means. After all, the point of bluffing is to exploit the rationality of the other Poker Stars players. If the other player does not play rationally, there is no set of “rules” or “signs” for you to use and twist.

Therefore, optimal conditions for bluffing tend to be when you have some good players, are late in the hand, and if the flop has already been dealt.

How

In its most concrete form, bluffing involves betting aggressively even though your hand does not really warrant it. Players with better hands than yours will (hopefully) believe you have a better hand than you actually do, and fold. You should bet/raise large amounts when you bluff, because small amounts might just appear like “normal” betting. If you aim for the pot of a particular player twice and he/she refuses to fold, he/she is probably doing quite well for himself/herself. Let that player alone and fold. Poker strategy involves not getting caught up in individual hands.

News Industry in General

Ah the spin of the news of the day! The News Industry in General has a plethora of resources for the top headlines and news stories. Politics, economies, unemployment are certainly the top stories every day, but which sources present the consistently fair and unbiased reporting? Depending on the political leanings, some sources are absolutely more reliable than others, while stories such as the volcano near the Eyjafallajökull glacier in Iceland, or the explosion of the oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, and others certainly lead the headlines.

Balanced TV News Headlines

For balanced news programming, Fox News leads the pack, and consistently enjoys the highest ratings for the number of viewers; appealing predominantly to independents, conservatives, and moderates. Even though the majority of the Fox programming is conservative, they make a greater attempt to be fair and balanced on what they are reporting, and endeavor to report both sides of the story. The most consistent sentiment is to report the story and let the viewers decide which side is the truth.

Conservative TV News Headlines

Conservative news programs are predominantly on the radio, but also include some Fox news shows and to some degree some CNN News shows for cable news networks. The hosts of these shows, as well as their guests tend to favor conservative platforms including family values, patriotism, and constitutional agendas. Their unswerving sentiment appeals to conservative viewers, and despised and consistently denigrated by liberals who typically don’t listen to the programs anyway.

Liberal TV News Headlines

For more left-leaning liberal news programming, MSNBC and CBS tend to be the station watched by the majority of liberal, left-wing viewers. The views of this news channel tend to be consistently in favor of liberal agendas and biased against conservative platforms. The most constant sentiment is to report the story that appeals to the liberal viewers and insulting to the more conservative viewers.

Online News Headlines

There are a large number of online sources for headlines of the day, including Yahoo!, MSN, nettop20, CNN, and many others. There are some that focus on world-wide news and others that focus on a specific country. Most all of the sites deliver important breaking news almost as soon as it happens. Some display the latest scientific, medical, educational, travel, entertainment, and political news of the day.

Weather News Headlines

Whether it’s an earthquake in Haiti, New Jersey, California, Chile, or anywhere in the South Pacific, a tsunami, hurricane, or tornado, weather headlines concern everyone on the planet. Even though a weather-related disaster is on the opposite side of the planet, it affects people having friends, family, or business associates involved in the effected area. The Weather Channel has consistently been the leader in 24 hour headlines to alert the viewers for potential problems that will affect their areas.

Financial and Entertainment

There are numerous stations on television and online that focus on financial captions or entertainment headlines. The fans of these shows certainly have their favorite channels and websites to provide them the latest information in the genre they desire.