Beginner Mistakes – Backwards Poker

Beginner Mistakes, No Limit Texas Holdem
March 19, 2008

I’ve become convinced that the most common mistake beginning poker players, and in particular NL holdem players, make is playing what I call ‘backwards poker’.

Backwards poker is when a player refuses to put money in the pot when he knows he has the best of it, but is all too willing to put money in the pot when it’s very possible he may have the worst of it.

Now, it should be obvious that backwards poker is a really bad idea. The whole point of playing poker is to wager a lot of money when you have the best of it, and not to make wagers where you have the worst of it. So why would anyone choose to do just the opposite? Good question. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Omaha Poker

3 Star, Book Reviews
March 18, 2008

Author: Bob Ciaffone

Publisher: Self Published

There’s something very weird about Omaha players, and especially authors of Omaha books. They seem to be unable to view their game in the context of what’s really going on in the poker world. I have yet to read an Omaha book that doesn’t claim Omaha is “The Game Of The Future!” and “The Action Game!” or some very similar nonsense. I’m beginning to suspect the guys who write Omaha books just copy eachother’s introductions.

The reality is somewhat different. You’ll find 50 mid-stakes holdem games in Vegas for every one Omaha game. Omaha is the game of the future in the same way flying cars are the commuter vehicle of the future. Read the rest of this entry »

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Changing Gears, or What The Top Pros Know That You Don’t

Poker Concepts
March 17, 2008

If you ask top poker pros what distinguishes them from merely good players, they very often say the same thing: “changing gears”. So what exactly are they talking about? Read the rest of this entry »

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Cardsharp Mailbag: The Most Profitable Games

Reader Questions
March 14, 2008

I got the following question a couple of days ago, and it’s a good one:

Poker games have different card structures (stud vs. holdem for example) and different betting structures (limit vs. NL). They’re not the same. So independent of any unique talents one might have, is there a particular game that is objectively more profitable than the rest?

Specifically, stud feels like less of a guessing game than hold’em, but I’ve yet to learn it.

Best regards,

Read the rest of this entry »

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Gambling Wisdom: Parlays

Gambling (general), Strategy
March 10, 2008

In this series I discuss topics that are well known within the gambling community, but that may be new to players who come to the game of poker from a non-gambling background.

A parlay is a bet where multiple things have to go your way for you to win the bet. The terms is most frequently used in sports betting. In a standard sports parlay, you can combine multiple team or total bets where you would normally lay 11:10 into one bet. Since it’s more difficult to have all the components come in than it is to win a standard bet, the house offers more attractive odds – usually they pay 13:5 for a 2 team parlay and 6:1 for a three team parlay. Note of course that these odds still have a built-in house edge as with any sports betting – you would get paid 15:5 and 7:1 respectively on a gentleman’s wager.

Parlays occur in poker all the time, but they’re not always obvious. Consider the following fairly common situation in limit holdem: Read the rest of this entry »

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I’m Back, And A Thought On Poker Pedagogy

No Limit Texas Holdem, Poker Concepts, Psychology
March 6, 2008

Sorry I’ve been dormant so long. Life interfered. I should be able to write regularly again, and I’ve got a lot of material I’m planning to post. Read the rest of this entry »

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