Poker is a very enjoyable pastime for many people, to the extent that many place huge amounts of betting money on a game. How the game goes will depend on several factors. Some people make the mistake of thinking the past is the only way you can correctly predict the outcome. That is not true. Strategy and other factors play a major role in poker.
Probability verses chance
Probability refers to the odds that an event will take place; while on the other hand, chance is the possible outcomes in the game. For example when tossing a coin, there are only two chances: a head or a tail. Check this out for more information.
In sports, probability is a complex matter that involves experts who calculate it. They try to critically analyse factors and statistics that might influence a game, but even that does not predict accurately the probability of the outcome.
Due to the complexity and different variations that come with a bet, some people known as bookmakers/odds makers engage in a profession that assists people who bet to increase their odds of winning. Most of the time they will post odds for a couple of games, and at some point they will have a weak line. This is the best probability for a win in a game.
Underdogs vs. Favourites in a game
This is where many people go wrong. They tend to place higher bets on their favourites, which often turns out to be a disaster. Always try and short the underdogs and place a big chunk of your betting money on them. Avoid placing a huge amount on the favourite’s money line. It might not work all the time, but it has proven successful for many sports bettors.
Poker is a fun game to play at home with friends or in a more serious environment such as a casino. In both instances however, a good knowledge of basic poker strategy will stand a player in good stead when trying to get winning hands. A combination of luck and skill is needed for this game and a few basic strategies will be outlined here.
First it is important to be in the correct mind-set. Whilst not technically a strategy it is strongly advised that players join a game when they are calm and focused. Playing when angry, sad or drunk severely impairs judgment and can lead to bad decision-making. Focus is the key when it comes to playing poker.
The main point of a strategy in any game is to increase ones odds within the game. For poker this involves a bit of maths, probability to be exact. In poker there are good bets but there are also bad bets and it is the ability to make the distinction between the two that makes an average player or a great one. Odds are very important when it comes to poker as they can give an indication of how likely a specific event is i.e. gaining the best hand. But first players need to learn the outs. An out is a card that will make a player’s hand a winning one. To do this means learning all the different types of hands like, the back of your hand! Players need to become fully acquainted with the levels of each hand and how common it is to gain it. Thepokerschool.co.uk offers more on how to achieve this.
Once all the hands have been learnt then the player can move on to focusing on the table, the cards and the moves that other players are making. This will enable players to start predicting whether specific hands are going to be turning up. Then a player is well on their way to a higher level of play.
There are many different variants of poker around. With Caribbean Stud, Texas Hold’em and more there is now a newcomer to the group. This is Pineapple poker. Pineapple is a combination of Omaha and Hold’em. It takes the general structure of Hold’em but the unpredictability of Omaha and combines it into a new game.
How to Play Pineapple Poker
Whilst very similar to the two previously mentioned games, there are a few key differences. Also known as crazy pineapple or crazy pineapple hi/lo; instead of players being dealt two cards as they are in Hold’em, they are dealt three. This allows players more options for a good hand, though the third card will be discarded later on in the game. After this first deal players will make a first round of betting. This all takes place before the flop – the first community cards being dealt. Players must also get rid of one of their cards prior to the flop occurring. The game then continues as it would in Texas Hold’em with rounds of betting. Crazy Pineapple does operate slightly differently with the third card being discarded after the flop instead of before. For players who’d like more information on the gaming rules, click here.
Considered to be more of an action game, Pineapple poker still requires basic strategy and knowledge of good starting hands when playing. The three-card hand allows for more options, though as it is with Omaha, Pineapple requires hands of a high calibre in order to win. The biggest and hardest decision in the game comes after the flop. The multiway play makes for a lot more action and the need for higher value hands can put more pressure on that decision. Good starting hands are essential to success in all forms of Pineapple.
If you want to get better at poker and even move on to playing tournaments, there are a few guidelines you should follow that will help you improve your game.
Maybe one of the most important ones is to be aggressive. There isn’t a big winner that isn’t an aggressive player. In Texas Hold’em you will get a pair or a better hand during ‘flop’ only 1/3 of the time. Since most times the opponent won’t have a solid hand, being aggressive might get you the pot more often, even though you don’t deserve it. There is, however, a difference between being aggressive and being irrational. Following logic and thinking rationally about your decisions is better than just going all in for no reason. Learn more here.
Don’t get carried away by your emotions; this might lose you the game. Poker is a game that involves logic, mathematics and psychology. When players get frustrated those three can easily vanish. Not going tilt should be one of the goals while playing poker. It’s necessary to accept that it doesn’t matter if you just lost a hand that you should have won, or if the opponents are absolutely terrible and yet keep winning. Playing correctly is very important, and results will come. Read more here.
A common mistake poker players make is that they think the same way as their opponents. The idea behind poker is to understand how your opponents think, and use that information during the course of the game.
Last, study the game. Hard work is required to become a great player. The number of players that don’t put in any effort and achieve success is incredibly low. Search for new information, study the hands, and keep an open mind for new ideas and theories.
Texas Hold’Em, despite being the most popular variant of poker in the world, certainly isn’t the only form. There are hundreds of different variations on poker that all have their own appeal.
Here are a few of the, in our opinion, best ones:
Omaha Hi is the second most popular form of poker, commonly known by the abbreviation PLO (Pot Limit Omaha).
In Omaha, each player is dealt four hole cards to begin with. Players must use a combination of two of their hole cards along with three of the five community cards dealt in later rounds to make the best five card hand. If the hand makes it to showdown, the player with the best five card hand wins the pot.
Five Card Draw
Five Card Draw is a popular variant among home games due to its simplicity and ease of playing.
Each player gets dealt 5 hole cards. There are then two rounds of betting and, in between these betting rounds, players can discard any amount of their cards and replace them with others from the deck. Once the betting is complete, the player with the best five card hand wins at showdown.
Seven Card Stud
Stud games are another variant of poker that is popular in home games, due to it’s history across the United States.
In a game of Seven Card Stud, each player is dealt two cards face down and one card face up. This is followed by a round of betting, commonly starting with the player who has the highest face up card. After this round is complete, another face up card is dealt to each player. This alternation of betting and dealing continues until each remaining player has seven cards. The last card to each player is dealt face down and, after the final round of betting, the player with the best five card hand wins the hand.