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BIG-BET POKER CONCEPTS

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Why Play Pot Limit
Comparing Pot-Limit
Poker's Ten
You Playing Style
How Deep Are You
Taking The Initiative
Drawing Hand's
Psychology
Reading The Opponent
The Art of Bluffing
Betting The Bully
No Limit Play
All In Coups

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SPECIFIC POKER FORMS
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Using The Material
Pot-Limit & No-Limit
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A 5-10
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A 11-20
Pot-Limit Omaha
Pot-Limit Omaha Q/A
Seven-Card Stud
Lowball Draw
Key Pot-Limit
London Lowball Q/A
High Low Split
High Low Split Q/A
Strip Deck Poker

 

POKER’S TEN COMMANDMENTS

  
To win money at big-bet poker or any other kind of card game you must be a wise gambler as well as a skilled player. This chapter is concerned with aiding you in that respect. Following these precepts will not necessarily make you into a winning poker player. However, they will make certain that player’s eyes don’t glisten and their mouths water when you enter the poker room.
  1. NEVER PLAY WITH MONEY YOU CAN’T AFFORN TO LOSE

     

At pot-limit, everything you have on the table is in play and may all be lost on one hand. Playing with the idea in mind that you will only put a portion of your funds into the pot, unless you have a cinch, is wholly impractical. In poker, most money is made on hands where it is perfectly possible you will wind up losing. The horrible handicap incurred by being unwilling to follow through on good poker hands far outweighs any technical advantage you way have over your opponents.
       A player in a no-limit hold’em game had a fantastic lucky streak. When the game started he had been in desperate financial straits. First he won enough to pay the rent, then to pay back the money he owed left, right and center. At his water mark, his whole life had turned around. His wife could even be treated to a new dress.
       At this point he picked up two aces. The betting before the flop before it even got to him was very fierce. There was a bet and three raises. The correct poker move was to commit all his money. He pondered and dwelt, but the threat of financial ruin was too strong. He mucked the aces and quit the game. Clearly he should have gone home earlier.

(2) ALWAYS KNOW THE RULES OF THE GAME

       This seems so obvious, but we’ve all fallen into the trap Stewart was once playing in a draw game. He made four of a kind, bet out and everybody passed. He threw away his hand sight-unseen. In conversation a bit later, he mentioned his monster hand. “Oh, you should have shown that,” was the comment. “We pay honors for four of a kind or a playing straight flush.” Every poker cardroom has special house rules; learn them.

(3) DON’T STEAM

       Playing unsoundly to increase the money fluctuation when you’re losing is called steaming. It is the number one vice in the gambling world. The game of poker lends itself well to steaming, because if you are willing to take a bit the worst of it, a player is able to substantially increase the stakes. This is particularly true of no-limit and pot-limit play.
       A typical steamer tries to get bigger pots by early raises. Since he does this on hands too weak for such betting, his next step is to try and run opponents out of the pot with bluffs and semi-bluffs. If he manages to catch some hands while doing this, he can turn a losing session into a winning one. More often, the net result of this unsound play will be to go from the frying pan into the fire.

pot-limit poker games. You cannot let yourself sink to the level of the wild players you are trying to beat.

(4) NEVER PLAY WHEN OFF-BALANCE

       If you’re upset, feeling ill or have a presentiment that you are going to lose, just don’t play. There’ll always be another game.
       One of the most ridiculous errors we encounter is where a player has a marvelous hand but fails to raise and capitalize on his good fortune. When asked why, the reply is, “I’ve been doing so badly I didn’t want to take the risk.” Of course, and his bad run will continue.
       The big pot factor means the possibility of cheating, whether real or imagined, is more dangerous than in limit. An Omaha poker player returned to his seat from a phone call to find a hand containing two aces. The flop came A-10-10, giving his aces full. To his amazement, there was bet and a raise before he acted. After reflection, he mucked his hand, fearing a set-up. One player won the pot with A-10, beating the other who held the case 10 and filled up. If the aces full player hadn’t been so paranoid, he would have tripled his money.  Don’t play in games where you feel uncomfortable. You want neither to be cheated, nor to play a hand abnormally for fear there has been some monkey business.

(5) RUN YOUR PROFITS AND CUT YOUR LOSSES

       We learnt this one from the stock market.  At poker, when you are winning, you feel better, play better and the opponents fear you. This last factor is of paramount importance at pot-limit, where intimidation plays such a giant role.
       Nobody plays as well when losing as when winning. It is not a bad idea to sit out a few hands after losing a major pot. Losing shouldn’t upset your equanimity. But eventually it will, and once it does, obey Commandment Four and quit.

 

(6) DON’T BE A CALLING STATION

       There are players who seldom bet or raise; they just call. This is a recipe for total disaster. There is nothing wrong with calling and then lashing out with a raise later in the hand.  But you need to make a play for the pot at some point. Being able to bet or raise the size of the pot means there’s a far better chance of winning it right away than at limit play; exploit this factor.

(7) DON’T GIVE OR RECEIVE AGGRAVATION

       There is no percentage in deliberately trying to upset your opponents by your comments or action. For one thing, people should enjoy playing poker. We pity you if your kicks come from spoiling other people’s pleasure. Strong players won’t react to being needled. Weak ones will simply give up playing with you. Proper behavior, besides having intrinsic merit, may gain you access to many favorable gaming situations out of reach for irritating personalities.
       The term “agro” was coined in England especially for this concept. Of course, you should never allow yourself to become annoyed. That’s just a variation on the Fourth Commandment.

(8) DON’T GET TRICKY AGAINST A WEAK PLAYER

       We have often seen so-called experts make a sophisticated bluffing play. The weakie call, explaining apologetically, “I knew you had the flush, but I had to call with my two pair.” Here there is no difference from limit poker. Complexity can only succeed against good players.

(9) DON’T GET INVOLVED WHERE YOU ARE EITHER A SMALL FAVORITE OR A BIG DOG

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       This is most clearly exemplified in hold’em. You hold 6-6 before the flop and the second raise comes to you. This will be either from a hand such as A-K or a high pair. You are perhaps 11/10 favorite against any non-pair, but more than a 4-1 underdog against a larger pair. At limit poker this presents no problems. At pot-limit, pass this hand. It can only lead to grief over time.
       The principle can be extended well beyond poker. The Lloyd’s of London names are the final underwriters of insurance policies. Their profit comes from the premiums paid to insure against risks. Their losses arise when disaster strikes. The liability is unlimited and their profit a set sum. Everything went well for 300 years, and the “players” sat back and made their profits with virtually no work. Then an unusual number of high claims in succession bankrupted some very rich people.
       Selling short in the stock market suffers from the same problem. The price of a stock cannot sink below zero, but it can rise to undefined heights. If you can’t get out in time, sooner or later you are going to go bankrupt.

(10) DON’T PLAY IN A GAME UNLESS YOU FIGURE TO WIN

       Being a decent player does not ensure an edge. You could be tenth the best player in the world, but if you sit down in the game with the nine people who are better than you, they figure to get your money. The attractiveness of a game is determined primarily by the number of weak players in it. Without a couple of soft spots, you’re likely to be better off watching TV.
       Another major factor affecting your edge is the rake-off. Some places take so much out of the pot, the only winner at the end of the year is the house. A pot-limit player must be especially wary of any game raked on a straight percentage basis with no ceiling. Although the average pot may be no bigger than that in a comparable limit game, the biggest pots will be much larger. Don’t let a big rake rob you.

(11) VERY YOUR PLAY

       Unlike the original Ten Commandments, ours do not come from a Higher Power, and are thus not cut in stone.  So we present an eleventh commandment.  Vary your play, even if this means you must occasionally break one of the other ten in order to do so. This assumes special importance when playing regularly with the same group of people.
       Several Las Vegas players tell the story of arriving in town with a few hundred dollars to their name and an old car to sleep in. They couldn’t afford to at all, they did anyway. They had no good alternative route to a prosperous life and here they are, alive kicking, over a quarter-century later.
       You may have a cold, but the poker game is so good you simply must continue. It’s clear all the easy money may have dried up before your cold has run its course.
       Sometimes one player is an inveterate bettor. But, as soon as you bet or raise in a particular hand, he switches off. Now, most unusually, passive play is best.
       A game could be so attractive, although you don’t want to risk more capital, you are prepared to gamble what you have left in front of you. If that’s your bag, then occasionally go for it.
       Yes, the rules are all there waiting to be broken. But usually let the other players be the ones to incur the wrath of the poker gods.

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SPECIAL SITUATION
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Tournament Strategy
Shorthanded Play

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GENERAL INFORMATION
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Poker History
Business
Pot-Limit Rules
Dealing Big-Bit Poker
The House Charge
Ethics & Courtesy
Cheating
Internet Poker

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THE ODD'S
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implied-odds-probability-poker.htmlFiguring The Odd's
Percentage Table

Odd's For Hold'em
Special Odd's Table
High-Low or Better

 why play poker

 

 
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© COPYRIGHT 2005-06 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WWW.POKER.TJ