In the last couple of years, a great number of online poker players have gained high profile in the media, poker insiders with large bankrolls and/or fame, and of course, some of the best players time and time again. Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer are name brands, in addition to the millions of others in the poker world. A lot of money was also splurged on satellite football games in the UK that included Chris Moneymaker’s most famous poker tournament, Moneymaker Invitational.
Because of the eclipsing coverage of the Chris Moneymaker story (Moneymaker won a satellite to the final table of the WSOP from his £29.95 investment in a poker website), many people have come to see if poker is the same as football or other sports. Playing in the United States, some of the most powerful poker players, and their glamorous girlfriends and wives, tend to distract the average player.
In an online poker room, knowing your opponent helps you play to win. After all, your opponent may know that you are disguised as a tourist, or a Working Dog, or an airplane landing on a Caribbean island. When you play against the best poker players in the world, you have to know when to play tight and when to lay back. For instance, you may not want to play hands with good beginning cards against a maniac, since he may have terrible cards in the first instance.
If you want to win a poker tournament, you also want to know when to get aggressive and when to sit back. The following articles give you both tips.
When the blinds are small – Play tight. Wait for a good hand, and a chance to double up.
When the blinds are very high – Look for ways to get your money in pre-flop.
Once you have a good hand – Bet out.
You want your opponents to think that you are a loose, aggressive player. This allows you to steal blinds and blinds from the button and big blind, and you can then win uncontested pots. Remember that since you are playing loose, you will lose the majority of pots you play, so bet big and bully like crazy.
Example:You have KQ suited of hearts in the small blind. There are multiple limpers, and you decide to call the big blind. The flop is AK, VS, 6H, 4S. You have a good chance of picking up a hearts with this flop, and you might even get a higher straight, if you hit your Ace. Should you bet? Well, since you are in a blind position, it is a good opportunity to steal the blinds. If the raiser was weak, he will not raise your call. He will obviously only play his strong hands. You may want to call yourself, since you only have a keno hand, and the flop may have missed your Ace.
Being the first to enter the pot pre-flop with a raise from the small blind or button, pre-flop you want to have the best hand against the four players in the blind. Try to steal the blinds before your hand knows what cards they have.
When you are the small blind
When you are the small blind, if you call the big blind, and the flop comes two hearts, your strong hand has a good chance of doubling you up. This is a situation where you want to play the hand slowly, and make sure you look at the other players. Some of the players in the blind may have high cards, and even if you attack them with a strong hand, there is a good chance that the next card, or the one after that, may give another player a better hand. Then the table can narrow down to two players, and you will be forced to either fold, or continue betting if you have nothing. This table may be a good one to take a chance at, even though you do not have a real hand.
When you are in the big blind, and you are the first to enter the pot, you should always raise unless there are good hands. In fact, there are some hands you should consider raising with, like Ace King, Ace Queen, King Jack, Queen Jack, and maybe Ace Ten. The reason for this is that you may be behind several players, so a strong hand may win you the pot even if it is dominated. For instance, if one player has Ace King and bets, you are the only reasonable player left, in which case you should call. If you are behind by a player who has tendered Baccarat, you have to fold. Because you have less than ace, it is a bad hand.
Checking the out odds
You should always consider the odds when you are in a hand.