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  • September 26, 2020

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How to Stop Gambling

Gambling. Throwing away your money? People who take part in excessive gambling are addicted and greedy. Gambling (when legal) should only be done in small amounts, but also be done very rarely. Although fun, too many people think of themselves as “the lucky one” who is destined to win the jackpot. If it was that easy to win money, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? How do casinos earn money? These are all things to take into account when you feel the rush coming on. Here are some tips on how to control your addiction and pull yourself out of the hole.

Do something else.

When you feel the urge to gamble, go and do something – it doesn’t have to be productive. Do something that engages your attention so you won’t think about gambling. Activities such as watching television, surfing the net, or even going outside and doing some exercise. Once you take some other perspective on how to spend your time, your “need” to gamble will be diluted, and you’ll have saved yourself a lot of money. Most times, your actions can be changed within 30 seconds of clear thinking. Additionally, if you are still having a hard time to control yourself, it is advisable to take its slowly. For example, you will continue playing but only through poker online where the chance of you losing your money is low.

Take a look at your finances.

People addicted to gambling have no money. Take a look at your personal finances, and see if you have enough to pay the bills and live comfortably. Most likely, the money you are going to use to gamble could be put to much better use such as saving for retirement or buying new clothes or food. People who have a healthy view of gambling often do it in extremely small doses, and they have enough money to cover their bills and take care of their family. Only very few people make it by playing poker professionally, and most likely you aren’t one of them.

If you constantly think about “doubling up” your money in order to pay the bills or buy something, you’re not really thinking straight. The word “gambling” is distinguished from “earning” for a reason. Only afford to gamble the amount you are willing to lose. Because that’s usually what happens.

Think about your friends and family.

Most likely, if you’re addicted to gambling you’ve lost your money and you’re borrowing the rest from your friends or family. Think about what they are going through, seeing someone they know stoop so low in order to lose even more money. Borrowing money from family and friends is looked down upon even if it wasn’t for gambling, so the fact that you’re borrowing money for gambling purposes makes it even lower.

Also, your friends and family have probably already tried to sit you down and talk to you about your problems. If you truly care about them, sit down and think about what you are about to do. They care about you and all you care about is yourself.

Swallow your ego.

Most gamblers know that they have some sort of problem, they just don’t want to admit it, whether it be for pride or for the rush. Understand that you have done something wrong, and that it’s never too late to stop.

People who recover from gambling understood that they were at their darkest hour, and that they would have to spill out everything in order to remake themselves into who they were before. You can’t hide anything if you’re addicted to gambling. You may think you’re being clever and sneaking around cautiously, but everyone knows where your money is going. Don’t think that you can still protect your dignity and quit your addiction. Re-evaluate yourself and rebuild. You’ll become much stronger later.

Stay away from poker, gambling, and casinos.

If you’re trying to make a run from your addiction, the last thing you need is the World Series of Poker (WSOP) on ESPN glaring straight back at you. You’ll see them playing cards and you’ll want to join in.

Stay away from ANYTHING that involves gambling. In the first steps towards recovery, a person’s psyche is extremely fragile, so fragile that the relapse is almost inevitable. Many people start a quitting process multiple times before actually quitting. The main way to heal a gambling problem is with restrictions, rules, and time. If you stay away from gambling for a long time, the urge to do it will slowly fade away. But never totally.

Remember that gambling is an addiction, and as people say, once a gambler, always a gambler. Even if you bring yourself out of the hole that you have dug for yourself, you will always live with the regret and the pain that comes with your memories. It’s best to never fall into the addiction in the first place, so make sure you use your judgment when dealing with things such as gambling. There’s more to life than throwing away your money. Into a trash can.

World Series of Poker Winner is Youngest Ever

The game lasted into the early hours of the morning, but it finally ended with a grand hand to become the youngest champion ever to win. Poker Online is the sites that provide the opportunities for winning huge amount at the poker. At the younger age, the player will become expert in playing at online games.  

Peter Eastgate of Denmark became the youngest WSOP champion setting a new record once held by Phil Helmuth. Eastgate, who is twenty two years old, defeated Ivan Demidov in the final table. Out of 6,855 players that started off the tournament back in July, Eastgate remains to be the winner of just over $9 million dollars.

The final table began on Sunday with Eastgate starting the day off in fourth place. He played slowly and made the right calls when he needed to. One by one, players began to fall taken out not only by Eastgate, but also by Dennis Phillips and Ivan Demidov.

Then there were four players left in the tournament and Eastgate had moved up in the chip rankings to second place right behind the chip leader, Ivan Demidov. In third was Ylon Schwartz and in fourth was Dennis Phillips. Peter Eastgate caught the right cards at the right time when he took out Schwartz and Phillips back to back. The addition of the two players chips put Eastgate ahead of Demidov and made him the new chip leader, but not by a lot.

It was now a head to head match between the two young juggernauts. Both players new that it would be time consuming so they both had remain patient and wait for the right moment to strike if then wanted to become the next WSOP main event champion. Eastgate had $86 million in chips while Demidov had $50 million. 

Demidov was taking a beating but as the blinds went up, Demidov made a stand and fought back to take back some chips. Eastgate who had $100 million in chips went back down to $84 million. With the pressure heating up, Eastgate knew he had to start playing the aggressor once again if he wanted to win. That’s exactly what he did and played each hand magnificently as he chipped away at Demidov’s stack until he finally had no choice but to go all in. Eastgate did not hesitate to call as he got the straight on the turn and Demidov only held a two pair.

Eastgate jumps up in joy as he wins the main event and becomes the new WSOP champion to win over $9 million dollars. A disappointed Demidov had to settle for second and came out with % million dollars.

Not only did Eastgate make history by being the youngest ever to win at the final table, but this also set a new record for the longest running final table main event in the tournaments history.

NFL Week 8 For Betting

The Chargers host the Houston Texans this week. After wildfires destroyed much of the area, the players hope their game against Houston will be a pleasant distraction for their fans. This game will remain a marked one, as predicted at 토토

San Diego comes into this game off a bye-week. The wildfires that ravaged the area, forced the Chargers to pack up their gear and head to Arizona to hold practices. In my opinion, it was a tough thing to ask the players to leave their family, friends and belongings behind so they could prepare for this week’s game. The players sat in Arizona, trying to digest their game plan against the Texans, while wondering if their house was still standing. Clearly this team must be somewhat distracted by the fires and one has to wonder if they are mentally prepared to play. Yes, they will want to put on a show for their faithful fans, but football games are often won in the locker room as much as on the field of play.

A sports fan can usually name countless times a coach has accepted blame for his team’s failure because of lack of preparation. In this case, who could blame the Chargers for not being prepared. It’s hard enough to play well coming off a bye-week, as some of the sharpness is lost from the layoff. Add in that the Chargers will need to replace their starting center for this week’s game and one begins to wonder if the San Diego’s running game will be a strong.

The Houston Texans are an improved football team. They revamped their offense, adding Ahman Green to jump-start their running game. Andre Johnson, one of the better wide receivers in the game has been out since he was hurt in Week 2 ( he had 14 receptions in his first 2 weeks) has been practicing with the team all week and may be ready to get back in the lineup. Starting QB, Matt Schaub was hurt early in last week’s game and has also been working out in practice. Schaub will dress, it remains to be seen if he’ll get the start. The Texans last week spotted the Titans a big lead, only to see Houston storm back late to take a last minute lead. It was unfortunate that their exhausted defense couldn’t protect and they lost the game on a last second field goal. It was eye-opening for Houston to come back like that, it’ll give them some confidence that they can overcome a big deficit, because they may have to play catchup this week in San Diego.

For those that wager on the NFL, this game is interesting. San Diego has been made a 9.5 to 10 point favorite for this game. The bye-week and possible lack of preparation, along with using a backup at center could cause breakdowns. Houston will need to utilize their improved running game, to wear down the Chargers defenders and mix in the pass when needed. Andre Johnson would certainly be a welcome addition to the Texans lineup and would almost certainly add another dangerous option to the Houston offense. Everyone is aware of what San Diego will do offensively… hand-off to LD and repeat as necessary.

This game, I believe will be much closer than the linemakers will have you believe. Does Houston have a chance to win? No, I don’t believe so, but I do believe they will cover this large point spread and it may end up being a very tight game. My prediction is that Houston will score late to earn a back-door cover with the final score 30- 24 in favor of the home team. San Diego wins, but take the points in this contest.

How to Use the Call Bluff in Hold Em Poker

Try call bluffing with nothing if your opponent is a pretty straight shooter or maybe is prone to folding relatively good starting hands. What makes the call bluff really strong versus the raise bluff is that it almost always keeps all of your options open before you make a bet. This gives you a little more time to get some information before you bet. The more profitable the call bluff can be depends how much information your opponents give you.

It is impertinent for you to practices the bluff technique in order to throw your opponents off guard and it can prove to be an added advantage in a game like Domino QQ as from now on it will be quite a smooth sail throughout the duration of the game.

Many bad poker players will hardly check any good hand that they may have on the turn, if they bet when the flop came and someone called them, that’s quality information that you can use to your advantage to call their bluffs. I suggest you call them on the flop and then see what that player does on the turn. If they come out firing, then it’s time for you to lay down the hand. If this same player checks it to you, now you have good intel that this player has a pretty weak hand, and you can make a bluff that will make you some money.

When you bet the flop, and there is someone behind you that calls, you should probably sometimes check raise on the turn. Sometimes make this play with a bad starting hand, but most of the time only do it with good starting hands. This play is most advantageous because it provides you with a lot of information. However, the information that you do give to other players on the flop and on the turn should be of little use to them. Stick to the basic strategy of checking bad hands and betting on good starting hands. To keep your opposition guessing though, you should definitely sometimes check bad hands, then try the check raise bluff. When they are out of position they will not be able to get a good read on you, thus they will probably fold.

Many pros and amateurs alike think the call bluff play is tricky or intriguing. Maybe because your calling with rags, but in my opinion it’s no different from any other play. You should start thinking like this, and your game will improve very quickly. When this tricky, but simple play works for you for the first time don’t be shocked or surprised.

When you are on the button us the call bluff as a tool, its just one in your arsenal. In no limit when you have the deep stack having a positional advantage can be devastating to your opponents. That is why when you make this play, your opposition will be out of position and will probably lay down their cards. Try this simple but tricky play and when it works, use it and add it to your poker arsenal.

Amble Down to Tunica, Mississippi for Some Southern Fried Gambling

Picture this:

You’re driving through picturesque cotton fields when you experience a Dorothy-like moment like the one she probably had when she first approached the Emerald City where the Wizard of Oz lived. Fingers of buildings appear on the horizon, interrupting an idyllic cruise along pastoral roads lined with cotton plants. Soon, the city of Tunica reveals itself and I can still recall the stark contrast between the fields and the casinos. In case you haven’t heard of it, Tunica is officially the third largest gambling Mecca in the U.S. Don’t expect Vegas or Atlantic City, however. This destination is all about southern hospitality and down home fun. From the moment you pick your numbers and double down on that red 22, you’ll realize that you’re not in Kansas anymore.

Culture and History

Tunica served as a minor southern crossroads for thousands of years before the first craps table made its appearance. Artifacts in the Mississippi soil prove migratory patterns of nomadic Native American groups as they swept across the south, landing in places with readymade water sources that also offered plentiful game and fishing. As settlers spread south, deep agricultural roots were planted and remain today a scenic blend of agrarian enterprise and commercial entertainment. Learn more about the history of Tunica by visiting the Tunica Museum where exhibits, lectures and other entertainments will keep you occupied if you can tear yourself away from the slot machine that’s been good to you since you arrived.

Taking a Chance on Urban Development

Tunica, Mississippi is situated on the Mississippi River. It’s an “intentional community,” built, like Las Vegas, as a tourist attraction from a tiny town that caught the attention of mapmakers only after satellites allowed a closer look. Founders of the Tunica metamorphosis intended a central gambling venue for folks too busy to jet off to Nevada and too cold to head for New Jersey when icy waters wash up on the iconic boardwalk. Unlike the aforementioned gaming centers, Tunica is still in its infancy. Over time, entertainments continue to multiply and expand making the town, located 17 miles south of Memphis, a true destination if you like your gaming a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.

Bet on the Great Outdoors

Of course you can experience plenty of Tunica without setting foot in a casino, so if you’re one half of a relationship who could live your whole life without throwing dice, don’t stay home because you’re worried about being bored. Visit five of 120 markers celebrating the Mississippi Blues Trail in Tunica: the Visitor’s Center, Eddie James “Son” House, the Abbay  amp; Leatherman Plantation and the James Cotton and Harold “Hardface” Clanton sites. Traverse the 168-acre Tunica River Park and explore Mississippi River history and lore onboard the luxurious 250-seat Tunica Queen Riverboat. Schedule these excursions during non-summer months, as high temperatures and humidity can be uncomfortable.

Finding Casino Heaven

Choose from 10 name casinos to establish your base — including Bally’s, Fitzgerald’s, the Gold Strike, Grand Casino, Resorts Tunica, Harrah’s, Horseshoe, Hollywood, Sam’s Town and Gambling Hall and the Sheridan – but visit them all and you’ll get a little exercise as unlike the Atlantic City and Vegas, locations are spread out and clustered so it takes about 5 minutes to drive, bus or taxi to them all if you don’t want to get your heart rate up so you can gamble some more. Each has a “claim to fame,” from unique gaming and tournament options to intimate nightclubs hosting name talent. Ubiquitous buffet and marketing gimmicks will vie for your loyalty so choose your Tunica hotel by the usual standards: price, size and amenities. Like to camp? A few offer RV spots on casino campuses, so there’s a chance you can cram a little nature watching into your adventure.

Eat, Play, Love

Balance your Tunica visit with a variety of entertainments. Taxis, shuttles and your own car will take you everywhere and all of them can be booked from link alternatif Sbobet which provides the customer with all these facilities if they consider the booking from their portal.

Spend time at the Tunica Arena and Exposition Center with it’s own gaming gallery while viewing horse shows, rodeos and other family entertainments within the 2,000 seat arena. Play a round of golf at the Tunica golf course, particularly if your game plan also centers on consuming as much southern hospitality – in the form of crawfish, shrimp, southern cornbread, pies and cobblers – as time allows. Tunica remains a buffet for men as well: there are 88 males per 100 females in the city, so if you’re a single guy looking for proof that Tunica’s your destination, that should do it.

Are Reno and Las Vegas Dying

Will the new Indian Casino’s that are cropping up all over the nation kill Reno and Las Vegas. Perhaps the business is getting less and less in these magnificent cities. I know that on my last visit to Reno it appeared there was a great deal of Casino’s closing their doors for good. My fond memories of the first big jack pot I won are of Reno, Nevada. I find however, that I spend most of my time at local Casino’s now as they seem to be more convenient for us to travel too.

Really, business is about to be picked up and there shouldn’t be any surprise as India is on its way to become a global superpower and reclaim its position that it lost centuries ago but to say that it will spell doom for Las Vegas is too strong a statement as the latter is still the situs judi resmi and a popular hotspot for gamblers all over the world.

In Oregon alone there are 9 active casino’s throughout the state with seven either in the stages of approval or expansion. The state of Washington has 29 Casinos active and in the stages of being built. That means that there are approximately 38 Casino’s in these two states alone. So across the Nation you may imagine that there are hundreds of Indian Casinos cropping up.

For decades the only place one could go to gamble legally was Nevada, they held the title to that sport. Atlanta came on board and then there were two so to speak. It was only in recent times that the Nation began to allow the Indian Tribes to build casino’s in most of the US. They have cropped up in almost every State in the Nation. The benefits for the Indian Tribes is enormous. They can fund their own schools and medical facilities and can attract tourists to their various Tribes teaching people of their history and heritage, something that was not easily done in the past.

The Indian casino’s not only afford each Tribe financial freedoms and the great things that come with that they also put back into each State a certain amount of financial funds. That in and of itself gives each State a larger financial base for the governmental necessities such as road repairs, schools, parks and wildlife reserves to name a few.

Along with the up cropping of the Indian Casino’s and their financial funds many states have in place a lottery which also puts money into the States bank accounts. This is all well and good for the future of all the Indian Tribes and States throughout our country, but is it killing Las Vegas and Reno.

In order to stay on top Las Vegas and Reno must both build bigger and more magnificent Casino’s and resorts, they must give cheaper travel packages with hopes that those who visit will spend more dollars while there. The cost of travel and lodging must remain within the financial range that the common folks of this Nation can afford a visit to these cities. If not then they will surely die a hard and cold death in that desert sun. It is a well known fact that meals are cheap and lodging is cheap in Reno, and meals in Las Vegas are more expensive but lodging is cheap. You can make a week long trip to Las Vegas for under $300.00 flight and hotel. Food however, will take a bite out of your wallet. While Reno you can do a week for $300.00 and food will be a small cost on the side for you. It is also a known fact that the meals in Reno are larger and more tasteful than those in Las Vegas. At the Silver Legacy you can purchase a Prime Rib dinner that is tender enough to cut with your fork for a mere $9.95. In Las Vegas the meal will cost you $12.99 and will by no means be as palatable to the customer.

Both cities provide you with the fun and gambling that many seek when traveling, there with pool side bars for drinks in the afternoon. Many of your Indian Casino’s throughout the Nation do not serve Alcohol. You do get free coffee and soda while in the Casino and not just when on the gambling floor. Many Indian Casino’s have resorts of some sort located at them, maybe not as magnificent as those found in Reno or Las Vegas but along with the resort you will always find an interpretive center that will include interesting facts regarding the Tribe or Tribes that operate the casino.

So if your interest lies in the realm of gambling and resort fun you can find it in Las Vegas and Reno or you perhaps can find it right down the freeway or highway a few hundred miles from your own home. This writer doesn’t see Las Vegas dying any time soon especially not in my lifetime. However, if the Indian Casino’s continue to upgrade and add more and more activities to their menus and the food becomes top notch with live entertainment we may find Las Vegas no longer has the draw for us it use to.

Roulette: The Spinning Game of Chance

Have you ever walked into a casino and become a little mesmerized with the sound of a spinning roulette wheel and the clicking of the ball? These are sounds that catch most people’s attention. The colors of the roulette wheel, the layout, the red and green, the multi-colored roulette chips are all designed to induce you and draw you into the game. Then, hopefully, for the casino’s sake, you will play. If that is the case, there are some basics you should know about roulette.

Roulette was invented in France a few hundred years ago. An American wheel has 38 numbers, including zero, and double zero, with a house advantage of 5.26%. A European wheel, which some American casinos use by the way, has 37 numbers with one zero, and a house advantage of only 2.63%. The object of the game is to bet on a winning number, or color of the number (red or black as it appears on the layout and so on). Like any casino game, you are hoping to win!

As a player, you buy in and either get special roulette chips or you can play regular casino chips. You can bet on individual numbers, which results in a 35-1 payoff if your number hits. If your chip straddles the line between two numbers, and one of your numbers hits, it pays 17 to 1; four numbers pays 8 to 1, etc. Some patrons find it relaxing just to sit and bet on the color red or black, which pays even money, or on a column of numbers that pays 2-1. Some folks like to pick a number or two that has meaning for them, like a birthday or anniversary. Others bet on certain numbers on different parts of the wheel, three or four right next to each other, in a section. Zeros can be bet like any other numbers; however, if the zeros come up, all of the “outside bets” on the layout (for example red/black, even/odd etc.) lose. The zeros are like the house numbers in that regard. Some bet them like any other number, but might even put a chip or two on them that acts like insurance if they are making outside bets. There are other bets as well, and any courteous dealer will help the novice with these. Each player gets his own color of chips and can’t share his chips with another player, or obviously it could get confusing.

A good roulette dealer is a pleasure to watch. He or she handles the stacks of roulette chips, “cleans the layout” (removes the losing bets), protects the game, figures out payoffs, and controls the pace of the game. When I first started learning the “wheel” many years ago, I thought the spinning of the ball was going to be the hardest part. I soon found out it was going to be one of the easier parts of dealing roulette. There are now roulette tables that are electronic.

Roulette has always been a more popular game in Europe, and in Cuba (when gaming was legal,) than here In the U.S. I guess we have all heard the stories about someone who broke the bank playing roulette in Monte Carlo instead of preferring situs casino dewicasino88 which is safe and allows the user to play even without money; which let them to know the game in better manner. After all, the game did have its beginnings in France. Some of the best roulette dealers I worked with came from Cuba where they learned to deal busy games when roulette was legal there in the fifties. Most of these dealers are retired or have passed on, but they were fun to watch, and dealt the game well.

Roulette is really an interesting game, and one of the staples in almost any casino. It’s a game that can be fun to play, deal, or just watch. It can be played in a leisurely way, or… if you like to bet it up, you can place many chips at once. It has been recreation for royalty and celebrities as well as regular people from all walks of life. I would wager that in some form or another it will be around for a few hundred years more!

Comic Jumper Game to play with family

“Comic Jumper” is side scrolling shoot em up game on the X box live arcade; it was produced by Twisted Pixel (creator of such offbeat games as “‘Splosion Man” and “The Maw”), and is available for 1200 x box live points. Earlier most addictive game players used to be hooked to Pkv games but the trend is changing now. 

“Comic Jumper” is the story of Captain Smiley, a self absorbed, arrogant, and high maintenance “super hero”, whose own comic book gets cancelled due to poor sales, forcing him to take odd jobs “guess starring” in other peoples comics so he can make enough money to relaunch his own comic. He is joined on this journey by star, a talking emblem on his chest who possesses a deep and abiding hatred for Smiley, never skipping an opportunity to put him down.

“Comic Jumper” consists of 11 levels; the first and final levels are a book end framing device consisting of Smiley’s own universe, with the other levels split into three act worlds; The first being a fantasy sword and sorcery world based off of Conan the Barbarian, the second world is a silver age Sci Fi setting, while the third world is a surreal monochrome world inspired by Japanese Manga. Through these worlds, Smiley must run, jump, and shoot his way through hordes of enemies, while earning money to buy upgrades and powerups back in the hub world.

Twisted Pixel, a relatively new indie game company, is known for their weird and offbeat sense of humor, and it really shines through with “Comic Jumper”; The voice acting is over the top and hilarious, occasionally intersected with live action cut scenes and bizarre nonsequitrs. For instance, in the third level of the silver age, after defeating a miniboss, you have to fight your way out of an ad for a Kung Fu manual. Later, in the manga level, you have to finish the level by singing a song to send a slain unicorn to heaven (much to Smiley’s chagrin). “Comic Jumper” also possesses a bevy of colorful and amusing characters, from the deranged Dr. Winklemeyer (who runs the item shop) to the self absorbed muscle man Brad (Smiley’s arch enemy and final boss of the game.)

The gameplay for “Comic Jumper” is solid; you use the left analog stick to move, the left trigger or the X button to shoot, The right trigger or A to jump, and the right analog stick to aim where you are shooting. The aiming system allows you to aim at opponents as you maneuver, an essential skill considering the massive amount of enemies that populate this game and their varied positions. The Y button uses a special all screen attack which calls upon the Twisted Pixel programmers to smite your enemies, clearing the screen and recharging your health. Sections of standard sidescrolling are intercut with other sections, including shooting gallery sections, melee sections, and even the odd quicktime event.

The in game dialog is also handled well; whereas in other games the main character will repeat funny statements ad nasuem and at random times, the random quips in comic jumper happen as you progress past certain points, making them much more unique and interesting.

The one thing which may players away is the difficulty; there are no health pick ups in “Comic Jumper”, with the aforementioned special attack being the only way to recharge health. In addition, the enemies, especially in later levels, take massive amounts of punishment, and can inflict just as much damage. The difficulty is somewhat offset by the fact you have infinite lives, and you respawn at check points upon death, but it can be frustrating to get sent back to a previous point when you’ve nearly reached the next checkpoint.

Aside from the minor problem of difficulty, “Comic Jumper” is a thoroughly enjoyable game which delivers great action and never makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously. It’s definitely worth a look at, as are Twisted Pixel’s other games.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comic_Jumper:_The_Adventures_of_Captain_Smiley (For information on game publisher, ESRB rating, and so forth)

New to Texas Hold’em Strategy? Learn This First

So you already know how to play Texas Hold’em. It doesn’t take very long to learn the rules of the game, the rank of each hand, or what in the world the blinds are all about. You can pick up all of these ideas very quickly, but that will take you only so far. To really play the game well, you have to learn – and use – poker strategy. Don’t worry. You don’t have to do math (pot odds calculations) in your head. That comes later. For now, because you’re still new to the strategy of the game, you should start with a much more basic concept: folding before the flop. This basic concept is also the first thing that players should learn when playing poker games. 

Some new players think that folding hands, especially preflop, is a poor way to play. “But if I don’t stay in the pot, I can’t win!” That’s true for that particular pot. You can’t win a pot when you don’t play the hand. Playing is exciting; folding and watching other people rake in those pots is boring. But when you realize that you’re better off sitting out when you know that you’re trying to work with a big pile of nothing, you become a better poker player: one who has more money or play chips or whatever it is that you collect when you win.

Before you sit down for your next poker session – whether it’s live or online – set your own standards for starting hands. You should have a very good idea of what is worth playing and what you will fold before you show up for your game. That way, you have one less decision to make at the table. This frees up more of your brainpower for other decisions, such as how much to bet or raise.

Good starting hands include everything from high pairs to A-K to high connecting cards (like Q-J). You should definitely play A-A, for example, considering that this is the best possible starting hand. What to do with other high pairs – like Q-Q – depends on what the players ahead of you have already done. If you’re in late position and three people ahead of you have all raised, you can be reasonably certain that somebody’s holding a higher pair (A-A or K-K). Somebody might have Big Slick (A-K), which is another starting hand that can beat yours if the cards fall in that player’s favor. Think about what other players have already done before you commit yourself to your own cards: this will save, or make, you a lot of chips over time.

Bad starting hands…well, there are quite a few of these. 7-2 off-suit is the worst starting hand in Hold’em, so you should fold this one every time. Of the tens of thousands of Hold ’em hands that I’ve played, I have regretted folding 7-2 off-suit once. And that was only because three deuces came on the flop (I would have had quads). This is not going to happen very often. The overwhelming majority of the time, I’ve been justified in folding those terrible cards. So I’ve lost one monster-sized pot by folding 7-2, but saved myself many, many losses by folding that hand. So far, I’ve saved myself a lot more money than I would have won in that pot. This is why preflop folding is a good idea in the long run.

Some starting hands are good or bad depending on the action before your turn. If you have A-4 off-suit in late position, for example, the hand could go either way. If one person raises, then another person re-raises, then a third guy shoves all-in, you have to think about your starting hand. You have a weak Ace (an Ace with a poor kicker): somebody in front of you probably has a better starting hand, which definitely puts the odds against you. There is no shame in folding a weak ace. None. Really.

A common question is, “How many hands should I fold preflop?” Actually, you will probably fold at least as many hands as you play. This doesn’t seem right to many new players. That’s mostly because the version of Hold’em that we see on ESPN and the Travel Channel is edited for content. It’s not exciting to watch everybody fold to the Big Blind, so the powers that be cut out most of that boring footage. We don’t see much folding, so we’re tempted to think that the top players don’t do it very often. That’s just not true.

Every now and then, you’ll fold a weak starting hand that turns out to be the best one. This is not going to happen very often, so don’t be tempted into thinking that you need to play that hand. More often than not, folding a bad starting hand turns out to be the best decision. Keep this in mind when you fold your 4-2 off-suit and see what would have been a full house come on the flop.

 

Poker is Still a Popular Game Even in Tough Economic Times

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I got a phone call for a small (kind of) house game. Currently unemployed and in debt, I should have thought twice about agreeing to go. But a true poker player at heart leaves all that junk behind and goes to play, even if it is only a 5 cent-10 cent table. We go. We flock to these new age torture chambers with hope and big dreams. While my earlier gaming addiction was limited to KoinQQ, it had now evolved to include a wide array of other games as well.

Thinking about it, we seem to be no different than my grandparents who came here for a better life. Instead of crossing bodies of water or land masses, we trudge to the nearest casino with hundreds of dollars in our pocket, our fragile skill set, and hope. Hope is the thing that keeps poker players going. No matter how bad the economy is getting, on a Friday night the poker room at the Trop always has a waiting list. The itch to play can only constitute for so much of an excuse. We are dreamers. Poker players all look to have that once in while lucky streak that Jamie Gold rode into a WSOP bracelet and over twelve million dollars. We hear stories of people making $100 into $1000 in a few hours. Most of us have done it at least once. Poker shows us the doors and the hands we play are the keys to open them. But what happens when we play poorly or get a bad beat? Do we falter? Maybe. Maybe for one month we pull back the reins and try to bury that part of us.

But, we miss the exhilaration of an all in, the satisfaction of bluffing out someone, and the genuine happiness of getting called when you have the nuts. We forget about the junky calls and the misdeals and the mistakes. We forget and give poker another chance. It has the same characteristics of a twist love affair, but if you play your cards right you can profit. No matter how much a poker player gets cracked with Aces, we will always love them. No matter how terrible the economy is becoming, we will still find time for our little house games.

The poker table is a microcosm for the world, a stage, if you will. Yet, perhaps the biggest draw to poker is the fact that an unemployed 21-year-old woman can sit at a table with a Product Manager, a Goldman-Sachs executive, and a Pizza man and we are all equal. Job titles, socio-ecomonic statuses, class do not come into effect at the poker table. It all gets washed away. The only aspect that divides us is our poker ability. Off the table, we are who we are, no doubt about that. Yet when we sit, be it 5-handed or at a full table, we can be whoever we want to be. The rest just fades away and the focus becomes that very moment.

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