How to Play Poker — Poker Table Position

November 22nd, 2017

How to Play Poker — Poker Table Position

By: Tom Howze

Poker seating and the position one has at the table is one of the most important and least talked about aspects of
poker. It’s especially relative to the Texas Hold’Em poker game because it is positional in nature. Where a player sits
each hand determines the amount of information he or she can gain on other players. This can have a big effect on your poker strategy and how a hand is played. This article will reference how to play poker from a table of 10 players and discuss playing from the dealer, early, middle and late positions.

Dealer Position — This position, also referred to as “on the button”, is the most coveted because once the flop takes
place, the dealer is the last to act. This means you can watch and gather information on all the other players before
making your decision. Aggressive play is expected from this position, especially when all others have checked. Almost any hand except trash hands like 9 2, 10 4 offsuit can be considered for play here.

For example, your opponent has Jc, Jh. You have Qd, Kd and are the dealer. Your opponent raised $20 before the flop and you called. The flop shows 2d, 3d, 5d. You both check the flop and the turn shows 8c. Your opponent checks, you raise $20 and they call. On the river the Js comes up and your opponent raises $50. From watching you figure they may have trips. You raise to $100, they call and you win with a King high flush. Had you been in your opponents position of having to bet first, you would have been hard pressed to figure what the dealer had.

Early Position — This is made up of positions 1, 2 and 3 to the left of the dealer and are the least advantageous as you
are the first to act after the flop and have no information on the other players. Here one should play only the
strongest hands like paired A’s, K’s, Q’s, J’s, Tens, or suited AK, AQ, AJ and KQ. Anything outside of these one
should consider folding and waiting for a better opportunity, especially with an aggressive table. One thing that can be done from an early position is bluffing. Betting from an early position can imply that you do have a strong hand, but bluffing too often will result in others picking up on it and can be disastrous, particularly when aggressive
bettors are at the table.

Middle Position — Positions for the middle are 4th, 5th and 6th to the left of the dealer. Because the disadvantage is
not as great as with the early position, you have greater flexibility to play more hands. Hands like paired 5’s thru
9’s, suited connectors from 5 6 on up, unsuited connectors 5 6, 6 7, on up. There are more hands that can be played but this covers the majority that can be easily remembered. Being in the middle, it is better to raise than call if no
one is in the pot, if you have a playable hand and you feel some players will fold.

Late Position — The 7th, 8th and 9th seats at the table to the left of the dealer make up the late position. Here you
are in an excellent seating area of the table. You can gather a great amount of information about the players and
their hands. In these positions, one should be aggressive if not many have entered the pot. If there are a lot of
players, scale back the aggressive play unless you have the type of superior hand as discussed in the early position.
Another advantage of the late position is that you can easily play cards like 5 8, J 7, Q 8. For example, supposing
you have 5 8 in the late position and the flop is 2 6 7 unsuited and everyone else checks. Raising at a non-aggressive table would be the correct thing to do as it gives you a chance to gain control of the pot as well as keeping other raises in check from those who would try to steal the pot. But remember, it is not a license to play trash hands.

Poker seating is an advanced player concept, but the basics are simple enough for anyone to remember and take advantage of when the opportunity does present itself. Good luck!

Tom Howze is a webmaster for 9 sites that relate to online gambling, World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour events and updates. For more information, please visit 2005 World Series of Poker .

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How to Learn the Basics of Blackjack

November 22nd, 2017

How to Learn the Basics of Blackjack

By: Tim Jeffries

There is perhaps no other gambling game that is easier to win and more fun to play than the game of blackjack.
If you are interested in testing your chances at gambling but you don’t want to risk losing too much money, your best bet (pun intended) is to play blackjack because the rules are easy to understand and it’s not that hard to master the strategies that you use for the game.

Learning How to Play the Game of Blackjack

If you have no idea how to play the game of blackjack then you’ll certainly be surprised that you’ll need less than ten minutes to understand everything there is to know about blackjack. In fact, you don’t really have to listen to the gambling experts’ advice on blackjack, but if you want to increase your chances of winning, you should try reading articles such as these to avoid committing mistakes common to gambling newbies.

In blackjack, the dealer first requires players to place a bet even without seeing the cards that they’re going to be dealt with. This is de rigeur for all blackjack games, online or played in a real casino. After that, the dealer deals two cards to every player on the table. The dealer can deal himself one or two cards. One card would be ideal because it offers the other players better chances of winning the round.

And now it’s time to look at the cards you’ve been dealt with. The object of the game is for your cards to reach the value of 21 or one nearest to it but definitely not a value that’s greater or more than 21. A set of cards with an equivalent of value for example of 23 would immediately leave you out of the running because your bet is immediately lost.

Now, when it comes to the values of the cards, simply remember that face cards – King, Queen and Jack – are equivalent to 10 while the Ace could either be counted as one or eleven. Hence, if your cards contain a 10, a King and a Three, that’s equal to 23 and means you’ve lost your bet.

The game of blackjack allows you to “hit” or “draw” as many as five cards. The value of your cards shall only be pitted against the cards of the dealer and no one else. So all you have to worry about is what the dealer’s hand is.
And that’s that. Blackjack’s certainly easy, isn’t it? Good luck gambling!

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