3 Poker Etiquette Tips – What not to do in poker

When it comes to poker, both online and off, you really do need to know how to behave so that you don’t end up irritating the other players at your table. This poker game is just that – a game. That means it is supposed to be fun, but all too often egos start running amok and really ruin the fun factor for everyone. If you don’t want to be labeled a jerk and you’d prefer to have actual fun when you play poker then read on because this is basic etiquette you can benefit from and make more friends while you play your favorite game.

Don’t Splash the Pot

It is a good thing to remember that you are not, in fact, the star of a Hollywood film about a legendary gambler. All too often we see players in the casino setting who are new get excited when they want to make a raise and toss or shove a fistful of chips into the pot. This might look cool in the movies, but in real life it’s called ‘splashing the pot’ and no one likes it. If you don’t want to irk your dealer and you’d prefer to be viewed in a favorable light by those you are around, consider stacking the chips like a normal player and sliding them across the felt. This is the proper way to do things and it helps everyone out so go ahead and make this part of your casino gaming practice.

Avoid Antagonizing

It is easy to get cocky when you win a huge pot, but keep in mind that no one around you likes losing money or they wouldn’t be playing poker and trying to win poker money. Simple logic, but all too often we see gloating in online poker rooms since people believe they’re anonymous. The fact is, if you irritate people then they are not going to want to build the pot up in the first place. Also, it could have just as easily been won by someone else. Instead of lording your victory over others, why not compliment them when they play a nice hand and leave it at that? It makes for a better table experience and that means those with a lot more to wager are likely to stick around longer which means you get a chance to win more of their cash.

Keep Your Hands to Yourself

After you have folded you may feel the urge to explain why you did so. Don’t. The problem with letting others know the hand you just held is that it gives them an idea of which cards are left to be dealt and which their opponents might have had. This is an edge and no one wants their competition to have an edge. If you absolutely must talk about what a terrible pair of cards you had or how close they could have come to being excellent, please wait until after the showdown. Even then, odds are good that no one is interested and most would rather focus on the next hand.

How safe is Online Poker for US Players? Is poker legal?

People in the United States who had been hardcore poker fans for a number of years found the recent legislation passed midway through the first decade of the 2000’s to be very intimidating. After all, ‘wire fraud’ was the word being slung around and since that’s a Federal crime, most people are not interested in getting anywhere near that. A huge amount of bad information was circulating not only in the media, but among poker fans in the online poker community. Things looked grim and a lot of poker players had the idea that they were putting themselves in serious risk of not only legal trouble, but financial ruin, if they kept playing. Many sites closed their online doors to US players and the whole situation looked quite dark for a while.is poker legal

Now, after things have settled, we should take a serious look at how safe online poker is for US players. What most people do not realize about the current legislation is that it was actually designed to punish banks and casinos that were funneling money to offshore sources and not to punish players.

There are a handful of states that do not allow for online gambling, but even they are not going to be able to do much to an actual player in this current climate. In reality, the casinos and those who operate them are the ones that are not allowed to be doing business inside the US. Since US laws apply only to citizens of the US, casinos in other countries can do business as usual and work with US residents if they choose to. Payment services, also, are free to work with US poker players and poker sites. Providing the games is what is not permitted in the US right now, but recent legislation in July 2010 may be about to change that.

If you worry that you are putting yourself at risk by playing poker online in the US then you need to understand that no one is in danger. The Poker Players Alliance is a legal fund that you can join for a few dollars per year and they will bring the full force of their organization, which includes politicians in Washington DC, to bear for you if you ever face legal action – which remains incredibly unlikely. They will defend you even if you are not a member, but having access to their news is a good idea. Checking out your state regulations is also smart and a quick Google search can help you with that.

The bottom line today is that online poker is thriving in the US; players make poker deposits and cash out their winnings on a regular basis. The only detail you should be careful with is reporting your earnings at tax time. Speak with your tax preparer for advice on this subject, but you should discover that things are easier to deal with that what you might have been led to believe.

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How Online Poker Play Money Games Improve Your Skills

Are you looking to raise your skills at online poker and get a better sense of how to play games with higher stakes than what you play in now? Then you would do well to consider taking part in the play money games that are offered on your favorite online casino. Since these can give you experience without the cost, they are a great way to learn about new games and not have to lose a lot of money in the process of doing so. When you start to look into the play money gambling scene, you notice a lot of players will use this as a way to keep their skills high if they tend to play in higher stakes games.

This lets them wager nothing and get experience. When they take this route, they get a realistic experience, but they do not have money on the line. That means that this is also a terrific way to get a sense of how new versions of poker that you might not have tried before will work for you. If you generally play Texas Holdem and you want to try out Omaha Hi, then this can be a fun way to learn that gives you an accurate picture of your skills while still not requiring you to risk.

With play money you are free to try out tournament situations and other experiences that you might not have the cash to. Also, if you are following a strict bankroll budget (which you definitely should be) and you have run out of your bankroll for the week, then play money games can help you raise your skills while you are waiting to make your next deposit. They are also a great way to burn off steam when your emotions are running high and you want to try the old ‘win your money back’ routine that ends up costing so many poker players a lot of money in the end. If you really do want to avoid steaming, jump your money game and head on over to a play money table where none of this is going to matter. Once you begin to see yourself regaining composure, you can always go back to money games.

Another good thing about play money games is that the atmosphere tends to be a bit more social because players are a little less worried about giving away too much. You can get a serious education in these rooms as a lot of tips are passed back and forth that could definitely come in handy for you in the future. If you leverage the opportunities that play money games provide you with, raising your skills is going to be a natural side effect. You can practice your control over your decisions and this is a smart way to do it because it is actually easier to blow money when you are not actually risking your own cash. Play money discipline transfers to money game situations so if you sharpen your discipline this way you will find success easier to achieve.

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A Different (Zen) Approach to Online Poker

Poker is one tough game to really master and most of that is because no matter how many tips you learn or how much strategy you put into play, it really comes down to your personal level of control in the game. You are going to have to master discipline at very high levels if you expect to be able to win big in poker, but a smart move that you can make now is to start taking a more Zen influenced approach to poker because not only will it help you stick to your strategies, it can actually help you win more and have more fun, too. If you take this route you are going to find that you get upset less often and you make wiser decisions.

So how do you put the Zen flow into your online poker game? It’s simpler than you think, let’s take a look.different poker approach

The first concept of Zen is to remove your ego. If you can do this in a game of poker you are going to find yourself a lot less tempted to head into that showdown situation even though the back of your mind is telling you that the cards you hold are not all that superb. Once you remove your desire to beat another player and you focus only on the cards in your hand and the community cards, you are going to find that you make wiser decisions.

Fold when you need to because it does not matter how much you lose in small increments when you compare it with how much you can lose trying to prove a point or win with a weak hand. The fact is, if you really are serious about long term wins then you will most often end up folding when you see that the situation does not favor you. Start practicing this now and you are on your way to success.

The next step, after you have made sure that ego is not a big part of your game, is to relax into the logical rhythm of the cards. Doing this means that you are not all that excited by a terrific hand or the promise of a better hand, but carefully observing the facts about which cards you hold and which are part of the flop, etc.

There is just no need to invest any of your emotions into the cards you hold or could be holding. The real success will come to you when you see that you having a winning hand and you decide to play it. Even if you win, instead of focusing on how great it was to pull down the pot, try focusing on what your next step is. Do you need to bet huge just because you won a serious chunk of change or should you remain calm and slowly gather in more money with the same sized bets? If you can keep emotions out of your game, you stand to win much more.

Raising Your Online Poker Skills Fast – Learn poker quickly

If you’ve been playing online poker for a little while then you most likely see how raising your skills is going to be able to benefit you. After all, who wouldn’t want to make moreLearn poker quickly money? When you are a total beginner it is fairly easy to raise your skills, but once you get a bit better and manage to win at low stakes tables on a consistent basis it can get a little bit confusing as to how exactly you’re supposed to go about raising the amount that you earn playing poker online.

This is a quick guide to give you some ideas for how you can go about bettering your poker game so you can start earning more. We’ll cover some primary topics and talk about how they can help you and why you might want to take advantage of these resources. Let’s get started.

Blogs – A lot of people overlook the fact that there are a ton of great blogs out there run by poker pros who really do know what they are doing. Not only are the posts themselves useful, but the fact that you can comment and ask questions is really helpful, too. You may learn more from the comments sections than the blog itself from time to time. Use these sites to build up your poker skills and learn some insights from others in the game who really do love the game of poker. You’ll get wind of great tournaments, bonuses and other opportunities this way, as well, so it is definitely a good use of your time. Take a look at the dizzypoker blog.

Videos – That’s right, poker videos are a hot and fairly recent way to hone your skills. YouTube is filled with helpful learning videos and this can be a terrific way to train yourself in skills that might otherwise be hard to learn from books. The fact is, if you can see it and hear someone talk about it, you are far more likely to learn and retain the material they are teaching you. With videos, you get a more comprehensive look at maneuvers you can use in-game and this is going to put you ahead of your competition. Most videos are fairly short, too, so you don’t have to worry about spending countless hours learning the way you would with a book. This is helpful because it means you can put what you learned into play right off the bat and see if a strategy works for you.

Forums – Again, the social aspects of poker should never be forgotten. The same way blog comment sections can be helpful due to the interaction of serious poker players, message boards offer a unique opportunity to learn from those who are usually happy to share with you. Get in there and make some friends, read some threads and ask plenty of questions. Most poker communities online these days are more than happy to have new people and the folks already established usually have a whole lot to share. Plus, your questions are likely to be answered a lot faster in this kind of environment. Take a look at the dizzypoker forum.

Making a Living Playing Online Poker – Make money with poker

After playing poker online for a while you may become interested in the idea of making a living from the game as a career option for you, but you also are very likely to encounter situations where you come across jokes. That’s right, a lot of people actually believe that no one earns a living from poker if it is all they do, but this is not actually true.

Yes, most of the people who do this have to work long hours, but a job is a job and if you intend to play for long hours and are serious about winning enough to survive on then that is exactly what you will do. The key here is to realize that this is not the route everyone would like to take. Some people are content to play poker and earn a side stream of cash while others want to be in for a serious career. You really can make it, but you will obviously need to study and get good before you decide to take a run at poker as a job – and yes, it will be a job so be sure you are okay with that before you decide to make the jump.

If you do go after this goal, there are two basic ways that people start themselves out and approach online poker careers. The first thing they may try to do is get involved in poker through other means such as designing graphics, doing reporting work or working as a sales affiliate for a poker company. This can be a good way to go and often gets players close to the industry they love. This is playing poker most of the time, but not really full time. The full time poker career aspect is that all the things a person does for money in this scenario revolve around online poker. If this sounds attractive to you, it is normally steady and can work well.

Another thing to keep in mind is the concept of getting sponsored. For some, this is as simple as showing off tournament wins or other track records and getting a company behind them. For others, it is a matter of asking friends and family to help them build a nice bankroll to start and then constantly earning back. The bigger bankroll means they can play for bigger pots and this will appeal to many, but you do need to think seriously before taking money from anyone. Make sure that you do have the skills you will need if you go this route because it will be about that and incredible discipline. You do not have to play high stakes games in this scenario, but that is usually the tendency.

Finally, there is the grind. This is what most fulltime poker players do. They will play several tables at the same time, generally in low to medium stakes. They will budget at least 40 hours per week and look to earn an average hourly wage by the end of the week. This is a very intensive approach, but it is also likely to be the steadiest in terms of earning a decent income. You may consider this and if you do, you will find that while it can get grueling, it is also a reliable way to earn yourself money in online poker.

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Keeping the Mood at a Poker Table Fun

Whether you play online poker or in a home game, it is important to try and keep that element of fun in the game. Far too frequently we see players get frustrated and go on rants when they are experiencing the ever dreaded bad beat or a similar fate in which the cards were not working in the direction they had been hoping for. It is easy to forget that this game is all about fun, but since there is money involved people will get a little bit touchy when they are not winning.

Of course, we all know the importance of a good mood in anything we do, but sometimes the other players at your table might not feel that they need to be in a good mood or they may just not know they are even exhibiting the signs of someone in a foul mood. Here are some ideas of what you could do to lift the mood when you notice one or more of the players at your table are starting to sour on the game that you are currently playing in:


When you notice someone seems to be having a lot of bad hands, one of the things you can do is wait until they do win and jump in with a compliment. Even an admission of their success, such as saying ‘nice hand’ is a lot better than no real support from around the table. You can show your maturity this way and it also might help the player or players who are getting upset at the negative outcomes start to see the positive outcomes they are getting, also. This is a quick fix that can work when things are just mildly bad at a table, but if that isn’t going to work then the next step could well do the trick.


Yes, comedy is important in poker because it is a social game, after all. What you might consider here before cracking jokes and irritating someone in a bad mood is making a few jokes at your own expense. This takes the focus off of the person who is getting upset and gives them something else to think about. It may not work, but it’s a good start and a better choice in a tense situation than just cracking a joke which may make it appear as if you are making light of what they feel is a very dire situation for their finances. Remember; use humor because it keeps people at the table. You need more money in the pot so this is a great solution to keep people comfortable.


If you are at a casino or a home game then you may consider spotting a player some chips or cash if they are having a bad time. It is better to flat out give them what you plan to give them rather than a loan because poker players are notorious about borrowing money. Only do this if you feel the player deserves it and will use it well. It may help them hold out long enough to turn things around, but even if it doesn’t the kindness may help. Playing in an online game? Just wait until that player has a showdown with you, raise appropriately and fold – even if you have a good hand. That is one way to let them take a bit more money so they can keep playing.

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Critical Thinking for Success in Poker – How to be successful?

If you are planning to rake in the chips at poker games, whether they are in the casinos, home game settings or online, you are going to have to learn to think critically. One of the most important skills that poker teaches us is to rely on solid, often mathematical logic. If you can do this, then you are going to see success at poker versus all of those people who tend to approach the game from an emotional stand point. A lot of people like to think they are not being superstitious or emotional about the game, but this is rarely true or far more people would be earning a lot more than they do when they play poker. Those who succeed are the people who can think things through not just from one hand to the next, but in choosing where and when they play, who they go up against and how they make their bets over the long haul.

Bankroll management is a real key to success and you need to be able to think about this seriously if you want to play long term. As simple as it might sound, deciding limits about how much you are going to spend and sticking with them with a religious zeal is going to shoot you miles ahead of most of those people playing poker right now. That is good because even the casinos need players who manage their bankrolls as much as it might seem that they would prefer those who spend without having any plan.

Those who manage their money are going to be in it for the long haul and that betters this game for everyone involved in it. Planning out limits is the absolute fulcrum of genuine success in online poker or any other form of the game. Texas Holdem is going to go your way sometimes and other times it is going to drain your cash in the blink of an eye. That is simply the way of the cards and no one has control over luck. What you do have control over is how you respond to luck – good or bad.

The key here is to think about what a decent level of spending is for you on a per week basis. If you have to go without playing for a while, so be it. Once you have a comfortable routine you’ll be able to get more serious about your game because you will want that weekly bankroll to last as long as possible and maybe even carry over to the next week.

Another area of critical thinking that is crucial is in deciding where you want to play poker. You may want to play tables with a high buy in, but there is no sense in doing this unless you can reasonably afford to take the loss. It is all too easy to raise when you see you have a pair of aces only to find out that the 3rd Ace on the flop ended up benefiting your opponent who put together a Full House to beat your Trips. Be careful and think things through. Play the poker games you can lose without worrying and you will win more often than you think.

Deciding When to Call in Online Poker

Out of all the tricky situations in poker, one of the toughest is deciding when to call. A check is easy enough, but when you call you actually have to put your chips on it, so it can be harder than other situations because you normally tend to call when you are not certain that you are still going to be in the game after that round. The call is therefore the main place where players are likely to end up losing more than they intended to. When you make a raise, you normally know you stand to lose some cash, but you have decided you have the cards to pull off a win. Not so with a call and you really do want to think about the factors that go into making the right call in poker regardless of the game at hand.when to call in poker

One of the first things you want to consider is whether or not your hand has valuable enough cards to warrant placing money on the hopes that the flop, turn or river is going to pay off for you. In reality, if you are not holding 10’s or higher prior to the flop it is most likely best to go ahead and fold unless you have a One Pair already. The odds of getting great cards on the flop that are going to help cards values 9 and lower are not high at all. Avoid the unneeded risk of waiting to see and go ahead and fold. When you fold, you show discipline and you will nearly always find out that the winning hand in the game would have beaten yours. If you put this into practice you will find that you are in a much better position to win with consistency.

Another point to consider, when it comes to making a call or not, is where you sit at the table. Players who are in late position are going to find that they may have a better advantage if they make a call because they will then get to see how the rest of their table reacts to their call and the community cards if those are dealt after the call. Of course, still consider your hand’s value, but if you feel you have a solid hand and you really do think it’s worth seeing the flop, turn or river, then making a call can be a smart decision in late or middle positions that will give you an idea of the character of the hands at the table right then.

One very smart time to make a call is when you are confident in your hand, you have seen at least the flop and you believe you stand a chance to win – but you don’t feel like raising the pot. This is the ideal time to call and it can get other players to raise the pot for you. This is where you want to be and remember, if you hold a truly good hand and you want the pot to raise, a call can be a slick way to convince others to stay in the game, build the pot and let you win more.

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What is a Blind in Poker?

To understand what a blind means, in terms of poker, the first thing you need to think about is the green felt table that all the games are played at. Everyone sits in a circle, arranged around the dealer in the middle. In a flop style poker game like the most popular poker variant, Texas Hold ’em, the blinds are 2 in number and they are located just to the left of the dealer. Closest to the dealer is the player who is stuck making the small blind, the next player over has the big blind. The big blind has to pay the minimum bet at the table and the small blind pays half of that. Blinds are forced bets, which means players don’t get to choose. The reason for this is that there are normally no ante costs for Omaha and Texas Hold ’em in a casino situation. The blinds are a way to try to get the players to keep going in for bigger pots to win back the cost of the blind.

Now, it should be noted that when the big blind is an odd number like 13 dollars, then the small blind is going to be either 7 dollars or 7 dollars, depending upon the casino one is playing at. The reason for this is because most casinos do not have a lot of 50 cent chips. It also helps, when it is rounded up, to ensure more money remains in play. To be sure, the whole concept of blinds was designed to favor the casino and cover the costs of the table. Players are going to call the blinds every so often and raise them, but the bottom line here is that the blinds make sure the casino gets some money for running the game no matter what else happens.

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