Poker Blog: Poker In The Pit

Poker player Nick Tyler  (w110505-3a)
Poker player Nick Tyler (w110505-3a)
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Welcome to the first ever edition of my weekly poker blog.

My name is Nick Tyler and I’ll be offering hints and tips on how to improve your game and answering any questions you may have on any variant of poker.

If you are unfamiliar with the game the concept is simple. Two players will post a compulsory bet known The Small Blind and The Big Blind, the small being half the big and the big being the minimum bet from all players.

Each player receives two cards known as hole cards. These are only seen by the player. A round of betting will follow and then three community cards are dealt face up for all players to see, known as the flop.

Another round of betting brings us to a fourth card being dealt face up called the turn.

A third round of betting is followed by the fifth and final community card being dealt known as The River Card.

This then leads to a final round of betting after which the winner is the player with the best five card hand out of your two hole cards and the five community cards on the table.

There are many different variants of the game but Texas Hold ‘Em which I have just described is by far the most popular.

Learn this and the other games will come with ease. Now onto your questions.

I’ve heard many people talk about position, what is this and how can I use it to my advantage? - R. Askew, Doncaster

This refers to your position in relation to the blinds. If you are sitting to the left of the big blind (Under The Gun) you are first to act and therefore have no information on any of your opponents.

If you are the big blind you have position at the table as you are last to act and therefore should have an idea to your opponents hands depending on their bets.

Position is paramount in poker and if used correctly should allow you to push opponents of winning hands if they show weakness in their bets.

What is Slow Rolling? - N. Phelps, Woodsetts

Slow rolling is a term used when calling with a hand that should be raised. Basically if you have pocket aces and simply call then you are slow rolling. This used to be highly frowned upon as bad etiquette but is very common in the modern game. Beware though that if you allow lesser hands into the pot cheaply, you can easily be outdrawn. My advice is raise with any premium hand and make your opponents pay to see your cards.

I am interested in playing online, what internet poker sites would you recommend? - C. Newton, Worksop

There are many small sites that you should be wary of, my advice is to stick to the big names you already know.

Pokerstars is the biggest online poker site and sponsors the World Series Of Poker (WSOP) and caters for any level of skill.

You can also enter a tournament for $1 and win a purse of $1000+ which are impressive odds and great for beginners to experience multi table tournaments (MTT’S).

Other big names I would recommend are Full Tilt, Poker Party and Victor Chandler. You will find many of the sites you use operate exactly the same as each other because they use the same software, just with a different makeup.

Sky Poker has always been a favourite for beginners as it offers cash games from just 40p buy in and new players also receive a £10 welcome bonus with no deposit to get you started.

Other than these talk to your friends, find out who has been a which sites and what their experience was like.

Until next week, good luck at the tables!

If you have any questions you would like answering you can email me directly at nick.tyler@live.co.uk