James Binns’ Profitable Poker

© Canonbury Publishing 2007

Contents

Welcome To Profitable Poker

Easy Start Guide

How To Play Tutorial

Poker Terms Made Simple

Playing Online

All About Tournaments

Binns’ Super Strategies

My Best Poker Sites

Conclusions …. And More About My Big Win !

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Welcome To Profitable Poker
Hello, my name is James Binns. Probably just like you, I’d never even thought about playing poker seriously until just a year or so ago. I’d always thought of it as a game played by small-time gangsters in smoke-filled rooms …. betting thousands of dodgy dollars at a time. I’d never thought it was something that I could play from home, actually become pretty good at …. and just as importantly make real money from too. How wrong I was! A year or so ago a childhood fascination with poker (prompted by a rather unconventional babysitter) led me to get interested in poker again. I quickly found that now it had moved onto the Internet it had become a respectable, well organised, easy-toplay game enjoyed by millions of ordinary people worldwide. Within a few weeks I had become a regular player. And I found I really enjoyed it too …. probably because I wasn’t held back by any experiences of old-style poker. I learned as I earned, developed my own simple techniques and quickly became a reasonably good player.

Can you imagine my surprise and delight when, after a few weeks, I beat hundreds of other players to win top prize in an online poker tournament? Not only that, but without ever leaving home or risking more than a few pounds, I pocketed the top prize of approximately £10,000! Yes, ten thousand pounds!

I’ll tell you exactly how I did it later. But first, I am going to explain to you how to play poker too …. even if you currently know nothing about the game. I am going to reveal my own playing methods …. powerful winning methods that are relatively straightforward. And I am going to show you how to do the same or even better playing Texas Hold’em poker online for yourself.

So What’s So Good About Online Poker ?

I know you might still be a little bit sceptical. So before I go any further I want to tell you why I think it’s well worth your time sitting down now and reading this manual right through to the very last page …..

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• • •

The basic rules and procedures are really very easy to pick up. Half an hour or so is all you need to grasp the basics. It’s perfect for beginners. You don’t need to have ever played poker online before to get started. It’s perfect for non-card game fans – and non-gamblers alike. You don’t need to like card games like bridge or blackjack, or like gambling on horses or dogs to play poker online. It is safe and secure. When you play online you can control your play and your stakes to avoid running up any big losses. It doesn’t matter whether you’re old or young, male or female, a top executive or a housewife/husband. It’s all totally private and discreet too. You can play whenever you like …. daytime, night time, in the office …. even in bed. Poker offers fantastic leverage. You can play with very low, nothing-to-lose stakes. But you can still win serious money. (I’ve proved it myself remember.) You can even make a good part or even full time profit from playing regularly if you want to. And lastly – don’t forget – it’s a lot of fun! What other ways are there to have fun, enjoy yourself and turn a profit too?

• • • • • •

So read on now and within a few short hours I’ll have you playing poker for profit just like me.

How I Got Started

Actually, I learnt the basics of poker when I was eight! My cousin Daniel, who used to babysit my brothers and sisters, taught us how to play 7 Card Stud poker for pennies. I wouldn’t recommend you to do the same of course, although it does show how simple the game is. Then I forgot all about it for a few years. It wasn’t until I was 19 I heard about a type of poker called Texas Hold’em. My older brother used to watch it on TV and would always say how exciting it was. He soon taught all the family how to play …. we even played our own tournaments at home, just for the fun and enjoyment of it.

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A little later, when I was searching the Internet, I discovered online poker. At first I thought it was only for fun or pin-money. I was amazed to discover that not only could you play real poker with real people online but that you could win money …. serious money. Quickly, I set up my own online poker account, learned the rules and started playing with some loose change. Within two and a half hours of discovering online poker I was playing it too! Unfortunately my first few weeks didn’t go very well. I ended up losing more than I could really afford, due to making lots of silly mistakes that many newcomers make. But I didn’t give up. Deep down I knew that, by gaining more experience and developing my skills, there was money to be made in online poker.

From £1 …. To £10,000 !

After a few months I had cleared my losses, had a complete rethink about my approach to poker and developed my own special strategy. This time, I started off by depositing just £100 into my online account and playing in low-risk £1+20p games. (The + part is the percentage the website takes for organising the tournament). I also moved away from cash games and into tournaments or ‘tourneys’ as they’re known. I won the very first six player tournament or ‘sixpack’ I entered! It cost me £5.50 to enter and first place was £22.50, making me a nice £17 profit! Best of all, it gave me a great sense of satisfaction, knowing that I could win a tournament against real players who had been playing for years. I continued to play these low limit single table tourneys for a couple of months, moving up to £10+£1 sixpacks and also multi-table tournaments. I quickly became a much better player, and had some good if modest cash wins. But I still wanted a big win. So I kept at it. Practising and playing regularly. Learning from my experiences and developing my skills.

Then it happened, on the first Sunday in May last year. After a very tense series of games I won a tournament – with two pairs aces and sixes ten high. And not only that …. I pocketed the top prize …. $18,500 to be exact !

As I said, later on I will tell you all about my big win. But in the rest of this manual I am going to explain to you how to do the same or better. I am going to show you how to play Texas Hold’em poker online. How to play it sensibly and professionally. And most important of all how to play it to win. Even if, like me, you’ve never played poker seriously in your life before.

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So let’s get started : Read on now, and find out how easy, enjoyable and rewarding I think Texas Hold’em poker can be ….

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Easy Start Guide
So What Is Poker ?

Poker is a very basic card game which combines skill and luck. There are many variations including Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo and – my personal favourite of course – Texas Hold’em. Each type of poker varies slightly but they all follow the same simple idea …. Players contribute toward a central pot which contains money or chips representing money. Players are dealt cards (a hand), some or all of which are hidden. Bets are made on the values or strength of the cards in your hand in several rounds of betting. After the betting rounds are over the player with the strongest hand – or the last player left standing after the others have given up (or folded) – wins! Like many card games, the aim of poker is to win all the money. As well as the element of luck poker tests your knowledge, skills and strategic abilities. Whether played in homes, casinos or on online gaming sites these basic rules and principles are the same. No matter which type of poker you’re playing it’s first vital that you understand the deck and that you know the rank of hands. So, first, try to memorise the following ….

The Deck Texas Hold’em poker uses an ordinary 52 deck of cards comprises four suits – aces, clubs, diamonds and hearts – each divided into 13 ranks – A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K. In poker the ace is the highest card and the 2 (or ‘deuce’) is the lowest. However, the ace can be used as a low card to form a straight 5-4-3-2-A.

The Rank Of Hands The rank of hands is the same in every type of poker. A poker hand consists of five cards. The player with the highest ranking hand is the winner. Simple! There are different names for many of the key poker hands, such as :

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Pair Two Pair

One pair is two cards of the same rank. A two pair is two cards of one rank and another two cards of another rank. Three cards of the same rank.

Three Of A Kind/ Set Four Of A Kind Full House/ Boat Flush/ Straight Flush/ Straight Royal Flush

Four cards of equal rank. A full house, or full boat, contains a set (three) of cards of one rank and a pair of another rank. Five cards of sequential rank. (Every possible straight will contain either a 5 or a 10.)

A royal flush is an ace high straight flush (A-K-Q-J-10) of the same suit. It is the best possible hand in poker.

How Texas Hold’em Poker Works

Texas Hold’em (or just Hold’em) is the easiest type of poker to learn. To get started you simply need to remember the following :

The Table Texas Hold’em is played round a (real or virtual) table. On the table there is a round white disk in front of one of the players. This disk is known as the dealer button. The dealer position is important because it dictates who must post the blinds (more about this shortly) and act first on each betting round. The dealer button rotates to the next player on the left with each hand.

The Dealing Players are dealt two cards, known as hole cards or pocket cards, that only they can see and use. Then, as the game progresses five cards known as community cards are dealt that everyone can see and use. Players can make their five card hand from both, one, or none of their hole cards combined with the community cards.

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The Rounds The game is divided into four rounds of betting, and the betting moves clockwise round the table. It starts from the position next to the dealer button.

The Blinds Before each game of Hold’em poker starts the two players to the left of the dealer post blinds, which is short for blind bets. They are called this because they are made before the players have seen any cards. The blinds ensure that there is some money in the pot to play for at the outset. The player to the left of the dealer button must post the small blind (sometimes known as SB) which is somewhere between one half and two thirds the minimum bet. The player to the left of the small blind is the big blind (or BB) and must post an amount equal to the minimum bet.

The Pre-Flop The game starts properly with a stage known as the pre-flop. Each player is dealt two cards from the deck, face down and the first betting round takes place. The first player to act is the player sitting to the left of the big blind. This player, who is known as ‘under the gun’ studies their hand and then proceeds as follows. They can : Call : Match the amount bet in the big blind, Raise : Increase the amount bet, or Fold : Surrender their cards and their stake in the game.

Some poker games are known as limit games – and others as no limit games. In limit games each bet or raise is equal to the minimum bet specified at the start of the game. For example, in a $1-$2 Limit Texas Hold’em game one player could bet $1 and another player could raise to $2. In this first betting round, if the pot is not raised, the big blind can raise or has the option to check or stay in the game without adding anything to the pot, since they have already posted the minimum bet. When the betting comes back to the player who made the big blind (the first full bet) that player can also check. If an opponent has raised, the big blind has three options – they must fold, call, or re-raise. 9

There are then three more stages to the game :

The Flop This betting round is known as the flop. Three community cards will be dealt face up in the middle of the table. (Remember, every player can use them to make their best poker hand.) Another round of betting follows. Again, players may bet, check, call, raise, or fold in turn. Once again, the bets are equal to the minimum bet for the game – which would be $1 in the example above.

The Turn A fourth community card, known as the turn card, is dealt face up on the table. The third round of betting follows. The bets on this round are equal to the maximum bet. For example, in a $1-$2 Limit Texas Hold’em game, one player could bet $2 and another player could raise to $4.

The River The fifth and final community card, known as the river card, is dealt – followed by the final round of betting. Again the bets on this round are equal to the maximum bet. The winner is the player who can make the best five card poker hand using their two hole cards and five community cards. (Remember players can use one, both, or none of their hole cards to make the best hand.)

The Showdown If there is more than one player left in the game there is a showdown where the players reveal their cards and the highest hand wins – according to the rank of hands. If two players share an identical hand the pot is split. If two players use the five community cards in the middle of the table they would split the pot regardless of what their two hole cards were.

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Playing the game really is as simple as that. Of course, the more you play the more you will be able to master all the details and use strategy. But you can start practising or betting now – I will show you exactly how very shortly.

Bet, Check, Call, Raise Or Fold ?

In total there are five main actions that a can player can make when playing poker : Bet, check, call, raise or fold. Each round continues until all players have called or folded to the original bet or raise. In Texas Hold’em there is generally a limit to either three or four raises per round among all the players. When the maximum number of raises is reached the poker betting is said to be capped. Here is what each action actually means : Bet : The bettor is the first person to commit money to the pot on any given betting round. Check : Checking is not betting anything. If no one has bet you have the option of checking when it is your turn. If all players check on the same poker betting round you still have a chance to win. If someone bets after you check you must either call, raise, or fold. Call : Calling is matching whatever someone has bet or raised. For example, if someone bet $1 you can then call $1. If someone raises to $2 you will have to pay $1 to call their raise. Raise : To raise, you must match whatever has been bet so far on the given betting round and then raise an additional amount. In limit Texas Hold’em, the amount of the raise would be whatever the poker betting amount is that round. Re-raising is simply the act of raising an opponent who has already raised. Fold : Folding is giving up on the hand as you do not want to match a bet or raise. You ‘throw away’ your cards and have no chance of winning the current hand.

You’ll notice that, so far, I haven’t mentioned money (or stakes) very much. I did this to kept things simple. But of course money is one of the best reasons for playing! At this point, don’t worry that you might need to bet your monthly wages to play Texas Hold’em (or lose your house like you see in the films)! Hold’em has carefully set down betting rules and rules on buy-ins and table stakes to keep everything manageable.

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Betting Rules

The betting rules vary slightly depending on the type of game. Here’s how :

Limit Poker In a game of limit poker the amount you are allowed to bet is, as the name suggests, limited. This limit is in the name of the poker game ($1/2, $20/40, etc.). So, for example, if you’re playing in a ‘$1/2 limit’ game, the minimum sizes of the bets would be : • • • • Pre-flop On the flop On the turn On the river : $1 : $1 : $2 : $2

Note that you can’t make a smaller bet than the big blind – and all raises must be done in increments of the betting amounts. For example, in a $1/2 limit game, limited to four times the first bet that was made, the raises will be as follows : • • • • Pre-flop On the flop On the turn On the river : $1, $2, $3 up to $4 : $1, $2, $3 up to $4 : $2, $4, $6 up to $8 : $2, $4, $6 up to $8

No Limit Poker In these games there is no limit to the maximum bet that you can make in any betting round but there is a minimum bet that is equivalent to the big blind. The minimum raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. For example, if the first player to act bets $10 then the second player must raise a minimum of $10 (total bet of $20). There is no maximum raise – you can raise as much as you like. But, if you wish to call a bet but don’t have the chips to cover it, you’ll be ‘all-in’. Then you can only win the portion of the pot covered by your chips.

Pot Limit Poker

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Pot limit is similar to no limit poker with a few key differences. Players can bet any amount from the size of the blind to the size of the pot. The pot includes the sum of all bets and raises made during that round. For example: The pot contains $100. On a subsequent round, one player bets $20, and two following players each call this $20 bet. The fourth player could call the $20 bet and then raise by a maximum of $180. This raise matches the $100 in the pot, the first $20 bet, the two additional $20 calls and the player’s own $20 call, which together add up to a $180 raise.

Buy-Ins And Table Stakes

The buy-in is the amount you need to join in a game. Most games have a minimum buyin and many have a maximum. In limit games the minimum is equal to 10 times the big blind. There is no maximum. For example, in a $5/10 limit game the big blind value is $5 so the minimum buy-in is equivalent to 10x5, or $50. In pot and no limit games the maximum amount corresponds to the name of the game. For example, in a $100 no limit game the maximum buy-in would be $100. The minimum amount is 20% of the maximum. For example, in a $100 no limit game the minimum buy-in would be $20. Most gaming sites have various rules on table stakes. For example : No chips may be added to a player’s stack during a hand. Players can only add to their stack between hands. While some tournaments offer rebuys and add-ons, these may only be done after a hand is over and before the next hand starts. Players may, however, add chips or rebuy and add-on during the play of a hand if they are not involved in that hand. Players cannot remove any chips from the table during play until they leave the game. This rule applies regardless of how many chips a player has brought to the table. The table stakes rules are designed to protect the game. Otherwise, if a player is allowed to put a few chips away every time they are ahead, the number of chips available for play will be reduced and the game will suffer.

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How To Play Tutorial
In the last section, I ran through the basic poker rules and procedures. Now I’m going to show you how an actual game runs with an easy-to-follow tutorial. The process I’m following here applies to the Party Poker gaming website. Different sites will work in slightly different ways but the principles are the same. Party Poker is one of my favourite sites – I’ll explain why a little later on. At this stage don’t worry if you don’t fully understand some of the terms, or would like more explanation. Later you’ll find a handy Poker Terms Made Simple section which explains everything in detail, and which you can refer to whenever you need it.

Here goes with the tutorial ….

Go to your chosen online poker site – more about finding and registering with these later – and you’ll arrive at the home page. Here you’ll find news and information about the site. Many sites offer various kinds of gaming and various games of poker. So click on ‘Poker’, ‘Play Now’ or similar and then ‘Texas Hold’em’, if there’s a choice.

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Now you’ll enter the lobby. Here you’ll see a complete list of all the poker games and tournaments available. This could range from just a handful to dozens depending on the site in question. In the list you’ll find the name of the individual game (some quite silly names are often used) plus the stakes, how many players the game accommodates in total and how many are already seated, ie. waiting to play. You might also find details of how long you’ll have to wait to play, how many hands an hour are being played and the average pot for that name.

To start, double click on your chosen game. For example, say you want to play $2/$4 Limit Texas Hold’em you’ll click on ‘$2/$4 Limit Texas’. Simple! Now your screen will refresh and you’ll see a mock up of a poker gaming table. Try not to be put off by the décor or the other players’ appearances. It’s totally irrelevant! Against each player you will see an information box that shows their name and the amount of money they have at the table. In the game we’re using in this tutorial there are 10 seats and Seat 1 is available. So click on ‘Seat 1’ – to ‘sit down’ and join the game.

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Next you need to buy in : For each game there is a minimum amount that you can buy in for. For a $2/$4 game, for example, this would be $20. Say you decide to buy in for $100. You type in $100 and click. (Note that you only have a short time to proceed here, so it’s as well to decide how much you’re going to buy in for first.) Now the attention turns to the two players seated to the left of the dealer button. These two players will place the blind bets to get the game started. In this case Player 7 or the small blind is $1 and Player 8 or the big blind is $2. One important point : A player who joins a game already in progress may decide to wait for the big blind position or post the equivalent to the big blind as soon as the next hand starts. Press the appropriate button to indicate this. The cards are now dealt. Each player gets two hole cards that only they can see. Let’s say, for example, that you get an A and a K. (This is a very good hand by the way!)

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As a result of this hand each player decides what to do next, ie. whether and what to bet. (I went through the options that are available to you earlier.) In this game, Player 9 folds or ‘throws away’ their hand. Player 10 calls $2. You’re next! Since you have a good hand you decide to go ahead and raise the bet. You raise the $2 bet by another $2 to $4. Since you had already posted the $2 you put in an additional $4.

Note : During the first two rounds of betting in limit games bets must increase by the lower limit – $2 in this case. So you click ‘Raise $2’. Now all the players decide what to do …. In this game, Players 2 to 6 fold – maybe because you raised! Player 7 (the small blind) calls $3 more to stay in the hand.

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Player 8 (the big blind) calls by adding $2 …. as does player 10. By this stage, most of the other players have folded, leaving only three players in the hand. Now the game moves on. The first three community cards are dealt. Remember that all the players can use these cards to make up their hand.

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Here’s the flop : The second round of betting begins. You notice that you have a pair of kings – which is a very good hand. Player 7 checks, which means he stays in the game. But he does not bet. As does Player 8. Player 10 bets $2. You can’t see it, but he obviously feels good about his hand! Remember that you have a strong hand – the highest pair. So you go ahead and raise $4.

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Player 7 and Player 8 both fold. Player 10 calls your raise. Now the next community card is dealt. This is known as the turn card. In this case it’s an 8. Next, the third round of betting begins. This one has an upper limit – in the case of this game $4. Player 10 bets $4. Since you have a strong hand you can raise again. So you click ‘Raise 8’. Player 10 decides to call your raise. Now its time to go to the river. This means that the final community card is dealt. In this case it’s a King.

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This time player 10 checks. So you can go ahead and bet $4 - click ‘Bet $4’. Player 10 calls. You show your hand – three of a kind – Kings. Player 10 shows his cards – Q, 9.

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Congratulations ….. you’ve won this game!

Is it all starting to come together now? I hope so. But don’t worry if it isn’t and you need a little more time to pick things up. Just go back to the beginning of the ‘Easy Start Guide’ and read it a couple more times. And if you’ve picked up the basics quickly and want to know more it’s all coming shortly. Very soon I’m going to let you in on some of my own personal winning strategies!

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Poker Terms Made Simple
One of the things that makes playing poker seem difficult is the language that is used. But once you know what the terms mean it becomes much simpler. In this section, I’ll explain exactly what they all mean. Over time, try and memorise as many of these as you can. But don’t worry if it takes you a while to learn them – you can still begin playing anyway.

A Add-On The last opportunity to buy additional chips in a tournament when re-buys are finished. A full house with three aces and any pair. A five card hand that contains one ace, with no straight or flush or a hand with no pair in it. A hand that contains two pairs, one of which is a pair of aces. An intentional tell intended to give false information about a hand. Checking/betting/raising. A game in which players are playing a lot of pots is considered an ‘action’ game. Any player who is still in the hand. Adjective to describe a player who raises and re-raises and rarely calls. The name of an ace and Jack in the pocket, suited or otherwise. When you have committed all your chips into the pot.

Aces Full Ace High

Aces Up Act Action

Active Player Aggressive

Ajax All In American Airlines

Two aces.

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Angle

An action that isn’t against the rules, but still incorporates unfair tactics. Using unfair tactics. Money placed in the pot before the hand is started.

Angle Shooting Ante B Bad Beat

When you are a strong favourite to win the hand but end up losing. Making a hand other than the one intended. Example: Having J-10 of clubs with a flop of A of clubs, 5 of clubs, 6 of spades. The turn and river are K & Q of hearts. You made a straight instead of the intended (and more likely) flush. A re-raise from a player who originally called. The amount of money you have. A draw and/or catch to an inside straight. To place chips into the pot. The odds you get as a result of evaluating the number of callers to a raise. Betting the amount of your pot. A straight : A-2-3-4-5. A compulsory bet which is always double the size of the Small Blind forced upon the player second left from the dealer before he/she has received their cards, also known as pocket cards. A hand that contains an A-K.

Backdoor

Backraise Bankroll Belly Buster Bet Bet Odds

Bet the Pot Bicycle Big Blind

Big Slick

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Blank Blinds

A useless card. The bet(s) that must be made by the two players sitting directly to the dealer’s left which will start the action on the first round of betting. The blinds are posted before any cards are dealt. (A ‘blind bet’ is one that is made without looking at your cards.) When a player raises without looking at his hand. To make other players think that you have a better hand than you do by betting or raising. The cards that are dealt face-up in a poker game for all players to see. In Hold’em five cards are dealt face-up in the centre of the table. A full house. When a player uses the lowest card on the flop to make a pair with one of his own cards. An ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10). To start the betting on the first round. A player who antes himself broke. A pair of aces. To raise. Also known as the dealer button, it is a small round disk that is moved from player to player in a clockwise direction following each hand, to theoretically indicate the dealer of each hand. The minimum amount of money required to sit down at the table and play.

Blind Raise Bluff

Boardcards

Boat Bottom Pair

Broadway Bring It In Broomcorn’s Uncle Bullets Bump Button

Buy In

C Call Call Cold When you match a players bet that has gone before you. To call both a bet and raise(s).

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Calling Station

A passive and loose player who doesn’t raise much but calls too often. To take the last of the maximum amount of raises allowed per round of betting. The room or space in a casino where poker is played. A player’s last chips. To leave a game and exchange your chips for money. If a player checks it means there is no bet or raise placed. You can only check before the flop if you are in the big blind. When a player first checks and then raises in a betting round. To return the blinds to the players who posted them and move on to the next hand if no other players call. It also means to ‘split the pot’.

Cap

Cardroom Case Chips Cash Out Check

Check Raise Chop

D Dead Man’s Hand Two pair – Aces and Eights. (According to poker legend the hand Wild Bill Hickock was holding when Jack McCall shot him in the back!) The dealer handles the cards, gives out the pots, and monitors the game. A button shaped object with the letter ‘D’ or the word ‘dealer’ etched onto it that is placed next to the person who is dealing and moves one seat to the left after each hand. Mainly known as ‘The Button’. Being the last to act in a betting round. On the button. Hands that are OK but tend to lose against similar nonstraight/flush hands. Example : A2 is dominated because against other hands with an ace, it loses or draws without improvement. Hand that are not only good but which have lots of room for improvement.

Dealer

Dealer Button

Dealer’s Position Dominated Hands

Dominating Hands

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Door Card

This is the first exposed card, or ‘up’ card, in a player’s hand in Stud games. Hole cards, or cards that are dealt face down. A Hold’em hand consisting of a 10-2. (Brunson won the World Championship of Poker two years in a row with these cards.) Playing a hand to improve. A drawing hand that will lose even if it improves. A hand that needs improvement to win. Usually to a straight or flush. Fold. A pair of Twos. A pair of Twos.

Down Card Doyle Brunson

Drawing Drawing Dead Drawing Hand

Drop Ducks Deuces E Early Position

Position on a round of betting, where the player must act before most of the other players at the table. (It’s considered the two positions located to the left of the Blinds.)

F Fifth Street Also known as the river card. In flop games, this represents the fifth community card on the table and the final round of betting. A poor player Calling a bet without raising. The first three community cards that are turned over together when the first round of betting is over. Poker games like Hold’em (and Omaha) that are played using community cards that are dealt face up in the centre of the table. Any five cards of the same suit.

Fish Flat Call Flop (The)

Flop Games

Flush

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Flush Draw

When a player has four cards in his hand, all of the same suit and is hoping to draw a fifth to make a flush. When a player throws his hand away and is no longer involved in the hand. A compulsory bet that starts the action on the first round of a poker hand. Four cards of the same number or face value (‘quads’). In flop games, it is the fourth community card dealt, also known as the ‘turn’, and represents the third round of betting. The card you get as result of semi-bluffing from late or last position so that all the players check to you. A tournament where you can not re-buy or add-on if you loose your chips. Any three cards of the same number or face value, plus any other two cards of the same number or face value.

Fold

Forced Bet

Four of a Kind Fourth Street

Free Card

Freeze Out

Full House

G Grinding Playing in a style with minimal risk and modest gains over a long period of time. To draw to and/or hit an inside straight.

Gut Shot H Hand Heads Up Hearts High Card

A player’s best five cards. A situation where only two players are involved with the game. One of the four suits in cards.. To decide the first dealer in the flop tournaments each user is dealt a single card and the player with the highest card (based on the card and the suit order – of spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs) becomes the theoretical dealer. A game where the amounts wagered are high.

High Limit

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Hi/Lo Hole Cards

Split pot games. The two cards each player is dealt face down which belong only to them. The casino or cardroom that is hosting the poker game.

House I Implied Odds

The odds you calculate, considering the assumed result of betting for the remainder of the hand. Four cards that require another between the top and the bottom card to complete a straight. Players who obtain this card make an Inside Straight.

Inside Straight

J Jackpot/ Jackpot Poker A prize fund given to a player who meets a set of predetermined requirements. For example, some casinos will give a jackpot to someone who gets four-of-a-kind or higher and loses. A form of poker in which a player needs to have at least a pair of jacks to open the betting.

Jacks Or Better

K Keep Them Honest Key Card Key Hand To call at the end of a hand to prevent someone from bluffing. A card that gives you a big draw or makes your hand. In a session or tournament, the one hand that ends up being a turning point for the player, either for better or worse. The highest unpaired side card in a player’s hand. Raise. A method to stimulate action. It is a forced bet by someone who has just won a pot(s). Check. A hand that contains a K-J.

Kicker Kick It Kill Pot

Knock Kojak

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L Ladies Late Position Two Queens. Position on a round of betting where the player must act after most of the other players have acted (usually considered to be the two positions next to the right of the button).

Lay Down Your Hand Lead Limit Poker

Folding. The first player to bet into a pot. A game, as in Texas Hold’em, that has fixed minimum and maximum betting intervals, along with a prescribed number of raises. The first player who calls a bet. To enter the pot by calling rather than raising. The most common understanding of limping in, is when the first person to speak only calls the Big Blind. An instance where the player puts in a dark bet and is allowed to raise, even if no other player raises. It’s also known as an ‘option’. A hand that could still win the pot. An inexperienced player who plays a lot of hands. Making a hand despite having few outs and/or poor odds. When a player calls the final bet before the showdown. A loose player plays a lot hands. A game where the amounts wagered are small.

Limper Limp In

Live Blind

Live Hand Live One Long Shot Look Loose Low Limit M Main Pot

The centre pot. Any other bets are placed in a side pot(s) and are contested among the remaining players. This occurs when a player goes all-in.

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Make Maniac Maverick Meet Middle Pair

To make the deck is to shuffle the deck. A very aggressive player who plays a lot of hands. The name of a Queen and Jack in the pocket. Suited or otherwise. To meet is to call. In flop games, when a player makes a pair with one of his/her down cards and the middle card on the flop. Somewhere between the early and late positions on a round of betting (the fifth, sixth and seventh seats to the left of the button). Where a player’s cards go once he/she has folded. The least amount of money with which you can start a game. A very big hand. In a tournament, a player who begins to accumulate chips after having a small stack is considered to be a monster.

Middle Position

Muck (The) Minimum Buy In Monster

N No Limit A game where players can bet as much as they like (as long as they have it in front of them) on any round of betting. The best possible hand at any point of the game. A hand that cannot be beaten.

Nuts

O Odds The probability of making a hand against the probability of not making a hand. Cards of a different suit.

Offsuit

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On The Button Open

Being the last player to act in a betting round. Dealer’s position. To make the first bet.

Open Ended Straight Four consecutive cards where one additional (consecutive) card is needed at either end to make a straight. Open Card Open Pair Option A card that is dealt face up. A pair that has been dealt face-up. An option is a live blind made before the cards are dealt. If no one raises, the option player may raise the pot. A disc placed in front of a player who wishes to sit out a hand(s), but stay in the game. The number of cards left in the pack that can win you the hand if they are turned over as one of the community cards. A pocket pair higher than any of the cards on the board.

Out Button

Outs

Overpair P Paints Pair Pass Pay Off

Face or picture cards (Jack, Queen and King). Two cards of the same face or number value. To fold. To call on the final round of betting when you may or may not think you have the best hand. Face cards (Jack, Queen and King). Also known as Paints. To raise or re-raise another player’s bet. In flop games, when your best five card hand is all five of the community cards. The down cards or hole cards. The two cards dealt to you at the beginning of a Hold’em hand that no one else can see.

Picture Cards Play Back Playing the Board

Pocket Pocket Cards

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Pocket Rockets Position

A pair of aces in the pocket or hole. Where a player is seated in relation to the dealer, therefore establishing that player’s place in the betting order. If you miss the blind, then you must ‘post’ – add as many chips as were in the blind itself. The money or chips in the centre of a table that players try to win. This is a game where the maximum bet can equal the pot. The ratio of the amount of money in the pot to the amount it will cost you to call the current bet. A person hired by the cardroom to work as a player. To fold a hand.

Post

Pot Pot Limit Pot Odds

Prop Put Down Q Quads Qualifier

Four of a kind. In Hi/Lo games, it is a requirement the low hand must meet to win the pot.

R Rainbow Flop Raise When the three cards on the flop are all different suits. When a player puts in at least twice the amount of a bet that has been placed in that round of betting. Chips taken from the pot by the cardroom for compensation for hosting the game. The value of each card and hand. When a player knocks on the table indicating that he/she has checked. The illegal action of taking money off the table and putting it somewhere else. Analysis of a player based on how they play, mannerisms, and tells.

Rake

Rank Rap

Ratholing

Reading

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Rebuy

The amount of money a player pays to add a fixed number of chips to his/her stack in a tournament. When a player raises someone who has already raised. A ‘live’ game that is not a tournament. The fifth and final community card that is turned over when the third round of betting is over, also known as Fifth Street. A passive, tight player. This is when players have the opportunity to bet, check or raise. Each round of betting ends when the last bet or raise has been called. This is an ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10) of the same suit. It is the best possible hand in poker. The act of playing with more money than is typical or reasonable. A hand made using both the last two cards dealt A winning streak.

Re-Raise Ring Game River (The)

Rock Round of Betting

Royal Flush

Run Runner, Runner Rush S Sandbagging

Holding back and calling despite the fact that you have a very good hand, usually to disguise strength, provoke bluffs, and to checkraise. A mini-tournament to gain an entry into a larger tournament. To win the entire pot. A waiting list. A player can put his or her name on this list if there are no seats at the table at which they wish to play. In flop games, when you pair the second highest card on the board. To call. Betting with a mediocre or drawing hand.

Satellite Scoop Seating List

Second Pair See Semi-bluff

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Set 7 Card Stud

Having a pocket pair that matches one of the cards on the board. Another well-known poker game in which players get three down cards and four up cards. You play the best five of those seven cards. Shills are players paid to start and maintain poker games. Buying chips after your initial purchase. Usually the minimum for a short buy-in is less than the initial buy-in. A ‘short-handed’ game has few players. When there are two or more players left in the pot after all betting rounds are over and bets have been called the players reveal their cards and the best hand wins. A separate pot which is contested by remaining active players when one or more players are all-in. To play a strong hand weakly so more players will stay in the pot A compulsory bet forced upon the player to the immediate left of the dealer before he/she has received their cards. A seat or game that is favourable because of the lack of skill at the table. A fairly tight player (and reasonably good). A pair of fives. Tie. A pile of chips. When a player remains in the game by calling rather than raising. A raise by someone in late position in an attempt to reduce the number of players and/or steal the pot. Re-raising to make a player(s) call two bets instead of one.

Shills Short Buying

Short-handed Showdown

Side Pot

Slow Play Small Blind

Soft Seat

Solid Speed Limit Split Stack Stay Steal Raise

Steamrolling

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Steel Wheel Straddle

A five high straight (A-2-3-4-5) of the same suit. A straddle is a Blind bet which is usually double the size of the Big Blind (and one that a player may raise when the action gets to them). Five consecutive cards of any suit. Five consecutive cards of the same suit. The limits put on the blinds/ante, bets, and raises in any particular game. Types of poker where players get both down cards and up cards. A player who is losing in a game. A characteristic of a playing card. The card being either of clubs, diamonds, hearts, or spades. Sequential hole cards of the same suit

Straight Straight Flush Structure

Stud Games Stuck Suit

Suited Connectors T Tell Texas Hold’em Thirty Miles Three of a Kind Tight

An action that gives others clues about the cards you are holding. The most popular form of poker! Three tens. Three cards of the same number or face value (‘trips’). Either a player who doesn’t play many pots, or a game that doesn’t have much action. Paying poorly and recklessly due to frustration from having lost. Tournament of Champions. In flop games, when the player pairs one of his down cards with the highest card on board. When your pocket cards match the highest two cards on the board.

Tilt TOC Top Pair

Top Two Pair

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Treys Trips Turn (The)

A pair of threes. Three of a kind. The fourth community card that is turned over when the second round of betting is over, Also known as Fourth Street. A hand consisting of two different pairs.

Two Pair U Underpair Under the Gun Up Card W Walking Sticks Wild Card Worst Hand WSOP

A pocket pair of lower value than the lowest card on the board. The playing position to the immediate let of the Big Blind. A card that is dealt face-up.

A pair of sevens. A card that can be played as any value. A losing hand. World Series of Poker – a major poker tournament.

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Playing Online
In this part of the manual I’m going to look at finding, choosing and using Internet gaming sites – the websites where you can play Texas Hold’em poker, as well as lots of other games if you wish.

What You Need To Know About Internet Gaming

The first Internet gaming sites opened up in 1995 …. when most people hadn’t even heard of the Internet and very few could connect to it. Gaming is now one of the biggest moneyspinners on the web. It’s estimated that some Internet casinos and gaming sites make over £1 million per week! Firstly, a quick warning : Internet gaming sites operate from many different countries. Lots of them are completely unregulated by law. So you have to choose carefully and ensure you play only with reputable gaming sites who run their games properly and will always pay out. The risk of playing with a dishonest site is that the games might be rigged, winnings take months to be paid out or are never paid at all. Look for sites that are licensed in well-known countries and which have set-down fairdealing policies. Look in the small print of the site for information on this. Are the amounts the site takes out of the game (their rake) fair and competitive? Look at how different sites compare here. Look at the shuffle : Does the site use reputable number generator software to ensure cards are dealt in as random a way as possible?

Finding And Choosing Gaming Sites

There are plenty of Internet poker sites to choose from, and more are being added all the time. You’ll see lots advertised, and you can also find some with a simple web search. Sites vary in the way they work (although the basic rules of Texas Hold’em are exactly the same). Different players have different favourite sites. So a good idea is to try a few and then focus on the one you feel more comfortable with. There is, of course, nothing to stop you playing on several poker sites at the same time – as long as you keep track of your success rates and incomings/outgoings for each. Some sites have a customer-led deposit limit and self-exclusion tools, so you can control what you lay out.

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Later in the manual you’ll find a run-down of my favourite online poker sites.

Setting Up And Getting Started

With most online gaming sites you need to download the gaming software, open an account and deposit some stake money in it before you can play.

Downloading The Gaming Software Most sites have minimum system requirements, but an average PC should easily exceed them. These are typically Windows 98/NT/ME/2000 or XP; a Pentium system with at least 64MB of RAM; a sound card for audio; a screen resolution of at least 800x600 pixels with minimum of 256 colours and Internet Explorer To download just follow the instructions on the site. Here’s a typical installation : 1. Go to your chosen site. 2. Click download, then ….

3. Wait for the software to install.

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4. Once installation is complete, the software should open automatically and ask you to log in. You can then start to play right away!

Opening An Account And Depositing Money

Most Internet poker sites play in US dollars, but some offer other currencies like UK pounds and euros too. I think it is easier to play in pounds if you can, so the game feels more ‘real’. Most sites allow you to open an account in one currency but play in another – but make sure the exchange rate is reasonable. Most sites offer various deposit options including credit cards and debit cards, personal cheques, bank drafts, money orders, wire transfer, Western Union or online payment services such as PayPal and others. Once money is deposited you simply play from your account, with losses deducted and winnings added. You can then withdraw your winnings from your account in the same way they were credited.

Practising And Playing For Free

Generally, online poker plays in exactly the same as ‘real life’. But before you play for real, all good casinos and gaming sites should allow you to play practice versions for free, to develop your skills. With practice versions you don’t stake actual money – but of course you don’t win or lose it either! When you register with a particular poker site look for the ‘trial version’ or ‘play money’ version. Check very carefully as they often look almost identical to the real money poker rooms! Trial and practice versions work exactly the same way as for real versions. However, you need to be aware that with some sites the odds of winning may be changed so that they are slightly better for trial versions. So don’t get too excited if you win a lot with the play money games. When you start real you might find it slightly harder to win and that you need to work on your strategy more.

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All About Tournaments
Now here’s where things get a little more interesting. In this section I will explain about the different types of poker tournaments you can get involved in. Why are tournaments so interesting? Well tournaments – or ‘tourneys’ as they’re known – rather than single table cash games can be a very good way to maximise your profits from poker. With tournaments, especially multi-table ones, you generally receive a much better return on your money and a much bigger first place prize. They’re also very, very exciting! Whether you’re playing for a few thousand or a few hundred thousand, there’s nothing quite like the feeling when you outplay everyone else on the table and walk away with the cash! I got involved in tournaments after about a month of first starting to play online. I started off by depositing £100 into my online account and played single table tournaments. These ranged from a £1+20p all the way up to £500+£30 (remember the + part is the percentage the site takes for organising the tournament). I played the £5+50p single table tournaments where you can choose between a ten player tournament and a six player tournament, also known as a ‘sixpack’. I also tend to prefer sites that host guaranteed tourneys. This means they guarantee a minimum prize pot even if there are not enough entrants to make that amount. For instance, one site I use does a daily £10,000 guaranteed tourney which has a £25+£2 buy in. So for the prize pool to reach £10,000 there would need to be 400 entrants. But if there are less than 400 the prize pool will still be £10,000 because it is guaranteed. In simple terms a poker tournament is a poker game in which each player starts with an equal amount of chips. All of the players in the tournament continue to play until one player has amassed all of the chips. Each tournament has a buy-in as well as a fee. The buy-in is put into the prize pool. The fee is kept by the casino or gaming room. The size of the prize pool depends on the number of people playing in the tournament and will be paid out in its entirety to the winners. There are two main types of tournaments, scheduled and ‘sit and go’ :

Scheduled Tournaments These tournaments have a fixed starting time announced in advance. If you want to play in these you must sign up before registration closes. The time will be announced in the site’s lobby.

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Sit And Go Tournaments These tournaments are available at all times. They start as soon as the necessary number of players are seated at the table. Sit and go tournaments are offered in a variety of games with buy-ins typically starting as low as $5. Players will be blinded/anted off if they are not present. All seats are assigned at random. Now a little more about multi-table tournaments and shootouts :

Multi-Table Tournaments Multi-table tournaments are probably the most popular tournaments in the world today. They challenge your poker skills and give you the chance to win big prizes with small wagers. Each multi-table tournament usually has a buy-in as well as an entry fee which can be up to $50. The buy-in is added to the prize pool, while the entry fee is kept by the gaming room. The prize pool is the product of the buy-in and the number of players in a tournament. These tournaments feature many players with several tables starting off simultaneously. As players are eliminated from the tournament, tables are combined, reducing the number until there is only one table left. Shootout Tournaments

Shootout tournaments are offered by many gaming rooms and are an exciting variation to the standard multi-table tournament format. Generally they have more payouts, shorter tournaments and are more fun …. but also more tense! A shootout tournament can be one, two, three or four rounds depending on the number of players that enter.

Each different gaming room has their own rules about how tournaments progress, the blind structure and the payout structure so do check these out before you play.

Typically in rounds 1, 2 and 3 tables will not be collapsed and players only play against the other players at their table. Players advance if they are one of the three remaining players at their table. Players that advance are paid a portion of the prize pool for that round. Players will advance with the chips that they have won.

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In round 4 the round is played out in a standard multi-table tournament format. Payouts in round 4 follow a standard multi-table payoff schedule based on the number of players that enter the round and the remaining prize pool

Here’s an example of how a Shootout tournament works: Number of Entrants : 110 Round 1 : This round will begin with 11 tables, 10 players per table. The round will finish when there are three players left at each table. There will be 11 first place finishers, 11 second place finishers and 11 third place finishers – all of whom will be paid and will advance to Round 2. Round 2 : This round begins with four tables, which will consist of three tables with eight players per table and one table with nine players. The round will finish when there are three players left at each table. There will be four first place finishers, four second place finishers and four third place finishers – all of which will get paid and advance to Round 3. Round 3 : This round begins with two tables, six players per table. The round will finish when there are three players left at each table. There will be two first place finishers, two second place finishers and two third place finishers – all of which will get paid and advance to Round 4. Round 4 : This round begins with one table seating six players. The round and tournament will finish when only one player with chips remains. Round 4 payouts are based on a standard multi-table format (if less than 10 players begin Round 4 then the payouts will be 50% to first, 30% to second place and 20% to third place). In this example the first, second and third place finishers from Round 4 will be paid.

To start a tournament each player is dealt a card. The player with the highest card starts the game as the dealer. Each player’s goal is to amass as many chips as possible. Players who lose all of their chips are out of the tournament. As the tournament continues, more and more players are eliminated until only one remains …. the grand winner!

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Games proceed in a tournament exactly the same as in a regular game. However, you need to adopt a slightly different strategy to win in a multi-table tourney. You need to play a lot tighter, be a lot more patient and you need to keep your concentration for longer periods of time. It took me a while to discover and adapt to this different method of play but with time and a bit of money I became a more competent multi-table player.

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Binns’ Super Strategies
The best way to make money from Internet poker is the same as making money from any other kind of gambling : Have a strategy and stick to it. Amateur poker players make some fatal strategic flaws. They gamble for fun, think they know better than the house, make rash decisions, rely on luck – and take big risks hoping for a ‘big win’. This is why they lose most of the time. Professional players are different : They play to win, recognise gambling is edged in favour of the house and work with that, use logic not luck and take only small, calculated risks. This applies to both ‘real’ and online poker of course. But one of the reasons Internet poker is so attractive is that it is easier for the small, inexperienced gambler with limited resources to stick to a strategy. When playing from the comfort of home it is much easier to choose the most favourable games, plan your game and make sensible decisions. And above all, to avoid taking the big risks – common in real-life casinos – and which usually mean you lose. In this section, I’m going to tell you about some of more of my own personal favourite strategies. These are strategies that I use every day, have proven to work, and which I know you’ll find invaluable and profitable too. (Please keep them to yourself, and don’t reveal them to anyone else!)

Keep Your Thoughts To Yourself

This is the simplest strategy you can deploy – but one which is very, very effective! Most gaming sites allow you to chat with other players but, in my experience getting involved in player chat, is definitely not advised. If a player takes exception to how you play or to you winning chips off them, some players may start moaning or even insulting you. If you get involved in slanging matches the game can become a personal vendetta. When it becomes personal you’re no longer playing with your head – and that is not the way to win. Luckily you can turn off the player chat so it doesn’t have to become an issue. I strongly suggest turning it off!

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Know Your Enemy

Every poker website that I’ve played on has a facility where you can make notes on players. It is a good idea to take advantage of this facility as it can prove very beneficial. For instance, if a player is loose and erratic you should make notes of how they play – so when you play them in the future you can adjust your play for that specific player and earn off them. Or, on the other hand, if they are a good tight player makes notes you will know not to get involved with them unless you have a monster …. a very big hand.

Play Only When The Rake Is Sensible

The rake, remember, is what the gaming site charges for running the game. In my opinion the correct rake to be charged for a sit and go tourney is considered to be 10% of the buy in fee. In the case of a £5 sit and go this would be £0.50. However, some sites charge you £1 for a £5 sit and go and I think this is extortionate. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot but consider this : You are just starting out at online poker and have made a deposit of £100. So you decide to play quite a lot of £5 sit and go tourneys with a rake fee of £1 over the course of say one month. After you have played a hundred of these tourneys with the extra £0.50 that seemed insignificant it would add up to £50! That’s enough nine more sit & go tourneys! The £0.50 add up over a period of time – so make sure that you choose a site that has the correct rake of 10% for a £5 sit and go.

Managing Your Bankroll

I believe that the best strategy for beginner is always to play low stake sit and go tournaments. I’d say that a £5+.50 sit and go is ideal. And in my opinion your bankroll should be large enough to fund at least fifteen sit and go tourneys. So, if you were playing the £5+.50 tourneys then that would be at least £82.50 – and £100 would be perfect. The reason I believe you need a big enough bankroll to fund at least fifteen sit and go tourneys is because it doesn’t matter how good a player is. They will go on a loosing streak. Everyone does it is inevitable in poker. So if you want to start out the right way to earn money at poker, make sure you have a big enough bankroll to absorb the losses.

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Handling Flush Draws

If you have two suited cards pre flop, say ace-six of hearts, and the flop comes K (hearts), 9 (hearts), 2 (spades) you are 35% to hit your flush with two cards to come. In these cases, many, many players call an ‘all in’ without hesitation. But, do you really want to commit all your chips when you have a 65% chance of loosing? I don’t think so! A lot of players don’t realise the true percentages of hitting a flush draw are that much against. However you shouldn’t fold a flush draw whenever you get one. I know I said it’s wrong to commit all your chips, but it’s not wrong to chase the flush to an extent. It’s fine to call small bets and medium size bets and, sometimes, if your getting the right pot odds even big bets. If you have a pair to go along with your flush draw it changes things however. Say, for instance, you have ace-six of hearts and the flop comes 6(spades), 2(hearts), ten(hearts) you’re still 35% certain to hit your flush. But you can also make two pair or trips to increase the value of your hand if needs be, depending on what your opponent has.

Handling Straight Draws

If you hit an inside straight draw on the flop I would not go chasing it. The odds of you making your straight are 16.5% with two cards to come and 9% with one card to come. If the other players check then, obviously, try and hit your straight by getting a free card. But calling big bets or medium bets is a bad move as the odds are not at all in your favour. If you hit an open ended straight draw on the flop you are 31.5% to make your straight with two cards to come and 17.5% with one card to come. Like a flush draw (but even more so) you shouldn’t commit all your chips on an open ended draw as, again, the percentages are against you. You can call small bets and medium sized bets and, again, if you’re getting the right pot odds even big bets. However, I believe its wrong in some cases to call any bets if you are chasing an open ended draw. For example, if your hole cards are 10 of clubs, J of spades and the flop comes : Q-9-2, all of hearts, I think it would be foolish to chase the straight. This is because the King of hearts and the 8 of hearts are no good to you, as there would be four hearts on the board and any player in the hand could easily have a heart. But even if you hit a King or an 8 (that isn’t a heart) on the turn, a heart could come on the river then your straight would be worthless.

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Handling Open Ended Or Gutshot Straight And Flush Draws

This is a situation when, for example, your hole cards are Queen of spades, ten of spades and the flop comes : Jack of spades, 9 of spades and 2 of hearts. The likelihood of you hitting your straight or your flush are 54% – and in most cases you would be the favourite to win the hand. I would almost always re-raise if someone bets and even call an all-in in most situations. As this time the odds are in your favour, and in poker it’s never wrong to put your money in the pot when you’re the favourite to win the hand.

How To Play Big Hands Pre-Flop

In Texas Hold’em the hole cards that are normally regarded as the really big hands are pocket aces, pocket Kings, ace King and maybe pocket Queens. A lot of players are tempted to slow play pocket aces and Kings by not raising before the flop. This is because players wait all game for aces or Kings and when they get them they understandably want to get paid out. But I don’t advise this play. I raise 99% of the time with aces or Kings, usually three or four times the size of the big blind. The main reason being that you are a big favourite to win a pot with A-A or K-K against one person, maybe two, but not 3, 4, 5 or 6 players. If you don’t raise pre flop you’re letting players see the flop cheaply. They will have all sorts of hands and your pocket aces or Kings could get easily cracked. So, for example, why let a measly SixFive see the flop cheaply and let them hit a straight or two pair – then loose all your chips just because you wanted to get paid out. If you have pocket Kings and you raise and the flop produces an ace I would be very cautious! I’m not saying you should fold every time an ace comes up. Because your opponents could easily call your raise with Queen-King or a smaller pocket pair than Kings. Just be careful! Maybe put in a smallish bet if you’re first to act and see how the player/players react. If they just call they could still have an ace, so continue to play cautiously if they re-raise or come out betting big. I know it’s hard as pocket Kings are a rare commodity, but I’d have to say ‘chuck them in the muck’! I would play pocket Queens pretty much the same way if an ace or a King comes up on the flop. I raise with ace-King 99% of the time. I would usually bet triple or quadruple the size of the big blind. I would almost always bet if I hit an ace or a King on the flop, especially if there is a straight or a flush draw on the flop – as one pair is not strong enough to slow play.

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Some players get too attached to ace-King and, if they miss and hit nothing on the flop, they find it hard to lay down and quite often call medium and even big bets. I don’t understand this mentality. I know ace-King is a very nice hand pre flop, but if you don’t hit anything on the flop all you have is ace King high. So it’s not a good idea to call big bets. Because even if you do hit an ace or King it might not be enough, and could only end up in getting you into serious trouble!

Slow Playing Hands

A lot of players slow play when they hit trips and this is OK – sometimes. But on certain flops and in certain situations you should bet at the pot. Say, for example, you have pocket Nines and the flop is 10- 9-J I would definitely not slow play here, because a Queen, King, 8, or a 7 would ruin your hand. So I would make a large bet on the flop and make any player fishing for a straight pay big for it. I know that if a player did hit their straight the board could pair up and it would give you a full house – but prevention is always better than cure! The odds are against you especially with one card to come, so make sure you flush out the fishes before you become the one fishing! I would also come out betting if there was a flush draw on the flop. Maybe not such a large bet, but still big enough to make players fishing pay for it. If there were three hearts on the flop I’d bet very big and be very aggressive as it’s possible but quite unlikely that someone has flopped a flush. And if someone is betting or calling your bets they’re most likely on a draw. So make them bet big and make them pay or fold. If they have been fortunate enough to flop a flush you could still make a full house if the board pairs. But, again, although you have a reasonably good chance of making a house with two cards to come the odds are against. It is, however, relatively safe to slow play on certain flops. Say, for example, you have pocket eights and the flop is 2, King, 8 (a rainbow). It would be quite safe to slow play as there is no straight or flush draw.

Using Outs Percentages

I thoroughly recommend you make every possible use of the chart below! It will show you the percentage chance of you hitting your hand based on how many ‘outs’ (the number of cards left in the pack that can win you the hand if they are turned over as one of the community cards) there are. You can use this information to help you make an accurate decision when playing based on the likelihood that an out card will help you making the winning hand. For examples of how to use it, see after the chart.

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Outs 1 Out 2 Outs 3 Outs 4 Outs 5 Outs 6 Outs 7 Outs 8 Outs 9 Outs 10 Outs 11 Outs 12 Outs 13 Outs 14 Outs 15 Outs 16 Outs 17 Outs 18 Outs 19 Outs 20 Outs 21 Outs 22 Outs

On the flop for the turn 2.13% 4.26% 6.38% 8.51% 10.64% 12.77% 14.89% 17.02% 19.15% 21.28% 23.40% 25.53% 27.66% 29.79% 31.91% 34.04% 36.17% 38.30% 40.43% 42.55% 44.68% 46.81%

On the turn for the river 2.17% 4.35% 6.52% 8.70% 10.87% 13.04% 15.22% 17.39% 19.57% 21.74% 23.91% 26.09% 28.26% 30.43% 32.61% 34.78% 36.96% 39.13% 41.30% 43.48% 45.65% 47.83%

On the flop for the turn and river combined 4.26% 8.42% 12.49% 16.47% 20.35% 24.14% 27.84% 31.45% 34.97% 38.39% 41.72% 44.96% 48.10% 51.16% 54.12% 56.98% 59.76% 62.44% 65.03% 67.53% 69.94% 72.25%

How To Use The Chart : This chart shows the percentages of making a hand on the turn, on the river and both combined. Here are some examples :

Example of four out scenario : Say you have 7, 8 off suit in the pocket and the flop is 7, 8, 9. You suspect your opponent has a straight. Then you need to hit one of the two sevens or one of the two eights left in the pack to win the hand with a full house. Therefore you have four outs. If you refer to the chart you will see that you have a 16.5% chance of hitting one of the four outs with two cards to come. The same would apply if you needed to hit a gut-shot straight, as that would also give you four outs

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Example of eight out scenario : Say you have Jack, 10 in the pocket and the flop is Queen, King, 4. You think your opponent has hit a pair of Kings. You need to hit one of the four aces or one of the four nines in the pack to win the hand with a straight. Therefore you have eight outs. If you refer to the chart you will see that you have a 31.5% chance of hitting one of the eight outs with two cards to come.

Example of fifteen outs scenario : Say you have 9, 10 of diamonds in the pocket and the flop is 8(diamonds), 7(diamonds), ace (spades). You suspect your opponent has a pair of aces. You need to hit a 6 (diamonds) or a Jack (diamonds) for a straight flush. Or any of the other seven diamonds to make a flush, any of the other three non-diamond sevens or any of the other three non-diamond Jacks for a straight. Therefore you have fifteen outs. If you refer to the chart you will see that you have a 54% chance of hitting one of the fifteen outs with two cards to come. Note that this is a rare occurrence as your opponent has hit top pair (aces). But you are actually the favourite to win the hand even though you only have ten high!

Example of twenty one outs scenario : Say you have 10, Jack of spades and the flop is 3(hearts), 8(spades), 9(spades). You suspect your opponent is winning with a high card ace. Then you need to : Hit a 7(spades) or a Queen (spades) for a straight flush. Hit any other of the seven spades to make a flush. Hit any of the other three non-spade sevens or any of the other three non-spade Queens to make a straight. Or hit any of the three remaining tens or any of the three remaining Jacks to make a pair. Therefore you have twenty one outs and if you refer to the chart you will see that you have a 75% chance of hitting one of the twenty one outs with two cards to come.

Remember when calculating the number of outs you have you must assume that any cards that have not been revealed are still live and in the deck.

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More Handy Tips

Pay Attention Watch who’s playing in an aggressive or loose way and who’s playing tight. Try to play the loose players and avoid the tight players – unless you’ve got a strong hand.

Watch The Chips Always be aware of everyone’s chip count. Know who has more chips than you and play more carefully against them – a mistake could knock you out. It’s usually better to play pots with players who have fewer chips than you.

Be A Bettor, Not A Caller Being aggressive is usually the best policy in Texas Hold’em.

No Match, No Contest If your cards don’t match any of the community cards throw your hand away when someone else bets.

Ace In The Hand Don’t play every time you have an ace in your hand. However, play an ace if it’s accompanied by a card of the same suit or by a 10 or higher.

Hands To Stay With Before The Flop Play with pairs (7-7, 9-9), two face cards (K-Q, Q-J), or hands that can make both a straight and a flush (8-9, 6-7 of the same suit). Be patient and fold other hands, unless you’re in the blind.

Good Hand? Bet Strong In no-limit Texas Hold’em players can bet all of their chips at any time, so bet aggressively when you have a good hand.

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Watch And Wait Play fewer hands when you’re one of the first players to act, because you’ll be out of position and vulnerable to raises from the remaining players.

Call Their Bluff If someone raises in a late position (near/on the button), re-raise them with a good amount if you are on the blind. Chances are, they don’t have a big hand and are just trying to steal your blinds. (This style of play, known as going ‘over the top’, is probably the strongest play you can make in no-limit Texas Hold’em.)

Be Patient Act promptly, but not rashly. When you’re making an important decision pause to think about how the betting has gone and what your opponent might have. Take your time.

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My Best Sites
These sites are my own personal favourite poker gaming sites. You might find you like them and do well with them, or you might not. Either way I think it is worth taking a took for yourself :

Party Poker Website Address : www.partypoker.com

This is an American based poker site, and is the giant of online poker – the largest poker site in the world. It has anything from 75,000 players upwards playing online at the same time. So you never have to wait long for a game, whether it’s a cash game or a single table tourney. More than $4million in tournament prize pool money is up for grabs here every day! It has very good multi-table tournaments usually ranging from free-rolls …. all the way to a $640 buy in $1million guaranteed prize pool tourney. This is my favourite site for multi-table tournaments. A lot of their tournaments are re-buys and add-ons. This means that, usually for the first hour, if a player looses all their chips they can pay the original buy-in fee and will receive the same number of chips they started with. After the hour there will be a break and regardless of your stack you can again pay the buy-in fee and add the amount you start with to your stack. Some tournaments are freeze outs where you cannot buy-in or add-on and get no second chances. Party Poker has satellite tournaments (a satellite is a mini-tournament to gain an entry into a larger tournament) for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) competition and various other live tournaments such as the famous annual Poker Million televised event. This is where some of the best online poker players in the world battle it out for their share of what is usually about a $5 million prize pool – with a first place of $1 million! The software is user friendly. It is also very easy to cash out (the easiest way to withdraw your money is to get it wired into your account). In fact, all in all this a very good site.

Poker Stars Website Address : www.pokerstars.com

This is an another American based poker site. It has over 5 million members and at peak times it has about 70,000 players online. It has a whole range of multi-table tournaments

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ranging from free-rolls to $1 million guaranteed tournaments. It is also very good for satellite tourneys and qualifies more players to the World Series of Poker and similar competitions like the World Poker Tour and the European Poker Tour than any other site. Another feature that makes this site stand out from others is that the winners of the last three WSOP’s play on this site along with other top ‘pros’ and you can play against them. You gain points for how many tourneys you win in relation to how many you enter as well as other factors. The winners of the leader board each week play one of the pro players on the site. It also has cash games that range from $0.01/$0.02 to $100/$200 and sit and go tourneys that range from $1+20 buy-in to $5,000+$100. This is an excellent site for satellites and multi-table tourneys. The software is user friendly and the graphics are good, which makes it a nice environment to play online poker in. However, there are a couple of snags : When you cash out you must either ask for a cheque, which can take three weeks to receive from the USA and clear. If you withdraw by credit card it must be a minimum withdrawal of $100, and it seems to take longer for your money to arrive than other sites.

Paradise Poker Website Address : www.paradisepoker.com

This is also an American based poker site and it has been established since 1999. This was very, very early for an online poker site …. it was definitely one of if not the first online poker rooms. It has 7,000 players playing online during peak times and you never have to wait long for a game. It has cash games which range from $0.01/$0.02 to $10/$20 for no limit and $0.02/$0.04 to $40/$80 for limit games. Or, if you are looking for a single table tourney they range from $5+$1 to $500+$30. It has the usual different types of poker that most sites have including Texas Hold’em plus 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud HiLo, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo and 5 Card Draw. Like most sites they have WSOP satellites although the amount of packages Paradise offers are more than most of the other sites. This site’s best feature is the multi-table tourneys. One of their best daily tourneys is the $40,000 guaranteed re-buy and add-on and they hold many more daily guaranteed tourneys, as well as many more nonguaranteed ones. They also regularly hold $100k and $150k guaranteed re-buy and addon tournaments. I think that their best multi-table is the $1,000,000 free-roll…… yes free-roll! It is by far and away the worlds’ biggest free-roll tournament. The only way to gain entry is by wining your seat in a free multi-table satellite. You are allowed one free entry in the freeroll satellite. If you don’t qualify first time round you can enter again, but only by using

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‘million points’ which are gained by depositing cash and playing online. The payout structure to this is as follows : 500th-101st 100th-51st 50th-12th 11th 10th-2nd 1st : $50 : $100 : $500 : $1,000 : $10,000 : $1,000,000

One of the drawbacks about this site is the out draws that occur and the amount of action hands the site deals. Don’t get me wrong, this is poker and quite often the best hand doesn’t win. Quite often there are a few big hands dealt at the same time. But, for me, the regularity of how much this occurs is unusual. Also, the standard of poker is high and the opposition is tough. (Paradise is notorious for the quality of players and tightness of games.) One last snag – there’s no live or telephone support.

Pacific Poker Website Address : www.888.com

This is up there with the largest poker sites on the net and is owned by Casino On Net, the world’s largest online casino. So the site is in good hands, and it should be a big force in online poker for years to come. The different types of poker you can play are Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, 7 Card Stud and 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo. Their cash game tables range from $0.05/$0.10 to $30/$60. They also have many multitable tourneys going on at the same time. Their best daily ones are the $10,000 and $30,000 guaranteed. Like most sites they have satellites to the WSOP and you can qualify from as little as $2.20. This is a good and very well known site with a good reputation. One of the little annoying things about this site is that when you go all in and there are cards still to come it deals the remaining cards. But it does not automatically turn over the cards of the people in the hand. So you have no idea of what you are up against or if you’re winning until it’s all over. A trivial point maybe, but I don’t think it should happen – and wouldn’t happen in a live game. However, it is also quick and easy to cash out – exactly the way it should be.

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Full Tilt Poker.Com Website Address : www.fulltiltpoker.com

The main attraction of this site is that some of the biggest names in poker play on this site – names like Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson and many more. And, like Poker Stars, you can play against them. But unlike Poker Stars the good thing is you that you don’t have win a league to play against them. You just have to join a waiting list (but you will have to be patient). Their cash games range from $0.25/$0.50 to $200/$400 for limit games and $25/$50 for no limit games. They run good satellites for the WSOP and reasonably good multi tourneys. They also have one of the widest range of poker games out of all the poker sites. You can play Texas Hold‘em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Low, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi-Low and Razz. This is a good site for satellites to the WSOP. For a relatively new site the multi-table tournaments are good, and the fact that you can take on some of the world’s best players makes it very appealing. The bad points are that you must deposit a minimum of $50 and the only method of payment is a credit card. Also the withdrawal options are quite limited.

Titan Poker Website Address : www.titanpoker.com

This is one of the newest online poker sites. It has a fast growing member base due to its excellent free-rolls and its visually appealing 3D software. The different types of poker you can play are Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo with limit, pot limit and no limit tables. They range from $0.02/$0.04 to $30/$60. New depositors are automatically entered into a $1,000 welcome free roll tournament. They also hold a monthly $25,000 guaranteed tourney as well as lots of other non-guaranteed tourneys. They also host WSOP satellites. Another interesting unique featured promotion is Fort Knox $100,000 Jackpot sit and go. With this you must enter and win six consecutive $50+7 ‘Fort Knox-jackpot sit and go tournaments’ to win $100,000. Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from easy to win six consecutive sit and go tourneys. But if you become a good player it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. Cash outs are also quick and easy.

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This is a new up and coming site with good user friendly and modern software and has interesting featured promotions. It also has a feature that most sites don’t have : You can find players who aren’t very good who you could earn off! It is a very well organised poker site and it could become one of the largest in the near future. Bad points are that there are not enough multi-tables with big prize pools.

Betfair.Com

Betfair is a UK based poker site and has been around for about two years. At peak times has 7,000 to 8,000 players playing. The different types of poker you can play are Texas Hold’em, 7 Card Stud, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. The table stakes range from £0.15/£0.25 to £25/£50 for no limit and £0.25/£0.50 to a massive £150/£300 for limit. Their sit and go tourneys range from £1+20 to £500+£30 and are six or ten seaters. You can also choose to play in euros, US Dollars or UK Pounds which is a good feature, as it’s always easier to use your own currency. (I don’t know of any other sites that give you this option.) All their multi-table tourneys are freeze outs and their best daily multi-table tournaments are the £4,000 guaranteed, the £10,000 guaranteed and a £15,000 guaranteed. They also have a big weekly £50,000 guaranteed tourney with a first place of at least £12,750. Again like most good poker sites they host regular satellites to the WSOP and you can qualify from as little as $1.20. They also have satellites to other land based tournaments such as World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour events. This is the I site I have become comfortable using because it’s very user friendly and has reasonably quick moving table play. There are lots of help options, a 24/7 helpdesk and good cashing out options.

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Conclusions …. And More About My Big Win !
At the beginning of this manual, I promised you I’d tell you exactly how I won my biggest prize so far. Well, here’s exactly how I did it! It’s a long story …. but stay with me to the end. As well as learning about my own big win you’ll pick up lots of tips and hints you can use in your own games …. One day, just after I’d started to get the hang of Hold’em, my brother told me that there was a big multi-table tourney coming up. It was $25+$2 to enter and the maximum number of entrants was 2,000. The website also added $50,000 on top of the total prize pool so there was a potential prize pool of $100,000! (In the end there were 1650 entrants so the total prize pool was $91,250.) The breakdown – how the prize pool is divided – paid down to 120th place which paid $95 all the way through to first place …. which was a very handsome looking $18,500! The tournament started at 1700 hrs, with a five minute break every hour and a 15 minute break every four hours. There were 165 tables of 10 players. Everyone started with 1,500 chips. The blinds started at 10 and 15 and they went up every 12 minutes. For the first 30 minutes I didn’t have any decent hands! Then I picked ace, Queen. The blinds at this time were 25 and 50. I raised 200 on top of the blinds from under the gun (first position) and two people called. The flop came A-7-9 ‘rainbow’. The big blind or BB was first to act. He checked, so I bet 600. The player to my left folded and the big blind who originally checked called the 600. The turn was a 5 again. The BB checked – I was very suspicious of his play so I thought for as long a time as I could and checked as well. The river was a 2. The BB then bet 200. It was a small bet in relation into the pot and I had to call, considering how much I had invested. (And to my disgust the BB turned over 86 off suit. He had made a 9 high straight.) I was left with just shy of 500 chips and understandably I didn’t think it was my going to be my day. The very next hand I picked up ace, King. In the BB a player in middle position raised and made it 300 more. Everyone folded to the small blind on my left. He called and raised all in for another 100 odd chips, and they both called. I was praying for a good flop and I wasn’t disappointed as it came over A-K-4! The two other players checked and the turn was a 9 and again both players checked. The river was

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a 9. At first I thought one of them might have had trip 9’s, but they both quickly checked. One had pocket 10’s and was obviously scared of the ace. The other player showed pocket 8’s so I was back in the game, as I took down a 1500 pot with two pairs aces and Kings nine high! I went 15 minutes or so without really playing a hand. Then I picked up pocket Queens on the button. Everyone folded round to the player on my left. They raised the blinds 400 more which were 50 and 100 at the time. I waited for a short while and then re-raised all in the two blinds, folded, and the original raiser called instantly and turned over 99. The pot size was 3,100. The flop was A-7-10, the turn 3, the river A. So doubled up and was now feeling a lot better about my tournament hopes! Nothing major happened for the next hour or so (!) but I built my stack up to roughly 5,000 up by wining little and often and stealing the blinds when I could. Then two hands that really put me on my way too going far in this tournament came – one after the other. I picked up ace King in mid position. The player in first position who was sitting on a stack of about 16,000 raised the pot, the blinds at that time were 200 and 400 and they made it 800 more. Everyone folded round to me. I thought for a while then decided to push all in. Everyone folded round to the original raiser who called me in a ‘heart beat’ with pocket Queens. So it was my ace King against Queens : I had a 48% chance of winning pre flop and to my delight the first card over was a King followed by a 3 and a Jack.! The turn was a 3 and the river was a 10. So with two pairs Kings and threes ace high I took down an 11,000 pot. The very next hand I picked up ace King again. A player in early position raised it 800 more. It was folded round to me and with my lucky ace King I re-raised another 1,000 on top of the 800. It was folded round to the big blind which was the player whose Queens I had just cracked (beaten). They immediately went all in the original raiser folded and it was left up to me and, believe me, it was a tough decision. To go all in after a raise and then a re-raise must mean they had a very strong hand, and if I lost I’d have been out of the tournament – and I wasn’t pot committed. But the fact that I had just taken a big pot this player, I thought, might be on tilt …. and the only hands I didn’t really want too see were Kings or aces. So, rightly or wrongly I called and they turned over pocket Kings. This time I only had a 30% chance of wining as I only had one over card. With my fingers crossed and my heart pumping the flop came over Jack 7 9 – so no help for me. Then the turn was a 4, and with one card to come I was ready to walk as my chances of catching an ace were just 7%. So it was all down to the river. There was a big pause before the river came over …. then almost as if magic the ace of spades appeared! I couldn’t believe my luck as I took down a 24,000 pot!

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Of course, you had to feel for the other player who had just gone out of the tournament after picking up pocket Queens then pocket Kings in two hands. (Oh well that’s poker!) The next break wasn’t far away and when it came there were only 400 people left. The average stack was 6,100, which I was well above. I was in a strong position and now in a good frame of mind to go far in this tourney. For the next 45mins or so nothing major happened. I was using my stack to my advantage and was taking out a few short stacks building my stack up slowly but surely to a handsome 32,000. Then I was dealt the hand that every poker player hopes for – ‘pocket rockets’ (aces) and I was on the button – the best position in poker. My only problem was how to get paid out, but as everyone folded around to me my chances of getting paid out felt slim. The blinds were 750 and 1,500 and I raised it 2,000 more. The small blind folded, and with just the big blind left it looked like I was just going to pick up the blinds which I could have done with 7 -. But to my surprise they re-raised me another 6,000 all in and with the best starting hand in Texas Hold’em I called! They turned over pocket nines and the flop 10-Jack-Queen. The turn was a King and the river was a 2, so with an ace high straight I took down a 20,000 pot. I was now sitting on a stack of 42,000! The next break was 15 minutes away and by the time I reached it I had I stack of 50,000 there were 200 players left in tourney and the average stack was 12,000. I was second on the leader board and was only 80 places away from the money – not that I was interested in winning $95. I was more interested in the $12,500 for second or $18,500 for first place! Half hour passed with not much action. Then I picked up pocket tens in the big blind which was 4,000. Everyone folded round to the small blind, who went all in for 35,000 total. This was a tough decision for me as the player who went ‘all in’ had been playing very recklessly and had been bluffing a lot. I thought for as long as my time bank would let me and called, as just didn’t believe he had a hand. It was a massive 70,000 pot and I couldn’t do anything except laugh as he turned over, wait for it…………. 97 off suit! I saved the celebration until after the community cards were dealt as he still had a 15% outside chance of winning and in poker anything can happen. The community cards were 2, 2 ace, 9, 5 and with that I took down a monster pot and had a stack of 86,000. When the next break came I had a stack of 100,000 there were 60 runners left in so I was in the money, guaranteed at least $237, the average stack was 41,250 and I was chip leader. For the next 35 minutes I was picking my moments and bulling the shorter stacks then I picked up pocket Kings in mid position there were a few limpers. The blinds were 4,000 and 8,000, so I raised to 24,000 in total everyone including the blinds folded. The original caller re-raised all in for another 10,000. On top of my bet the other limper folded and I quickly called. He was slow playing pocket Queens and was unlucky to run into my pocket Kings.

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The flop was kind to me once again, and I was now sitting on a stack of 150,000 and I couldn’t believe how smoothly the tourney was going. By the time the next break came there were only 20 players left. I had a stack of 165,000. The average was 123,000. I was now guaranteed at least $910, but I still only really had eyes on first or second. By the time the break finished the blinds were a massive 10,000 and 20,000, and with the blinds that big it only took 20mins before we were down to 10 players and my first final table. I had 220,000 when I reached the final table. That was just under average the biggest stack had 350,000, so it was all very even. The blinds were a ridiculous 20,000 and 40,000 so we weren’t seeing many flops. It was either all in or fold. Two players went out quite quickly due to the colossal blinds. There were eight of us left when I picked up ace 10 of clubs. In the small blind everyone folded round to me. I was pretty certain that I had the best hand so I moved all in for a total of 250,000 …. and to my horror the big blind called me in a heart beat with ace King! We were basically even in terms of chips. So, knowing that I needed to get very lucky to have any chance in the tournament I feared the worst. To my amazement the flop came over 6 of clubs, 2 of clubs and 9 of clubs. I screamed out with excitement as I knew they were drawing dead even with two cards to come! I was now sitting on a chips stack of over 500,000 and with only seven players left I was feeling very confident. It wasn’t long before the final table was down to five as two more players were taken out in quick succession. And that meant I was guaranteed at least $5,000! I then picked up King 9 of diamonds in the big blind which was 60,000. The player on the button raised it to180,000. The small blind called, as did I. The flop came over 10, Jack, Queen. The player who was first to act went all in for 200,000. I obviously called and to my surprise the original raiser raised another 100,000 all in …. and I called hoping one of them didn’t have ace ten. One turned over Jack Queen and the other had pocket aces. The turn was a 4 followed by a 7, so after I survived the turn and river I had a very commanding stack of 1.4 million. I was now a strong favourite to win the tournament as the closest player to me had 600,000 chips and the other had 450,000. About fifteen minutes passed before the next player went out. I picked up pocket Kings on the button. The blinds were 40,000 and 80,000, so I raised to 240,000 in total hoping they had a hand or thought I was bluffing. The small blind re-raised all in for another 375,000. The big blind folded and I quickly called. They turned over pocket eights. The flop was kind and my Kings held up. It was now heads up. I had just over 2,000,000 and the other player had 450,000. The blinds were going back and forth for about five minutes. Then I picked up ace 6 and moved all in. They thought for a while and called with ace 5. The flop came over 8, 10, 6. I knew that unless he got two running cards the tournament and $18,500 first place was mine.

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The turn was a 5. This meant there were two cards in the pack that could save him, giving me a few last-minute jitters. But the river was a ten so with two pairs aces and sixes ten high I took the pot, tournament and a fantastic $18,500 prize! The final table payout structure was as follows : 10th 9th 8th 7th 6th 5th 4th 3rd 2nd 1st

$1,400 $2,200 $2,600 $3,000 $4,000 $5,000 $6,000 $7,000 $12,000 $18,500

Does that sound good to you? Would you like to get your hands on an $18,5000 (about £10,000) jackpot like that? I’m sure you would. You’d probably even be delighted with one of the smaller ‘consolation’ prizes – like $2,200 or $1,400. After all it’s not a bad return for a few pounds staked (and a few hours enjoying yourself) is it? Well the fact is, it could happen to you too. A few months ago I was just in the same position you are today. In fact, I knew much less – because I didn’t have this manual to help me. So what’s stopping you? Now that you’ve reached the end of the manual you have all the basic information and techniques you need to do the same or better! So don’t let your new found skills go to waste. Log onto your PC, register with a site – if you haven’t already – and start practising right away. Within a few short hours you could be playing for money, and within a few days you could be playing for a pot worth many thousands of pounds. It happened to me and, with the information you now have in your hands, it really could happen to you too!

Good luck, and my very best wishes

James Binns
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Important Note In this manual we explain how to play the game of Texas Hold’em poker and reveal James Binns’ own personal methods and strategies. However, we are committed to responsible gaming and we encourage all our readers to take a sensible approach to it. We see online poker as a legitimate and potentially profitable form of entertainment, but it should not be seen as a guaranteed way of making money. We urge all our readers to keep track of the time and money that they spend on gaming and, while we hope you enjoy big wins, only to stake what you can afford to lose. We do not endorse the playing of online poker by under 18’s. If you have problems with gambling you can seek further information help from an organisation such as Gamblers Anonymous UK : www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk. Tel. 020 7384 3040.

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