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See my blog entry for more about this. No one is predestined to become a poker or casino cheat. You bet, but it is highly sophisticated and possible for only the best of the best. Here is how a fairly regular chess amateur with slightly above average ambition has developed his skills in the game over the years: If it is a particularly large withdrawal, then many real-money sites will suggest that payment by check is employed.

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That means that there is less time to do any cheating move. Read more about that here. They happened when dealers wanted to protect their false shuffles and then dump winning fixed hands on their cohorts playing at the tables. If you want to read more on Shuffle Master cheating, click here. No doubt it's Foxwoods in Connecticut. I was there last weekend and within three hours I saw four different cheating incidents from the outside, all of which were successful.

I did not get the chance to check out the poker room for cheats but would be surprised if they weren't there. What was I doing at Foxwoods? No, I was not cheating myself! I was simply driving through the area and decided to check out the new MGM facility there, inside of which I did not see anything cheatworthy go down. Maybe, but maybe only to see if he's fatter now than when he won the Main Event in Probably not because he's not gonna talk about his alleged involvement in the scam, of course on the advice of his lawyer.

Probably the best bet here, and probably what most people, victims and non-victims alike, will do. Only if you're involved in certain blackjack cheat scams. First base is the position to the immediate left of the dealer. The player occupying it is the first to receive each card of the two-card deal. Some blackjack scams that utilize first base are the "peek and deal" scam and the "cut and steer" scam.

As far as card counting and other legitimate play go, there is no advantage to sitting at first base on a blackjack table. A blackjack cheat does generally make a good craps cheat. Even though the mechanics of moves are different on casino blackjack and craps tables, the basic fundamentals are the same, and a person with the skills to cheat one casino table game will usually be able to shift those skills to cheat all table games.

But cheating slot machines is a completely different animal, and slot cheats usually have no serious table-game cheat experience. Poker cheats generally do not make good casino cheats, but casino cheats can convert their skills to poker tables. And, casino cheating takes lots more balls than poker cheating! Because you just might be the beneficiary of a cheat scam you know nothing about!

So you never know, you might one day stumble onto an inside casino scam where you can make a few bucks following the shoe! Remember not to confuse this with the false shuffle scam where cheats keep track of the cards dealt from one shoe and then have the dealers false shuffle in order not to change the order of the cards.

In this scam, streaks are not pre-arranged. Well, don't drink and drive either, as we all want to stay safe on New Years Eve. But I just couldn't resist the "don't drink and connive" line! While I'm at it, don't drink and be snide either! As a player, no. I have not heard any reports of casinos rigging automatic card-shufflers in any way to rip of the players. Yes, unless the dealer's in on it!

No, I'm not kidding. Crooked dealers can shut off, disable or not properly use the shufflers, although it very rarely happens.

Or unless the cheats somehow sneak into play rigged automatic card shufflers. Yes, this has recently happened on a very big scale in Macau. Read about it here. The exit doors, man! You wouldn't believe how many casino and poker cheats get caught because they didn't know the quickest route out of the casino when security was coming to grab them up.

When you're gambling and losing and running to ATMs to fetch more cash, you're usually in a hurry to get back to the action and thus often careless. Many people after they get their cash simply leave the machine without punching the answer to the final question "Do you want to make another transaction?

The term shoulder surfer comes from the act of looking over someone's shoulder to peek at the info on the ATM screen. Their big giveaway is that they're often on their cell phone while standing behind you to give the impression they're busied and not looking at the screen to steal your PIN. To avoid becoming a victim, just make sure to be patient and properly close out your ATM transactions.

Is it the set-up? Is it the actual move itself, switching, pressing or pinching chips? Is it the psychology cheaters use to convince the bosses they're legitimate high rollers? Or is it the cover plays made after the cheating move to stave off the heat? Just like when robbing a bank, the robbers have to get out of the bank with the cash. So do the cheaters out of the casino after their moves. A marked box of playing cards would surely make a bad Christmas gift, especially if you're the one receiving it!

Here's a guideline how to acoid falling prey to such a scam:. Examine the cards and the box: If you play for money you should always insist that a new deck be used. Before and after the box is opened every player should have the right to examine the cellophane wrapper, the box, and the cards.

Keep in mind that if the box has been tampered with you will most likely not discover any traces of tampering on the security seal. Boxes are usually opened from behind, or from the side where the flaps are glued together without being secured with a seal. If the bow was tampered with you may be able to discover some traces there. The cellophane wrapper is as important. This doesn't look quite the same as a factory sealed cellophane wrapper.

Upon close examination it is possible to discover the inconsistencies. So don't just throw the wrapper away. Keep it, and if you lost too much money have another look at it. Thus far there a two distinct claims for how players can cheat online casinos at blackjack. The first is via blackjack bots, which are the same as poker bots, keeping track of the cards already played and aiding with hand-strategy deciisions. Both these methods, and all others I have heard of, are bogus.

The biggest scams in your home poker games are marked cards and cold decks. A cold deck ringer is someone who, when no one is looking, switches in a deck with the cards prearranged to give either himself or his partner at the table a huge winning hand, usually fixing up the pot's eventual losers with full houses getting beat by higher full houses, four of a kind or a straight flush. Ringers efficient at this won't even care if you're looking because they can make the switch right under your eyes.

And of course the backs of the switched-in deck of cards are identical to the backs of the one switched out. Not unless he's got a laptop on the table! If you notice Russ Hamilton sitting next to you at the poker table, or at any seat at the poker table, or even simply inside the brick and mortar poker room, there is no need to worry.

Hamilton may have also been a brick and mortar poker cheat before his infamy as an online poker cheat at UltimateBet. Hamilton already has millions stashed away from his Ultimate Bet booty. He plays poker in cardrooms now strictly because he loves poker and has nothing else to do.

While playing craps, you might be unwittingly losing money not to the casino but to fellow opportunistic players at the table. As craps is by far the most complicated table game in casinos, with all its lay, take and proposition bets, it's very easy to get confused and not realize when your bets actually win.

The most glaring example of this in when the come bet wins when the dice "seven out. What they forget is that the come bets they had just made before the roll have won. These winning bets left on the layout by players leaving the table are called "sleepers" because they are left their to sleep until someone picks them up.

That someone is usually a professional casino cheater working the crap tables for that exact occasion. It is very low risk for them becuase casino bosses do not watch to see who picks up which winning bets.

Remember, a come bet is the exact same bet as a pass line bet. The only difference is it's made after the come-out roll when a point has been established, and can be made any time between the come-out roll and the eventual seven-out. The come-out roll is the roll after a pass line winner or loser. Bill is as full of the wind as they come. To see why click here. You might simply assume that the best shift to cheat live casinos is the swing shift because that's simply the busiest shift for casinos.

While that is indeed true it doesn't always mean that professional casino cheat teams prefer to work the swing shift as a priority. Although it is usually best for cheat teams to work busy casinos simply to blend in better and camouflage their cheat moves, sometimes the busy casinos prove burdensome for organized cheat teams, especially when they consist of three or four members working to do the moves.

They may find it nearly impossible to secure their places at the tables. Other slower times such as the graveyard shift offer cheat teams a more relaxed atmosphere where pit personnel and dealers are friendlier and less on-guard for cheating. When moves are very strong and don't require more than one or two team members to pull them off, the graveyard can be the ideal shift.

If you have to get the hell out of "Dodge" on the quick and bolt across the casino, you are going to stick out like a sore thumb and have a heck of a time getting away! Unless you are top-shelf casino team that can figure out a way to make casinos disbelieve what their RFID monitors on the tables are telling them, you best avoid working these casinos.

However, if you are ingenious enough to accomplish what I just said, then you can kick their asses How do you do that? You've got to use psychology to set them up. Well, how do you do that? That, my friends, is VERY valuable information! Can wearing sunglasses help a poker cheat?

Well, if you ask Daniel Negreanu, he'll tell you that poker players wearing sunglasses is outright cheating. But does wearing sunglasses really help a poker cheat? You bet, especially if he is part of a collusion team. However, since all players are permitted to wear sunglasses, I don't see this as poker cheating. See my blog entry for more about this.

Protect yourself against these scams where you get seemingly legitimate emails from a popular online company, such as eBay, PayPal or Neteller, that ask you to follow a link and enter your account information. There are a wide variety of excuses used in these false emails to get you to click the links within them. However, these links will bring you to a false website which looks just like the real one.

And once you give them your personal information, they will wipe out your accounts! Remember that true professional sites like eBay and PayPal will never request information in this manner. If you ever receive an email from one of these "companies," simply forward the email to the real company that supposedly sent it, expressing your concerns and hopes that they will investigate it. NEVER click on the link as it may also contain a virus!

Did you ever get a chat box message like this? It starts out with a player asking you to do a favor and trade money with him from one site to another. You decide to help out and the transaction goes smoothly… until your account and funds are suspended for being involved in money laundering!!! The innocent player who now has the laundered money in their account is left in a mess of trouble, while the crook simply cashes out of the other site.

The scammer starts with a small amount and gets dozens of people involved. He'll gain your trust by sending the promised money back promptly the next day, chatting with you, and becoming buddies. But once he has many people involved, he starts asking for a little more cash while still promising high returns. Then you can kiss that grand goodbye! Beware of the old Ponzi scam.

Well, more than training your face to reveal nothing, avoid eye contact with people whom you're trying to deceive, as your eyes are the biggest giveaway. But when you have to look 'em in the eye, best is to exaggerate the look. By this I mean stare at the person direct and hard, to the point that he or she ends up breaking the eye contact first.

This look on your face and in your eyes lends to credibility and trustowrthyness while you're pulling down their pants! Ever seen this type of promise on a Google tag line? Can you really make serious money cheating at online poker? Well, you certainly can, but NOT from anything you're gonna get from these bogus sites. They're all full of crap, so don't get hooked! Don't think for a second that whenever you see blackjack being dealt from a card shoe you're in a legit game.

Although finding a cheater's shoe in a legitimate casino is extremely rare, I have seen them on blackjack tables in many "semi" legitimate casinos. Be careful when playing at so called "casino nights" or other chartiable events. Sometimes the people running these games are more in business for themselves than donating your losses to charity.

Gaffed shoes allow the dealer to perform many tricks, including holding out the top card and dealing seconds just as skilled card mechanics do from handheld decks. I would say edge-sorting--but only when the edge-sorters somehow alter the dealing of the game, which in that case would be cheating.

In the old days of Las Vegas, casinos generally did not share information about cheats plying their crafts inside their casinos for various reasons, two of which may have been that they didn't want to be embarrassed by being a victim or kind of liked when other casinos were the victims. Today, however, that has completely changed. Casinos everywhere across the world communicate and update each other on organized cheating scams and exchange digital photos of the cheats and advantage players entering their properties.

That is somewhat in dispute. Believe it or not, some do. Only in unlicensed and illegal games. Although there was a Poker Analyzer cheating incident in a supposedly aboveboard casino in Scotland, this is a very rare event.

No doubt about it He's playing blackjack, of course. But is he still counting cards? Because that's where the money is. But it depends on one thing? I bet you can guess it Makes sense, doesn't it?

Right up there with the best of 'em! I just found out! Two ways to look at it. They seem to be equally good at hacking into slot machines as they are at hacking into worldwide elections!

But beware of the Bulgarian slot-cheat teams. They are very good as well. That casinos in Las Vegas certainly need to do more in order to protect their patrons.

Casino executives need to consider the people inside their casinos at least as important as the profit margins generated by their gaming operations. Note that I didn't say "more than. I have just opened up my poker and casino-cheating blog to guest posts from casino personnel who either work or have worked in the trenches of the casino green-felt jungle.

I posted the first guest artilce today! It is a doozy! I think you all already know the delicate balance that is the response to that question. Well, it may be waning a bit in baccarat, but the ol' false-shuffle scam is certainly alive and well in poker! In a short answer: No Just like the reality that no matter how hard we try to predict who might blow up a building or train station, we will never be able to predict who might shoot up a casino--no matter how angry or depressed that person may seem at a blackjack table losing their money.

Because it's still very active despite casinos worldwide having knowledge of exactly how the scam works. You can say it's somewhat like the Russians meddling in Western elections. We all know they're doing it except maybe the American president yet we can't stop them from doing it over and over again. Why roulette of course! I believe it has. People in poor financial situations tend to get depressed as Christmas time nears, especially if they have no money to buy their loved ones gifts.

So some of these people who live near casinos rob them out of desperation. Some get away with it and end up having a merry Christmas while others end up throwing their entire lives away on what should be happy times.

It certainly is making its fair claim! Petersberg have had their share of cheating incidents and scandals the past few years, some of which include Ponzi schemes and even tournaments where the prize money never even got distributed.

I do think so. Read more about Cryptocurrency here. They're so damn easy for casinos to stop. Read it and you might not believe it! I don't think any casino will ever quite rival Singapore's Marina Bay Sands as far as cheating goes, but I do think the new Wynn Boston Harbor Casino will be hit hard by casino cheats when it opens in It will be a giant casino with lots of action and high-rollers, just perfect for professional casino-cheat teams.

And it is happening elsewhere--in all types of online poker games. So keep your hand-tracking software going and be alert!

Whatever court makes the final decision, it is very unlikely that Ivey and Sun will get to keep their baccarat-cheat winnings. To the best of my knowledge, the last time a Nevada casino was actually closed down for cheating its clientel was in A dealer was found with five sets of mis-spotted dice tucked in his apron. In , the Silver Slipper casino on the Las Vegas Strip was shut down on similar dice-cheating charges.

Dealers do not properly case their layouts Yes, but Cambodia is catching up fast! There is one now! That title belongs to Eliot Jacobson. Because casino craps personnel practically invite the dice-sliders to their tables. They don't enforce the simple rule that both dice have to tumble and not slide, and both must hit the back wall and tumble back on the layout naturally.

Nothing more to stopping it. Cheating fellow poker players, be it in brick and mortar poker rooms or online, is pretty downright low! There are so many more advantage players than cheats in today's casinos, but the cheats make much bigger scores than the advantage players, albeit with much less frequency of pay-days. Given the huge scams like Phil Ivey's edge-sorting the baccarat tables vs the constant winning grinds of blackjack and derivative games advantage players, it is really hard to say which group does more damage, so I am going to say that I just don't know Believe it or not, they are actually quite similar.

Like everybody else who has an angle to make serious money, casino cheats sometimes go too far. They don't know when to quit or they don't know how to keep their edge under the radar. Phil Ivey, who perhaps took his edge-sorting baccarat cheat scam too far too quickly, might understand what I'm saying. A lot of this online casino-cheat and advantage-play information is good and accurate. A lot of it is not. One major online casino-cheat and advantage-play blog that is highly questionable is the blog.

I'd say it's Pennsylvania followed by Ohio, both in outside cheat scams and casino employee-engineered cheat scams. In fact, just this week a 7-year prison sentence was handed down to the mastermind of what was perhaps the biggest counterfeit-chip scam ever. It's called growing pains. Like all new casino jurisdictions, Pennsylvania casinos and their staffs will go through the casino-cheat attacks and will eventually wise-up to how casino cheats operate.

One is that all the heat is on inside baccarat scams with dealers colluding with players on false-shuffle and other baccarat scams. Another is that craps is a very fast and crowded game when the dice are rolled, so sharp dishonest dealers can find room for quick cheat moves.

And payoffs can be confusing, even for boxmen and floor personnel watching the action. They may be doing more than that! Most of them do, but not all. Everything and nothing, depending on who you ask. With the Phil Ivey Edge-Sorting cases, you can get a dozen completely different arguments supporting that it is either advantage-play or cheating. Generally this is not a good idea. Perhaps one or two percent. I certainly think so. First off, boxmenless craps tables will see dealers who make mistakes on payoffs not get corrected.

Also, dealers who want to partner-up with agents to cheat the casino will have a much easier time doing so. A crooked craps dealer passing off chips to an agent, overpaying and not taking losers can easily get away with all three without a boxman's eyes on his side of the layout.

Cheat scams from the outside would also be easier to pull off. These cheat moves are too easily seen due to lack of player-activity on the physical tables.

Well, I guess they have to in order to get casinos to enlist their services. You bet it is, although casinos are getting more hip to it. What started in Singapore has developed into perhaps the most organized international slot machine cheat scam in casino history. Hundreds, if not thousands, of casinos have been hit in the US and many others have been hit in Europe and Asia.

Outside the US, the legality or illegality of dice-sliding is less clear. The recently deceased Robert "Bob" Griffin certainly was the number-one casino-cheat-catcher in his day, and he certainly was a royal pain in my ass!

The high-tech war between casino cheats and surveillance departments inside land-based casinos will continue just as the cyberwar between the US and Russia and China will. But remember that the bulk of effective casino cheating will always be carried out by professional low-tech casino cheats.

It's the Super Bowl of casino cheaters! Like all new major casinos in young jurisdictions, the MGM Grand in National Harbor, Maryland is quite vulnerable to professional and amateur casino cheating, but I have heard they are taking pretty good countermeasures to minimize it.

Slot cheating against players by operators, either online or land-based, is virtually nonexistant. The only complaints I have heard about slot integrity are related to false advertising concerning payoff return percentage or bonuses. This happens infrequently both online and in real casinos. Home poker-game cheating evolves just like public cardroom poker-game cheating. And home-game cheating is always attractive to cheats because there usually is no criminal risk to the cheats.

Most of the home-games scams are elementary but from time to time they get sophisticated. I highly doubt it.

After all the publicity surrounding Phil Ivey's edge-sorting cases involving tens of millions of dollars taken from casinos worldwide, I think casinos have certainly wised-up to this one!

But you have to put in the work reading, studying and practicing whatever advantage play tactics you're going to use against the casinos. It's still 3-card monte as foreign tourists keep falling for the same old con. And some Americans fall for it as well! Not as important as accuracy! In fact, you don't have to be that fast when counting the cards. There is plenty of time even when the dealer is speedy. But are these lists any good? Are they really informative?

The simple answer is yes You bet they do! They are able to do this when claiming their cheat moves and during their bet-back procedures as they sell the casinos to the sham that they are legitimate high rollers whom the casinos want to see come back to the tables. Because he keeps getting away with it. Every time he gets caught he gets a temporary ban from the site, but he eventually comes back for more.

What he needs is a harsh penalty, something like forteiting funds in the misrepresented accounts he uses, to finally teach him a lesson. So is this practice of storing cards right in the baccarat room a bit careless?

Yes, in casinos with weak internal controls on examining their playing cards before they are brought to the gaming tables. The poker cheat mastermind who engineered the cheat scam, Christian Lusardi, is now serving five years in prison. That is a difficult question as the newer ones tend to be at the top of that list, and every month there are new casino-openings. For a long while it has been baccarat with all the digital camera scams tracking the shuffles and deals, but as more and more of these scams hit the baccarat tables, casinos are reacting in their efforts to curb them.

The result is that more high-tech scams are now aimed at slot machines. I always found that there floorpeople were sharp and lots of them were skilled in detecting casino and poker cheats. In fact, back in the day, I considered it a challenge to do my best casino cheat moves in London's casinos. I had a lot of success but it was always hard work! Most do but some don't. In fact, card-marking poker cheats are as popular as ever. Today's card-makrers have generally gone high-tech and use invisible or disappearing ink and infrared lenses to see the markings.

But old-fashioned card-marking methods such as daub and sandpaper are still being used. Picking up sleepers occurs most often on roulette and craps layouts. A long and prosperous cheating career or one huge scam that earns millions, like Phil Ivey's baccarat edge-sorting scam. Mostly the way legitimate professional poker players do: I used to meditate to prepare myself for a casino bombardment!

Only in online casinos Not only have I been getting lots of emails asking me this, I have been getting a bunch promoting it The sharp ones do not.

They know how to stay below the radar. By far it's poker collusion at poker and hole-carding at blackjack. Because both are virtually risk-free. Even though casinos and poker rooms consider both methods to be cheating, the courts do not. This is due to the large crowds and huge action that can be seen throughout the casino world and especially in Las Vegas. I do not want to encourage anyone, but the answer is yes.

They tell me it's great stuff! I bet it could! Simply because casinos are depending on it too much. Problem is that more the cameras know less the surveillance staff knows. Depends what you consider major I kinda have mixed feelings about this issue, about which people have been writing me.

His accomplishments as an edge-sorting baccarat cheat are certain worthy of Poker and Casino Cheats Hall of Fame consideration, but in spite of that, he has not spent all that much time as a casino cheat or a poker cheat--at least as much as we know.

The truth is that the descriptions of poker cheat and casino cheat moves given on TV documentaries is pretty good, but sometimes the actual film depicting the moves are not.

If chess grandmasters can run into the bathroom during tournaments and dig out their hidden smart phones from toilet paper dispensers like Pacino dug out his hidden gun in the Godfather , we may soon see casino cheats running into casino bathrooms to do the same Not unless you've got some pretty darn good equipment and some brains to go with it. The window on this type of casino-cheating is evaporating, and it is becoming less and less worthy of the cash.

Plus in most major casino-areas it is a felony. You can read more about this in my blog. Well, the jury is out on this one, but they will soon be in! The one thing I can tell you now is that cheating casinos and poker rooms with smart watches will be easier than doing it with smart phones.

Stay tuned to my blog for upcoming articles on this very very interesting subject! No time in the near future. Several are already in development.

When I get more info on this, I will pass it along. Yep, you guessed it.. There have been some cases of NFL players trying to cheat in casinos, most while drunk, but on a more serious note, some high-level Russian tennis players have been suspected of being part of poker-collusion cheating rings both in brick and mortar poker rooms and in high-stakes online games.

The problem is the online poker cheats are just as smart and savvy as the experts working for PokerStars security. It only means that those who have the talent to deal seconds and make other cheat-moves have not been at their craft recently. But overall it would be rare. The reason for this is due to the sheer huge numbers of participants in the events, especially the main-event championship.

Back in the day when there were only a few hundred, or even a few thousand in the main event, it paid off for the poker-colluding tournament cheat-syndicates to team up against the rest of the field.

But today, even with perfect colluding, it is very difficult to get a player to a final table, no matter how many chip-dumps his colluding-team can manage. Yes, but there function is much more supplying its client casinos with information than actively patrolling casinos looking for cheats like they used to.

I am not joking! I could write a book just on that They offered him extremely foolish rebates on his losses as well as other casino-detrimental incentives. For this to happen again, an almost impossible set of circumstances would have to reoccurr. You can always file a complaint with the gaming commission that governs the particular casino or poker room, however, in most cases they simply back the casino or poker room.

Do I believe them? I have not heard about a case of that in years! Heavy shadows can make it impossible to discern chip values and even card values, both of which can hamper casino and poker-cheating investigations. I have seen this shadow-problem most with poker tables.

The overhead camera is often shadowed-out by the low table-lighting above the poker table. I will have much more on this upcoming on my blog page. In fact they do! Even though poker collusion is very difficult to prove, enough circumstantial evidence can convince a judge or jury that collusion did indeed take place. The key is to obtain surveillance video of the game in question, which would be the equivalent of tracing hand histories in online games. I won it in So I think we will put that one to bed!

Probably not much in the poker tournament area, but player beware in the side cash games! Lots of big time poker collusion will go on. Well, the answer is simple-stupid. That kind of answers the question, right?? Even though your chances of beating Phil Ivey at poker, given his skills as both a top-notch poker player and cheat, he is still not the person I would least want to go up against. Remember his spying-on-other-teams scandal a few years back?

Every poker player has their opinion on who they think is the best in the business, and the debate about best of all time has graced many a home-game over the years. You probably have your own opinion about the most talented poker players on the circuit at the moment, and we do too. Our list represents the players we think should be on this important list. Of course, if you disagree then let us know who you think should be on it.

Also, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Female Poker Players and let us know what you think! Our highest-placed player, Negreanu was named the Global Poker Index player of the decade on the strength of consistently good performances in the live arena.

Seidel is another player to have begun his career before the internet poker boom, first making a name for himself with a second-place finish at the WSOP Main Event, his knockout hand being immortalized in the movie 'Rounders'. One of the most popular poker players on the live tournament scene, Esfandiari has been a household name for more than a decade and it is over 10 years since his first million dollar score at the LA Poker Classic. The Iranian-born pro, now living in the United States, has made six figures every single year since and has two World Poker Tour titles to go with his three World Series of Poker bracelets.

German High Roller Fedor Holz has seen a meteoric rise to poker fame with being a huge year for the young player. Widely regarded as one of the best online and live tournament poker players of the modern era, Holz was ranked best online MTT player in both and but was definitely Holz' year.

Thanks to his success in , Holz was ranked number 7 on the Global Player Index. If you are first to act at a Full Ring table you will have 8 or 9 people to act after you. It is natural that you need a very strong hand to be able to open the pot.

Furthermore, it is also likely that someone with a stronger hand will get involved AND have position on you throughout the hand. AND you know you will have position throughout the hand. These are the reasons why poker players play very few hands from Early positions and a lot more from Late position not as extreme when the game is shorthanded.

Think about this the next time you consider opening a decent, but not great hand UTG in a Full Ring game next time. Even if you believe you have a skill advantage over your opponents make sure you have enough games at the level under your belt to be sure of this you might well be playing a hand with a card disadvantage and a positional disadvantage.

Have a clear reason for playing the hand if you do, for example that table is folding much too often, or for deception occasionally or since you are much stronger than the opponents. An example of the value of position preflop is you hold a fairly strong hand in late position. On the other hand, if you had been UTG you would have open raised with this hand — without any information about how your opponents like their hands. The difference between acting before or after you opponent can often mean as much as saving a bet when you have the worst hand and winning an extra bet when you have the better hand.

This may not sound like much, but it is. Sometimes the last bet is on the river, in a big pot. In general you can play the same way in the early stages of a Tournament as you do in a Cash game with the following considerations:. Some people say you should take every chance to collect money at early stages, because otherwise you will have too small chance to win. This is not true. With a correct strategy for opening up your game when the blinds increase you will still have good chances of winning.

If skill advantage is ignored optimal strategy in a tournament is identical to a cash game when far from the money. In a Sit and Go you need to play a little bit tighter. The reason for this is that the so called Bubble effect is noticeable from the very start of a Sit and Go it is normally negligible in a large MTT Multi Table Tournament.

The Bubble is what it is called when the tournament is at a stage so that it is getting close to the money payouts. Usually many inexperienced players tighten up a lot at this stage because they really want something to show for their efforts.

This can be taken advantage of by skilled opponents by raising with more hands and increased aggression. Due to something called Bubble Factor correct strategy is in general to raise when first in with more hands, but avoid confrontations more than normally call or reraise with fewer hands. The Bubble Factor helps you decide exactly how to play an optimal strategy at any time in a Tournament or a Sit and Go.

The ICM is a way to convert tournament chips into real money. This is somewhat complicated but very important. The more chips a player has, the less each chip is worth. Try it for free for 30 days and make up your mind late. Bubble Factor Kill Everyone: A critical skill in poker is being able to adjust to your opponents. You want to do this to maximize your earnings from their mistakes and minimize your own mistakes that they can take advantage of. In general, if a table is playing tighter than normal, you should play looser.

If a table is playing looser than normal you should play tighter. You get a fairly good idea for what average play is by the Preflop Strategy. This is pretty average except on Microstakes which are much looser most of the time. On top of this you might play looser than normal if you have a high skill edge against your competitors and you might play tighter than normal if your opponents are more skilled than you but normally select a different table.

Many poker players are overdoing these adjustments. Be careful when you stray from the default strategy since it can make you very exploitable when someone notices this. This may be a reasonable starting point at a cash game table. However, in a tournament people can sometimes become so tight when it is getting close to the money so you can play more or less every hand. These situations will mostly require experience, feel for the table dynamics and knowledge about the bubble factors and how that influences the game.

If someone has 3-bet you four times in the last 20 minutes you will be tempted to fight back next time, right? This goes for most people. Exactly how to adjust to game flow, table dynamics, mental game etc is something that mainly must be learned with experience.

One thing to consider though, is that many people are overadjusting and doing it too quickly. Or is it more likely that he happened to get good hands twice in a row?

Most of the time it is actually the latter. And it can be a more costly mistake to 4-bet light in the wrong situation than to fold a marginal hand. For example, if someone with a normal image has 3-bet you 3 times, you should still assume he is playing his normal game unless you have other reasons to think he is out of line.

However, the fourth time he does it in a short period of time you can start assigning him a wider range than normal. But be careful how far you take your adjustments also. And, when someone knows he has been overdoing something, he may well have decided to shift gears, by the time you start adjusting.

This goes both ways of course, pay attention to how your opponents are likely to perceive you. And if you have done something 3 times in a short time span you might consider changing gears if your opponent is likely to catch up on this and do something about it.

Most tables will have some decent opponents so the table average will not be that far from normal most of the time. And when it is, it will most of the time only be for a short period. You should also keep an eye on if the big blind loves to squeeze or raise limpers and tighten up limps and cold-calls if he does. If he overdo it a lot it is an opportunity to trap with premium hands.

You should also keep an eye on blinds who loves to squeeze or raise limpers and tighten up limps and cold-calls if they do. If they overdo it a lot it is an opportunity to trap with premium hands. You should also keep an eye on blinds and button who loves to squeeze or raise limpers and tighten up limps and cold-calls if they do.

Some people think that it is not worth putting much attention to blind stealing since the blinds are so small. Just use the default opening range and everything will be fine. But that will be a big opportunity lost.

Realistic win rates Posted in General 2 Comments. The following is based on quite extensive research on various resources online including among others these: If you have higher rates than this you are probably running hot.

Personally I go by this guideline which I think makes sense: Some things to think about regarding variance: It helps you cope with the down-swings. They are after all very natural, even for the best players in the world. If you are a winning player, most of the time you will go plus. If you play 4 tables of 6-max it will take less than hours to reach 30 hands.

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