“Fit or Fold” As a Strategic Approach in Poker

You can most certainly play poker with a straightforward approach. Play the Top Ten hands, pocket Aces through tens with Big Slick and Big Chick tossed in with the occasional foray with an A-J- or A-10, but eventually that will become recognizable, especially by your opposition. Thus, when you come in for your raises, the entirety of the table will run the other direction and you’ll get nothing out of the effort.

The next step in your poker evolution is to start incorporating some trickery into your game. When you play certain hands like baby pairs or suited connectors, you’re going to face a change. With these hands, should you miss, you’re probably not going to win the hand (pocket Aces or Kings can sometimes survive on their own). Thus, you have to look at the “fit or fold” approach, which can be a very profitable and strategic approach to poker.

If You Fit, You Sit

First is the easy part of the equation. If you hit your hand – say catch a trey while holding pocket threes or hit an open-ended straight draw with your 8♠ 7♠ – then you’re going to “sit” in the hand. You should be able to call a bet, if there is one ahead of you, or you can open up the betting yourself should you have the action. Because you’ve hit what you were looking for, you’re ready to go to battle with what you’ve got.

The problematic side of this is if an opponent continues to play against you in the hand. Let’s say the hand is K-3-8 with your pocket threes and, after it is checked to you, you put a bet on the table. Now your opponent wakes up with a check-raise. Did you get caught in your own trap? Did your opposition mine his own set? This is where you have to have some information on your opponent, to see if such a play is in their toolbox.

If your opponent calls and comes along, this isn’t the worst thing for you. Especially with our example hand, the potential hand ranges aren’t going to beat you (about the only one that is problematic would be a K-8, in our example, as another King gives you a lesser boat, but a player on A-K or 9-8 isn’t going to catch up with you). But you do have to keep your eyes open to any other potential dangers that might present themselves.

If It Doesn’t Fit, You’ve Got to Quit

In the event that you don’t hit your hand, then your future is pretty much set. Let’s stay with our pocket threes example, except let’s change the flop this time to a K-4-8. Every one of the cards on the flop is bigger than your treys, meaning that even someone with a measly 5-4 has you beat. In this position, you’re probably not going to be betting a great deal of the time and, should someone bet out, it is possible that you’ve got to quit the hand.

But what if you were to “float?” Floating is an option that some players might take on a hand like this, thinking that their opponent was on paint (say a K-Q) or maybe a 9-8 (among other ideas, such as your opponent having their own pocket pair). But you’ve got to be convinced that your opponent would be capable of a play like this. If you do choose to float the flop, then you’ve got the same potential outcome facing you on the turn – do you fit? If not, you’ve got to quit.


Using a “fit or fold” approach is a good way to mix up your play and be active at the table, sometimes for a small expenditure, and it can be good to get away from an ABC game and make some money. But you’ve got to have the discipline to be able to get away from your hand – “fold” – if you don’t fit into the equation. If you haven’t this discipline, either after the flop or even after the turn, then you will bleed through chips and turn profitable sessions into unprofitable ones.



Poker Psychology

You have probably seen various scenes about poker in many popular movies. The heroes cautiously look at each other, trying to understand each other’s intentions and guess what cards they have in their hands. Unexpectedly for everyone, an outsider who has lost most of his games and is desperate to win his cash back raises his stakes. Is he bluffing? Or does he really have a winning combination in his hands? It is all about psychology, and there is no denying that knowledge about people’s minds can help you win any poker game.

The main key to that knowledge is people’s facial expressions. Some players can hide their emotions effectively, but even the absence of emotion is also a small tip. But remember that you are not the only one watching others, they are watching you too. Studies suggest that people make most of their decisions in poker after judging the facial expressions of their opponents. Here is when bluffing comes in handy – show your grief while having a perfect combination or be too happy about almost losing your stake. Try to look “trustworthy” so fewer opponents would assume you are bluffing, and never believe in what you see when you look at other people’s faces. Psychology is what makes poker not just another gambling card game, but a game of minds full of tactics and strategies. 

The last tip – don’t take it too seriously during home games! Knowledge of psychology can be effective, but it also totally demolishes the lighthearted atmosphere of a fun poker time with friends.


Arizona State Poker Championship Returns on July 8

After being postponed for two years due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Arizona State Poker Championship will return this July.

The Arizona State Poker Championship Will Run Through July 8-12

The 16th state poker tournament will return to the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale. Resuming after two years of postponement due to the pandemic, the Arizona State Poker Championship is planned to launch on July 8 and run through July 12. The event will take place at the Talking Stick Arena Poker Room. The overall prize pool of the prestigious tournament is expected to be more than $1 million.

Sign-ups for the tournament already started on May 28. The buy-in for the tournament is set at $1,100, which also includes a $100 service fee. The buy-in grants the poker players $16,000 in tournament chips. However, additional $10,000 bonus chips can be purchased for an extra $30.

It’s important to mention that the bonus chips can only be purchased before the players have received their first hand. On the other hand, re-entries to the Arizona State Poker Championship, as well as late entries will be allowed until the end of the first break on all-day ones.

The Championship Is One of the Most Exciting Poker Evens in Arizona

According to Talking Stick Resort, the tournament rolls out on June 8 at 9 AM. Then the semi-finals are going to take place on June 11, starting at 9 AM once again, while the finals are planned for July 12 with 10 AM as starting time. Besides a monetary prize, the tournament will award the top players a trophy.

Of all the tournaments we host, the Arizona State Poker Championship is easily the most exciting.

Ramon Martinez, director of public relations at the Talking Stick Resort

In a statement released Thursday, Talking Stick Resort’s director of public relations, Ramon Martinez, acknowledged that the Arizona State Poker Championship is one of the most exciting tournaments offered by the venue. He went on to explain that the players “have big, colorful personalities and their poker play is mesmerizing.”

The popular event is expected to attract some of the best poker players from different parts of the globe. Moreover, the championship will take place at The Arena Poker Room, which is Arizona’s largest poker room. The room features 47 tables and 16 big-screen TVs. Visitors to the poker room can also enjoy different foods and beverages.



Poker Online

As a rapidly expanding market, online poker is a major source of revenue for the world economy. Just a computer and an internet connection are needed to begin playing, making it easily accessible. Some pros in the poker world look down on online poker rooms because they believe poker is a precise psychological game that can only be enjoyed by facing live opponents. Those arguments aren’t completely without merit, but the ease and convenience of online rooms more than make up for any shortcomings.
Since casinos are outlawed in many countries, poker fans who want to indulge in their pastime must resort to playing the game they love in virtual settings, such as online poker clubs. Here’s where online poker rooms come in useful; if you’re familiar with the game’s rules and basic card combinations and have access to a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection, you can start playing right away. Since many of the activities between turns may be automated in online poker, it is also much more convenient. Due to the lack of physical proximity between the player and the other players, internet poker is a good option for novice players who are concerned about unintentionally revealing their hand.

Poker Rooms Online

The first step in playing poker online is always choose a reliable poker room. PokerStars, 888Poker, and Ipoker are three of the most well-known virtual card rooms for playing the game. The online poker market is 90% concentrated in these “playgrounds,” and tens of thousands of players frequent them every day.


BetMGM’s First Live Poker Tournament Breaks Guarantee, Shows Off…

BetMGM‘s first-ever live poker tournament beat its $1 million guarantee. The success of the four-day tournament in Las Vegas also boosted speculation that BetMGM Poker NV — a project long-rumored to be in the works — could be closer to reality.

The premiere BetMGM Poker Championship, held at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas from June 23 to June 26, drew a total of 343 players. The tournament’s popularity ultimately pushed the prize pool up to $1,097,600. The top 44 finishers took home prize money.

Another factor that helped propel the BetMGM tournament was that it headlined the ARIA Poker Classic, a more extensive series that began on June 1 and wraps on July 17.

The BetMGM Poker Championship represented the operator’s second crack at running a major online satellite campaign across Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania — the other states where it offers online poker. Its first campaign supported March Poker Mania, a series held in the three states mentioned above in March.

Series Shows BetMGM’s Potential to Challenge WSOP/888

For BetMGM, the live series provided a rare opportunity to see how it could give the rival WSOP/888 Network some severe competition.

WSOP NV is currently the only online poker operator in Nevada. The brand’s monopoly started in 2014, when the state’s first online poker room, Ultimate Bet, ceased operations.

Nevada is one of four states to have signed the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), which allows operators to combine player pools with those in Delaware, Michigan, and New Jersey and share liquidity. Michigan joined the interstate compact in May and is currently working on getting its three online poker operators, including BetMGM, on completing a handful of requirements before authorizing interstate play.

To date, the WSOP/888 Network is the only operator able to take advantage of being in all four MSIGA states. The network includes WSOP NJ and 888poker NJ, WSOP NV in Nevada, and three racinos in Delaware running 888poker software with racino-branded skins.

A new entity, potentially called the partypoker US Network, could link BetMGM Poker MI and its counterparts in New Jersey that form the BetMGM NJ Network — specifically, BetMGM Poker NJ, Borgata Poker NJ, and partypoker NJ.

While a four-room poker network across two states could blunt WSOP/888 to a degree, the prospect of a five-room poker network that spans three states would make the BetMGM brand — a 50-50 joint venture between Entain and MGM Resort International — more competitive. Hence, the allure of a BetMGM Poker NV launch.

Weissman Draws Royal Flush on the Way to Tournament Win

Joey Weissman of New York won the BetMGM Poker Championship and took home $224,236. The poker pro scored three final table knockouts, including a royal flush. Paul Hoefer of Germany was second with $159,152 in winnings and was the only player from outside the US to make it to the final table of six players. Noel Rodriguez of California finished third and won $104,272.

Benji Felson, an online qualifier from New Jersey, finished fifth. BetMGM said the New Jersey resident was able to turn “a $500 online tournament into a Las Vegas poker package before securing a spot at the final table.” Felson ultimately took home a $51,587 payout.



The rules of poker

The game is designed to be played by anywhere between two and 10 players. The dealer distributes face-down cards to each player. Following the completion of the distribution, the betting rounds commence. Two players (often seated on the dealer’s left) must make forced bets (often called blinds). This is done to stimulate more energetic and vigorous play. After the blinds are posted, the first betting round commences. Typically, betting rounds conclude when all players have either called (the act of matching the wager) or discarded their hands.
If more than one player remains after the initial betting round, three face-up cards are delivered (this event is known as the flop). These cards are required to form hands and can be utilized by all players (they are known as “community cards”). If more than one player remains, a new card is dealt, and this is referred to as the turn. After the turn, another round of betting commences. The last community card, known as the river, is dealt if required. The river is followed by another betting round, and if two or more players are seeking the bank, the reveal happens. Poker hands (or combinations) are comprised of five community cards and two face-down cards held by the player. When the final wager is announced, all players holding cards begin to disclose them.
There are two winning strategies in poker. To acquire the strongest hand or to place a wager that cannot be matched, forcing opponents to discard their hands.


What are the blinds in poker and what is…

Bets are an integral part of poker – they make the game way more engaging. The bank consists of bets, and in order to constitute the bank at the beginning of the game, two players have to make forced bets, which are called blinds. 

There are two types of blinds – small blinds and big blinds. A small blind is a half of a minimum bet and is usually made by the player sitting left of the dealer. The value of the big blind is equal to that of a minimal bet itself and is usually made by the player sitting left of the person making a small blind. Those types of forced bets are made before two players sitting left of the dealer receive their cards, hence the name – blinds. Sometimes, the term “blind” also refers to the player making said bet. Since the dealer is the last person to make a bet, the position of those players who have to make blinds is considered to be the hardest – you can’t properly analyze the consecutive bets of your opponents, since you’ve already made one.

The purpose of the blind is to make a game more interesting – if not for them, it would be too easy for players to pass without having strong cards in their starting hands. 

In online poker, the size of the blinds is equal to that of the table limit itself. Since the limits of bets in poker can range from a few cents to thousands of dollars, blinds are used as a standard measurement unit for all mathematical calculations in poker regarding money.


What is the call in poker?

A call is a poker term, referring to a specific type of bet. A call is a way of “answering” the opponent’s bet or raise with an equal amount of chips. So basically, the call always equals the previous bet. 

The use of call 

End of the betting round: if you have the last say or none of the opponents have raised the bet. It means that all bets are now equal and now another card is dealt or the cards are revealed in a showdown.

Opponents’ raise: if you don’t have the last say, it is highly likely that your opponents will raise their bets. In this case, you have to call, making your bet equal to that of your opponents. 

The initial bet remains: in this case, all players make their bet equal to the blind, and none of them makes the raise during this round. 

Variations of a call

Cold call: on preflop the first player is making a bet, the second player raises it, and the third player makes a call. This move is great if you have a strong hand. 

Snap call: an instant call to an opponent’s bet. A signature move of experienced players who calculate opponents’ actions, but also can be a sign of a new player, who is yet to learn what hands to play and when to fold. 

Flat call: calling a bet when raising it would have been an optimal move. Often viewed as a type of slow-play.

Sometimes call is viewed as a type of passive play, signifying the weak cards in your hand. This cant bait your opponents into thinking they have better cards and continue playing. This strategy is a typical bluff.


What is a poker mining?

Poker mining is a process of collecting and analyzing other players’ stats. This info provides an advantage over other players in the long run, since it shows how often the specific player takes specific actions in certain phases of the game, which makes it easier to predict the opponent’s moves and increases your winrate. 

While most poker rooms forbid the usage of poker miners while in-game, you can safely mine all the necessary data when you’re not actually playing the game.

A poker miner is a useful tool for those players looking to increase their winrate in the long term. It allows you to play higher limits without the fear of facing unknown opponents. Studying your opponents’ actions and mistakes will grant you the edge over them, significantly increasing your chances for victory. But it’s important to keep in mind that your data can also be mined and used against you.

Traits of a good poker miner

A decent poker miner should provide the following:

Daily updates.

The ability to refresh stats in online mode.

Mining data from both cash games and professional poker rooms (to better study the actions of professional players and improve your skills)

The minimal amount of delays, since you’ll often need to get the info as soon as possible.

One of the most popular poker mining services is HHMailer. It provides mining for popular poker rooms such as PokerStars or IPoker. The data on low-limit games is actually provided for free, which can be of use for beginners.


What is an All-In in poker and when to…

All-in is an act of betting all chips in your possession. It is possible to make an all-in during all betting rounds in the game, including the preflop. In No-Limit Holdem an all-in is used in the following situations:

You’ve collected the “premium” hand. Turn and River are the most suitable rounds for making an all-in – in later stages of the game opponents are more likely to call your bets. 

You have a good hand. If you’re sure your hand will result in a strong combination on the flop stage, it is wise to raise the bets. If the opponent calls very aggressively, it would be smart to make an all-in.

You have bad cards in your hand and want to bluff. Making an all-in while having a weak hand is a typical scene in movies, however, you shouldn’t repeat it in reality without necessity. 

You are in the tournament and have the biggest stack among the opponents. Your opponents with smaller stacks will do whatever it takes to stay in the tournament, so you make an all-in and add blinds and ante to your stack. Players with big stacks tend to play aggressively, while players with smaller stacks are more passive.

However, your opponents can also make an all-in. The smartest thing to do in this case is to simply look at your cards – you can safely call if you have a strong hand, and folding is the better option for those with weak hands. If multiple players make an all-in, the stack is split depending on the number of big blinds available to each player and the strength of the combination.