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Wildjack Online Blackjack

The game of blackjack is one of the most famous casino games. It has a rich history that dates back hundreds of years. Throughout the world, in many different countries and in many different languages, people play blackjack. Today, the internet has become the most popular place to play with websites like the Wildjack online blackjack casino drawing thousands of players every day from all over the globe. Read more

A Little Superstitious

Whether we admit it or not, we all feel a little superstitious, whether we’re picking up pennies, throwing salt over our shoulders or not crossing on the stairs. Old wives tales they may be, but one Glaswegian Bingo Hall has taken this to new heights. The Scottish Mecca Bingo Hall is testing the truth behind these old myths by bringing in a pair of lucky black cats to bring its players good fortune! Whether it helps or not is yet to be seen, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the strangest and most interesting good luck charms in history.

Four Leaf Clover

One of the most common and well used symbols for good luck, the four leaf clover is commonly tied to Irish history, and has been used for everything from Cereal Boxes, Sports logos and even tattoos. The four-leaf clover is a fairly uncommon variant of the more commonly found three-leaf clover. According to tradition, these clovers bring good fortune as each leaf is believed to represent something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.

The Number Eight

It is said that the number 8 is lucky in China, and many eastern countries due to the word’s similarity in pronunciation to the word for wealth or fortune. The popularity of the number was clear during the Beijing Olympics, which began at 8.08pm on August 8th, 2008. One Chinese driver spent over £100,000 on a unique licence plate with the 5 number 8’s on it, only to be pulled over 8 times on his first day of ownership because Police kept assuming it was a fake!

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A Beginners’ Guide to Online Poker: How to Hit the Ground Running

If you are new to the world of online poker, one thing that you can be sure is that you are not alone. Whether you have experience of the game and its numerous formats in an offline environment or are new to gambling as a whole, the online poker market is well-populated with beginners who are looking to simultaneously build experience and hone their skills.

A Beginners’ Guide to Online Poker: 5 Tips to Help you on Your Way

With this in mind, there is a huge demand for practical information and tips that can help online poker players to thrive in an unfamiliar and enduringly popular marketplace. Here are five that you help you on your way as an online poker novice: –

  1. Practice before you Play for Real Money

Let’s start with the basics, as it is important that you practice and embark on a period of learning before you wager your real and hard-earned cash in an online poker room. Even if you have practised on an individual basis and absorbed as much knowledge as possible, there is a pressing need experience a competitive, real-time playing market before making a financial commitment.

Fortunately, there are community rooms, outlets and sites where you can hone your skills and play for free, as you test your skills in a risk-free and friendly environment. The free-to-play video poker games at Red Flush Casino for example offer first-hand exposure to a range of different formats giving you experience before you put your cash on the table.

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Accumulator Bets: Player’s Revenge or Bookies Delight?

Every gambler feels the allure of the accumulator bet. Who hasn’t heard the siren song, read a newspaper article, where a random person wins a fortune after their piddly $5 bet beats all the odds?

While these make great stories it really is the equivalent of winning the lottery. When something is ranked as a 25,000 to 1 shot it literally means the bookie believes you could run those matches/races 25,000 times until you got that result.

Sure they could be wrong but if bookies were actually losing on accumulator bets then, I can safely say, tomorrow all the sports books would be closing shop.

Despite the painful days, truth is, bookies love accumulators because most punters treat it like a novice roulette game. They hear that they can get 36 to 1 odds and their little greedy hearts start counting all the money they are going to win rather than noticing that 36 to 1 (technically 37 to 1) gives you a pretty poor chance of winning.

In some respects, these bettors are worse than roulette players because at least the ones playing the casino game will try to lower the odds, betting on multiple numbers. Accumulator players though will often do the opposite adding match-upon-match/race-upon-race, their greed overcoming their mathematics.

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You Simply Need to Get Educated

It may seem very trivial to many people but simply knowing the rules of the game is an area that many poker players don’t even bother with. The rules of poker differ somewhat and they certainly differ from game to game with huge differences in how various forms of poker are conducted at large poker sites . For example I have run across many players who struggle when moving across from say no limit holdem to Omaha based on the fact that in Omaha then you have to use two cards in your hand and three from the board.

The game rules in Omaha confuse many a novice player and this can be easily highlighted for example with the following hand. Let us say that in four card Omaha you get dealt the Kc-Jd-10h-8s and the final board is 9s-9d-8c-4h-8h. In holdem then you would have a full house of nines over eights because you can play one card from your hand. However in Omaha then the rules state that you must play two cards and so you only have one eight from your hand plus one other card! For you to be able to make a full house here then you need to have a four in your hand or a nine or possibly a pair of fours.

Another example could be if the final board is 9-9-4-4-9, taking your previous hand then you still do not have a full house. Remember that you must use only three cards from the middle and so the three nines must combine with two cards from your starting hand. Seeing as you do not hold a pair then you cannot have a full house. You would be amazed at just how many players I have seen commit huge errors in this area and even experienced players who should know better often misread their hand in Omaha. Just like in any form of poker then not knowing the rules of the game can really hurt you where it hurts the most and that is in your pocket.

The bottom line is that poker is a knowledge based game just like chess and you really need to build up your knowledge first and then the results should improve. This is the process that any winning online poker player follows. There is a saying that knowledge is power……that is true but under no circumstances should you attempt to short cut that knowledge.

Carl “The Dean” Sampson plays poker at 888poker and is an 888 poker ambassador

Play Better Online Poker

Finding a weakness in your opponent and then exploiting it is the very definition of poker.

When you come up against a player who calls when he or she does not have the requisite odds to do so, be it implied or pot odds, is defined as a weakness.

These players are called Calling Stations, and here is a little bit of advice on how to approach them during sessions on popular poker sites like 888.

Firstly, as the name implies these types of players are not going to be folding often, meaning they are not prime candidates for bluffing.

Make sure you have a solid hand range and only bet for value. When you are betting for value, they are the prime candidates to over bet with your strong hands.

Not only are you going to garner more chips, but the other players seated around the table will see that you are capable of over betting the pot, something that can be used to your advantage, later in the tournament.

Over betting the pot is a great technique against calling stations but you do need to keep an eye on their stack size.

The shorter the stack becomes, the more likely they are to fold, thus losing you value.

This is because tournament preservation will be priority in their minds. So, when dealing with the short-stacked calling station, bet sufficiently enough to leave them with around 25% of their stack.

Last but not least, always try and exploit these players in the early stages of an 888 tournament because they are not likely to be around long!

A monotone board is a board where each card contains the same suit, and they can be a little tricky to play. The board can mean flop, turn or river and it is a term used in relation to where you are in the hand.

Imagine you are the pre flop raiser in a 888poker event and you receive one caller. The flop is [Qs] [8s] [Ts], you bet and are raised. What thought process should you apply in this spot?

It is more likely that your opponent called with a suited hand than a non-suited hand, as it is optimal game theory (suited hands give you more post flop equity). So players are not raising that often with their one-spade hands. Its true that your mind will often trick you into believing this is the case, but the maths just dont stand up to scrutiny.

Your opponent is very likely to have great equity. Unless you are involved in some sort of levelling war, players generally steer clear of bluff raising on these types of boards.

Players often get their thinking skewed in these types of spots. They think that because there are more draws than flush hands that they should call the raise, but they are not taking equity into consideration.

Look at it a different way, from the perspective of the 888 poker blog, Imagine we have flopped ace-queen on the same type of board (with no spade) and we face a raise.

We need to be right a large percentage of the time in order to call, and we just arent going to find what we are looking for. Monotone boards are tricky, and always remember there is a hand waiting just around the corner. If you get raised, then fold, and wait for a better spot.

Carl Sampson is an online poker player and poker ambassador for 888poker

How to play Better SNG’s

I played my first $5 SNG with the loose aggressive style, here’s a quick recap of my view on loose aggressive:

Loose Aggressive

I want to see a lot of hands, and I want to raise a lot of hands, especially with position. When I get in a pot I want to take control and bully my opponents. If I catch a substantial piece or a big draw then I am going to play it like its the nuts. I will not slowplay anything because that will make my big hands all the more obvious. Bet-bet-bet is the strategy and I am calling with overs, suited cards, and inside straight draws, and you will like it!

Well, they liked it alright, I busted in 9th place! I got my stack up to $3000 and quickly back down to $0, haha, here’s how it all went down:

I raised 5x the big blind with 33 under-the-gun on my first hand, one caller. I continuation bet it 3/4 the pot and he folded.

Check from the big blind with J4o and flopped low two pair. I overbet the pot on every turn of the cards, getting one caller. He mucks top pair, kings and I’m up to $3000, the height of my reign.

Next hand played I raised from the small blind with 10-4 suited. The flop was 10-J-K and I bet the pot, bet the pot, bet the pot. Passive caller beat me out of $1800 chips… what gives?

I raised with A10 of diamonds and flopped the nut flush draw. I bet the pot. Turned a straight draw as well and I overbet the pot. Hit my straight, went all in but opponent folded.

The other players have begun talking about how I always raise and how aggressive I am, guess my cover is blown.

I raised with Q9 offsuit and had three callers, they had lost all respect for my bets by this time. The flop came Q 9 A and I bet the pot, one caller. He bet into me on the turn and I went all in. He called and showed AQ, I was down to $700 chips.

Finally from the big blind I had 35 suited in diamonds. A middle position player moves all in with one callers, I reraised all in on top and was called by A2 and 10-10. Unfortunately I didn’t improve and was knocked out in 9th!

Tight Passive

Playing tight passive was very difficult for me, I guess I just care too much. It was really hard for me not reraise a lot of pots and pressure my opponents, but I reminded myself that it was only $5 and hopefully would have some interesting results. Well, I did fare better than in my loose aggressive game by coming in 7th. A few key hands included:

First hand I limped with K10s and flopped top pair (10 7 8 flop). I check called the button twice and he ended up mucking K8 and I won the $240 pot.

The next hand I played I limped with A5o (A 4 7 flop). I check-checked the flop, bet 40 on the turn, and check-checked the river. The one caller mucked K2 (pair of 2s on the turn).

In my big blind I checked with 10-9 offsuit (J 8 4 flop) and I check-called $100 on the flop and turn, check-checked the river when I missed my straight, and my opponent won with 33.

I was back to around $1500 when this hand came up… I limped under-the-gun with AK offsuit when the person directly to my left raised to 300. The button proceded to reraise all-in. I called-all-in and the initial raiser also called. The hands were JJ (button), AJ(initial raiser) and AK (myself). Board was Q 6 7 10 3 and I busted in 7th place!

So far neither of my playing styles have had any real advantages, and I think it would be excedingly hard to consistently make money with either, especially if I can’t even come close the first time. A few stats to sum things up.

Carl “The Dean” Sampson is a poker ambassador and poker player at 888poker

The Art of Poker Analysis

The great Doyle Brunson once remarked how the most important thing in poker is to know where you stand in the hand. So just what are the ramifications of this and how can we possibly use this to our advantage? Firstly let us look at a few examples to show you what I mean. It is folded around to the cut-off who makes it 3bb to go and you call on the button with the 10d-8d. Both blinds fold and we go to the flop heads up with 140bb effective stacks.

 
The flop comes Jd-4h-3s and our opponent c/bets for 5bb into the 7bb pot. Now before we continue we know that we are almost certainly behind in this situation. It is tough for our opponent to have less than ten high. However we have several things in our favour. Firstly the pot is heads up which means that we have less obstacles to get through in order to win the pot and this applies to any online poker variation.

 
Secondly we have some backdoor outs to the flush and straight but also outs to a pair of tens or eights which could also give us the best hand. If they have say A-Q and we pair with a ten or an eight on the turn then we overtake them..a lot of players fail to take these outs on board simply because we cannot make top pair. Another key factor is that we have position and that is crucial in any hand of poker. However the biggest factor by far is the fact that our opponent is not a favourite to have either a strong pre-flop hand given their position or have connected with this flop.

 
So despite the fact that we know we dont have much by way of actual hand strength when looked at in a conventional way, when we assess all of the other factors and take everything into account..we actually have a far stronger position than first appears. If you only ever view this hand as weak because you only have ten high then you are never going to maximise your earn rate or take your game to the next level. Let us look at another example to show you what I mean which will highlight a very important point.

 
Let us say that we have the As-4s on a Kh-10c-5h board and our opponent has the 3c-3d. We dont have the best hand but if we knew that our opponent held pocket threes then would that really matter.no! Because if we knew this then any raise by us either on the flop or turn will win the pot assuming our opponent doesnt catch a three. So we can ascertain here that if our opponent c/bets and we raise that there is a very high percentage probability that they will fold. This underlines the fact that if we know our opponent is very weak then it doesnt really matter if we have the best hand or not because weak hands fold to pressure..end of story.

 
When we know that we are weak and we have no equity to fall back on then this is usually the deciding factor in whether we fold or not! We cannot try to blast our opponents from the pot every single time that we play otherwise our range will be too polarised between strong hands and junk and the more observant opponents will catch onto that.

 

 

Carl Sampson is an online poker player and poker ambassador for 888poker

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