Category Archives: online poker game

Continuation Bet

What is a continuation bet?

What is a continuation bet?

Also known as the “cbet,” the continuation bet is bet is gaining popularity at the no-limit Texas Hold’em  tables. It’s easy to pull off and it often works well, and players, from recreational and free poker players, to the most seasoned pros like it because they can learn how to use it quickly.

So what is it exactly a Continuation Bet?

A continuation bet is a bet that you make on the flop if you raised pre-flop, even if the flop didn’t help your hand at all. So if you raised before the flop holding K-Q and you saw the flop bring you 3-8-J, even though you still lack even a pair, you can still up your chances of winning the pot by placing a bet.

Why? Because ⅔ of the time, your opponent won’t make a pair or better either. So if you make a continuation bet, and your opponent folds because they didn’t make a pair or better at the flop, you’ll win more pots on the flop than you would by just checking. This is the basic rationale for the success of the continuation bet.

How do you make a good continuation bet?

First, make your bet the right size. Between ⅔ and ¾ of the existing pot is a good place to start. Is the pot at $20? Then put in $15. If you don’t bet enough, your opponents might call, because their pot odds are good if they are at a draw or if their hand is good at all. You want to make it look like your hand is solid, such as a top pair or even better, scaring the rest out of the pot. If you go over 75%, though, your returns diminish and you’re risking more than you really need to.

Second, take a look at your opponent reads. This will tell you whether a continuation bet is a good idea. If your opponent is an absolute novice, he’s likely to call bets no matter what kind of hand he has. This means that a continuation bet might not make sense, because your competition is too new to realize that he shouldn’t bet every hand. Also, if you’re playing against experts, they also know about continuation bets and may realize what you’re doing, and then they may call or raise you figuring that you just have an iffy hand. If you’re playing against an average group, though, then you can make some money.

How does the flop determine whether or not you should bet?

Let’s say you’re playing a few hand at your favorite poker site and you’re holding A-K and the flop shows up 3-Q-6. Your opponent isn’t likely to call a continuation bet unless they have a pair of kings at least, with the flop. Your opponent does have a 2 in 3 chance of having a pair show up on the flop, but even if they get a pair with the 3 or 6, they still might fold because the size of your bet makes it look like you could beat a pair of 3s or 6s.

If the flop has two of the same suit, though, or if it comes through something like J-K-2, a straight draw becomes more likely, so a call could happen. The continuation bet is most likely to work if they have a strong hand made for them without the draw.

Is it safe for trying at the online poker tables?

The answer is yes. You can start practicing at the play for free poker tables and then move on to real money poker whenever you feel ready. Although, you should always take a look at the flop and consider the likelihood of your opponent making a hand that will allow them to feel comfortable calling a bet. The wetter (more helpful) the flop, the less likely you should be to run a continuation bet with a weak hand.

Put poker skills on the line. You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash!

Poker Bots - Online Poker

How to Identify Poker Bots

How to Identify Poker Bots

Online poker players sometimes ask about How to Identify Poker Bots. If you’ve been hitting the online poker tables then you’ve probably heard the term “Poker Bot”. But what exactly is a “poker bot”? It is a program designed to make automatic decisions when playing poker. It does not have emotion as a factor, which makes it a tough adversary for people. Bots are programmed to know the odds they have and the odds they need, which means that they have the winning tactics programmed inside them. They can also sit a lot of tables at the same time since they make instant decisions. Of course, some bots have flawed strategy inside them, meaning that they will not often play well, particularly against bets that are unusually small or large. They are good at exploiting novices, though, by taking advantage of their propensity to call bets too frequently.

So how do legal online poker rooms identify bots? The sites do have automatic systems in place to check for them, but sometimes they do slip through. This means that you need to be on the lookout for some of the tells that you are playing against one of these applications.

Many online poker sites test for bots by putting a bright message in the chatbox, asking players to type in some characters into the chat to verify their humanity. Bots don’t notice this, and they keep playing as usual, but the vast majority of people will notice this message. Another way that rooms identify bots is to pick out accounts that are playing on large numbers of tables for a really long time. People can’t play around the clock, day after day, but some poker bots have been left in place playing continuously until the poker rooms notice them. The bots do win real cash for the sites (because they still lose too), so some sites don’t put as much effort as they could into detecting them.

So what should you look for? Bots tend to play the same way, hand after hand. If a player makes the same sets of decisions, and takes the same amount of time to make each decision, that player could be a bot. There are some human players that fall into fairly set routines as well, but the difference with a bot becomes noticeable over time.

Here’s an example of a fairly badly programmed bot: 90 percent of the time it folds to bets on the flop. The other 10 percent, it would instantly go all in for several times the amount of the pot. When the human players sent chat messages, it would never respond. The high fold percentage made this bot very easy to beat, but then it would automatically quit after losing three games in a row.

Of course, if a bot is poorly made, you can win money from it. So don’t necessarily run from all bots. But just be aware that they are out there – and how they behave. If you are worried about a particular player on a site where you have been playing, don’t be afraid to file a report with the support department of that poker room. After all, the poker room is making money off you – so you deserve to have a fair table around you.

Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash. Good luck!

fast-paced poker

Taking advantage of fast-paced poker

Taking advantage of fast-paced poker

One of the great things about the Internet is that it speeds everything up. When it comes to online poker, this means that you can play multi table tournaments at a turbo speed, with short levels and antes and blinds that just shoot up. A lot of live tournaments also have fast structures and are sometimes listed as “turbo” to tell you that you can anticipate the game going at breakneck speed.

Visit some several poker sites, and you’ll find a ton of tournaments set up this way. For example, some real money poker services designate some tournaments as “Regular” or “Slow.” These feature levels that can take up to 15 minutes, and the starting stacks are deep, while the antes and blinds don’t go up quickly at all. However, the “Turbo” and “Hyper-Turbo” tournaments are gaining in popularity as well.

How does it work? Well, the usual “Turbo” tournament will give you five-minute levels. However, the “Hyper-Turbo” tournaments feature three-minute levels, and the antes and blinds will go up approximately twice as quickly as they would in a “Turbo” event. Other poker websites offer tournaments moving at similar rates with those designations.

This means that tournaments will end pretty quickly. The most frequently played “Turbo” events are daily affairs, and the buy-ins range from 55 cents to $109. These games are called “The Hot $75” or whatever the buy-in is, and they all provide 3,000 chips to start and offer five-minute levels. If you get to the second hour, you’ll be at the 200/400/50 level. The “Hot” online fast-paced poker tournaments with lower buy-ins often bring in thousands of players, and the whole thing is usually done within no more than four hours.

Does this mean that speedier tournaments reward good luck more than skill? After all, the format means a lot more all-ins preflop, which means you’re hoping for strong hands more so than you do in the slower formats. However, these faster tournaments also benefit those who have the same skills to do well in slower tournaments. This means that it still pays to be clever with your starting hand choices, realizing the importance of position, choosing the right bet size and having the ability to read and predict what opponents are likely to do.

The main difference? Everything is going much more quickly. Your adjustments will be fewer, and you won’t have as much time to get over mistakes. You also can’t wait as long for the ideal hand. So let’s say for example that you get 150 big blinds to start for the initial five-minute level, but after the antes kick in, you’ll just have 30 if your starting stack hasn’t changed. So how can you benefit in this format?

Stay awake

If you don’t pay attention to deadlines, you’ll miss registering for the next hand and you’ll leave a lot on the table.

Read the others early

Use your initial levels to get a sense of your opponents’ tendencies to find the tight and loose players, and who appears to be playing with more savvy than guesswork. You don’t have as many hands to get this read and you have less time per hand.

Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash. Good luck!

Poker opponents strategy

Poker Opponents | Strategy for driving out player with best hand

Strategy for driving out poker opponents when a player has best hand

So you’ve finally picked up a big hand, and you’re ready to win real cash. So how do you manage the process of getting your pot as large as possible so that you can drive your poker opponents out of the game with your good fortune?

Step one: Analyze the situation and pick a poker strategy. The first step is to determine whether you have a small-pot hand or a big-pot hand. Do you have a pair or two? You’re looking at a smaller pot. If you have a straight, flush, a full house, or even better, now you’re willing to throw in the whole stack for the chance to drive a poker opponent out of the game. This is harder than it sounds, even more if you’re playing online poker. Regardless of the game or platform, you are facing poker opponents who want to protect their stacks and stay in the game. So take a look at his perspective — just like you, he doesn’t want a big pot unless he feels confident he can win it.

So the job now is to trick him into thinking that he has a better hand than you do, which is harder than it sounds. You have that huge hand and what do get things all-in, because you can’t knock your opponent out until you put your entire stack on the line. But if you do this right away, you won’t get called. If you throw $300 into a pot that has $15, no one will call you. They will know that you have a primo hand and will fold right away.

So you have to work more gradually. You have to bet and keep betting, putting money on the flop, the turn and the river. If you’re playing no-limit poker, you know that bets always take shape in proportion to what is already in the pot. So as each street comes and goes, the pot will start growing exponentially. The pot might be paltry at the flop, but if you stick around and stay consistent, it could be mammoth by the time you get to the river.

Here’s an example. You’re playing $1/$2 No-Limit Texas Hold’em, with $300 effective stacks. You have AK and raise to $12 on the button. The big blind calls, and the flop shows QJT. So the big blind checks, and you bet $20 into $32. He calls again, and the turn shows 3, and the big blind checks again. You now put $55 into $59, and he calls again. The river shows a 7, and your opponent checks. So you look down and see $161 in your stack, and the river has $170. You now have a chance to go all-in, and you won’t have to make a massive overbet to do it. If you’re working against weaker players who follow the calling stations, this bet is likely to work like a charm every time. If you’ve been caught in a bluff lately (or have lost some big pots recently), your opponents might think you’re on the tilt and are overbetting anyway, which will make it extra sweet when you rake in their stacks.

Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash. Good luck!

ways to stay off tile at the poker table

Poker Table: Easy Ways to Stay Off Tilt

Poker Table: Easy Ways to Stay Off Tilt

Going on tilt at the Poker Table is pretty much the last stop on the way to disaster. If your opponents can tell that you’re getting angry and distracted, then your play is going to start turning into a dumpster fire of disastrous proportions. The principle of every poker game is to win, and while losing the grip it’s sometimes understandable, getting mad isn’t going to help you win real cash at the poker table.

Of course, if someone else is on tilt at your table, you are probably going to love it and use it in your advantage. When you cause other people to fall off the table, you can rake in pots left and right. If it hits you, though, you are likely to leave empty-handed. So how can you avoid it?

Don’t stress over what you cannot change

Guess what? Even the best poker players suffer bad losses now and then. That’s why what you’re doing is called “gambling.” There is always a risk when playing real money poker— and with reward also comes the chance for failure. You know that losing is just a part of it, because you’ve taken your own lumps in the past. Even after a lot of practice (and after learning from your mistakes) there is just no way around the fact that you will occasionally take the big loss. The stronger a player you become, the fewer times this will happen, but it will happen to you now and then, no matter how big your shark fin has become. So when it happens, just grin and bear it, and get ready for the next hand.

Know when it’s time to sign off for some Z’s

A lot of the time, if you sit down to play and you’ve had plenty of sleep; it’s a lot easier to stay off tilt. People who are tired have higher levels of cortisol (the hormone that triggers when stress comes). This hormonal shift can make a loss you would normally shrug off into a catastrophe. If you’re playing short on sleep, you won’t make decisions at the same level of quality anyway, so you will lose more — and you’re more likely to find yourself on tilt.

To go up, you have to come down

There is no one who has seen their account balance simply climb up and up throughout their poker career. Even the sharks don’t win all the time — if that were true, tournament play simply wouldn’t work. This game is a marathon, and as long as you can come out ahead every now and then and slowly build up profit over the long haul, you’re doing well. You can’t worry about the progress in each and every poker game. If you just think about the bad situation going on right now, you will go nuts over time, and you won’t be able to play the way you want to. Instead, look at your poker career — not just this game — and the losses will fall into perspective instead of seeming like bottomless pits.

Are you ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables and get all the practice you need before making the transition to legal online poker sites. Click here to check it out.