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Micro stakes poker strategy

Micro Stakes Poker Strategy Guide

Micro Stakes Poker Strategy Guide

When you start out with poker, you will soon learn that it is a difficult game to master completely. However, it is not difficult to start dominating the low stakes games (2NL to 25NL). If you’re in that micro stakes market and having a hard time making money, don’t take this the wrong way. Instead, put some of these tips to work for you so that you can start winning.

Winning poker isn’t about drawing the right cards. It’s about managing your mistakes so that you make fewer than your opponents do. In the low limit poker tables, players make a ton of mistakes, which means if you know how to avoid them, you can win consistently. Let’s take a look at some ways for you to benefit from the incompetence of others.

Let’s start by talking about starting hand selection. This is a key element in your micro stakes poker strategy, particularly if your post flop play still has some weaknesses. There are a lot of loose opponents at this level, so you can take advantage just with some smart bets.

In the area of starting hand selection, here are some important tips:

  • Don’t go all-in pre-flop with A-K. Just don’t.
  • In the blinds and in early position, make sure you play tight.
  • When a raise happens in front of you, and you’re holding a hand that is easy to beat (K-J, Q-J, A-T and so on), think twice before calling. Poker hands such as A-Q, A-K and high pocket pairs will be well positioned, and you’ll be behind the 8-ball. If you have that sort of opening hand, just fold.
  • Do you want to play suited connectors, one-gappers (such as Q-T) or suited ace-low? Then do it in late position, by raising when you are the first one to act (primarily to swipe the blinds) or call with a lot of players in the pot to take a look at a cheap flop.

A lot of the time, you will get called when you are betting for value. This means that you don’t get any benefit from slow playing. If you do that with a strong hand, you’ll likely miss out on a lot of the value from strong second best hands or draws, which fall away when scary cards come out. So don’t slow play with a big hand when your opponent has the likelihood of a pair, or there is a wet board with a lot of potential draws on the table.

This doesn’t mean that you should never play slow play. Sometimes you come out of the flop with a hand so great that you’ll carry on the river no matter what comes out. Slow playing could allow your opponent get a second best hand that will allow him to kick in some real money to make the pot sweeter, or your opponent might bluff. If you have aggressive opponents, slow playing to draw in the bluff can be very smart indeed.

These are just some ideas to have in mind as you put together your micro stakes strategy. There are other points to consider, but this gives you a starting point, so try to put in them in practice the next time you spend some time at the free online poker tables.

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 Strategy: Hand Strength vs Bluffing

Poker Hand Strength vs Bluffing

Poker Strategy: Poker Hand Strength vs Bluffing

Your poker hand strength and the bluff… why is it important? There are some poker players who never, ever bluff. There aren’t a lot of players like that, because bluffing is necessary to keep other players on their guard. But once you figure out that one of those players is at your table, they are easy to beat. If they put down money once the cards are all out, you should fold — unless you have a hand that you think is ironclad. In that case, you should raise, because if they just have an average hand, they will then hold.

Other people like to bluff all the time. Once you identify this sort of player, you must keep calling if you have a decent hand at all. It’s true that habitual bluffers are going to find good hands now and then, but they still bluff far too often, and you can still take advantage of that tendency. Calling against this type of player will help you win real cash over time as opposed to folding because you will catch them in their bluffs.

So how do you find the right mix in your own game?

There are different situations and variables, especially when playing online poker. The key is to keep others guessing. If you bluff some of the time, then you’re a better player than those who never bluff and those who bluff pretty much all the time. Better players are able to keep their opponents from guessing whether a bluff is at hand or not. If you have to guess, of course you’re going to be wrong sometimes. That’s why it’s called gambling, remember?

The key comes with the “tell.” This is a gesture that a player has that reveals when he either has something good or doesn’t have anything at all. All but the most elite players have a tell of some sort; it just comes as a visceral response when you see your hand. If you can identify (and then eliminate or even reduce) your own tell, you will have a lot more success at the table, because people won’t be able to tell what you are doing.

A lot of people bluff way too often when they are in a low-limit games or when they play at the free poker tables. Why? Because when you have nothing on the line or when are playing with fixed limits, you just have to make one more bet to see a player’s hand. The pots are usually sizable enough, at least in comparison to the size of a wager, to make the call the right choice.

However, in other situations, just the threat of a bluff can be crucial. Good players — those who bluff just the right amount of the time and in the right circumstances — also have the threat working for them. You don’t know whether this opponent has a solid hand or is simply acting like he does. You want to become that type of opponent. There is no set of hard and fast rules that will help you figure out what that balance is. The only good strategy is to play, read your opponents and their tells. Once you have found it, though, you will feel it — and you’ll see the results when your wins pile up.

 

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 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!