The Definitive Online Poker Strategy by Poker Rewards - HTML preview

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Legal Statement

© Copyright 2005 by PokerRewards. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without the express written permission of the author.


The author has made every attempt to provide the reader with accurate information. This information is presented for information purposes only. The author makes no claims that using this information will guarantee the reader personal or business success. The discussion of websites, laws, procedures and other information contained in this book are current as of the date of publication. The author shall not be liable for any loss or damage incurred in the process of following advice presented in this book.


Legal Statement _____________________________________________ 1


Table of Contents ____________________________________________ 2


Introduction ________________________________________________ 3


Advantages of Online Poker ___________________________________ 5


Basic Poker Rules ____________________________________________ 8


Texas Hold’em Poker Rules __________________________________ 10


Betting Limits and Other Facts________________________________ 14


Texas Hold’ex Strategies_____________________________________ 18


Playable Starting Hands____________________________________ 19


Fold’em and Bluff’em ______________________________________ 21


10 Essential Tips and Tactics _________________________________ 23


Helpful Online Poker Strategy Tools ___________________________ 25


The Online Poker Approach __________________________________ 30


Poker Player Profiles ________________________________________ 35


Establishing Your Poker Player Profiles _________________________ 37


Poker Game Etiquette ______________________________________ 38


Conclusion _________________________________________________ 40 Glossary of Poker Terms _____________________________________ 42


There are many different styles of poker games you can play in live casinos and online, but of all the styles played today, none is more popular than Texas Hold’em.

Texas Hold’em has received much of its popularity from certain hit TV shows such as the Traveler’s Channel World Poker Tour, and ESPN’s World Series of Poker. However, aside from these exciting shows, Hold’em has gained popularity because it is one of the easiest games to learn, the hands are fast, and the stakes are high. Thus, many novice players have come to realize that as long as one masters the skill of the game, there is a lot of money waiting to be won in the world of Texas Hold’em poker.

If you are interested in such money making opportunities, or a chance to improve upon your Texas Hold’em poker game, this book is exactly what you need to get started in the right direction. Nevertheless, understand that although this book will provide you with the basic rules, as well as strategies for you to keep in mind and apply to your game, playing Texas Hold’em, or any poker game for that matter, takes much more than luck – it takes dedication.

The skill you need to become a good poker player can only be learned through practice, patience and observation. Therefore, if you ever hope to win at poker or become a champion, you’re going to need to learn how to play like the pros.

So what’s their secret? For starters, not only have they developed their own poker strategies, but they understand that although knowing how to play their cards is important, the real talent is playing the other players. Professionals study their fellow opponents, and come to know how the other players will react during game play. This gives them an advantage over the other players, because a pro will know how to weed conservative players out of the pot, or keep the juvenile player in the hand for as long as they can, so he can milk these hotheads for all they’re worth.

Since that is the case, how you gain the advantage over your fellow opponents will vary depending on if you are playing poker live or online. One of the biggest problems many players who engage in online poker fail to realize, is that while


the games follow the same rules and similar strategies of live play, the fact that you can not see the other players makes gaining the upper hand over them difficult, especially if you don’t know how to apply the right psychology.

Why? Think about it: In a live poker game you can see the facial expressions, and the reactions of the other players. This allows you to gain a pretty good idea of the type of player they are, as well as how they play their cards by simply observing their body language. However, when playing online, you do not have the luxury of relying on the reactions of your opponents, which means that in order to figure out the type of players you are up against, you need to mentally pay attention to the decisions they make in the game, and observe how they communicate when you converse with them online.

For the purpose of this guide, we will be focusing primarily on the tactics related to online Texas Hold’em game play. This focus will help you gain a better understanding of how to not only effectively play against other online players by learning the online psychology of good game play, but also how to use these skills to win.

Taking your online Texas Hold’em poker playing abilities to the next level is possible, and this book is here to show you how you can make this goal a reality. Within its pages you will find the rules, strategies and fantastic tips related to online poker and Texas Hold’em. You will even discover the different types of players you should watch out for, as well as fantastic strategy tools that can help you uncover the odds, providing you with a better shot at winning the pot.

So without taking up anymore of your precious time, let’s get started.


Relax, get comfortable and get ready, because it’s time to take your online Texas Hold’em game to the next level.

Have fun, and good Luck!

( but if you read this book you’ll realize luck really isn’t a major factor when it comes to being a killer poker player! ) 4


Before we turn our attention towards Texas Hold’em and the strategies you can apply to your online poker experiences, it is important that you understand the differences between online and live poker, as well as the advantages of playing online.

Now more than ever, people are choosing to take part in online poker instead of going to a casino. One of the major reasons is because visiting an online poker site is far easier and handier than going to a live casino. Imagine, instead of having to travel outside of your home to a busy, noisy casino, you can relax and experience just as much poker enjoyment in the virtual world with a simple “click” of your mouse.

Here are just a few main highlights of the advantages of online poker:


You can play at any time of the day or night from the comfort of your own home or place of choosing at your convenience.


You can play against players from all over the world.


You can play for fun.


You can use special strategy tools to assist you when you play.


You don’t have to worry about the other opponent’s seeing your expression or hearing your comments during a hand.

To further appreciate the advantages of playing online, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between live and online poker. Following are some notable distinctions:

Perhaps the single most obvious difference between live and online poker is the fact that at a live poker table, players are physically present and can therefore see the moves of their opponents, their emotions, as well as their reactions. This makes playing live poker far more challenging than online, because players always need to be conscious of what their opponents are doing, and if they are being watched. Moreover players need to have control over their body language,



emotions and expressions, as sudden reactions or nervous gestures or movements can often be a dead giveaway to an experienced player.

When playing poker online, however, players do not need to concern themselves with physical control. You can scream, yell, laugh and make any expression you want, because even though your family, pets or neighbors may hear or see you and possibly think you’re crazy, your opponents can only judge you by the way you converse over a chat dialogue, and by the moves you make in the game.

What’s more is when you play online you don’t have to worry about following a dress code, which is required at many live casinos. Therefore, whether you feel inspired to dress to the nines, wear your pajamas or –heaven forbid- your birthday suit, the point is you can wear whatever you want…just try not to freak out your neighbours too much!


Generally there are lower limits in online poker rooms than in live casinos. Of course, there are certain internet casinos that offer tables with higher limits, but there is usually enough diversity in table limits, to suit the budget of any player. Furthermore, the lower limit tables makes online poker an ideal environment for players to learn, develop, and try out new strategies without feeling as though they are taking a huge gambling risk. Thus, there is no worry of losing a substantial amount of money when practicing your skills online.

When it comes to choosing poker games and betting limits, no live casino can provide you with the variety you will find online. Choosing a desired poker table is important for all players, because it is essential that you feel comfortable while playing. Online poker rooms allow you the chance of selecting a table with a betting limit that you deem most suitable for your budget and expertise. You will also discover that finding a seat at an online poker table of your choosing is far easier and more probable than in a live casino. Just check out the hundreds of tables to choose from at



It is not possible for any players participating in online poker to break the rules of conduct that apply to the game. Due to computer technology and gaming



software, no player has the ability to see their opponent’s cards, show their cards to other players, place string bets or act out of turn during a hand. The software will only permit the conduct that his been programmed to occur, and for the standard online casino or poker site, this means that you are entitled to see the number of players taking part in the hand, the money amount of each player, and the total sum of money that accumulates in the pot. On the other hand, in a live casino, players can break conduct rules, cause disruptions and stall the hand.


Due to the fact that online poker can be played in the comfort and privacy of your own home or place of choosing, you can use a variety of special tools and programs such as calculators, charts and tables when playing a game. The purpose of these devices is to assist you in finding out the best odds in the hand. Although they are not considered cheating, and while some are even permitted in a live casino, the beauty of using these helpful tools online is that no one else can see you, and therefore no one can judge your actions or intimidate you when you play.

When it comes to fast hands, live poker doesn’t even compare to online poker. Online poker games are substantially shorter than those played in a live casino. The major reasons are due to the fact that internet players continually hop from table to table, and hands are much shorter as rounds are quick because of computer software, and players can not see their opponents. This allows online players the freedom to participate in games for as long or as little as they wish. Therefore, while one player may only be interested in playing a single game for a few minutes, another may wish to spend an hour or longer.

A live poker game, however, may last for hours, and this is because the average round during a hand can last anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on the number of players involved in the hand.

Overall, the experiences provided by both live and online poker tables are equally social, enjoyable and rewarding for players. Furthermore, each environment requires players to adapt to a different style of game play that is often challenging and involves skill. However, when it comes down to it, nothing beats the advantages of comfort, convenience and choice that you will only find with online poker.



Have you ever caught yourself racking your brain every now and again trying to remember the basic rules of poker hands, or forgetting what poker hand beats what? Don’t worry; this is a common concern among many novice players and even effects intermediate players from time to time.

Regardless of what player category you fit into, let’s face it; you need to know the basics of poker in order to really dig your heels into the sport of Texas Hold’em, or any other style of poker game for that matter. Thus, whether this is your first time learning about the possible winning poker hands, or you are simply in need of a little refresher course, here is what you need to know.

First and for most, a standard 52-card deck is used in every poker game, regardless of the number of players, or the style of game that is being played. The standard deck features the following cards starting with the highest rank to the lowest as listed below:



(an ace can count as both a low or high card)


8 Each rank is featured in the same 4 equal suits:


The object is to achieve the highest hand by obtaining one of the winning card combinations listed below in the table. Note, the following list begins with the highest and ends with the lowest possible winning hand:


Royal Flush
Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of the same suit (A, K, Q, J, 10)

Straight Flush
5 consecutive cards of the same suit (5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Full House
3 of a kind and a pair, with the 3 of a kind valued first (7, 7, 7 - 4, 4)

Four of a Kind
4 cards with the same value (8, 8, 8, 8)

5 cards of any suit in consecutive order (7, 8, 9, 10, J)

Two Pair
2 sets of pairs
(2, 2 - 6, 6)

Any 5 different cards of the same suit (3, 5, 7, 9, J)




Three of a Kind
3 cards with the same face value (10, 10, 10)

One Pair
2 cards with the same face value (3, 3)


If none of the above hands are achieved within a game, the player with the highest card wins. Additionally, In the event that two players have the same hand, the player with the highest card wins.

Now that you have familiarized yourself with the types of hands you are trying to obtain to win the pot, it’s time to learn or “refresh” your memory on how to play Texas Hold’em.

Of all the games played in card rooms today, Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular game, and one of the easiest to learn, making it both fun and rewarding to play. The object of the game is to make the strongest 5 card hand by using a combination of your 2 hole cards and the 5 community cards on the table.

When playing Texas Hold’em online, every player will have a turn at using the dealer button, which enables them to act as the virtual dealer. In addition each player will be required to post blinds at one time or another.

The rules of Hold’em take only a few minutes of your time to learn. Once you have them down you’ll never forget them, and can begin focusing your energies on learning, using and developing your own strategies.



Number of Players - 2 – 10
If a Hold’em game consists only of two players it is referred to as a “heads up” match.


Dealer Button (“Button”, “Buck”, “Puck”) - This is a device that is used in online poker rooms to mark the dealer among the players for each hand. The dealer button is a small disk that is marked with the letter “D”. The dealer button is not only essential to the players so they know who is dealing, but also because the two players to the left of the dealer must post the two blinds in the game. After the completion of each hand, the dealer button moves to the left.

Blinds - In games with blinds, there are two blinds posted – the small blind (half of the minimum level bet) and the big blind (the full minimum bet). Before the game begins, the small blind is posted by the first player closest to the dealers left, and the big blind is posted by the player to the left of the small blind player.

The purpose of the blinds is to make it so that there is money in the pot before the game starts. That way the betting can begin, encouraging players to take part in the hand. It also means that no one will walk away empty-handed should the hand end quickly.

The size of the blinds is determined by the limits of each table. Therefore if you are playing at a $4/$8 table, and the typical small blind is half the minimum bet, the small blind will be $2, and the big blind will be the full minimum bet of $4.

Betting Structure - The betting structure is the same for every table. The only aspect that will change is the amount of money involved, which will correspond to the limits for the table you choose to play at. For the purpose of this chart we will use the $4/$8 table example:

Small/Big 1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round Final Round Blinds
$4/$8 $4 $4 $8 $8

Note: For each round of betting, there is a limit of 1 bet and 3 raises. Therefore, in the $4/$8 example, betting would be restricted to a total of $16 in rounds 1 and 2, and $32 in rounds 3 and 4.

Hole Cards - Also known as “pocket” cards, hole cards are those dealt to each player and are face down, so that only the player can see these cards.


The Flop - These are the first three community cards issued by the dealer.




Turn - The fourth community card that is dealt River - The fifth and final community card to be dealt


As soon as a dealer has been selected and the blinds posted, the game begins with the dealer dealing each player two hole cards clockwise round the table. Once this is complete, the first round of betting starts and things begin to get interesting!

At this point of the game, players must carefully consider their hole cards and determine if they have potential. Betting commences with the player to the immediate left of the big blind player, and follows clockwise round the table.

In this betting round, each player, with the possible exception of the player who posted the big blind, may either choose to fold (quit the game), call (meet the bet) or raise, increasing the big blind to a full bet. If players still left in the round choose to only call the big blind, then the player who originally posted the big blind is the only player who has the option to check (stay in the game without calling or raising) their own blind.

Players wager using the smaller level of the stakes at the table ( Note: Refer to the section about betting structure listed above to see the example about the limits and rules for the betting rounds).

By this point of the game, the excitement increases as the dealer deals the first three community cards face up on the board (the middle of the table). Now players can use these three communal cards in combination with their two hole cards to determine their hand possibilities.

For this round, betting commences with the first player closest to the dealers left (it doesn’t matter if the dealer folds, betting always commences with the player


closest to their left) and continues clockwise round the table. Betting follows the same structure as in the first round, with players able to fold, call, and raise. The first player to make a wager may check, and if no other raises are made, the other players may check also.

Like the first round, players wager using the smaller level of stakes at the table.

Round 3 – THE TURN
Once the second betting round has come to an end, the dealer deals the fourth community card on the board. Now the game becomes even tenser as the players left in the game now have 6 cards to work with.

The third betting round follows the same as the second betting round, with the exception that now players must wager using the higher level of the stakes at the table.

At this point of the game, palms really start to sweat as the fifth and final community card is dealt on the board. Players now have all 7 cards at their disposal, and must make the best possible 5-card hand.

Betting commences as it did in the last round, with the higher level of stakes at the table making up the wager.

Here it is, the moment every player waits for – when their