Is it safe to play online casinos

Probably the most asked online gambling question by players new to the Internet entertainment is whether it is safe to play at the online casinos. Unfortunately, there is no one word answer to this question, it could be safe and it could be quite dangerous. The first thing you should know about gambling online is the best place to find the right websites. We have created a short list of the best online casinos and you can follow the link to see our selection. These online casinos are indeed safe to play at, as well as the advertisers on this page.
What makes them safe, you ask? First, they are all ran by reputable companies, firms which are in for the long run and are willing to go the extra mile to satisfy their customers and offer the best player experience an online casino could provide. Second, they will not toy with your personal information or sell it to third parties. This is important, as all of us hate to get spam (by mail or email). These online casinos are safe to play, because your confidential information is exactly that – confidential. Keep in mind that there are literally thousands of gambling websites which turn out to be fronts for petty criminals who are after your credit card information. This type of fake online casinos not only give bad reputation to the sector, but also are the biggest challenge people can face when choosing a safe and secure online casino to play a few hands of blackjack or spin the slots reels.
Which brings us to our final point in online gambling safety – honesty and reliability. There are bad online casinos which will not sell or steal your information, but would simply cheat you out of your winnings. You can win a few thousands at an unsafe online casino and request a withdrawal, only so the casino can come with some excuse of not paying you or give you “the check is in the mail” routine.
So yes, it is safe to play online casinos, but you have to do a bit of homework and not just jump at the first online gambling website you see. We recommend you visit our list, which although a tad small than some other gambling portals can offer, is compiled of only 100% safe and honest casinos.

Top Tips For Responsible Online Gambling

The popularity of online casinos is something that has been brought to light by many organisations, including BBC’s panorama. Whilst gambling was once reserved to bingo halls and physical casinos, the option to play online means you have the chance to win money from the comfort of your own home. Some may see this as a bad thing, however, if played responsibly, online gambling is no different to any other hobby. But what top tips should you follow to ensure you play responsibly?

Know What You Can Afford To Lose

Our first top tip for all online gamblers is to decide how much you are willing to lose before you start. This applies to all forms of gambling and is not just appropriate for online games. Only having the amount you’re willing to lose before placing bets will prevent you from losing control and ending up in financial trouble.

Remember that there is a risk with all games which you place bets on, and it is this risk which is half the fun. Make sure you can afford to play and if you’re worried about your finances then play free games instead. You can always use these to get used to the rules and online system before putting your money on the line.

Know When To Quit

Carrying on from the point above, it is also important to know when to quit. You may decide to quit when your earnings are up by 15% or once you have invested a set amount of money into the kitty. This can prevent you from continuing to gamble, which could eventually end in you losing money. The same applies for when you are losing in gambling. Don’t bother chasing your losses, because the odds are against you, and will rarely turn out the way you want it to. Instead, follow the old proverb and “quit while you are ahead”.

Take Regular Breaks

The Ancient Greeks taught us that all things need to be taken in moderation, and this certainly applies to gambling. Take some time out from playing casino games online to get the most out of their services. This way you’ll be able to approach new games with a fresh perspective and use the online casino as it is intended.

Try New Games

Another great tip is to vary what games you play when visiting online casinos. For many people, playing familiar games is the safest option but you could be missing out on plenty of enjoyment by limiting your options in this way. Most online casinos have diversified to offer a range of exciting games so that there is something for everyone. From virtual bingo to poker, roulette and even digital slot machines, online casinos are now kitted out to cater to all needs.

Most casinos will offer free-to-play trial versions of their games, so those new to them can learn the basics as quickly as possible. Always look at these before trying something new so you can understand the game and get to grips with some winning techniques.

Online Poker Strategy – Winner’s Guide to Internet Poker (Part 3)

Online Poker Tells
In casino poker, tells are plentiful if you know how to spot them. These tells can be categorized by their nature: tells based upon your opponents physical actions, or “visual tells,” tells based upon your opponents speech, or “verbal tells,” and based upon your opponents betting patterns, or “betting tells.” Of these three types of tells, the visual tells are the most common, and the most difficult for your opponent to conceal, making them the most useful type of tell to the brick and mortar player.
Online poker is characterized by a complete lack of visual tells. This is because you cannot see your opponents’ reaction to play as it is ongoing. Verbal tells are also greatly reduced online. You may gain some valuable information from the chat box from time to time, and it is certainly worth monitoring, but you will not get the same amount or quality of verbal tells that you would get in a brick and mortar poker room. This means that when you play online, you will be relying primarily on betting tells. If you are experienced at reading players in a casino, this may seem like a huge disadvantage to you. After all, two of the three main types of tells are virtually non-existent online. While losing out on these types of tells is a disadvantage, it is a disadvantage that all players share, leveling the playing field. The good news is that tells that are available online are often subtle and not understood very well by your opponents. You can regain your advantage by closely examining all of the tells that are available to you online.
As we discussed, your primary source of online tells will be betting tells. There are three main types of betting tells: tells resulting from how much your opponent bets, tells resulting from how long your opponent takes to bet, and tells resulting from your opponents’ use of the “in turn” boxes. If your opponent is an experienced online player he will be aware of this and may try to manipulate the situation by giving intentional “false tells.” Be on the lookout for players who try to do this, and take notes so that in the future you will not be fooled.
Obviously, you need to be able to tell the difference between a false tell and the real deal. This is done by looking for idiosyncrasies in your opponents’ pattern of play. Many players do not use false tells at all. If you can identify them, you can be confident that the betting tells that you get from that player will be accurate. Other players are full of moves. They may either stall or insta-bet frequently. They may check-raise when you would expect a continuation bet. They may adjust bet sizes in an effort to be misleading, and so on. On the surface this player may seem tricky, and difficult to read. But all players have idiosyncrasies and play in patterns (especially the good ones). If you can identify these patterns and describe them in your player notes, you have unlocked the ability to evaluate tells from even the trickiest of players.
The most common trick is the fake stall, followed by a bet or raise. Luckily, this is fairly easy to identify. This is often used by players who have a very strong hand, and are worried that they will not be paid off. When it is their turn to act, they will take an extra long time, pretending to think, and then will make a large bet or raise. You may have seen this move in a casino or on television as well. This tell is easy to pick off, because most people are naturally bad actors who are prone to over-acting. Similarly, online players will over estimate the amount of time required to represent genuine thought. So, a long pause followed by a large wager is often a very strong hand. Big bet bluffs are generally made either quickly, or after a short pause.
A pause can also indicate weakness under certain circumstances. This is known as a “reverse tell,” because it is the opposite of what you would normally expect. If you see a player produce a weak hand after a pause, put it in your player notes. You will see this tell from newbies who have yet to discover the wonderful world of tells and are unaware that they are giving them off. You will also see this tell from multi-tablers who are giving priority to their stronger hands. This generally happens to players who run five games or more. Most sites have a “find user” search box, which will allow you to see how many games your opponent is playing at any given moment.
The most reliable online tells result from your opponents’ use of the “in turn” boxes. The first thing that you should be aware of is that the people who use these boxes are usually multi-tasking. Quite frequently, they are playing multiple games and are using the “in turn” boxes in order to improve their efficiency. They are also giving up extra information when they use these boxes, information which can be used to your advantage. Let’s take a more detailed look at the tells derived from the use of these boxes.
The first thing that you need to do is to determine which “in turn” box your opponent has likely marked. This may depend on what type of player your opponent is. Consider the following situation. Your opponent is in the big blind, the pot is unraised, and when the action gets to him, he insta-checks. Depending upon the site where you are playing, your opponent may have checked one of three boxes. He could have selected the “check” box, which only activates if the pot is unraised. When a player selects this box, if the pot is raised, the player is subsequently presented with his normal option to re-raise, call, or muck. The second “in turn” box he could have marked is the check/fold box. If a player selects this box, the software will insta-check if the pot is unraised, and insta-fold if the pot is raised. The third possibility is that the player could have marked the check/call any box. When this box is selected, the software will insta-check if the pot is unraised and insta-call if the pot is raised or reraised. How can we tell which box was selected? The answer is that we can never be 100% sure. But we can tell which box was probably not selected, by the type of player your opponent is. First, you should know that only the loosest players will ever use the check/call any box. This is because this box will automatically call all raises up to the cap. Most players will not call a cap with a hand that they would otherwise check. Therefore, most players never use this box. So we can discount the likelihood that this box was selected, unless the player is really loose. Also be aware that many players never use the check/fold box. This may be because they do not want to give “in turn” box tells, or it may be because they are not sure if they are defending their blinds until they have seen all of the action in front of them. So if you see a player insta-check, it does not give you that much information, but if you see a player either insta-call or insta-fold from the blinds, that tells you something about that player. If you see a player insta-fold, you should be more inclined to steal this player’s blind, because he probably frequently uses the check/fold box, and doesn’t defend his blinds very often. If you see a player insta-call, you should be more inclined to raise or reraise a moderately strong hand preflop because he will often pay more than his hand is worth.
Similarly, you can gain information from your opponents’ insta-bets and insta-raises when he is not in the blinds. If the action checks to your opponent and he insta-bets, he has either marked the “bet in turn” box or the “bet/raise in turn” box. Be aware that the “bet in turn” box will only activate if the pot is unraised. If the pot is raised the “bet in turn” insta-bet will not activate. In this situation, your opponent will be presented with his normal options to call, fold, or reraise, and you will never know that he has even used the “in turn” box. You will gain much more information if your opponent uses the “bet/raise” box. You will know when this box was selected because the software will insta-raise when it is your opponents turn to act. An insta-raise usually indicates one of two situations. Either your opponent has a strong completed hand (often the nuts), and his intention is to raise no matter what, or more likely, he has a very strong drawing hand (often to the nuts). The insta-raise is much more commonly used on drawing hands than made hands. This is because players want to get paid off when they make a strong hand, so they don’t insta-raise, in an effort to disguise the true strength of their hand. Players will often insta-raise a strong draw, in an effort to represent a made hand and to disguise the fact that they are still drawing. A few players will insta-raise on a total bluff, but this is relatively rare, and you should write this into your player notes if you encounter it.
People who think there are no tells online simply can’t be paying attentio. Betting patterns also reveal a lot in casinos, but online they are more critical to observe for a simple reason: people bet more often. In particular, people playing multiple games make an awful lot of bets in an hour, or a career. Such a volume of anything leads to repetition, as any assembly line worker can attest. Watch an opponent long enough and you should have solid clues to their holdings, and especially their interest level in the current pot.
Player Notes: The Good, the Bad, and the Idiots
When playing casino poker, we see our opponents. I seldom forget a truly good or a truly horrible player. Online, all we see are little icons, many with similar or extremely non-descript names. Plus, we play against thousands of players from literally all over the world, playing at all different hours of the day or night — all at the same time! Player notes offer a way to remember notable players. For me “notable” means the best players — and the worst goofballs. For the most part, the vast majority of players are interchangeable weak-tight lemmings. You don’t really need to keep track of them. But strong players and terrible players come in much smaller numbers. Also, since I play mostly Omaha8, I keep track of super-tight players. These players aren’t “strong” players, and may not even win, but when one bets an 876 flop, I know to put my A3 in the muck. Depending on the game you play, you might also want to keep track of other player categories, such as habitual bluffers, but I definitely suggest you track the best and the worst. Most cardrooms now make this easy by including a “Notes” feature where just by right clicking on a player’s icon you are able to then make notes about that player that are permanently stored on your computer.
Hand Histories
A written description of the action of previous hands, called “hand histories,” is available to you by clicking a link on the game window. Depending upon the site, hand histories may also be requested by email. These are valuable in a couple ways. First of all, they are useful for reviewing how your opponents are playing against you, in real time, as you play. Secondly, they are useful for evaluating your own play over the long run. They will help you re-evaluate the decisions that you have made and help you to fix holes in your game. You can go back over your old hand histories, to look for what works and what doesn’t, and use that information to develop better strategies in the future. They are also the source of the data used on commercial tracking software.
All-Ins
When legitimate, an all-in occurs (besides the obvious when a player has no more chips) when a player loses his or her connection to the game, either because of being bumped offline by a flaky Internet connection or because the cardroom is having server problems. Sometimes you’ll lose pots due to legitimate disconnects, and other times you’ll win, but this will even out over time (as long as you have a reliable Internet connection). If you suspect someone illegitimately times out because they don’t want to call a bet (or two or three), contact Support. Such a person may get away with it once or twice, but eventually they will be stopped. To prevent this type of shot-pulling, many online card rooms now offer games without all-in protection. This is an attractive option for high limit, pot-limit and no-limit games, where an all-in shot can be costly. Games without all-in protection are notated as such in the lobby. Some sites have even eliminated all in protection altogether. For the most part, tournament players are not afforded all-in protection.
How To Deal With Support
Online Support is generally pretty good. However, you must understand that they are not floor supervisors. They don’t directly see problems; they don’t have a chance to ask multiple players or dealers about problems; and, they have literally hundreds of hands and issue that they are dealing with. Some problem that is plain as day to you, might not be clear to a Support person who didn’t see what happened. Most sites ask that you contact support by email. Be sure to be clear and concise about what happened and what you perceive the problem to be. Always include the hand number, table name, time of day, players involved and other relevant information. Be prepared for them to take one to several days to get back to you.
Don’t be shy to bring matters to Support’s attention. If you actually are “right” about some problem, very often they will correct it. If they determine collusion has occurred, they will take appropriate measures, including freezing the offender’s account, and reimbursing players when appropriate. If the problem is rude, offensive, or inappropriate chat, they may permanently block the offender’s ability to chat.
Support is the closest equivalent to a floorman. If some player is being belligerent, if you think some collusion might be going on, if you think some player is playing consistently slow just to be annoying… tell Support. It is their job to make our online poker experience pleasant and fair. They can’t do their job without our help.
Paranoia Strikes Deep
Online poker has one fundamental thing in common with casino poker: most players lose. But the way players lose online inevitably leads to some delusional paranoia. For instance, in casino poker, most players can effectively fool themselves about how they are doing. The money they buy-in or cash out mixes in their pockets. They win some days and lose others. It’s easy to say: “I break even, or win a little.” Online the bookkeeping is in black and white. Your losses are documented; your wins are sent to you in a very deliberate way. You know if you are winning or losing.
Rather than admit the legitimacy of their losses, some of those players who delude themselves about their poker ability in a casino end up charging the online cardrooms with some truly amazing practices. Most of these charges are hopelessly illogical paranoia. The fact of the matter is, the amount of money a semi-successful online cardroom can make is staggering. The idea that a hugely profitable multi-million dollar enterprise with relatively small overhead would jeopardize its goose that laid the golden egg for a few more dollars by punishing people for cashing out… ideas like this are just ludicrous. (At least one rogue online cardroom used bots and did not declare that fact, but this was easy to discover and they are out of business as of this writing).
Online players should install firewalls on their computers. (If you have DSL or cable, you should have one anyway.) Check out this page for links and information on Firewalls, Spyware & Internet Security. If you are the type of person who worries about the grassy knoll a lot, a firewall should ease some concerns. It is possible for a firewall to interfere with your connection to the poker room’s server. This can generally be fixed by changing the configuration of the firewall to allow all types of connections to the poker room’s software. If you experience problems connecting to the poker site, or if your firewall seems to be blocking the program, contact support at the poker site, and they should be able to help.
Cheating
Cheating can occur in online poker, just as it can occur anywhere poker (or any other game) is played. Some people are dishonest, that is just a fact of life. What you should be concerned with is how likely you are to be cheated when you play, and if you will be able to detect it. In my opinion, you are equally as safe playing online as in a casino. In other words, cheating is rare, but it does occur, and you should be aware of it but not afraid of it.
A major type of cheating is collusion. Collusion occurs when two or more players agree to share information or agree to operate in a manner which violates the rules. It is easy for cheaters to collude in a poker game. It is difficult for them to pull it off undetected. First of all, everyone is watching for suspicious betting patterns. If something seems fishy, the players will notice right away. In addition to this, the sites have multiple security systems, including software which tracks unusual betting patterns, which are designed to detect and stamp out collusion.
Most cheaters are amateur losers, especially at the lower limits. These are people who are unable to beat the games legitimately, and will do anything to stay in action. These players are not capable of establishing, and maintaining an effective cheating ring. It just isn’t that easy to do, especially when all of the players and the site’s security department are looking for it. Most attempts at cheating of this kind end up in miserable failure. The cheaters quickly get caught, go broke, or both. Occasionally, a more sophisticated cheating ring or scam will be discovered. These typically occur at higher limits, and rarely, if ever, occur at limits below $10/$20.
If you are playing in a game where you suspect that there is cheating going on, leave the game and contact support. You should have some sort of evidence (such as betting anomalies) to back you up. Be sure to include a detailed explanation of why you suspect cheating. Do not contact support to make random or frivolous accusations.
If the site does suspect that cheating is going on, they will take action. The first thing that they do is freeze the accounts in question and launch an investigation. They look can look at many things during the investigation: hand histories, betting patterns, player groupings, etc. If they find that cheating did occur, the accounts in question will be closed, all funds will be confiscated, and affected players will be reimbursed.
The Rake
While the amount of money the house rakes from each pot is pretty small, because of the speed on online games the gross amount raked is pretty incredible. Fortunately, there is a whole world of players to contribute. Even though some of the worst players get chewed up too quickly, never to return, overall the rake is very favorable for winning players, especially since there is no tipping.
Proping Online
A prop or proposition player is a live player who is compensated by the house for helping to start or save games. Some of the smaller sites use props, and they compensate them by giving them all or part of their rake back. Props are not affiliated with the house in any way other than being compensated for playing where the house asks them to. Generally, this compensation is added directly into their poker account either weekly or monthly. Props must be willing to play short handed, and may be restricted to playing in games specified by the house.
Some Conclusions
Showing down the best hand is only one way a winning player makes money. The same holds true online, but the logistical ways a thoughtful player increases his or her win rate are mostly quite different. When playing AK against your opponent’s J9, you aren’t just sending one hand value against another. Players who only earn the value of the hand strength of the AK over the J9 will fall well behind the much more successful players who do the logistical groundwork of lobby monitoring, player notes and the rest. Hand value profit is only the tip of the iceberg.
If you are a winning player, there is plenty of money to be made playing online poker. In fact, many professionals who formerly made a living inside casinos now play mostly online. Remember, you can play several games at a time with each game running at three times the speed of a live game in a casino. This makes it easy to leverage a small edge into big profit. Remember that online poker is a different animal than casino poker. If you are coming from the casino environment, you will have to make some adjustments. There may be a learning curve, during which time your profit may not be what you expect. My advice to you is to stick with it. Read books, blogs, and magazines. Share your insights with other players. Over time your profits and returns on investment will gradually increase. Play different games at different sites to find your best spot, and then leverage it by adding multiple games. If you are good enough, you will make some serious money.
Playing winning online poker is the science, craft and art of mastering things most players don’t even think about.

Part 1
Part 2

Online Poker Strategy – Winner’s Guide to Internet Poker (Part 2)

The Lobby
Working the lobby is as important as working the game you play. In casino poker you can walk around the room, briefly look at all the games and limits being played, and study what type of game each one is. Similarly, the online lobby offers a wealth of information just by clicking buttons: average pot size, number of players seeing the flop, how many hands played per hour, names of the players in each game, who is on the waiting list, and how many games of a particular limit are underway. (There is also another critical use of the lobby, but we will get to that below.)

Each bit of information is something we can use to choose the right game and limit. Some folks like wild games. Some prefer more passive ones. Some like full games; some prefer short-handed. Players who are nearly equally competent in all games can choose between dozens of games at the limit of their choice. Game and table selection is a critical part of casino poker. Fundamentally, it is even more important online. At first glance it might seem that table selection is less important online because it is extremely easy to move from one game to another. That really is just an argument for why table selection is even more important online. As players come and go, a bad game can turn into a good one (and vice versa) very quickly. It is not uncommon for average pot sizes to vary wildly among games of the same limit. You should be constantly monitoring the lobby, looking for the best games, and you should be prepared to make table changes when appropriate. Be vigilant in looking for the best games, and you will be handsomely rewarded.

When signing up for games that are full and have a waiting list, you may be presented with the option to either sign up for a specific game, or to sign up for the first available seating at a given limit. Let’s say, for example, that you decide that you want to play $15/$30 Holdem. When you click to be added to the waiting list, a box may pop up asking if you would like to be added to the waiting list for a specific table, or if you would just like the first available $15/$30 seat. It is always better to select the specific game option. Do this for each game that you think you may want to play. If the game conditions change, or if you change your mind about playing any game, you may simply pass on taking the seat when it becomes available. You will still remain on the list for the other games that you have selected. If you choose the “first available seat” option instead of the specific table option, it will restrict you to your detriment. This is because, if you make the “first available seat” selection, and you decide that you do not want the first available seat that is offered to you, you will be removed from the waiting list for all of the games. Simply put, signing up for tables individually will give you more flexibility and game selection options, which will allow you to make better strategic choices about the games that you will play in. Always keep your options open!

At the more popular online card rooms, you have many options to choose from, and a lot of information to use in choosing. Don’t restrict yourself. Keep several card rooms’ software on your computer to choose from. Look for the games that fit with your style. When your game texture changes from favorable to mediocre or worse, cruise the lobby for greener pastures. Stay vigilant. Knowledge is power.

Playing Two (or More) Games
One enormous difference between casino poker and online is the ability to play two (or more) games simultaneously online. Many players choose this option. And that is very, very, very good for us. No matter how good a player is, it is inevitable that when playing two games, a player’s ability will diminish a little or a lot. A player making $20 an hour playing one game is simply not going to make $40 an hour playing two games. It’s a certainty that sometimes hands will overlap, small opportunities will be missed, decisions rushed. This player may do better overall by playing two games, say making $34 an hour combined from the two games, but as opponents, they will do less well in any particular game they play in. This means, instead of facing a player who has an expectation to take $20 an hour out of our game, we face one who will only take out maybe $17. And, a player who expects to lose $30 an hour will now lose $37 an hour (or whatever) in our game.

When a player’s expectation goes form $20 an hour to $17 an hour, he is missing out on $3 an hour. Where does this money go? Quite simply, it is split up and added to the expectation of the other players in the game, based upon each individual’s playing ability. Good players can expect to receive more benefit than bad ones. Remember, expectation is a zero sum game. If one player’s expectation suddenly decreases, it is offset by increases in the expectation of his opponents (or additional rake to the cardroom).

You can anticipate that your expectation in each game will drop as you add games. This does not mean that you shouldn’t play in multiple games, on the contrary. You should play in the number of games that yields the highest combined expectation. Obviously, playing two games at a $17/hr win rate each is better than playing one game at a $20/hr win rate. In fact, most players do multi-table. Multi-tabling is not for everybody, however. If you notice that your expectation dropping sharply as you add games, or if you find managing multiple confusing or difficult, stick to one table at a time.

You should also understand that multi-tabling is in itself a skill. Many players can handle three or four games at a time. A few high volume players report that they can handle fifteen games at a time or more. But they didn’t start out playing fifteen games at once. They worked their way up to it, adding an additional game to the mix as their efficiency improved. In other words, they practiced multi-tabling and got better at it. If you want to start multi-tabling, add additional tables slowly and one at a time, to be sure that you can handle it. Remember, if you overload, not only will your expectation drop, but your action will slow way down and you will upset the other players in the game.

It is easy to see if your opponents are multi-tabling. You can see the names of all the players in each game in the lobby. Also, many sites have a “find user” search box. If you type in a name, it will display all of the games that the player is in. Simply knowing that your opponent is multi-tabling can provide you with an advantage. The first thing that you should know about multi-tablers is that they don’t handle nuance well. They often miss small details which may impact the correct play of the hand. They also don’t have time to think deeply about their actions and so they are prone to quick, rushed decisions. This is very useful knowledge to have and applies to many situations. I will discuss a few here.

One common mistake for a multi-tabler to make is to stall before making a continuation bet, or to miss it all together. They do this because they momentarily lose track of the action in that specific room. If they suddenly hesitate or check in a spot where you would expect a continuation bet, it often indicates weakness, and quite often a bet or a raise will take the pot. Be aware that this is a specific situation where hesitation indicates weakness. In general, a long pause or hesitation is often an attempt to feign weakness, by a player with a strong hand. In this case you would not want to attempt a bluff.

Generally, it is easier to bluff players who multi-table. This is because they are often involved in multiple hands at the same time, and they tend to give priority to their higher value hands. If they have a marginal hand, they will often let it go without much thought. They simply don’t have the time to analyze a bet as a bluff and consider the merits of re-bluffing.

Most players who multi-table know that they are giving up some of their edge, and they will try to compensate for this by tightening their preflop hand selection. This means that players who multi-table tend to play slightly fewer hands preflop than those who don’t. They also tend to defend their blinds less. This doesn’t mean that players who multi-table are weak-tight. Multi-tablers tend to have more online experience than average, and they certainly recognize the value of bluffing or betting into a checked pot.

So we know that multi-tablers tend to be experienced online players, who are susceptible to missing bets and being bluffed. They tend to give high priority to their good hands, acting quickly, and low priority to their marginal hands, acting more slowly. Our play should reflect what we know. We should be more inclined to value bet or bluff against a multi-tabling opponent. We should attempt to steal their blinds more frequently. We should look for and evaluate hesitation tells in this context. We can even use the “find a player” search box to look for players playing more games than they can handle effectively.

Finally, if you are a losing player, here is the number one lesson for you: play only one game at a time. You will lose less money.

Monitor Stack Sizes
Keep an eye on the precise size of the short stacks. If you are paying attention, you will be able to tell when they are likely to go all in and how this will be likely to impact future betting. This is especially important for no-limit and tournament play. Most online card rooms use the half bet rule. This means that if a player goes all in for at least 50% of the amount required to raise, it reopens the betting for the initial bettor. Consider the following situation. You are playing $2/$4 blind No-Limit Holdem. The player in first position bets out $10 and the player in second position goes all-in for $15. Under the “half bet rule,” The $15 all-in wager is considered a raise, because it is at least 50% ($10 bet + $5 raise) of the amount required ($10 bet + $10 raise) for a true raise. This reopens the betting for the initial bettor, who will now have the option to reraise any amount of $10 or more. Since he bet initially, there is a good chance he also wants to reraise. You need to consider this before you even call the $15 all-in wager. Incidentally, if the all-in player only had $14 ($10 bet + $4 all-in wager), the all-in wager would not be considered a raise, and the betting would not be reopened for the initial bettor. So, in this situation, calling a $14 all-in wager is a lot safer than calling a $15 all-in wager, because you do not run the risk of being reraised by the initial bettor.

Being aware of this rule can keep you out of trouble, but it can also be used to your advantage. Consider the following. You are in first position on a $2/$4 blind No-Limit Holdem game, where you have flopped middle set. You are confident that you have the best hand, and would like to make a large bet but are worried that you will not be called. The short stack to your left has $15 and is looking for a good spot to go all in. The correct play here is to bet $10 (or less) hoping that the short stack will go all in and reopen the betting for you. Keep in mind that not all card rooms use the half bet rule as it is laid out here. Some use a slight variation, and some card rooms require a 100% raise in order to reopen the betting. Some cardrooms have different rules for limit play and no-limit play, so don’t make any assumptions and check the rulebook where you play.

Like in casino poker, bigger stacks tend to get bigger respect, especially from new players. So always keeping a decent amount of chips “in front of you” is a good idea. Also, if you keep your whole bankroll in front of you at some cardrooms, you can’t buy-in to second game without cashing out of the first game first.

Playing Promptly
If you are a winning player, a smooth game with prompt action is almost always in your favor. The more hands you are dealt in, the more money you will make. To help the game run quickly and smoothly, select the “muck losing/uncalled hands” box and the “automatically post blinds” box, so that your hands are released and your blinds are posted by default. If you are not sure if you want to take your next blind, simply uncheck the appropriate box. Be careful about unchecking the “muck losing/uncalled hands” box. Anytime you voluntarily show a hand that you are not required to show, you give your opponent information about the way that you play. This will absolutely be used against you. One possible reason to uncheck this box is if you want to show a bluff after your opponent has mucked. Showing a bluff can have “advertising value.” It can get you action on future hands, and can put your opponent on tilt. Even so, showing a bluff is usually not recommended. First of all, it is considered rude and unsportsmanlike. Secondly, it will hurt your chance of success on future bluffs, because your opponent may now catch you. Generally, you want to try to avoid giving your opponents “free” information, and showing a bluff certainly falls into this category.

If you are a multi-tabler, do not play so many games that you slow each one down. You need to consistently act within a few seconds. While you have a timer which allows you to think for a few moments, it would be considered very rude to use it more than once in a while. Also, if you are a winning player, slowing the game down will result in fewer hands dealt, which will have a negative effect.

Perhaps 5% of online players are very rude. Sometimes literally half the game is spent repeatedly waiting for the same self-absorbed player to act on his hand. While this obnoxious behavior might be irritating, just ignore it, or change games.

Careful When Using “In Turn” Buttons
Most online card rooms have boxes that you can check which will allow you to select your action in advance. If you use these boxes, the software will automatically make the action you’ve selected, when it becomes your turn to act. These boxes vary slightly from site to site, but may include the following: fold, check, bet, call any bet, raise any bet, fold to any bet, etc. These boxes are very helpful for players who multi-table, as they speed up the action and allow you to handle multiple games efficiently. That being said, you need to use caution when using them.

The problem with using the “In Turn” action boxes is that the other players will know that you are using them. This is because the software will instantly act on your choice when it becomes your turn to act, making it clear to the other players that you have pre-selected your action. This can be problematic in several ways, exemplified by the following situations.

Imagine that you are playing multiple games and you are using the check boxes to increase your efficiency. You are in the big blind with a bad hand, and you check the box that automatically checks your preflop option if the pot is unraised, and mucks your hand if the pot is raised. When it becomes your turn, the software will act on your hand instantly, faster than a human could act, and the other players will know which box you have checked. Why is this bad? Because of the information it gives to your opponents. If the pot is unraised, and the software instantly checks for you, your opponents will know that you have a bad hand, worthy of check-mucking, and they will likely play at you on the flop, no matter what. Your use of this box has indicated that you are weak, and your opponents will take full advantage. Furthermore, if your opponents know that you use the check-fold box regularly, they will be more inclined to try to steal your blind. Similarly, using the other boxes can also leak information to your opponents.

These boxes can be especially dangerous to use in tournament play, where players make major decisions based upon minute bits of information. The most dangerous button in tournament play is also the most commonly used: the “fold in turn” button. Consider the following situation. You are on the button at the final table of a no-limit Holdem tournament. It mucks all the way around to the player on your right, who wants to steal the blinds, and must decide on how much to raise in order to do so. Under normal circumstances, this player must fully consider the fact that you may call behind him if he does not raise enough. If you use the fold in turn button regularly, your opponent can discount the likelihood that the size of his bet will have any impact on whether you call or not. From his perspective, if you are using the fold in turn button, a minimum raise will cause you muck, just the same as if he had raised three or four times the big blind. This allows the players on your right to shave down the amount they bet on blind steals, which can substantially reduce their exposure to risk. This will impact you negatively, especially late in the tournament. It may even cause your opponents to make small raises at pots they would normally leave for you to steal. Using the check/fold boxes while in the blinds will also cause your opponents to attack your blinds with small bets more frequently.

So you can see that using the “in turn” buttons gives free information to your opponents, which can be used against you — and even more importantly, you can gain information from how your opponents use (or misuse) the boxes. In addition to this, things can happen in the game between the time you check the box and the time the software acts for you, which may alter your correct play. This does not mean that you should never use the “in turn” boxes (although I recommend not using certain buttons in certain situations, as in the examples above). If you are a winning player who can make more from multi-tabling, your efficiency gains will likely justify their use. But use caution, and be aware of the information you are giving up.

Part 1
Part 3

Online Poker Strategy – Winner’s Guide to Internet Poker (Part 1)

The number of players playing poker online constantly grows, as does the number of card rooms. But strategy for online poker is still only in its adolescence. This Guide was the first of its kind when put online. It is my attempt to fill a void in poker literature. This Guide offers tips to both for players who have never played a hand online as well as those with experience who want to learn to play better — to win, or win more. Experienced users can skip some of the basics, but even in discussions of the basics I hope experienced users find some valuable ideas. Also, many of the linked pages below offer other information that should contribute to helping you win.
Since little has been written specifically on how to beat online games, why am I? Why give away “secrets”? First, I want to encourage more and more people to enjoy poker in all its forms. Some new players, too far away or too intimidated to walk into a conventional card room, will be glad to start out in a relatively unthreatening online environment. Online free games represent the best opportunity ever for new players to learn the game. Many of these players will naturally go on to also play in casinos, so this Guide should benefit brick & mortar clubs as well as online card rooms.
Second, this site has online poker card rooms as paid advertisers, making it in my interest to create more customers for them, which in turn attracts more ad dollars. Readers should understand that I do get a benefit from writing this Guide. I’m not paid by publishers or by readers but I get compensation indirectly via advertising. So, if you find these tips helpful or thought provoking, I hope you will consider patronizing my advertisers. If they get customers, they’ll pay me, and thus the online-focused pages on this website will continue to be revised and grow over time — grow with the new technology, new card rooms and influx of new players.
Online card rooms differ in small ways, but are similar in big ways. Players should easily be able to recognize small differences between the sites when they encounter them, so almost all the concepts apply to any online poker room.
The first thing to understand is that poker online is not the same as brick & mortar casino poker (hereafter I’ll call this “casino poker”). While the rules are generally the same, the way the games play are very different. The primary reason for this is that there is a complete lack of visual tells online. This means that online players must bet to gain information about their hand, whereas the same information is available to casino players from visual clues. This means that there are many more probe bets made online, which in turn leads to probe raises. The end result is that there is generally more action online than you will find in a brick and mortar casino. I’m not saying one is better than the other, or necessarily more or less profitable. They are just different in fundamental ways. Many of the abilities needed to win in casino poker of course also exist in online poker. You still need good starting cards… you still shouldn’t tilt… you still shouldn’t play at a level you can’t afford, and so on. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel on that stuff. Check out the rest of this website, the poker magazines and books to study those things that are the same online as in a casino. A flush beats a straight online. We don’t need to go over that.
Signing Up
Joining an online site is simple. You can fund your online poker account in many ways, and different card rooms may have various deposit options. In order to comply with current regulations, some online poker rooms may restrict play or deposit options based upon the state or country in which you reside. If you are facing such a restriction, the poker site will inform you of your options during the deposit process. In most cases, even if you are facing a deposit/withdrawal restriction, you will still have several different methods available to you for depositing or withdrawing funds. You may be able to deposit in any one of the following ways:
1. Directly from your checking account.
2. With a credit card.
3. Through a courier like Moneygram.
4. With a Bank Wire
5. With a personal check through the regular mail.
6. By receiving a funds transfer from another online player.
7. With a money order.
8. With an online payer like Neteller (citizens of some countries may be prohibited from using this option).
When you sign up, you don’t even need to deposit at first. You can play free games without giving any credit card or bank information. In fact, you should play the free games for at least an hour or so to get the hang of how fast the action goes, what buttons to click, what happens when you click a button if you aren’t sure of what it does: all the bells and whistles of how the site works. The drawback of the free games is that they have virtually no instructional value as to the correct method of play. This is because “free” players do not pay for their chips and therefore do not place much value on correct or winning play. This pretty much eliminates the “game within the game,” which is the heart and soul of poker. The free games are, however, excellent for a total novice. They offer newbies a way to practice calculating basic odds on the fly, and discover the relative strengths of hands. Still, you should get off free games as soon as you can. Even playing the .5/.10 games will offer you far more useful learning opportunities than the free games.
Give some thought to your login or “screen” name. Some people want to be distinctive, memorable. Others want to be as anonymous as possible. Your screen name is the first bit of “table image” you present to the other players. Choose one that presents the personality you want to convey to your opponents. Keep in mind that you may be restricted from making multiple changes to your screen name or picture.
Building an Online Poker Bankroll
The first enormous difference you confront between playing poker online and in a casino is when you go to buy chips. Online card rooms may limit how much you can deposit each day, depending upon the deposit method that you choose. This means that your daily deposit limit is your de facto bankroll even if you have more funds readily available. You can start to build your online bankroll either through winning play, or by making additional deposits on subsequent days. If you are a high limit player, you should contact the support staff at the poker site about easing deposit restrictions.
Deposit limits can affect both the way that you play and the limit you are able to play at. Even if you are a winning player, if you play very aggressively, or too high for your online bankroll, you can end up broke and out of action with no way to rebuy. Don’t let this happen. Putting yourself out of action is a critical mistake.
If your online bankroll is limited, you should make sure that you are playing at a level where your bankroll can withstand the daily swings. This usually means starting lower or medium limits, and playing higher as your bankroll grows. Keep in mind that your short term swings will normally be greater online than they will be in casino poker, because the games tend to be more aggressive online. If you are trying to acquire a large online bankroll without facing deposit restrictions, consider getting funds transfer from another player. Many sites do not restrict how much players can transfer between themselves.
Cashing Out and Your Internet Bankroll
Cashing out from internet card rooms is not a problem, but you should be aware that there are some common cash out rules. First of all, you may be restricted from cashing out for 48-72 hours since your last deposit or funds transfer. This is because the poker site may have expenses associated with your deposit, and they do not want people continually depositing and cashing out. Also keep in mind that some sites require that cash outs be credited back to their original deposit method first before a check can be cut. For example, if you initially deposited $500 with your credit card, and you wanted to cash out $1,000, they site may require that you accept a $500 credit to your card and a $500 check. If you have made several deposits over time, the site may require fulfilling credits on all of these before they will honor any other method of withdrawal. Regardless of how they process cash outs, if you play at a major site, you should not run into any problems getting your money. (See also Cash Out Curse Myth)
If you want to get around this restriction, there are basically two ways to do it. The first is to make your initial deposit through a funds transfer from another player. If you deposit funds this way, all cash out options should be available to you. The second thing that you can do is to keep a large enough bankroll online, so that you are able to avoid making deposits in the first place. If you do this, then your initial deposit will be credited back, but all further withdrawals are open to the method of your choosing. Obviously, in order for this method to work, you need to be a winning player, and you need to be able to leave a substantial bankroll in your account at all times (it is a good idea to do this anyway).

10 Online Gambling Tips and Winning Strategies

 
We have compiled below a list of general gambling tips for your online play. Before you make a selection, we strongly recommend that you take your time and browse our winning strategies to help you prolong and maximize your gambling experience.
 
1. Educate yourself. It’s not good enough to assume that you can play a game or you might as well just flush your money down the toilet. Take time out to learn the rules of a game before you begin playing. The Internet is inundated with websites such as ours that offer valuable resources and tips for good online game play. We guarantee you it will be worth your while to read and learn.
 
2. Shop around for the best deal. Online gambling operators are a dime a dozen but don’t be too hasty in making your selection. Choose a reputable gambling operator; one that has been in the industry for a number of years, that uses a reputable software provider, and that offers the best odds.
 
3. Selecting the right game. When playing in an Online Casino, choose games that will help you optimize your chances of winning such as Roulette, Blackjack, Craps, or Baccarat. While other games such as multi reel Slots and Video Poker appear to be exciting, they are not that profitable because there is no guarantee that you can win on any one spin.
 
4. Use the 3 B Betting System. The most profitable Players do not necessarily have ‘Lady Luck’ on their side. They employ the 3 B Betting System – Budget, Budget, Budget! Consider your gaming experience a new business venture. In any business venture, a business owner will budget to ensure he has enough funds and resources to take him through a certain period of time. Similarly, when venturing to play online, you should prepare a budget that you are comfortable with and adhere to it. In this way, you are likely to reduce your financial losses and increase your possible winning game play.
 
5. Set out a playing schedule. The saying that you can have too much fun is unfortunately very true. Sometimes, people who play online get caught up in the moment, especially when they are winning and inadvertently end up spending more money or more time playing than they originally anticipated. Don’t get caught up in the moment. Set a time frame for your online play and stick to it. One and a half hours (1½ hrs) is the optimal average playing time for any Player. The length of time you play online is a very important consideration and can play a key role in making or breaking you during your game play session.
 
6. Set your priorities first. Before you begin playing, decide whether you want to play for fun only or whether you want to seriously win a certain amount of money. You may even want to do both, but whatever you decide, be sure that you set achievable goals. Don’t go into Slots, expecting to win a Jackpot or don’t play Poker just for the purpose of getting a Bad Beat Bonus! You’ll be a very UNhappy camper if you don’t set realistic goals.
 
7. Greed is a definite ‘DON’T’. Oftentimes, people who play online lose because of their own greed. They’ll start out winning a couple of games or a few hands. But then, they notice that someone else is winning, so they want to win more. In order to win more, they begin to bet more. Then if they start losing, they are not satisfied with simply cashing in the chips or playing another game. They continue to bet until the money they set aside for the session is depleted. This is no one’s fault but the person who played the game, bet the money, and lost it all! DON’T be greedy. Play smart instead, and, if you notice you’re losing, end the session, cash in the chips, and call it a night. Or you can opt to try another game. Whatever you decide, DON’T go over your limit.
 
8. Get a second opinion. When deciding on a gaming Operator, you can make your selection from one of our trusted online gambling resources. If you feel the need for a second opinion, you can also navigate through one of the many free online gambling forums. They are plastered everywhere on the Internet and they give you a Player’s perspective and experiences on specific Operators and games offered. Be sure to read the most recent Comments and Posts so you too can keep up-to-date on what’s happening in this dynamic industry.
 
9. Read the fine print. This is especially important where bonuses and special promotions are concerned. For Marketing purposes, bonus offers are very attractive and appear too good to be true and this is oftentimes the case. If you come across a bonus offer that states 1000% Match Deposit, you can bet your last dollar that it comes with tons of restrictions. Read the Terms and Conditions of bonuses, promotions, and special offers. If they are not available on the website, then call their Customer Service Team for confirmation.
 
10. Which one to choose? When deciding where to play, do not choose an online Operator simply because it shows up in the Top 10 search results of your search engine. This does not mean that it is trustworthy or reputable. It simply means that the Marketing Team put its Marketing dollars to optimal use. The gaming Operators listed on our site have been personally reviewed, are renowned for their longevity and fair play, and, most importantly, pay Players when they win.
 
Now, you are equipped with the knowledge to gamble intelligently. So take this knowledge and make a difference – the difference between winning and losing. Have fun, play it safe!

Learn the Simplest Pai Gow Poker Strategy

For those of you who didn’t know, Pai Gow Poker is loosely based on the traditional Chinese tile game of the same name. Pai Gow, which means “make nine”, is played using special domino like tiles, and is a very popular casino game in China, across Europe, and even in some Las Vegas casinos.

The card game, which is similar to the tile game but uses the value of the cards rather than dots on a tile, is played by giving each player 7 cards. The winner is determined by whoever has the best hands, a five card hand and a two card hand. There are a lot of other rules, but for the sake of time we’ll just tell you how you can win Pai Gow Poker with these simple strategies.

  • If you aren’t dealt a pair, straight, or flush, just play the highest card on your five-card hand, and the next two highest cards in the two-card hand.
  • Split a two pair if the top pair is an ace. If you have a two pair where the top pair are kings, split except when the other pair is deuces, then play them together; playing the two highest remaining cards in your two-card hand.
  • If you have a three pair, play the highest card in the two-card hand.
  • If you’re dealt five aces, split them between the hands unless you also have two kings – play those in the two-card hand.
  • Bank whenever you have the chance. When you “bank” you’re essentially playing your own money against the hands of all the other players. Sadly, more casinos will only let you bank every 7th hand, but if you’re given the opportunity to do it more often, go for it.

Oh, and one last thing – don’t play the bonus bets. The casino makes more money on the bonus bets than it does on the commission it earns from what it charges players to play Pai Gow. Sure, playing the bonus bets can make the game more exciting, but chances are that you won’t win and you’ll just lose more money.

Pai Gow Poker is a fun table game with ancient roots. Use these simple strategies to increase your chances of winning, and let us know how you did. PrismCasino.com has some of the best Pai Gow Poker games online, and we are more than happy to teach you a thing or two about winning – even if you lose.

How to choose the Best Online Casino

Many casino enthusiasts jump at the first online casino they find. No questions asked, they deposit some credits and presto, they are gambling and having a good time. Some players comment that all online casinos are exactly the same, as the games come from the same developers. Even if that argument holds truth in some cases, it is a completely and utterly exaggerated view of reality.

Every online casino is different from the next, so while the experience of the player may be horrid in one, it may be incredible in the next. Here players will find a short and easy guide so they can choose the best online casino available.

Fishing Bonuses and Promotions

Physical presence casinos don’t provide players the luxury of promotions and bonuses when they enter.  Online casinos, to stand apart from the competence, tend to offer a wide variety of bonuses and small/big incentives.  These vary from deposit match up bonuses, free gaming sessions and weekly events with big prizes, among many others.

Nonetheless, even if almost every online casino offers bonuses, many like to glorify theirs. This means that they may be offering average or low bonuses but promoting them like an incredible and exclusive opportunity. So how can a player get to differentiate great from bad bonuses? Checking up different online casinos and seeing what are the most common offerings. The promotions and bonuses that stand above the average are the ones the player should be after. Remember that it is a privilege for the online casino to have you inside, not the other way round.

Relaxation makes the Experience

The interface and graphics are one of the most critical parts of an online casino. Even if the platform has a load of incredible bonuses, if it is ugly to the eye, the player will close before getting into any of those goodies. It is imperative that the online casino has a colour palette and overall deigning direction that suits they eye of the player. This helps the player to feel comfortable in the place and with comfort comes relaxation. It is no mystery that a relaxed player has a complete superior efficiency than a tensioned player.  This may not be noticeable in a few gambling sessions, but in the long run it really becomes a defining factor.

What The 3 Live Casino Must Have that You Should Know?

The unprecedented growth of live casinos reflects the industry’s response to the strong need of having a “real feel” of casino gaming within the comforts of one’s home. But although there are plenty of options to choose from, this should not prevent players from being selective. After all, their gaming experience is on the line.

We’ve come up with a short list of things to consider before entering a live casino.

1) High-definition view

Live casinos should deliver a great view of the game. They need to make sure that player see the cards, tables and most especially, the results, clearly. Members are entitled to having crisp images and vivid footage of the ongoing game. Actually, the term “entitled” is an understatement. It is a player’s right.

Through the years, various online casinos invested on high-definition cameras to capture the essence of delivering live games. And if your live casino fails in this aspect, the best antidote of course, is to look for a better room.

2) Well-trained dealers

Quite the contrary of what many think, players don’t just chase good looking dealers. The looks matter. However, many would also go for someone who knows how to efficiently supervise the game, answer questions and a little bit of spice into the game. Nobody loves a dull and boring live dealer.

3) Extensive games

Indeed, it is true that live baccarat and blackjack are exciting. But too much of something is also not that good.  For sure, you’d want to try a little bit of live sic bo or some live roulette on the side. Choose live casinos that have an extensive product offering. You don’t want to experience burn out, do you?

Choose your live casinos well. Look out for those details. If you’re really into that “real gaming” feel,” applying the above-mentioned criteria is a great way to do yourself a favor.

 

Betting and Loosing in Casino Games

When betting in online casinos, it is very important that the player feels both comfortable and like a winner. In many instances, players continue to play in some places even after several defeats. This is the worst a player can do, as different online casinos have different casino games and mechanics, which can contribute incredibly to the win factor.

Continual Defeat

In the event that the player has faced several defeats, they should think about playing another casino. They should also take into account that many online casinos give exclusive bonuses to its players, so they can gamble for a longer time.  These include an automatic double on the first deposit the player makes, random credit among online casino players, special occasions promotions, etc..

Players must try in different casinos until we find they find their own, this is a luxury that only the online casinos players can have. A regular player can’t start up the engine and go to 10 casinos in a row, as it is both expensive and time demanding.  In addition to this, the player should be a billionaire with anything better to do.

Taking a Break

But we must be smart in our bets, if we have three hands without winning at blackjack must know to be retiring in five laps slots winless streak means that we must change our casino. And if we find the solution and keep losing, it is recommended to take a break or try the casino at a different time of day.