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Choosing A Game

Monday, June 01st 2009  
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 There are two main reasons why people play poker. It’s very simple: they play either for fun (and additional income) or make it their primary profit. No matter what aim you personally have, you’ve got to find the game, which will fit your interest. I don’t mean that you have to choose between poker and tic-tac-toe. If you are reading this article it means that your main interest is poker. However, there are a lot of different aspects of the game and every player should know them in case he wants to be a winner. Here are the most general characteristics of a poker game. They are true not only for Holdem, but for most of the community games.

 Online/ Offline Games

 I don’t think it is necessary to tell you what’s the difference between “real” and “virtual” poker. However, always bear in mind that online games are a bit looser. The reason is that if a person is caught at bluffing with a trash hand he does not have to watch his opponents’ grins. For a beginner it is better to start with low limit online games as there are a lot of fish there. By the way, online casinos offer you the possibility of playing for fun (or so-called play money), which can be very useful in case you are still not sure about the rules.

 Limit/ Pot Limit/ No Limit Games

 This classification is based on the raising limits. In limit games players the size of the bet is fixed. In pot limit games the raise should not be bigger than the amount of chips in the pot. In no limit games there are no restrictions for raises and the only limit is your own stack. Of course it is better to start playing with low limit games. No limit poker is preferred by professional gamblers who can easily blow thousands of dollars to the pot.

 Longhand/ Shorthand/ Heads-up

 Longhand games are those with 7 or more players at the table. If the number of people is from 6 to 3 it is called a shorthand game. If there are only two people at the table it is heads-up. You should change your playing style according to the type of the game you play in. In longhand games you want to play only nutlike hands as the possibility that someone else has a good hand is very high. In shorthand you can be more loose and in heads-up even the worst hand can become a winning one. Just remember the WSOP final events. Doyle Brunson would never win with his T2 if it were a longhand game. Someone else would certainly have at least an overpair.

 Tournaments/ Ring Games  Tournament is a series of single games (which are also called ring-games). The stakes increase as the amount of players decreases in tournaments and the final event has the higher limits.

 So, now you are familiar with the main characteristics of a poker game and I hope, you will find something, which fits your interests and skill-level.
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