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Pai Gow Poker: Learning the Game

If you are looking for a new game to play in the casino that is easy to learn and can be very profitable, you should consider Pai Gow Poker. It is a combination of American poker and the Chinese domino game that shares its name. Similar to blackjack, it is a slow-paced table game with plenty of player interaction and dealer assistance. With a 5% house vig on your winnings, this game provides the player with a huge advantage which is why the house has to take a cut. The actual house advantage is 2.3 percent.

Casino Strategy: Short-Run Decisions

When you read gambling books and articles, you sometimes see a distinction made between the “short run” (tonight, this weekend, this week, this month) of a few hundred or a few thousand decisions, and the “long run” (a few years or more) of millions of decisions. In the short run, anything can (and does) happen. Players can go on incredible streaks of improbable wins or equally improbable losses.

The long run is a very long time. Usually, it can be stated as the amount of time, or number 
of decisions, necessary for the probabilities to be within a given range of results. A coin flip will be, in the long run, faster than a roulette wheel because a coin flip has only two possible decisions and a roulette wheel has 37 or 38, depending on the type of wheel. As I stated, in the long run, the math of a game will win out over any aberrations that take place tonight.

Finding the Edge: Three Card Poker VS. Mississippi Stud Poker

Three Card Poker and Mississippi Stud Poker are two of the hottest table games around. Their popularity doesn’t challenge long time player favorites blackjack and craps, but in some states they draw more players than baccarat or even roulette.

HOW GOOD IS YOUR SHOT TO WIN AT THOSE GAMES? WHAT IS THE HOUSE EDGE?

Those are questions that need to be answered in multiple steps, because both are games with more than one round of betting.The house edge can be expressed as a percentage of the ante that starts either game, or it can be expressed as a percentage of the average total wager, once subsequent bets are considered.Some people refer to these as “house edge vs. the ante” and “house edge vs. total action.”

Poker: The Art of Card-Reading

Here is a big news flash that will catapult you immediately from an intermediate player to an expert if you are not there already. The most important skill any player can develop at the poker table is the ability to read other players’ personalities, betting patterns, and, ultimately, their cards.

It is a euphoric feeling for the beginner when she realizes that although each player is dealt two personal, private cards, it is sometimes possible to know with near certainty what someone’s two hidden cards are. It’s almost as though you can see through both the cards and into a player’s brain to gather the information you need to make a good call, a good fold, or a great bluff. To be effective in reading cards, one must watch patterns. Is he aggressive, raising at every opportunity, or is he quietly calling? Such information will reveal the cards to you just as surely as if he were playing with his hand face up.

Video Poker: Sunshine in Casino Land

I believe that knowledge is a valuable asset if you want to excel at most things. That includes all sports, bridge, chess, science, math and a long list of myriad topics, including gambling. The gaming industry, however, is unlike most others in that certain topics are off limits and will never see the light of day. For example, the highest level of device technologists is called a bench tech (most manufacturers have around ten levels) and you will never ever see one on any casino floor or even on site. I spoke to a bench tech once due to unusual circumstances and he told me that they take their secrets to the grave. So, when a level one or two technician tells you which machine to play or how they work you should take it with a grain of salt. But there are many branches of gambling facts that are not just accurate but potentially profitable. The tough part is shining a light on legitimate facts so you can differentiate between the sunshine and the fairy tales.

Poker: Smart Play on the Flop

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Playing A-x Suited: Bad Flop
Suppose that a jackal has raised the flop, and you have called his raise with Ad- 5d, and then the big blind calls as well. If the flop comes down Js-Qh-3d and the big blind checks and the jackal bets, fold your hand. You have missed the flop (you don’t have either a pair, a straight draw, or a flush draw); you have only two bets in the pot at this point; and you were the caller before the flop, not the raiser. There is no warrant for getting further involved in this hand.

Poker: Playing Small Pairs on the Flop

You have 4-4 in the fourth position, and the player in the second position (two seats to the left of the big blind) makes it two bets to go. You’re playing my theory—“three-bet with small pairs”—before the flop, so you make it three bets. No one else calls, and the flop is Q-10-3. The player in the second position then bets out into you and you raise him, thus “representing” a queen (or perhaps K-K or A-A) but also gaining information.

Casino Q&A with John G. : Get the Answers that Help You Win!

As a game that allows players to exercise their skill along with having a strong element of chance, blackjack has more subtleties than most casino games. It also leaves plenty of room for question and comment. Let’s try to answer a few questions and relay a few comments submitted by readers.

 

Texas Hold ’em: Changing Gears

blackjackThe residual effects of watching thousands of hands has been tremendous for my game, and I’d love to share some observations with you, as I do regularly as an instructor at the WPT Boot Camp. We have taken the time to match WPT footage with specific instructional material.

Check out some of these insider tips on how to change gears during your play.

Texas Hold ’em: Phil Hellmuth and Playing the Top 10 Hands

Poker coverKnowing how to play the top ten hands in Limit Hold â??em can mean the difference between winning and losing. In this column, 13-time World Series of Poker Champion Phil Hellmuth, Jr. offers some examples of correct play strategy. This is an excerpt from his best-selling book, Phil Hellmuthâ??s Texas Hold â??em available on Amazon.com and major bookstores everywhere.