Online Poker Tools, Part I

If you are looking for ways to become a more profitable poker player Poker Tools are definitely something to consider. These tools wont make you world champion over night but if you select the right tools and dedicate the necessary hours to studying them you can achieve tremendous improvements to your results.If you are new to poker don’t jump in and start looking at the different poker tools – start out by reading a few good poker books (these might give you a good start: David Sklansky: “The Theory of Poker” and Ian Taylor + Matthew Hilger: “The Poker Mindset”) and play some free (or low stake) online poker hands. Once you know a little more than the basics of the game it is time to start thinking about which online poker tools can best help you improve.This series of articles will explain the different poker tool types and teach you how to select the tools that are best suited for your situation.Series overview:

Part I: An introduction to the subject of Online Poker Tools.
Part II: Classification of the different poker tool types.
Part III: Detailed info about the “must have” poker tools.
Part IV: Detailed info about niche poker tools.
House rules are important. Just as most land based casinos doesn’t allow card counting in Black Jack or the use of electronic devices in the casino many online poker rooms are selective when it comes to the use of poker tools. Pokerstars probably has the most restrictive policy in the business with a long list of banned poker software tools and programs. This article will give you a good idea of the characteristics that are typical for banned software types but to make sure please check the rules of your local poker room.If you expect to buy a couple of poker tools, install them and then start playing (and winning) much better poker than you are now, you will be disappointed. The best poker tools all demand that you put in the time to learn how to use and understand them. This can be many hours but the better poker tools are definitely worth your time, as you will improve over time.A word of caution, please do NOT run out and buy 2, 3 or more poker tools after having read this guide. Most of the tools require a lot of focus and concentration in order for you to really benefit and having 2-3 new poker tools on your PC is simply too much. Concentrate on learning all the details of one tool at the time.The single most important reason to use online poker tools is to improve your skills and thus win more. The good news is that this is entirely possible to achieve the “bad” part is that is takes time. Now please move on to the next part in which you will learn which poker tool type is best for you: Trackers, HUD’s, Online Databases, Calculators, Charts or Poker Robots.

Online Poker Vs Offline Poker

The popularity of poker as the card game of choice has oftentimes been attributed to online gaming. Many home gamers and poker puritans will probably disagree, but history will tell us that the unprecedented spike of the card game’s popularity during the 21st century is largely because of its introduction online.Of course, some may argue that the invention of the hole-card camera has given poker an elite status as it has turned the game into a spectator sport. This innovation has allowed millions of poker aficionados worldwide to follow the action and drama of it all, giving birth to a more exciting broadcast of the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour. Poker pros have become instant celebrities, thanks to cable and satellite TV.Because of the increasing fame of poker, more and more people are getting into the hype, which is not about to fade within the next decade. Home games have become more and more popular and poker tournaments abound. And to add fuel to this worldwide phenomenon, poker has been made available online. Now, virtually anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can play poker to their hearts desire.As a testament to the success of online poker, major tournaments have practically increased player base with the introduction of online satellite-qualifier games, with the winner earning a seat into a major tourney. Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, winners of the 2003 and 2004 WSOP tournaments respectively, won their seats online through satellites.This brings us again to the great debate now brewing in the poker community: online poker vs. offline poker?The debate need not be as contentious as it may sound, as each of the gaming arena offers something advantageous over the other without really putting one down.Online poker is played the same way as offline poker. The rules are the same for every kind of poker game like Texas Hold’em, Stud, or Draw poker. Some will say that offline poker is more exciting, as the opponents meet eye to eye. It is here where you can see the other player’s “tells,” if his hands tremble when he has a big hand or if his nose twitches if he bluffs. You can stare down an opponent in offline poker, and look very good doing it like what the pros do.These are the things you cannot do online. You don’t see the other players. You don’t get to observe their “tells.” All you can do is watch how they bet and see if you can predict their betting patterns.However, online poker has its advantages. Not everyone owns a poker table and an otherwise expensive chip set. The poker websites will provide that for you, all you need to do is download the platform. You don’t have to waste time and effort organizing a home game, as there are players online ready to take you on practically anytime of the day. You can play with a German player or anyone who has an internet connection anywhere in the world. You can play with real money or just have fun playing without it. What’s more, most poker sites will give you free money to play with without even asking for a deposit, which means you can actually bankroll your poker career without spending a single penny online.And the odds are the same. The rules are the same. And the players are the same. Online poker has just made it easier for you to enjoy the best card game in the world.

Every Poker Player Has to Start at the Beginning

Every poker player should know that you have to start at the beginning.So, you are a beginner at playing poker; well, we all have to start some place. Even the professional poker player had to be a beginner at one time. Like the rest of us, you just have to start playing.Maybe you have watched the World Series of Poker (WSOP) on TV, maybe you’ve read some of the poker books, maybe you’ve been to a casino and stood at the rail of a poker room or maybe you have played a little free Internet poker.But the best way to learn how to play poker is in a live ring game for real money!Now, you are about to jump feet first into the poker waters. You are at the casino poker room and they have just seated you at a table. You mumble, “Hi,” to the dealer and other players. Your hands are clammy, there’s sweat on you upper lip and you feel light headed. (Yeah, we’ve all been there.)You are somewhat overwhelmed and a bit shy about sitting down at the poker table. You don’t know what to expect and are having self-doubts. “Are the other players going to run all over me?,” you think to yourself, allowing your own hype to intimidate you.Oh no, here comes the first hand. You look at your hole cards, studying them to make sure you know what you have. The Ace and Jack of Hearts. Now if only you could remember what all the poker books say about good starting hands. Am I supposed to raise? You just call.The flop comes King of Spades, Ten of Hearts, and Four of Hearts. Wow, four to a straight and four to a flush. You are trying to look nonchalant but your heart beats faster. You call the bet.The turn card is the Jack of Spades. “Okay, not too bad; at least I have a pair,” you say to the little poker player inside of you.The dealer discards, and what seems like slow motion, lays down the river card. The nine of Hearts! You have the nut high flush.”Check raise, check raise, check raise,” your mind is screaming.”No, no. I can’t do that. I’m just a beginner. What do I know?,” says the scaredy- cat. So, you just place the required bet.The only player left in the hand raises. What could he have? You stare at the cards on the board; you check the cards you hold. All the players are looking at you, waiting to see what you will do.From somewhere you hear your voice squeak, “Re-raise.”Your opponent calls the re-raise and shows a King-high straight. You turn your cards over and the dealer declares, “Winner, Ace-high flush”, pushing the pot your way.As you stack up the chips, you hear the losing player grumble, “Beginner’s luck.”Gee, this poker playing stuff is easy. Shuffle up and deal!