How to Play Omaha

Omaha is similar to Texas Hold-em in that blinds go around the table after each hand, and players make their poker hands by sharing community cards combined with their hole cards to make the best possible poker hand. If you are do not yet know the rules and terminology concerning the blinds, or the community cards, please refer to the section on How to Play Texas Hold-em.

How to Play Omaha
How to Play Omaha

The main difference between Omaha and Hold-em is that in Omaha, each player is dealt 4 hole cards rather than 2. However, you must use 2 of those hole cards to make your poker hand. You may not use more or less than 2 cards. If you are using 1 card along with a pair of the same card number on the board to make 3 of a kind, your highest second card is considered your kicker. The same goes for a single card used to make a pair. Any other hand, you must have 2 cards in your hole cards playing to make the hand, whether it is a straight, flush, full house, or any other poker hand. It is a common beginner’s mistake in Omaha to think they have a hand with only one hole card in play. Make sure this does not happen to you.

Betting turns are taken the same way in Omaha as they are in Hold-em, as are the community cards laid out on the table. So if you know the game of Texas Hold-em, you should have no trouble keeping up with the betting rules in Omaha.

Omaha Hi-Lo

Omaha hi-lo (also known as O8) is played just like Omaha with one defining difference, it is possible to have 2 different winning hands. The best poker hand wins the high pot, and the best low hand wins the lo. If a player can make both the best lo hand and the best high hand, they win the whole pot, known as “scooping.” If no player can make a lo hand, the high hand wins the whole pot.

To make a lo hand you must have 5 cards of 8 or less between 2 of your hole cards, and 3 of the community cards on the board. Aces are considered both low for a lo hand as well as high for a high hand. So the lowest possible hand in O8 is also a strong high hand that will often scoop the pot. A, 2, 3, 4, 5 is known as “the wheel” and can be a devastating hand in O8.

Finding the Right App – iPhone Gambling for US Players

iPhone Gambling
iPhone Gambling

With the advent of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006, many gamblers in the US wondered if they would ever get to see the luxury of iPhone gambling, which came to Europe long before it reached the States.  UIGEA regulations, which make internet gambling more complicated, also greatly complicate iPhone gambling, by putting restrictions on how sites get and return money, and how the banks are allowed to do business with those sites.  At long last, however, there are some good apps available for American iPhone users that will let them undertake their favourite hobby.

Sportsbook and Bookmaker were two of the first apps available for iPhone gambling in the US.  Both of these apps allow users to place real-money bets through their phones, and both have been around for a long time before making their services mobile.  Both sites offer extensive bonuses for gamblers who make bets through the mobile; Sportsbook refunds the first $10 of losses on mobile bets, while Bookmaker allows users to earn double points in their loyalty program when users partake of gambling through their mobile device.  Both sites offer matching bonuses upon sign-up, although Bookmaker’s is more substantial, with a 300% match on up to 100 dollars.  Bookmaker’s options include all manner of US professional sports, including golf, tennis, and horse racing, with a customized section for making equestrian event bookings that involve statistics and track records.  Sportsbook offers easier deposits and withdrawals and offers a wide variety of sidebetting options, such as betting on the split on a game, as well as countless promotions, such as reduced rate Fridays and NBA college promos.  Both sites have proved themselves reliable over the years, and their mobile options for iPhone gambling are no exception.

If you’re looking for real-money poker games instead, there’s some bad news:  the iPhone gambling world simply hasn’t progressed that far.  Switch Poker created the first real-money mobile app in late 2010, but they don’t permit US players, nor do the handful of other poker sites that are offering iPhone gambling with real money.  The American poker market will surely catch up soon, but in the meantime, you can hone your skills with apps like Zynga’s poker app or the Texas Hold’em app released by Apple.  While you can’t play for real money, you’ll find plenty of competition willing to help you step up your game so that you can make a killing the next time the stakes are real.

2011 World Series of Poker – Getting Ready with the Bluff Pro Challenge

The 2011 World Series of Poker promises to be an incredible event that offers something for everyone– the amateur weekend poker player, the cautious spectator, the semi-pro regular player who already has a couple local or small tournaments under his or her belt, and the professional poker player who is looking to score the impressive 180 million dollar prize at this year’s WSOP.

Lock Poker has teamed up with Bluff Magazine and Poker News Boy to create the second Bluff Pro Challenge, a month-long tournament the month before the 2011 World Series of Poker starts in late May.  The Bluff Pro Challenge is meant to determine the world’s best poker player before the 2011 WSOP even starts, and winners not only gain a Main Event Seat at WSOP, but they’re also awarded with a 2-year Lock Pro Elite sponsorship, the July 2011 cover of Bluff Magazine, and a 6-month campaign geared at marketing them for poker fame.  Those are some hefty rewards to win a month before the biggest poker event of the year even starts.

Here’s how the Bluff Pro Challenge works:  Players play for the entire month of April, and they can start with however much money they want in their bankroll.  Players can add money to their account any time they want.  Players compete in sit-and-go tournaments, multiple table tournaments, and ring games on the Lock Poker site, and the goal is simple: win as much money as you possibly can within 30 days.  The winner will be the player who has the highest profit at 11:59 on April 30th.  If you’re worried that you don’t have the initial bankroll that many other players will have, keep in mind that the winner will be determined by highest profit, not necessarily the most money, so there’s no harm in playing, even if you don’t have a substantial amount of money to start with.  Recruits, as they’re called on the Lock Poker site, have already signed up from all over the world, with a predictable dominance by American players, who make up the largest percentage of poker players around the world.

Lock Poker is also known for having one of the best incentive programs available, as they offer a matching bonus of 200% on an initial deposit of up to $1,200, available with the Lock Poker bonus code (use the LOCKWELCOME code before you make your initial deposit).  Players have to earn VIP points to release their bonus, but with up to 2,400 dollars in free money, a little time spend playing poker hardly seems a sacrifice.  After all, that’s why you’re playing poker online, right?

With the 2011 WSOP right around the corner, now is the perfect time to cut your teeth on a large tournament like the Bluff Pro Challenge.  If you win, you can see the 2011 World Series of Poker up close, and even if you don’t, you’ll have a great experience sure to prepare you for one day making your way to the weeks worth of events at the WSOP.

Poker Deposit Methods can Earn you a Poker Deposit Bonus

Poker Deposit Method Bonuses
Deposit Method Bonuses

If you want to play online poker, you have to have a way of putting money into your account and this is why the range of poker deposit methods is important for many people. Not everyone has access to a bank account whereas some people are concerned about using their debit or credit cards online. This has led to a wide range in demand for poker deposit methods and if a site does not offer a player a deposit method that suits them, there are plenty of others that will.

It has to be remembered that even though some people love the idea of playing online poker, they hate the idea of online fraud and identity theft even more. This has led to many poker players to avoid using their bank details online, which will inhibit the number of online poker sites they can use.

There are non-bank account options available

There are still some options to play poker online though and the number of non-banking options looks set to increase. Using the facilities offered UKash or Paypal ensures that there is no longer the requirement to pay with a debit or credit card, which has widened the availability of online poker to many more people.

Once you have sorted out how you will deposit money into the online poker account, the site wants to ensure you will deposit money on a regular basis. This is why it is common for a poker site to provide a poker deposit bonus for players.

Not all bonuses are the same

The bonus may be related to the sums of money involved with the deposit whereas it may be related to the frequency of deposits. Each site will have their own bonus structure and it should be clearly defined, allowing players to find the option that suits them best.

If you plan on playing a lot of poker anyways, it makes sense to find the poker deposit bonus that will provide you with biggest benefit. The opportunity to play poker for free is a huge incentive and it can really boost the bankroll of a player. With so many sites to choose from, poker sites have to work hard to encourage players to use their site and the offering a poker deposit bonus is a great way to do this.

Most poker players just want to play poker so offering the chance to do so and earn a few bonuses at the same time is a great tactic that most firms should consider.

Real Money Online Poker Will Improve Your Style of Play

Real Money Online Poker
Real Money Online Poker

It can be fun to play online poker for an hour or two and for many players; it is a great way to unwind. Whether is at the end of a busy working day or to get some light relief at the weekend, poker can be a great way to have some time to yourself. There are plenty of opportunities to play poker for free which may suit some people but the real excitement and action begins with playing poker for money. It is easy to see why there is a bigger incentive involved with a game where there is money at stake so many people will look to play in these games.

Security is top priority for poker sites

Some poker players are hesitant about going online to play for real money because they will have concerns about their online financial safety. People are right to consider the validity of using their bank cards online but poker sites have a reputation to consider and their entire business depends on it. This is why the vast majority of poker sites have proper protection measures put into place that far outstrip those of other online companies. This means that there is nothing to worry about using an online poker site for real money games as online security is paramount on these sites.

One of the best challenges in poker is playing against the top class players. Winning money is great but the thrill of taking on a top class poker player and beating them is something that really interests most players. The thing is though, the top class players can only be found on the real money games so if anyone really wants to challenge themselves, the online poker real money games are the best place to find this challenge.

Play more and win more, win more and play more

Another great reason to play real money games online is that it will increase the opportunities to play more games of poker. Proper bankroll management is essential for all poker players but having the opportunity to win can increase the bankroll of a player and increase their opportunity to play. Players can get into a cyclical habit of playing online poker games for money, winning and then being able to play an increased number of online real money games.

The more a poker player plays the more chances they have to win and they will likely see an increase in their skill levels along the way. Practising and playing free games can develop a lot of the skills involved with online poker but there are some techniques that can only be developed through proper play.

PKR Poker is Always a Bonus to Play

PKR Poker Bonus Codes
PKR Poker Bonus Codes

The PKR Poker site is one of the most innovative and instantly recognisable poker sites online. With its ground-breaking graphics and introduction of 3D technology, this site is one of the best looking poke sites around. Graphics are not everything though and much of the great reputation that PKR has is due to the range of games and the ease of use that the site offers.

The combination of looks and efficiency has helped make PKR one of the top poker sites but with so much competition around, the site does not want to rest on its laurels. Whether it is through pushing technology, offering promotions, having huge prizes or undertaking serious advertising campaigns, the PKR site manages to stand out from the crowd.

Bonus codes are always a welcome bonus

Another great way that the PKR site entices new players to try their site is through the use of PKR bonus codes. These bonus codes come in all manner of shapes and sizes and give a great incentive to try the site out. If you have little experience of a poker site or are looking to try different ones, obtaining these codes should allow you to experience everything that the site has on offer for very little outlay.

Poker sites realise that with so many different sites online, they have to do everything they can to convince new players to try their site out and bonus codes are a great way of doing so. Even their title suggests that the player is getting something additional for nothing, which can be hugely persuasive in convincing people to change their behaviour!

A wide range of bonus options are available

There are a wide range of PKR bonus codes available, all offering some form of incentive to join up and begin playing on the site. Some of the codes will offer a new player free money for creating an account whereas other bonuses are related to the amount of money that is deposited into a players account. There are even bonus codes that will provide players with a rake back percentage every month for their duration of their account, which is great in offsetting any losses that are racked up during a month.

The PKR website is one of the leading lights of the online poker community and it seems to excel in all areas. If you are looking for a site that offers a little bit more than the majority of poker sites, this could be the one for you.

PokerStars Home Games Brings the Fun Back Home

PokerStars Home Games
PokerStars Home Games

Online poker is great but at times it lacks the fun and excitement that came from beating your friends at poker. This is how many people learned how to play poker but this style of playing was about much more than just the game.

There was a huge social aspect to the game and it was a great way to keep up to date with the lives of friends and loved ones. The emergence of online poker has brought many benefits including the opportunity to win a lot of money but many miss the chanced to beat their friends at home.

PokerStars understand the social aspect

PokerStars have realised this and the release of the PokerStars Home Games brings the social factor into playing online poker. This game allows you and your friends to set up a game using the PokerStars software and game client. If you found your regular poker games have been disrupted by people moving away, this is the perfect way to bring back those nights of poker with your friends.

Setting the game up is extremely simple to do. All it takes is entering the lobby of the PokerStars site and starting up your own poker club. After this, you invite the players that you want to join and everything else is as simple as joining an online poker game. The simplicity of the PokerStars Home Games is its real quality and as long as all of your friends are members of the PokerStars site, they can be invited into the game.

There are further bonuses and incentives to play this way

That should be more than enough to convince people to switch to this style of poker game but there are further poker bonuses to convince people to enlist for this style of poker play. If you and your friends start a Poker Club, have 7 or more members and engage in two real money or five play money games, you will be included in the $100,000 free-roll Ultimate Home Game.

The ability to play with friends online no matter where they are is a huge incentive for players to join up with the site but this added incentive is likely to greatly increase the number of players using this style of poker play.

Enjoy poker you way when you want it

Players can still enjoy the regular PokerStars games on a regular basis, getting everyone online at the same time can be difficult but with a minimum of planning, poker games with your friends can be back on the agenda.

If you miss the good old days when Friday nights would turn into Saturday mornings so easily and poker was at the heart of it all, PokerStars may be able to bring those days back. Whether it becomes a regular game or a one-off match involving you and your best friends, the Home Games innovation should be considered one of the best steps in online poker. People have complained about the lack of social element and interaction that online poker has but this new style of playing may be about to change all that.

Good Poker Bankroll Management is Key to Success

Poker Bankrolls
Poker Bankrolls

As every good poker players knows, being a successful poker player depends on many things. One of the most important things is knowing when to walk away and knowing when to run. Yes, Kenny Rodgers sang a lot of sense in his old song ‘The Gambler’ and you would do well to listen to his tale if you want to be a winner at online poker.

Some days, you just can’t win. Other players may be in great form and sometimes the cards just don’t fall the way you want them to. This is not related to luck, sometimes it just happens and in these instances, you are left with a choice. Do you keep ploughing money in to the game in the hope that you can turn it around, all the while becoming more desperate or do you take a step back and ensure you have money left to play again another time?

Poker bankroll management is a huge part of poker

When you play poker, you should set limits to give yourself a great chance of winning a lot of money but to also minimise the level of losses you may incur.

One good tip about about poker bankroll management is to always play within your roll. If you set yourself a limit of having a maximum percentage of your roll on the table at one time, you will not go broke during a single game.

The percentage can depend on a lot of things, how confident you feel who you are up against and of course your own personality. If 5% was the standard figure, cautious and risk averse players would have a maximum of 2 or 3% of their bankroll on the table at any one time. Attacking and confident players may decide to place 10% of their bankroll on the table at one time. The choice is up to you but if you make the decision, stick with it.

Do not be distracted

And once you have stuck with it, continue to stay with it and keep playing. After all, you play with chips, not money and any distraction from that could cause you to lose focus on the game. Knowing what you are playing with rather than trying to make financial calculations in your head should allow you to play better.

It should go without saying but once you are in the game, play to win. Many people may have a light-hearted approach to poker but these people are often the ones that lose out. If you know your bankroll limits, you are free to play as you want within that and this means you can play to win as far as that goes.

This style of play is not for everyone but then again, many people go bankrupt because of playing poker. If you want to keep on top of your finances, keep on top of your bankroll.

How to Play Texas Hold-em

If you’re new to poker, you’re in for quite the ride. Poker is a fantastic game. The only game that you can win without having the winning hand, that is… if you know how to bluff. But we’ll discuss bluffing another time. If you’re new to the game, you need to grasp the basics first. Learn to understand the subtleties of the game, as well as the different types of poker games you can play, all of which are available on nearly any online poker room. Let’s start with the games available.

You most likely know how to play Texas Hold-em. Hold-em has seemed to have a life of its own in recent years, growing in popularity across the world faster than the newest cell phones become obsolete. But on the off chance you don’t know the game, let’s go over the rules since this is the game most likely to be found on any online poker room.

How to Play Texas Hold-em
How to Play Texas Hold-em

The blinds are forced open bets that each player must place in turn. As the dealer chip goes clockwise around the table, so do the blinds. These vary depending on the level of stakes you are playing, and the big blind, or BB, is the minimum bet on the table. Directly to the left of the dealer chip is the small blind, or SB. To the left of the SB is the BB. The SB is always half as much as the BB and both bets must be placed before any cards are dealt. After each hand, the dealer chip and the blinds are rotated clockwise one position at a time.

After the blinds have been placed, each player is dealt two cards, (known as the “hole cards”) and the person sitting to the left of the BB starts the betting round. Each player may call, (bet the same amount as the BB) raise, or fold, and turns are taking clockwise around the table. If either player sitting on the blinds folds, they forfeit their blinds. When it comes around to the player sitting on the BB, if no player before them has raised, they have the option to check since their bet was already placed as the blind. If one of the players before them has raised, the BB must either call, raise, or fold.

Once all bets have been established, the flop comes out. The flop is the first 3 of 5 community cards placed in the center of the table. Each player may use these cards in addition to their hole cards to make the best possible poker hand. After the flop is laid out, another round of betting takes place starting with the player on the SB. Each player may check if no bet has been made, or must call or fold if there has been a bet made.

After all bets have been established on the flop, the 4th community card, known as the turn card is laid out, followed by another round of betting. Finally we see the 5th and last community card, known as the river. The final round of betting takes place and all players left in the pot, (those who have called all bets) go to “showdown.” Showdown is when the remaining players in the pot show their cards and determine who has the best poker hand. The player with the best hand at this point wins all the money in the pot. In the event of a tie, the pot is split between the tying hands.

Playing Poker on Ubuntu

There are many benefits of using the Linux OS as opposed to Windows but if you are a poker fan, it may seem that your options are limited. With so many poker sites using download programs to allow players to play, Ubuntu users may feel they are missing out on the poker action. This can be very annoying and if you are skilled at poker, can also see you missing out on money. Thankfully, there are ways to play poker on Ubuntu.

Playing Online Poker on Ubuntu
Playing Poker on Ubuntu

Firstly, if the poker site offers a no download service, you can use this site no problem with Ubuntu. The downside is that these no download services tend to offer fewer services and fewer gaming options. If you are a casual poker player, this may be suitable to your needs but if you want to play regularly, you will need to play with downloaded software.

Wine can be a solution

The solution that most people suggest for playing poker on Ubuntu is to use the Wine emulator. Wine is a Windows emulator for Ubuntu and will allow you to play any download software from poker sites on your Ubuntu OS. The process is as simple as downloading and installing the Wine emulator, downloading the software from the poker site (the .exe file, not the download file) and then run the downloaded poker file in Wine.

This is a very simple process and should take no more than a few minutes to carry out. If you are strongly against using a Windows emulator on Ubuntu this option will not be suitable but it opens up a world of poker playing opportunities for the Ubuntu user. Glitches may occur from time to time but on the whole, this process is simple and extremely effective.

Java games may provide an answer

Another solution to the problem may come in the shape of Java downloads, which are appearing on a number of poker sites. A Java based poker room does not require any software to download and is compatible with all operating systems, which means Ubuntu users can play these games with no difficulties at all.

None of these solutions are ideal and Ubuntu users are unfairly marginalised compared to other OS users but there are still plenty of options for Ubuntu users to play online poker games. Even the most hardened of poker players will find that running software through Wine is a sacrifice that is more than acceptable to gain access to the top poker sites and their wide choice of games.