Your Questions About Poker

Maria asks…

How do I become a more aggressive poker player?

It may sound like a bit of a stupid question – obv just bet and raise more. But when I try to become more aggressive like you see on TV then I bust of tournaments very quickly, and people start to call my bets with high cards on the river!

How do these aggressive poker players like Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey do so well??

What’s makes a aggressive poker player? And how do I become a more aggressive poker player?


admin answers:

One thing to make clear here is aggression is not all about bluffing.

Successful aggression is really based on 3 things.

1.Insurance: Making people fold when you have the best cards at that point in the hand. Say you have JJ and the flop comes A of hearts J of hearts and 9 of spades. There is a possible flush draw and a possible straight draw. What you have to do is use your aggression to stop the hand at that point or make it prohibitively expensive for someone to play a draw.

The same can be said for high pockets cards like AA KK QQ JJ you need to make a significant raise pre flop (say 6 times the blinds so that you „insure“ that people make the wrong decision in calling.

2. Making your good cards count when you have the best hand. There is nothing worse than when a new player has a monster hand checking or calling when they should bet. If you have the best cards make it expensive to see your winning hand. It is a science of how much you should bet, but it should not be cheap (like 1-2 times the blinds).

3.Correctly reading the situation. If you are last to act (say the dealer) and there are two limpers (people who just call) to the flop and you think they haven’t hit, place a bet, ensure that your aggression is within limits and usually double blinds to pot size.

Correctly reading the situation comes from reading the board for draws and knowing the player that are still in the hand and what they could have and how they play.

The problem with TV poker is that they don’t show the hundreds of hands in which Phil Ivey folded, they only show the interesting hands. What pros do for the most part is highly calculated and if you are only just starting out in poker, only bluff when there is a very high chance that you will win.

Also only try to bluff small numbers of people don’t try to bluff 4 people, it just won’t won’t work as „someone has something“.

Aggression has many facets these are only a few.

I have a blog that has more tips on it. Link below.

Joseph asks…

When playing poker with a total novice, whats the quickest way to win all their chips?

I have been playing for about 6 months and going to join a penny poker club where I suspect most people will be fish! Should I use aggressive play or tight play? I suspect tight play is better as they will call too often and catch out any bluffs. The trouble is I may become a grinder and it will take ages to win. Any other suggestions?

admin answers:

I suggest you wait and see whos sitting at your table. Dont assume that just because they look fishy, they are fish. Play tight and understand how the others are playing then you can start defining your style depending how your position, who is already in the pot, who raised, who called, who is being stealing pots, who is tight, etc… One of the best sites for poker strategy is and you sould definetly have a look in there. Good luck!!!

William asks…

What determines poker chips are of the highest quality?

I have looked all over the web and it’s all very confusing with different materials, metal inserts and weight.

Some say metal inserts are a sign of quality, others say it’s to artificially add weight.

So what’s what?

This is btw for home poker games, but loooking for the best of the best, so if you know please share your knowledge!

admin answers:

I like the chips from „“ set #300 or set #100….set #300 gives you more variety but less chips…set #100 gives you more chips but less variety…its hard to say who has the best?

Charles asks…

How does the general public perceive poker or professional poker players?

What do people generally link poker players with?
I am doing a university study on gambling(specifically poker) so anyone’s replies are appreciated. It seems to me that many people aren’t very enthusiastic about the notion of people playing poker for a living.

What do females and/or working males think about poker in general? Would you be weary of dating or befriending someone who plays poker? is it seen as ’sleazy‘ or in a negative light by alot of people?
what do you friends think?
thanks a lot for your input.

admin answers:

Nowadays most people look at Johnny Chan, Phil Helmuth, Daniel Negraneu (sp?), and all the superstars and think that poker is a glamorous, easy life that lets you make millions for a day or two of work. Turn on your TV and you’ll see three or four different shows, all featuring clean cut guys who don’t seem to care if they win or lose, having a great time at their „job“. They’re earning more than I’ll make in 5 years while wearing a Hawaiian shirt and playing outside in the Caribbean! I can think of dozens of people who all claim they wish they could be professional gamblers. They’re all fools.

What they don’t show you is the 80% of people who try to make a living playing poker and fail. They also don’t really acknowledge the fact that a poker player lies for a living, and most are pragmatic to an almost Machiavellian degree. I’m friends with a couple of professional gamblers, and once accompanied one of them to an underground game in Phoenix. I wasn’t playing all that great, but that’s probably due to the fact that I was playing in a small, smoke filled, dingy, poorly lit room surrounded by people who desperately needed a shower, several of whom were openly carrying firearms. I left after 3 hours, down about $150, and asked my buddy why he played there. He told me they took half the rake of an Indian casino, and then went back to play for the next 18 hours. Even if you’re in a casino though poker is a tough, tough way to make a living. Grinding out the rent money on a limit table is, to put it bluntly, boring. The funny thing is that it’s exactly like work. What’s fun and exciting when you do it for you becomes boring and tedious when it’s your job. And that’s all that it is to most professional players: a job.

The poker explosion in the last decade has really cleaned up the game. But there’s simply no getting around the fact that for every Doyle Brunson or Erick Lindgren there are a thousand penniless bums who thought they were better than they were. And for every final table on the WPT there are a thousand dingy games in second rate casinos and run down apartments. I love poker. I love playing it with friends, sometimes in casinos, and online. But it’s just a hobby. To do it as a job is a hard, hard life. I’m not wary of professional poker players, same as I’m not wary of cops or truckers or anyone else who does a hard job. They’re at least giving their dream a shot.

For a great reference read Poker Nation: A High-Stakes, Low-Life Adventure into the Heart of a Gambling Country by Andy Bellin. He chronicles some of his experiences trying to become a professional poker player in New York and the experiences of some of his friends. A truly great read.

Betty asks…

Best way to start playing poker for real?

At a local casino in Luton/London OR for micro stakes on a computer ? I have studied a fair amount of Texas Hold em, watched tv poker and listened to experts. But i have only played silly play money poker which is meaningless. How much cash do i need to open up an account and play for real?

Also i am poor at maths and the concepts of implied odds and calculating odds are way beyond me, i have zero intelligence but can read betting patterns and behaviour.

admin answers:

The best way to learn is to play Limit poker ,micro stakes. Im not bad i used to play on party poker aka reggiepoos ,play limit poker get used to the game play tight 1010- AA Play em real aggressive. Learn situations play your button correctly. Use a poker chart they are helpful . When i play i like playing tournaments , good way to build your bankroll , enter qualifiers too . I give u three tips i learned from poker . Always bet your hand try not to slow play unless you have a monster secondly patients patients patients .paul medelson ,how to win at poker is a very good beginners book when i read parts of that seriously helped my game. Also playing live is fun i know a gentleemens club in the city called the internationale gutshot in london great place to chill out play poker,

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