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Poker Money: How to Play Without Going Bankrupt

When you start playing poker with real money, you need to keep a few things in mind. Bankrolling refers to the money that you put aside for playing poker. It is the funds that you will use for buy-ins and any winnings will likely also go into this account. It is very important that you manage your poker money or bankroll very well.

  1. You should have a separate account for poker funds. Your poker bankroll or buy-in money should not come from your everyday household and spending accounts. You need to keep your poker money separate and never use your other money to support your poker hobby.
  2. Build your poker fund. It is a good idea to first save up some money to build your poker fund or bankroll. When you start learning to play poker, you should set up an account and deposit money as you can. You can even include a savings spot in your budget that is specifically allocated to poker. Only start playing for real when you have saved up enough to back your buy-ins.
  3. Be prepared to lose the money and never see it again. The reason for separate accounts and not dipping into your other accounts is simple – you will at some point lose that money. Poker is a game of chance and you have a 100% chance of losing all your money at some point. Sure, you will get the opportunity to win it back again, but you must be ready to lose the money you use for poker. If you use the money earmarked for your rent or to take care of your family, you can easily lose everything you have.
  4. Limit yourself so you know when to stop. It is important that you set limits for yourself. For example, if you have a lost a certain amount of money or a certain part of your bankroll, you know it is time to stop and come back another day. These stopping points are important to keep you sane and also to keep you playing responsibly.

You can find more in detail explanations of bankrolling and the general guidelines for how much on and These tips are valid for both traditional poker and online poker. We would like to hear from some of the seasoned players on how they manage their poker bankroll successfully.


Online Poker: What Beginners Need to Know

Online poker is a great way of playing poker anywhere and anytime. However, to be successful with online poker, you need to know how it is different from traditional poker and also how to go about playing responsibly. Because of the convenience of smartphones and other mobile devices, you can play anywhere. It is one of the more convenient ways to play poker and one big advantage of online poker is that you can play for free on some sites. This free practice is great for you to learn the game.

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  1. Make sure that you choose a reliable online poker site. There are hundreds of poker rooms and online casinos on the internet. It is important to make sure that you sign up with a legitimate one so you don’t get scammed out of your money. This happenseveryday. However, there are ways to check for legitimacy before you sign up. When you go on the site, look for the licensing information and terms and conditions sections. There you need to check for any mention of a licensing board or gaming commission. If it states that it is registered with these organizations, you can trust it. You can do a bit more digging to be sure, but usually, that should do it. You can also make sure that you use well-known and popular sites.
  2. Play for free first. Online poker follows the same basic rules than traditional poker, but it looks and feels a bit different. So, before you spend your money, first try out a few free poker games. It will help you get the hang of the game and understand how to bet and so on.
  3. Pay attention to the game. Because you are playing at home, you are likely surrounded by distractions. When you decide to play some online poker, find a space where you can play in peace for a while. Even though you can play where ever, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to pay attention. You should always know what is happening on the board and what other players are doing. When you get distracted, you may miss important things or make unwise decisions.
  4. Work on your strategy. Even if you cannot see your opponents, you can still play with a strategy. You can find more information on online poker strategies here and here. Your approach may a bit different from when you play face-to-face, but you still need to play with a plan.
  5. Don’t become a recluse. When you start winning or even when you start losing, you may be tempted to play for hours on end. This is not wise, especially if you have a family and pets. Make sure that you take a break. Allocate a specific time of the day or week for poker playing and focus on other things outside of that time. Unless you are a career poker player, you shouldn’t spend all your time playing poker. It is unhealthy and even the pros will tell you so.

Online poker is great. Follow these simple tips to get better and improve your odds.


5 Tips on Practice and Improving Your Poker Game

Practice makes perfect. This saying is true for playing poker too. Poker is not only about the odds or the luck but also about the skills. In order to play a better game of poker, you need to practice. In this next step of your learning to become a poker player, we offer some basic tips to follow during this process. Playing poker well requires discipline. Whether you want to play for fun or money, these tips should come in handy.

Practice, practice, practice. Poker is a new skill and as with all other skills and hobbies, you need to practice it. There are different things to learn and you need to practice how you will handle different scenarios. You need to learn how to read different starting hands and how to best read your opponents. This all comes with practice.

Learn as much as you can. Do research online, watch the pro tournaments, buy books, and learn as much as you can about poker and playing the game successfully. The more you know, the better you will understand the game and all its facets. You will be able to play much better and understand your options much better.

Watch videos and tournaments. The best way to learn something is to watch and listen to the pros in the field. You will find great tips and videos of pro poker players on YouTube and even their blogs. You can also watch videos of past tournaments like the World Series of Poker main event and other well-known events. You can learn a lot about tells, bluffing, starting hands, and strategy simply by watching what the pros do.

Keep a balanced life. It sometimes happens that people get lost in poker once they realize how great it is. It is important that you approach learning about poker as a hobby. Keep going to your job and visiting with friends and eating dinner with your family. Very few people in the world have what it takes to become a pro poker player. You may be one of them but you will only know later. So, it is very important that you keep your balance.

Know the poker hands. Knowing the poker hands and the best possible starting hands is one of the best weapons you can take to a poker game. When you know exactly what you need to aim for and how you can potentially get there, you are already a few steps ahead of the competition. Know the hands and combinations and the way you can get there like you know your name.

These basic tips are important to follow from day one and always. You will find that many of the pros also follow these types of guidelines. For more great tips, visit the Upswing Poker site as well as the PokerNews site.

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Let us know if these tips were helpful to you.


Rules of Poker and Basics You Must Know

Poker is not that complicated to play. The complicated part comes in when you need to start strategizing and weighing your chances. The rules itself is very simple. The next part of our journey to learning poker for beginners is the rules. In our previous posts, you learned some facts and the different variants and you also learned why you should play poker. The next step is to understand the basic rules.

The Cards

Poker is played with cards. The person with the best hand at the end of the game wins. But before we get there, let’s backtrack. Each player is dealt two cards face-down before the game begins. Two players are ‘forced’ to bet to get the game started. These two players are called the big blind and the small blind. The small blind puts the minimum amount to bet in the middle of the table and the big blind usually doubles it.

Once everyone has their cards, the dealer deals three cards (community cards) into the middle of the table. After betting rounds and players calling or folding, the dealer deals another two cards in respective rounds to the middle of the table. These five cards are used to try and build the best possible five-card hand.

The Chips

The chips represent monetary value. Every poker game as a minimum buy-in to make sure that there is enough money to be won. The value of the money you put in is given to you in the form of poker chips. You will have different colored chips that represent different values, for example, red for $50 and purple for $200.

The Betting

After the initial cards are dealt and the community cards revealed, the first round of betting takes place. Several rounds of betting, raising, calling, and folding takes place until only one player is left or two players that are left reach a point where they must show their cards. A player bets according to how good they perceive their hand to be. If you have a good hand and good odds of winning, you can bet more money as your chances are higher of winning. When you see that your hand will not bring you a win, you fold. When a player is very confident in his hand, he may go ‘all-in’ which means he bets all the money that he has left on the table.

Bluffing also plays a part in betting. If you feel that you can bluff your way to a win because an opponent’s cards are likely worse than yours or at least poor enough that he would fold under pressure, you can luff. You can bet more than you feel your cards are worth and if the other players buy your bluff you may actually win the hand without having a good hand.

The Options

In poker, you have many options all the time. You have the option to stay in the game or fold. You have the option to replace the cards in your hand to try and get a better hand. You have the option to bluff. When you have the cards in your hand and on the table, you need to look at all the potential options the cards can offer. This is where starting hand strategies come in. We will look at this at a later stage in our learning process. The point is that you always have an option with poker and the one you choose can either make you win or lose.

The Winner

To win a game of poker, you must have the best five-card hand at the end or you must bluff your way to the end and to be the last man standing. There are ten different types of hands that you can get in poker. They are obviously ranked from best to worst and based on the rank of your cards, you either win or lose.

The highest possible hand is a Royal Flush which means you have 10-J-Q-K-A all in the same suit. This hand beats all others. Second in rank is the straight flush which is five consecutive numbers of the same suit. Third, is the four of a kind which means you have collected all four of the value. And so on and so forth. You can read more about the different poker hands here.

These are the basic rules and gameplay of poker. You can have a look at this Wikipedia page and this page to learn more about the rules and gameplay in poker.


Tools of Poker: Hardware and Software

To play poker, you need a few basic tools. These tools are both physical things as well as mental things. Poker is a versatile game that requires both human and non-human tools. You should have a look at our previous posts about the basics of the game and why you should play. Also, look out for our next post coming soon about the rules and gameplay of poker.

So, what do you need to play poker?

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Cards – Poker is a card-based game and you will need at least two decks of cards. If the game goes on for a long time, the first deck may get a bit damaged and then you need to replace it.

Chips – You need several chips to play poker. The number of chips will depend on the number of players. Each chip gets a value assigned to it. Read more about chips value here. If you don’t have chips, you can use any other small objects that you can assign a value to.

Friends – You need more than one person to play poker. In general, four is the lowest number to play if you want a good game. Eight or ten players are ideal.

A table – A table is quite important. You don’t need to have a proper poker table, although it does look cool. Any table that is sturdy and has enough room to seat all the players will do.

Money – If you are playing for money, you need money and you need a minimum or maximum buy-in. Everyone who wants to play must bring a specific amount to the table to make it worthwhile.

Knowledge of the Rules – This is a very important tool. If you don’t know how to play or what the rules are, you will find the game difficult. So, read up before you start playing.

Your Wits – You need to keep your wits about you to try and win the game. Everyone will be playing for themselves and with different strategies. You need to bring your own strategies to the table.

Mental Toughness – Poker is a game of skill, not only of chance. You need to bring your math skills, your problem-solving skills, and your people-reading skills. All these will help you play poker better.

The Hands – It is very important that you know the hand rankings very well. If you know them well enough, you will be able to calculate and predict to a certain point whether your cards will give you the best hands or not. This knowledge can save you from playing a losing hand and losing all your money. So, this is very important to bring with you.

Computer or Smart Device – If you want to play poker online, you don’t need all the physical stuff, but you will need the mental and human stuff.

These are the tools you will need to play poker. Once you have everything together, it is only a matter of practice and continually learning more about the game. Read some more helpful information here.


Should You Take Up Poker? Reasons Why Poker May be the Game for You

People play poker for many different reasons besides the money. The game offers several things that may appeal to you as a person. It is exciting, requires mental abilities, skill, and much more. Have a look at our reasons for playing and see whether they appeal to you. If you want a game that offers any or all of these things, poker is the game for you.

1. New Skills

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You get to learn several new skills when you learn to play poker. Not only do you learn to play, you also learn to reason, calculate card options, read people, control your emotions, strategize, etc. Many of these skills are transferable to real life and will be handy at work and in your personal life. Poker teaches you these skills and also helps you to hone them.

2. The Challenge

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If you are someone who is always up for a challenge, poker may just be the game for you. It is a game of chance and of skill and it presents many challenges. You need to learn to deal with loss, you need to learn about strategies, you need to play your opponents to help you win, etc. Poker offers many ways in which to challenge yourself and keep things interesting.

3. Entertainment Anywhere

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With technology today, you can play poker anywhere. You no longer need to go to a land-based casino for entertainment. You can simply go on your smartphone, laptop, or tablet and play where ever you are. There is still a certain draw and magic about land-based poker games, but the online rooms offer a new opportunity for practice and taking your after-hours entertainment anywhere you want.

4. Social Aspects

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One of the greatest aspects of poker is its social nature. When you play online, you have less of the social aspect, but you can still connect with other players. When you play at a land-based casino or even at home with friends, it is a social event that is always fun. Playing with friends can be entertaining and fun and you create a lot of funny memories. When you play at a casino, you can learn from more experienced players and test out your own skills.

Poker offers all of this and more. If these things are what you look for in a game or a hobby, then poker is definitely worth a try. Chances are that you will love it. Read more on why you should learn to play poker here.


Poker: Facts and History for Beginners

Poker has only been around for a few centuries but it is one of the most popular games in the world. It is played by almost all cultures in all its different variants. It originated in the United States of America during the 19th century but only became really popular in the late 20th century.

Some Interesting Facts

Poker used to be played with only 20 cards instead of a whole deck. Only four players would play at a time and the bigger game with 52 cards only came about in the 1830s.

The World Series of Poker started in the 1970s. This is the world’s most famous and biggest poker tournament and it has made many people famous and rich. The poker pros who play this tournament are usually career poker players, but amateurs have entered and won.

Poker is played by more than 20% of the American population. Poker is truly American and it is by far one of the most popular games to play for fun and for money.

More interesting facts can be read here.

Different Variants of Poker

There isn’t only one type of poker. The most famous and most-played poker variant is Texas Hold’em. However, there are three different groups of poker variants.

  1. Community Card Poker – Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em are the two most popular community card poker games. The basic idea of the game is that each player gets dealt an incomplete hand of cards that they need to complete with community cards on the table.
  2. Draw Poker – The most commonly played of this poker variant is Five-Card Draw Poker. In draw poker, each player is dealt a full hand of cards and then given the opportunity to improve that hand by replacing unwanted cards.
  3. Stud poker – Five Card Stud and Seven Card Stud are the most famous games of the stud poker variant. Each player receives both face-down and face-up cards from which they must build the best possible hand.

Learn more about the different variants of poker on Wikipedia.

Where Can You Play?

Poker was once only played in saloons and casino backrooms. Today, you can play poker anywhere. The three main places to play are:

  1. Land-based casinos. These casinos usually have several poker tables and they offer most of the different poker variants.
  2. Online Poker. Online poker can be played at online casinos which have different poker rooms. The rules for online poker remain the same, but there are usually added bonuses or jackpots.
  3. At home. You can buy poker sets with cards and chips from several stores. It is readily available and many people have taken to starting their own poker nights or poker parties. Money isn’t necessarily always involved in these games and the way of play is established by the people playing.

Visit our EVENTS page for more opportunities to play poker.

These are the very basics of poker. In our next post, we will discuss a few reasons why people should play poker. It is not just about the money, so keep an eye out for the next post.

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