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What is the future of online poker, specifically online Texas Holdem? The future for Online Texas Holdem looks really good. In fact some would say it looks great. Yes it is true that you cannot play Online Texas Holdem in California like you can play in Nevada. Apart from that minor hick up the Online Texas Holdem market looks fantastic. More and more millennials are playing Texas Holdem and they are picking up the game like no other demographics group. Perhaps they are smarter than most demographic groups, who knows?
The Global Online Gaming market has experienced rapid growth since its establishment in the 1990’s but remains relatively immature. There are no standard norms and affiliates still have no clue if they are getting their just rewards for sending their traffic to an Online Texas Holdem website. Bring on the new breed of regulators in an industry that is already global.
Although estimates as to the current size and growth of online gambling, particularly online poker, vary considerably, it is estimated by Christensen Capital Advisors LLC, that the online gambling market generated revenue (to offshore companies) in the range of $64 to $96 billion dollars over the last 5 years (ended 2012). And hard to believe but the online poker represented just over thirteen percent (13%) of the total Gambling Market – land based and online collectively.
You know by now that gambling is big business. Have you heard of Macau - it's the gambling mecca in Asia.
Casino and Bingo games represent 29% of the Online Gaming market, and Online Texas Holdem represented just over 13%. The reason this is so low is due to a few shady operators who are now gone for good. Can you believe that for the five year period from 2012 to 2017 it is estimated that revenues generated by the global Online Gambling market will exceed $200 Billion, of which $30-40 Billion will come from Online Texas Holdem alone. Today the Global Online Gambling market is poised for new entrants into this market. We would like to see the online gambling market regulated and taxed like any other business. The online gambling market should be a place where players and operators are treated fairly by the regulators who oversee the games and make sure problems are resolved quickly. The online texas holdem market is still in diapers so the odd accident is inevitable. We hope that all online texas holdem players and operators ask their local governments to regulate and tax this market, and clean it up once and for all. There are billions in tax revenues on the table and it is time that players and affiliates make their fair share of the market. Software needs to be regulated too.
It is very hard to believe that regulators gave the daily fantasy sports leagues a free pass when they drafted the UIGEA law. I guess someone's palm was greased so that the fantasy sports carve out was part of the deal. And now we are told employees have an advantage if they play in a competitive DFS game? I don't think there is such a thing as an advantage when it comes down to gambling or daily fantasy sports play ... as if daily fantasy sports is not gambling - LOL!
Anyway poker site operators need to be regulated. And players need to be regulated. That is the only way the online poker market will achieve the number of players who would like to play online, but who currently do not play at unregulated unsupervised websites.
There are a lot of really good Texas Holdem players who always play multiple events online and or in Vegas at the World Series of Poker. If poker wasn't so popular the WSOP brand would not be on the auction block for hundreds of millions of dollars and ESPN wouldn't broadcast the main event of the WSOP.
We hope that young entrepreneurs will jump on the Online Texas Holdem bandwagon and will have such a unique offering and even live dealers that will result in a huge boom in Online Texas Holdem.
The focus needs to be on the players first and the operators second, and the government tax revenues third.
In order to reach the masses, and offer a reliable, secure, fun, and Interactive gaming extravaganza, the user experience has to be top of mind, and a big push needs to be made such that State and Federal agencies come on down and regulate online poker. As with any online company, a successful business strategy must focus on delivering long-term customer value.
The best Operating Strategy:
The new breed of Online Texas Holdem offerings will build an operating strategy on user experience criteria as well as user loyalty and massive rewards programs. Eventually all sites will offer live play with online simulated play and this will be the big ticket that brings the large players into Online Texas Holdem and into the online gambling market. We look forward to that day.
How to Play Online Texas Holdem
1. The betting structure can be fixed or limited to the pot or limited to your total number of chips, but all texas holdem games start with two players placing money into the pot before they see their cards. This is referred to as “posting the blinds”. These players, both immediately to the left of the dealer, are the only two players that must put money in the pot before a single card is dealt.
2. The game uses a regular deck of 52 regular playing cards.
3. Each participant is dealt two cards face down.
4. Then there is a round of betting starting with the poker player positioned to the left of the two who had to put money into the pot without seeing their cards. The betting proceeds in a clockwise formation until everyone has had a chance to call, raise. or fold.
5. The amount bet depends on what kind of game it is – limit, pot limit, or no limit. Limit is the easiest version to play as you cannot bet more than the limits on the table. Pot limit Texas Holdem allows any player to bet up to the total in the pot. No limit allows any player to bet all their chips at any time – we like no limit texas holdem just because of the fun generated when people go all in.
6. After the betting ends the dealer places the next three cards face up on the table. These cards are referred to as the flop and are community cards that anyone still playing the game (not folded) can use with their two cards to form their best possible five card texas holdem poker hand.
7. Another round of betting follows the flop with the player to the left of the dealer playing first. If it is your turn to play you can bet, call, raise, or fold.
8. Once the betting is finished the dealer turns the next card onto the table. This card is the “turn” card or “4th street” and now all the players left in the hand have the option of using either of their cards and the four cards on the table or both their cards and any three of the four on the table. At this point you should have a good idea if you have any chance of winning this hand.
9. The player to the left of the dealer starts another round of betting and each player has the option to bet, call, raise, or fold.
10. Again after the betting is over the dealer puts another card face up on the table. This card is the last card the players can use in making their best 5 card poker hand. Since there are no more cards dealt it becomes clear what combination of cards yields the best possible hand.
11. There is one final round of betting.
12. Once the betting is finished the players reveal their cards and the best hand wins (unless there is a tie). Note that once you have revealed your cards you automatically get the best possible hand created out of the seven cards in play. You do not have to state your best hand to win.
The basic strategy is about betting with position on your opponent so that you are always last to play after the flop. It is best that you isolate one player preflop so that you can determine how to bet that will have you maximize the chips that you extract from your opponent.One of the most popular tips that Texas Hold em pros offer is to play high pairs and other good starting hands quickly and aggressively before the flop, which will bring more money into the early pot and force weak and crappy hands out. A Full Tilt Texas Hold em pro, Perry Friedman, advises against playing unrelated medium and low value cards, which seem worthless in most cases. This tip is about suited cards, which cannot flop a straight, including both ends of a 9 and 5, which also fall into this ineffective category. The author of the “Holdem Poker” book, David Sklansky, proposes playing low pairs with caution. This relates to any pairs from 66 down to 22. Low pairs are only worth something in late positions; if you see that no one seems to have a strong hand at the Turn and River, you may risk taking the pot with a low pair. Ronald Norris, the threefold winner of Maryland Poker Championship, recommends playing tightly and aggressively when you get a two-way draw after the flop. It is a good decision if you can make a flush, straight, or trips out of your hand, and you normally bet or raise after this. Bet an Ace or a pair of high over-cards after a worthless flop, when the whole flop is unrelated cards of low and medium value. Remember that it is better to fold if one of your opponents raises at such a worthless flop. Keep your eye on the flops of 6, 7, and 8 sort, because these can make out a straight, which will prevail over a high pair and other valuable hands. Very important: know all possible combinations of Texas Hold em hands to quickly and easily determine what hands you can form using your pocket cards and community cards dealt on the table. This is crucial because you may be short in time to decide, and some players sacrifice good chances by missing to notice a card needed to form a strong hand. Never underestimate your opponents and bluffing. Take your time to deeply evaluate both. You have to learn to bluff and to know when your opponents are bluffing, trying to… trick you, force you to raise, push you to fold, or other scenarios. Start by evaluating your opponents’ habits: a chatty person suddenly goes silent, this might mean he’s got a good hand and is focusing on getting a good pile of money. You have to learn to not be obvious. Do not change your behavior when you get a strong hand, or when anything happens, for the matter. Always look confident, because your emotions can help your opponents win, just as evaluating them can help you defeat them even with a weak hand. Change your strategy to puzzle your opponents. If you always use the same strategy, even if it is a great one, the other players will be able to defy your tricks and win.
The best place for you to play is where you win the most and where you have the most fun.
We are players and we study a lot of styles of play prior to selecting what we estimated was the best way to navigate the online Texas Holdem world of play.
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Please note that although the action flop is a real event that occurs in the top online texas holdem websites over and over again, nevertheless, there are those who are in the Industry who oppose such a theory because they don’t want you to know the truth. Millions of people play online poker today and despite the great stories about the big tourney’s that unknown players won (WSOP) most of the time you hear about bad beats like you cannot believe. Seems that many poker players enjoy complaining about that 2 outer river card that sent them packing. That miracle last card that saved the fish from your harpoon and usually followed by some “I am about to quit” remark or “I have had enough of this poker site” comment. As a mathematician there has to be an explanation why the probability of flopping three of the same suit is not 118 to one online but rather 1/15 at certain times of a tournament – just coincidence – I think NOT. There is no coincidence in online poker – everything is not as random as it may seem. Did you folks ever think how the cards are shuffled or that this randomness is not really statistically as random as one might expect? Of course the poker site is not rigged – that would be out and out stupid to rig a tourney for $5,000 in profits when the daily rake on the average poker site is $300,000 … no way you rig a tournament unless you have brain cancer! But there is a theory that explains why all this bad beat stuff happens – it has to do with “Action Flops” and the Action Flop Theory. Few of you have ever heard of the term Action Flop prior to Paul Phillips mentioning it on the World Poker Tour – what the heck is it? The theory behind action flops is very simple – the action flop is a flop that will encourage the good players to get very aggressive in a pot and usually where the bad player makes an unlike river draw to suck out the good player. Sound familiar to you. It should be the reason you lose most of your tournaments. A quick aside here you should note that poker sites keep track of the cards distributed and indeed the amount of AA dealt are exactly 0.45% of the hands or 1 out of every 220 hands. The key here is that we don’t know how often KK is dealt with AA or how often TJ suited takes down AA or how often AA wins against any other hand. Have you ever seen a good player on the button (with nobody in before him) bet a large proportion of his stack with AQ suited only to be raised all in by a weak player on the button with whatever, and surprise surprise the weak player wins and cripples the good player – all the time you say – I would agree with you (depending on the particular time in the tournament). If the software was perfect then the bad players would be pounded day after day, week after week, tourney after tourney. Clearly if you have played in thousands of tournaments you know this is not the case. A friend of mine bet all his chips with AJ suited on the button when the big blind represented 5 X his stack and believe it or not this bad player in the BB called with 8 2 os – yes he risked half his stack on 8 2 os and won. That was just not a call to make with 33 let alone 8 2 os. It is ridiculous. But let us all assume that Action Flops exist. The next question is when are they more likely to occur and how can you avoid getting trapped into an action flop. Action flops usually happen in waves during a tourney and it is no coincidence to note that a string of action flops will cripple the good players at your table. So if you are at a table and you are taking notes on the players or you see a couple of very good players at your table getting 1 or 2 out pounded watch out. You may be in for an AK or JJ or TT under the gun and you may be the next victim of an action flop. So what is the next question to ask yourself if you want to avoid an action flop – when do I feel like risking chips to pick up easy chips – or when do I think the gap theory is at it’s largest point – or in other words when I can win chips uncontested – that is when you should have your guard up and expect an action flop to take you out. Look for a string of action flops right before you reach the in the money category of players. This is when you should be at your most conservative. If you doubt this simply go to any big tourney that pays top 30 and start watching all the tables when there are 35 players left – you will laugh at the way good players are busted out. The Action Flop theory is there to help the bad player beat the good players – after all if you are a good player you will likely take the beat in stride and get into another tournament right away – where as the new player on the site might quit and never play again if he / she loses right away … think about it? A little handicap that gives the bad players a slight advantage – is that such a bad thing? Why not? It is not as though they won’t get busted out eventually anyway. We all know that to be a good player you have to be very aggressive. You have to make a lot of value bets and kill pot odds and force your opponents to put their money in the pot when they have virtually little chance of winning. That is how good players behave. So would it surprise you to know that you are being suckered into acting in such a way as to help the bad players? Good players know how to bet, steal and extract the most out of the hands they play. Bad players are basically calling stations and have little knowledge of proper betting techniques. In B&M poker rooms flopping set over set happens VERY RARELY as opposed to the laughable frequency that the bad player with Ax beats KK all in pre-flop thanks to that delayed Ace on the river … oh yeah that was random too. The fact remains that I have charted thousands of MTT’s and one constant sticks out in my mind – action flops occur and are there to hurt good players. The nut hands are not always out there and small hands win. Playing online, you see more big hands than you would ever see in a B&M poker room. Let’s talk about the real world for a moment and how action flops work in real life. Bad players are easily destroyed by superior players faster than you can imagine – they have virtually no chance to win in a live mult table no limit holdem tournament – hence the term “dead money”. In a land based poker tournament for big bucks the good players take all the chips from the bad players – that is a fact of poker. Online it is a different story. Why? Is it so different after all? So here we are with the “ACTION FLOPS”, those flops that bring big action to a hand and irritate many of the better players with the two outers. If you owned an online poker site you would realize that 5% or so of the players would totally annihilate the rest of the players in quite a short period of time and you would need a system in place that would balance the playing field. Good business practice I would think. Action flop theory accounts for this practice. Action Flops accomplish the following:
1 – they let the winning players win far less than they would normally do if the flops came as they do in land based poker rooms. 2 – they let bad players play longer, putting out big hands that even the novice players can extract the maximum from. 3 – they allow bad players to misinterpret the quality and value of their hand and consequently the bad players let the good players bet the hand for them. Good players are used to betting their own hands and getting value for their cards through proper betting. Bad players haven’t accomplished this skill set and they need help from the good players. With action flops, the good players bet the hands for the bad players to ensure decent value for that river card suck out. Bad players always assume the best hand is always out there, while good players play “pocket pair” poker and get value out of their hands.
The end result is the following: The good players win less than they should. The bad players play much longer than they would, enticing them to play even more than if they were just slaughtered as they would in a land based poker room. The house gets a much larger rake for taking care of the weak players. Is a winning player smart enough to argue he isn’t winning enough? Most wouldn’t know how. They are winning, so they really can’t complain, or can they? The bad players who normally wouldn’t stand a chance get to play longer for their dollar. The online sites rake in far more money. Would this be considered a good business practice? Obviously very few winners would complain, since they are winning. The losers are playing longer and occasionally hit a tourney and make a score, securing another fix like the spiked cigarettes put out by the tobacco industry for years. Small players talk about making $100 a week or so, ensuring publicity for these sites. Losers don’t bother talking as they would rather not tell. This is the theory in a nutshell. Good players make less, bad players last longer and the house makes far more in rake. If you had an online poker site what would you do to maximize your profit? This thought is not directed at any poker site in particular but in all poker sites collectively. This stuff happens all day long. This theory was developed over thousands of hours of online play and online observations. If you ever doubt that this theory is not true just ask your table at the beginning of play who is new and who is a regular player and you will have a good idea who to avoid. Also take the time to watch a good player (or two) during a tournament and you will note that they are inevitably busted out on a 2 outer by a rookie player or a bad player – now you know why!