Pot Limit Omaha Strategies

The world of poker has gone through some serious improvements over the years. Today, there are loads of variations of the game. One of the popular forms of the standard poker game that’s given so much attention lately is the Texas Hold’em variation. If you feel that you need a bit of change of games, you can always choose other types of poker to your liking. One particular poker game that might be perfect for you might just be Pot Limit Omaha.
The Basics
In Pot Limit Omaha, the players are dealt 4 cards face down by the dealer. These four cards are used as their personal cards and are revealed only to themselves. These faced down cards are also known as the hole cards. The dealer also deals out five cards on the table which are facing up. These will be the community cards for the players to use. The rule of the game is to make use of two of the hole cards and three of the community cards to make the best 5-card combination possible. The player with the highest ranking hand is the winner. The game makes use of the blinds like Texas Hold’em does. They have the same function as they were in Texas Hold’em. The big blind is required to bet the maximum stake and the small blind is required to make the minimum during the start of the round. The difference in the two games is its betting style. Except for the small blind’s forced bet at the beginning of the game, you can bet a minimum of equal to the high stake. The maximum amount that a player can bet however varies during the course of the game. The players can bet up to a maximum equal to the size of the pot. This is where the game got its name from. Of course, depending on the size of the pot, Pot Limit Omaha can get a little expensive at times. At least the players have a limited betting range, al though it increases almost during every round.
The Phases and the Bets
When the dealer has handed out the cards, the big and small blinds are forced to make their respective bets. The player left to the big blind then decides whether he should call, raise or fold. This goes on in a clockwise manner up until it reaches the small blind where he can choose to call, raise or fold by adding an amount to his initial bet. The big blind then decides whether to check (depends if there are no players who have raised), call or raise. After all players have taken action, the first three cards on the community cards are revealed. This is the flop phase. The players are then given time to take action again by means of checking, calling, raising or folding. The turn then takes place by revealing the fourth card. Once again, players are to act in this phase. Then, the final card on the table is revealed. This is the river phase. The players are given the last chance to take action whether they want to check, call, raise or fold. If two or more players are left playing after the river, a showdown will occur to determine the winner of the round. The one with the highest hand wins the pot money.

Bluffing in Omaha

Reserve your bluffs for just a couple of opponents
Like everything else about Omaha, bluffing can be exhilarating but just a little bit tricky too at the same time. A lot depends on your position, your opponents, number of opponents and the board. Most bluffing in Omaha is done on the flop. It’s usually difficult to bluff more than two opponents in Omaha as in a multi-way pot at least one player nearly always a hand they fancy.
Aced the board
Some good bluffing opportunities are when you are the preflop raiser and have just one opponent and there is an Ace on board, it’s usually a good time to represent the Ace here whether you actually have it or not.
Use opponents fear against them
Scary boards such as 3 of a suit can also be a good time to bluff, especially if you are in position and have just one or two opponents, it helps of course if you have the Ace of that suit. With such a board there is no need to do a pot sized bluff either, about half the pot is normally sufficient. It just needs to work greater than one time in three to show a profit.
Take a shot at unexciting looking board
Innocuous looking boards, can also be a good spot to bluff, with a board showing something like Q-7-2, there’s good chance that the boards completely missed your opponents, often the first player to act can take the pot down.
Don’t bluff a fish
You also have to take your opponents into account when bluffing, some loose opponents won’t drop a hand if they have caught even the slightest bit of the board, with these players in the hand keep your bluffs to an absolute minimum and make them pay to see you when you do actually have a hand.
Thinking about bluffing the turn, have you got backup?
Bluffing occurs less frequently on the turn and when it is done, it’s usually done as a semi-bluff, i.e. if you do get looked up you have backup in the form of outs to a winning hand. Whether to semi-bluff on the turn, really depends on just how many and how good your actual outs are, also on your opponent. Some players routinely call on the flop with minor holdings, but will drop many hands if a second barrel comes their way, while many others will be reluctant to drop their hand once making that call on the flop.
Be selective with bluffs on the river
Bluffing can occur on the river when you believe a scare card has come for your opponent, say the board shows a flush draw or pairs up. Some selective bluffing can be done in this spot if you have reason to believe the board has not helped your opponent, but you need to be wary that a) It’s not wishful thinking on your part. If the board hasn’t helped you then that obviously increases the chances that it has helped your opponent and b) Can your opponent drop what might be a reasonable hand even if the river is a scary one for him. One common big bluff on the river is when the river brings a possible flush and you have the lone Ace of the suit.

Common Mistakes in Pot Limit Omaha Part 1

Common Mistakes in Pot Limit Omaha Part 1 – Aces and 2 Card Hands
In Omaha and indeed in poker as a whole success is gained not so much by how much we do right but by how few things we do wrong. If you can cut out or at least keep to a minimum the amount of mistakes you make you will be well on the way to being and staying a profitable poker player
Only raising with Aces
In Omaha the reasons for raising preflop are not just because you have a good hand and are raising it up, of course that is important too, though not as much as it is in hold em, in Omaha it’s also important to raise the pot simply for the purposes of building a pot, particularly when you are in position, raising the pot to gain premium position and of course it’s also important to be raising to steal the blinds at times. Since hands in Omaha are closer in rank than hands in Hold em, very tight poor players are unwilling to raise preflop unless they hold A-A-x-x, they are completely missing the many points of why it’s important to raise pre-flop in Omaha, not only are they playing far too tight, but when they do raise it up with their A-A-x-x hand they have all but told their opponents what hand they have, making them easy to play against post flop.
If you have position on such a player you can play quite a wide range of hands and either try to outdraw them on the flop, or if they are tight enough to drop A-A-x-x you can often take them off the hand with or without a genuine hand. And of course if an Ace does flop, unless you have hit a straight or flush yourself or perhaps a premium drawing hand then you can safely fold without having invested much in the pot.
Playing 2 card Hands
You will see many players playing too many 2-card hands in Omaha, especially those that are new to the game and coming from a Hold em background. In Omaha you have 4 cards, and ideally all 4 cards should be working together – hand such as Qh-Jd-Th-9d is an excellent starting hand in Omaha for example, giving you 6 possible 2 card combinations to work with. Sometimes having just 3 cards working together can be good enough to enter a hand with, especially in late position and/or if people are playing many thrash hands or if the opposition is poor generally. However routinely playing hands such as J-J-x-x, where you have only one ‘playable’ hand out of a possible 6 is a bad mistake, the inherent disadvantage of such a holding should be obvious when you factor in that many of your opponents will have hands in which 3 or all 4 of their cards are working together, Realize that there is only one way to hit the flop and that’s by spiking a Jack, even in that ‘lucky’ circumstance there is still the chance that your hand will get outdrawn or come up against a better set.

Common Mistakes in Pot Limit Omaha Part 2

Common Mistakes in Pot Limit Omaha Part 2 – Mistakes made with drawing hands
Drawing to non nut flushes or straights
Omaha is often described as a drawing game, and this is not without just cause. If a hand is played to the river then very often there is at least one made straight or flush out there. This being the case, it is a massive advantage to be drawing to the nut draw, particularly the nut flush draw. If you do have a non nut draw you need to be highly cautious on how you proceed, if at all, on the flop and turn, it can be a very costly mistake indeed to be drawing to the river in Omaha, hitting your hand and losing your entire stack with a King or Queen high flush to the nut flush.
Having the Ace high flush draw is such an advantage that in suitable circumstances, if there is 3 cards of a particular suit, even if you have just the lone Ace of that suit, you know that every player knows they don’t have the nuts that you can on occasion (if the other players are aware enough) steal the pot.
Drawing to a flush or straight when the board is paired
This is a common mistake of a poor Omaha player, who only thinks of their own ‘pretty looking’ hand. A nut flush draw is usually a pretty looking poker hand to see on the flop, however it loses most of it’s value, particularly in a multi-way pot if the board is paired, chances are someone has at least a set, in fact you may already be drawing dead if someone has been lucky enough to have flopped the very real possibility of a full house. If there’s any heavy action on such a flop fold without a second’s hesitation, in fact often you may need to fold if there’s any action at all, as you don’t want to be sucked in to losing more on later streets.
Discounting kill cards
Kill cards in Omaha mean the number of cards available to an already made hand to make it better so that any opponent(s) is drawing dead or for a re-draw against an opponent who makes their hand. The most common example is where one player has trips and the other is on a flush or straight draw. The player on the draw not only has to hit his draw but has to hope the other player doesn’t hit one of his ‘kill cards’ to make him a full house or four of a kind. Someone with trips on the flop can have up to 7(6 to full house, 1 to four of a kind, note they have less than 7 outs if one or more of their other hole cards match the other cards on the board) outs to hit the turn, and up to 10 on the river. So players with drawing hands need to factor in that hitting their draw, even the nut draw in itself is no guarantee that they will win the hand by the river.

Common Mistakes in Pot Limit Omaha Part 3

Raising out of position
It can’t be stressed often enough how important position is in Omaha. Since the max bet on each street is pot sized, hands often run several streets before the hand finishes, meaning the player who has position on the other players has the advantage of position on each street, seeing what other players are doing allows players to get away from their made but not good enough hands cheaper than those in earlier position, and the times they do have a strong hand they will find themselves in the great position where even before they get to act money is coming their way from the other Omaha players who have betted into their monster hand. For that reason, raising in early position in Omaha is not usually advisable except with the strongest of holdings.
Harder to bluff in Omaha as opposed to Hold em
There are occasions where it’s advised to bluff in Omaha, but less so than in Hold Em, since there is so many ways for your opponents to hit the flop, chances are, especially in a multi-way pot that one or more of your opponents will have hit the flop, meaning it’s inevitably a waste of your money to try to bluff the pot in a multi-way pot.
Avoid arming your opponents
Even semi bluffing can be a bad idea, particularly out of position, since you are in effect building the pot and giving further ammunition for some with a made hand to fire back at you, meaning that you often have to fold a hand that you would have liked to have seen the next street with.
Keep your bluffs in reserve
Bluffing in Omaha is best reserved for those occasions when you have just 1 or 2 preferably tight opponents and you got a scary looking board, such as a 3 of the same suit or having the board paired, or as mentioned previously having the lone Ace, when 3 of that suit are showing.

Common Mistakes in Pot Limit Omaha Part 4

Misreading the board
A common mistake made by even the most experienced players from time to time is misreading the board. for newbie Omaha poker players, they often forget that they must use two and exactly two of their hole cards, i.e. not one or three of them, so if the flop contains 4 hearts and you have the Ace of hearts and no other heart, you do not have a flush, let alone the nut flush. Similarly if the board has trips on it say 5-5-5-J-8, if you have A-K-J-2 you do not have a full house, you merely have a set of fives with an Ace kicker. Anyone with any pair in the hole has you beat.
It’s not always nuts to fold the nuts!
This might seem crazy to Hold Em players, but it’s true, there are times in Omaha where it is correct to fold the nuts. One of the prime examples of this is where you flop the pleasant site of a straight and you happily make a bet, and then all hell breaks out, with raises and re-raises, you may very well scratch your head and think hey ‘but I got the nuts’, but what is really happening here? Ok let’s say you started the hand with 8-7-6-5 and the flop comes 9-7-5, with two suits which you don’t have, it’s a nice hand but it’s got no redraws going for it, the hands that are likely to be in your opponents hands are a duplicate made straight plus flush draw, draw to a higher straight, something like J-T-8-6 has you in big trouble, a set (3 of a kind). Basically the ‘nuts’ here is in all sorts of trouble, it’s unlikely to hold up by the river and even if it does there’s a good chance that it would split the pot. Still think you should never fold the nuts in Omaha!
Not having a big enough bankroll for Omaha
Omaha is not known as the action game without reason. Omaha has more players seeing the flop, and indeed seeing the hand through to the turn and river than Hold Em, making for on average, about twice the size of the pots that you would find in the equivalent Hold Em game. Combine this with the common scenario, where two players correctly get all-in with two hands which neither is a huge favorite over the other, and it makes for a game with massive swings. A look through players in poker tracking software like Hold’em manager demonstrates this via standard deviation std bb/100, it’s typically about 60% higher in Omaha as opposed to Hold Em; this actually translates that you need to have about twice the bankroll to ride the roller coaster that is Omaha, as opposed to Hold Em, at the same stakes. It’s not all bad news though, good players in Omaha do have a higher expected ROI% than their Hold Em counterparts.

Pot Limit Omaha tournaments

Pot Limit Omaha poker  tournaments are a relatively new and crazy style of tournament. Most players don’t really understand how to play PLO tournaments just yet and there is a lot of dead money to be picked up. There is a high level of variance in this style of tournament simply because instead of a traditional holdem tournament you get four cards to play with instead of two. These tournaments as odd as it sounds play very similar to that of NL holdem tournaments. Meaning, that you will want to play passive in the beginning and open up your game as the ladder stages come. Trying to run over your table from the very beginning of these is not a good strategy because you will more time than not be sitting on the rail watching as the rest of the players finish out the tournament.
What you want to do in PLO tournaments is waiting for the big drawing hands and make pot bets in correct situations. If you completely miss a flop it is best to not continue in the pot, and check it down. If you flop a big hand like a straight and nut flush draw you will want to get the most money you can in the pot before the turn card comes out. The reason behind that are implied odds, or the odds of you making your hand are very great. If you see a turn card against your opponent who is holding top two pair you can lose a lot of return on your money if the turn peels off your straight or flush.
This tournament is filled with players who are applying constant pressure on their opponents. With it being newer on the tournament scene, if you can sit back and observe the players at your table you can pick off specific cards that your opponents have. For the most part players will not fire numerous shells on bluffs, but rather fire numerous shells on the come. If you can be the player who is applying the pressure to your opponents you will be the player who will go farther in the tournament. This style of tournament has a wild amount of variance, and the nuts on the flop could be crumbled with the turn of a card. Playing these tournaments you need to be willing to put your whole stack in at any stage of the tournament if you feel you have the best hand. The best hand also changes so often that you will want to make sure what cards and suits you are holding when first checking your hand so it isn’t obvious if you do get there on a draw.
Playing deeper stacked later in PLO tournaments is actually very simple. When you have a big drawing hand or set apply pressure to your opponent and force them to make a decision. There are not stone cold bluffs all that often so you shouldn’t be making plays at pots more than a continuation flop bet. If you find yourself stuck in a pot holding the low end of a straight it is usually best to fold to a three bet, but there is a lot left up for your own interpretation in PLO tournaments. So, play your draws and hopefully you will come out on top.

Omaha Giving Free Cards

Thinking of giving a free card in Omaha, think twice!
In Omaha it’s not usually a good idea to give free cards if you have a good made hand. The main reason for this is that with 4 cards there’s a big chance that one or more of your opponents has got at least some piece of the flop, be that a flush and/or straight draw or also some made hand.
Got a hand, make your opponents pay
If you have top two pair or a set it’s usually a big mistake to give these hands a free card, not only would you be letting potentially strong draws see another card for free, but you could also be allowing the disaster of someone hitting a gutshot or a set with a hand that they would have or at least should have folded if you had bet. Furthermore, there are many more ways for someone to hit backdoor straight and flush draw in Omaha than there is in Hold Em.
Ask the question with a bet
Even with top and bottom pair, you should bet your hand and not give a free card, you might think well it’s not really a strong hand, and yeah you would be right, but there’s still a reasonable chance that you are ahead and you need to ask that question in the form of a bet. If someone comes back over the top then stack size depending of course, you will probably have to fold. Betting two pairs in this case is fine as long as you are also betting better hands like a set, that way players can’t automatically put you on a hand.

Be selective about the times you give a free card
If you are going to give free cards the best time to do it is against just one or two opponents where giving them a free card is less dangerous as the possibility than if you were playing against 3 or more players, especially in cases where your opponent(s) are the type to see every check as a sign of weakness, then depending on stack sizes and the actual strength of your hand checking with the intention of check raising can be a profitable move.

Give opportunity to catch up when you have a board lock
Other times to give free cards of course include when you have a lock or virtually a lock on the board. Say you have the pleasant site of flopping four-of-a-kind, since you have the big guns in your hand it can be difficult to extract more cash in this case, often times the best way to play this is to slow play it, checking the flop in the hope that someone improves to hit a full house perhaps, perhaps someone with K-K-x-x, if they are ‘lucky’ enough to turn a King then it’s going to be virtually impossible for them to get away from their hand.
Filled up, don’t hold back!
Flopping an overfull is a prime example of a great hand where you should not give a free card. Say you have A-A-x-x and the board flops A-8-8, with this type of board and especially against several opponents, there is every chance that one player has got an 8 and that being the case there is a great chance that they will call at least one street with their trips, you should definitely make them pay for this privilege. You might even be lucky enough to find a player holding A-8-x-x, slow-playing this hand is pointless when there is the very real possibility that you can get extract some money right now from betting it.

Position in Omaha

Start with the advantage of position
Position is important in Omaha for a number of reasons. Since the differences in value between starting hands is far less than in Hold Em the advantage that position gives you and the underlying information that you can gain from having position should not be underestimated.
Take the pot down in late position
You can bluff and semi-bluff or simply take down the pot with your moderate hands more frequently in position when you sense weakness from the players who have already acted, a couple of straightforward players check their hands to you on some relatively innocuous looking board say something like J 6 2 rainbow, you could probably take down this pot with or without an actual good poker hand.
Save yourself money in position
Having position allows you to fold your hand, thus getting away from your hand cheaply. Say you have a reasonable but not great hand in Omaha in early position on the flop, say top and bottom pair. Chances are you will invest at least something in the pot if you are in early position with this hand. If you are in late position you however can see the action that has gone before and make an obvious fold if there is lots of action before you, thus saving yourself money that you couldn’t have done if you were in early position.
Get information on the cheap
Another key factor why position in Pot limit Omaha is more important than in Hold Em can be seen from the very name of the game i.e. Pot. A player can never bet or raise more than the Pot, so unless a raising war happens it can be relatively cheap to call pre-flop and indeed on the flop, hopefully in theory at least by the time the turn comes and the pot size bets are now big, you will not have paid too high a price for your information, and can use your position and information to make your optimal informed decision.
Example of a marginal hand to play in late position
Of course you still can’t play just any rubbish cards in position, trouble hands like small pairs, cards with poor or no flush potential should be dumped amongst others. An example of a marginal hand that you could play in late position but that you should fold in early position would be something like Qs Qd Td 7c. Not a hand to get too excited about, but in late position if the Queen does hit it could give you a nice payoff, however in early position it wouldn’t usually be a good choice to enter the pot with this type of hand as it’s simply too weak out of position.

Pre Flop Play in Pot limit Omaha

– The big picture
Get the big picture before you play your poker hand
There are a number of factors you need to bear in mind when deciding on what hands to play pre flop in Pot limit Omaha Poker. The cards you hold is the first obvious factor, your position, the earlier you are in the poker hand, the better your hand needs to be to enter the pot, the amount of opponents, the quality of your opponents, the tendencies of your opponents.
Raising pre-flop in Omaha does not equate to raising in Hold Em.
In Hold em you raise pre flop usually because you have a good hand and you want to thin the field and/or also to extract value, making people pay a price to see the flop. While this still remains true in Omaha, it doesn’t remain true to anywhere near the same extent, since few hands in Omaha are a massive favourite over any other pre-flop.
It’s still necessary to raise pre-flop in Omaha
However it is still important to raise preflop in Omaha, unlike in Hold Em where you are nearly always looking to thin the field with your preflop raises.
Raise to build the pot
Sometimes in Omaha the purpose of a raise is not to thin the field, but simply to build the pot with a good speculative hand, so that if you do hit the flop you increase your chances of winning a big pot, and perhaps one or more players stacks.
Raise to steal the blinds
Blind stealing is as rife in Omaha as it is in Hold Em, perhaps even more so. Although the distance between starting hands is less, the value of position in Omaha is higher than in Hold Em, this factor alone means that the blinds if they play correctly will still often have to give up their blinds. O f course better again if you have an extra tight player in the Big Blind, then you can steal even more liberally.
Don’t get carried away with pretty looking starting hands
One of the first things to note is that the distance between starting hands in Pot limit Omaha as opposed to Hold Em is relatively small. AA in Hold em against 2 or 3 opponents stands a good chance of still being the winning hand unimproved by the river in Hold Em, in Omaha more often than not it needs to improve by the river to be the winning hand. In actual game play it gets even worse, since there are so many scary boards for an unimproved A-A-xx-, it can often be forced to fold before the river, even if it is actually ahead.
Play A-A-x-x, but don’t overplay it.
Note, we’re not saying A-A-x-x is unplayable, it’s still a good hand that you will want to see the flop with, but it’s nowhere near as strong as AA in Hold Em. You need to be especially careful that you don’t tip off your opponents that you do in fact have A-A-x-x preflop as having that information will give them a big advantage over you. This is another reason why you should make sure you are raising with enough hands pre-flop that people can’t automatically put you on A-A-x-x
Omaha is a drawing game
As the nature of Pot limit Omaha is such that you can enter a pot preflop for a very small amount relative to the potential final pot, it’s not hard to see that there can be massive implied odds. Big hands with great drawing potential which have both a flush and straight potential such as Js Th 9s 8h benefit massively in Omaha from implied odds.
Beware of trouble hands in Omaha
Of course the flip side of this is that there’s also massive reverse implied odds. A hand such as As Qd 2h 2d would be an example of a hand that can be deceptively pretty, especially to newbie Omaha poker players, but it suffers hugely from reverse implied odds as outside of a flop such as K J T (2 diamonds) there are not many hands you can feel absolutely confident that you are ahead or that your draw is live. These grey areas hands can be a cause of big mistakes post flop in Omaha.

Pot Limit Omaha tournaments

Pot Limit Omaha poker  tournaments are a relatively new and crazy style of tournament. Most players don’t really understand how to play PLO tournaments just yet and there is a lot of dead money to be picked up. There is a high level of variance in this style of tournament simply because instead of a traditional holdem tournament you get four cards to play with instead of two. These tournaments as odd as it sounds play very similar to that of NL holdem tournaments. Meaning, that you will want to play passive in the beginning and open up your game as the ladder stages come. Trying to run over your table from the very beginning of these is not a good strategy because you will more time than not be sitting on the rail watching as the rest of the players finish out the tournament.
What you want to do in PLO tournaments is waiting for the big drawing hands and make pot bets in correct situations. If you completely miss a flop it is best to not continue in the pot, and check it down. If you flop a big hand like a straight and nut flush draw you will want to get the most money you can in the pot before the turn card comes out. The reason behind that are implied odds, or the odds of you making your hand are very great. If you see a turn card against your opponent who is holding top two pair you can lose a lot of return on your money if the turn peels off your straight or flush.
This tournament is filled with players who are applying constant pressure on their opponents. With it being newer on the tournament scene, if you can sit back and observe the players at your table you can pick off specific cards that your opponents have. For the most part players will not fire numerous shells on bluffs, but rather fire numerous shells on the come. If you can be the player who is applying the pressure to your opponents you will be the player who will go farther in the tournament. This style of tournament has a wild amount of variance, and the nuts on the flop could be crumbled with the turn of a card. Playing these tournaments you need to be willing to put your whole stack in at any stage of the tournament if you feel you have the best hand. The best hand also changes so often that you will want to make sure what cards and suits you are holding when first checking your hand so it isn’t obvious if you do get there on a draw.
Playing deeper stacked later in PLO tournaments is actually very simple. When you have a big drawing hand or set apply pressure to your opponent and force them to make a decision. There are not stone cold bluffs all that often so you shouldn’t be making plays at pots more than a continuation flop bet. If you find yourself stuck in a pot holding the low end of a straight it is usually best to fold to a three bet, but there is a lot left up for your own interpretation in PLO tournaments. So, play your draws and hopefully you will come out on top.

Omaha Poker

Omaha poker is very similar to Texas Hold’em. There are two popular versions of the game, Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi Lo. Though Omaha poker is not as popular as Texas Hold’em, it does have a very good following and many people enjoy playing it at both the lower and higher limits. If you enjoy playing Omaha poker and are interested in improving your game, you have come to the right place. We have compiled a list of fantastic Omaha poker resources that will help you take your game to the next level. Whether you are a beginning player, or one with a great deal of experience, there is always something to learn and ways to improve your Omaha Poker game. The resources below can help you accomplish both.



5Dimes – Reduced Juice Rewards

Choose from reduced juice options on NFL, NCAA football, Canadian Football, NBA, NCAA basketball, WNBA, MLB, NHL, grand slam tennis, PGA golf, boxing, MMA, and special events. Reduced juice options are generally posted on the day of the event.

Play for $10,000 This August in William Hill Poker Exclusive Rake

This August you can take part in William Hill Poker’s Exclusive Rake Race and win a share of a guaranteed $10,000 cash prize that includes a top prize of over $2k.

William Hill Poker is currently holding a rake race with a $10,000 guaranteed cash prize pool. They’re calling it the Exclusive $10,000 Rake Race and playing is simple: just continue playing at William Hill Poker’s cash tables and tournaments as much and for as long as you can this August, accumulating points as you do so for the rakes you contribute to and tournament fees you pay.

The William Hill Poker Exclusive $10,000 Rake Race runs from August 1st through August 28th, during which time players earn 10 Race Points for every $1 in Rake they generate on the cash tables, and 10 more Race Points for every $1 they pay in tournament fees.

All games across all game types are valid for this promotion, including No Limit, Pot Limit and Fixed Limit games of Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Stud.

Players may participate in the Rake Race in whatever currency they normally use, with points calculated against US dollar value. At the end of the William Hill Poker Exclusive $10,000 Rake Race the top 100 players will be paid out at least $15 in cash with the first place winner getting $2,200; 2nd place getting $1,200; 3rd getting $800; 4th getting $600; and 5th getting $500.

Leaderboards are kept at the site to help players track their progress, however they are only updated weekly, on Sundays and on the last day of the Rake Race at 16:00 GMT.

Schedule For 2011 World Series of Poker Released

The 2011 World Series of Poker schedule has been released, and this time the WSOP features 58 events played over the course of 50 days, May 31 to July 19 and culminating in the coveted $10,000 main event.

Jonathan Duhamel has barely had the time to get adjusted to the WSOP championship bracelet on his wrist and already it’s nearing time for the World Series of Poker to start up again. On Monday, January 24, the World Series of Poker commission announced the official schedule for the 2011 WSOP, with 58 events (one more than last year), scheduled for the 50-day period of May 31 – July 19, 2011. Once again the WSOP will be held at the Rio All-Suit Hotel and Casino.

The first event on the schedule is the usual $500 Casino Employees tournament. But the second event scheduled for that day is the one most people will be watching, a $25,000 Heads-Up tournament, with a player cap of 256, making it the richest heads-up tournament in the history of the WSOP. It will not, however, be the richest WSOP tournament overall. That honor still falls to the $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship, scheduled only a few days prior to the start of the main event on July 7.

Other new additions to the WSOP lineup of events are a $2,500 mixed game event featuring 10 games in one 6-handed match up, and another 6-handed event, $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha. Absent from the 2011 WSOP schedule is the 6-handed $25,000 event.

This will be the 42nd annual World Series of Poker.

Ultimate Bet Poker’s Mini-UBOC 2011 Happening Now

The Ultimate Bet Mini-UBOC 2011 is on now, running April 10 – 17 and promising 27 events for a total guaranteed prize pool of $650,000, including a $100,000 guaranteed main event.

UB.com’s Mini-UBOC 2011 is happening now, from April 10th through 17th, offering cash and prizes totaling $650K guaranteed, including a main event with a $100K guaranteed prize pool.

The Mini-UBOC 2011 schedule features pro bounty tournaments in which you can win back your buy-in by taking out one of UB.com’s poker pros, a chance to win $12,000 WSOP Las Vegas Main Event prize package and a brand new Triple Shootout tournament. Each weekday of the series boasts three events, one each at 16:05, 18:05 and 20:05 while Saturday and Sunday each boast four events. In addition to all the No Limit Hold’em tournaments happening in the 2011 Mini-UBOC, there are also many events in Pot Limit Omaha.

UB has also thrown a bevy of contests into the mix for this 2011 Mini-UBOC. In the Triple Pay Challenge, all players who cash in at least 3 events win a seat in an exclusive $10,000 Freeroll Tournament. In the Bubble Bailout Bonus, the players getting knocked out on the bubble get $50 worth of event dollars to apply toward other Mini-UBOC events. In the King of Cashing Challenge you’ll get a WSOP Main Event package worth $12,000 if you cash in the most number of events. And in the Championship Bonus, the top 50 finishers in the monster stack championship event will win seats in the following Sunday’s Ultimate Bet $200,000 guaranteed event.

SmartLive Poker Offers Regular Cash Game Bonuses

Smart Live Poker awards its cash game players every day with a suite of Cash Game Bonuses. Whether you play Texas Holdem or Omaha, SmartLive Poker will pay you extra for hitting certain hands: like a Royal Flush, 2-7 or Triple Pocket Pairs in Holdem or 4- or 5-card flush or 3- or 4-of-a-kind in Omaha.

Cash Game Bonuses at Smart Live Poker include bonuses in Texas Hold’em and Omaha. Texas Hold’em cash game bonuses include the Royal Flush bonus, 7-2 Off bonus, and Triple Poker Pairs bonus. Omaha cash game bonuses include the 4 Suited Cards bonus and 3 or 4 of a Kind Hole Cards bonus.

Starting with Texas Hold’em:

  • The Royal Flush Bonus is $100 cash for hitting a Royal Flush that makes use of both your hole cards

  • The 7-2 Off Bonus is 10x the big blind for winning the showdown with the worst starting hand in Texas Hold’em

  • The Triple Poker Pairs is also 10x the blind, this time for being dealt poker pairs three times in a row

Omaha cash game bonuses:

  • The 4-suited Hole Cards Bonus is 10x the big blind for winning a hand when 4 of your hole cards are the same suit; or win 50x the big blind if all 5 hole cards are suited (flush)

  • The 3 or 4 of a Kind Hole Cards Bonus is 10x the big blind for winning a hand with 3 of a kind in the hole; or win 50x the big blind for winning a hand with 4 of a kind in the hole

William Hill Poker Holds WSOP $30,000 Rake Race

Players at William Hill Poker are invited to compete for over $30,000 in cash prizes in a WSOP 2012 Exclusive Rake Race.

In honor of the upcoming 2012 World Series of Poker, William Hill Poker is holding a Rake Race with a pool of WSOP prize packages worth a total of $30k.

The William Hill Poker WSOP $30,000 Rake Race takes place from May 3 to June 2, 2012, during which time all cash table and tournament players alike can earn WSOP points on a leaderboard. Earn 10 such points for each $1 rake you generate in cash games or every $1 you pay in tournament fees.

There are two leaderboard levels to compete on, depending on the stakes level of the games or tournaments you’re playing. The High Stakes leaderboard represents cash games with big blinds of $1/£1/€1 and higher and tournament fees of $20/£20/€20 and higher. The Low Stakes leaderboard represents cash games with big blinds of less than $1/£1/€1 and tournament fees of less than $20/£20/€20. Players are welcome to participate in their native currency ($/£/€) with points calculated against its dollar value.

All games are valid for this contest, including Omaha, Stud and Hold’em, Fixed Limit, Pot Limit and No Limit.

First prize on the high stakes leaderboard is a $13,500 WSOP Main Event prize package. Second prize is a $6,000 WSOP Side Event prize package. Prizes from there are cash: $1,000 for third, down to $20 for 20th.

First prize on the low stakes leaderboard is a $3,700 WSOP Experience prize package. Prizes are cash from there: $1,000 for second down to $10 for 20th.

William Hill Poker $10K VIP Rake Race On Now

Starting this past Monday, September 3, 2012, William Hill Poker is running its September rake race with a $10,000 guaranteed prize pool. But as a VIP Rake Race, it’s only open to the most elite players.

Head to William Hill Poker in September and get a chance at a share of an extra $10,000 in cash with the $10k VIP Rake Race. Running from Monday, September 3rd through Sunday, September 30th, 2012, the William Hill Poker September Rake Race is open exclusively to players who’ve already achieved VIP Level 5 or higher. If you achieve VIP Level 5 during the promotional period, then all VIP points earned from that time onward will apply toward your performance in this promotion.

Performance will be tracked on a Rake Race Leaderboard that you can check at any time at William Hill Poker, and which the site updates every hour.

All cash table games and online tournaments are eligible for points on the leaderboard, with players earning 10 race points every time they generate $1 on a cash table or pay $1 in tournament fees. The promotion is valid on all game types and styles (Omaha, Stud, Hold’em and Fixed, Pot and No Limit).

Players can play in whatever currency suits them based, with points calculated against “dollar value”.

First place in this promotion will get $2,000; second place will get $1,400; and third will get $1,100. The top 50 will get paid out a sum of at least $50.

William Hill Poker Runs October $10k Rake Race

There’s another rake race underway at William Hill Poker with a $10,000 prize pool guaranteed for WilliamHill’s VIP Level 5 and above players.

The October Rake Race at William Hill Poker is underway, running from October 4 to 31, 2012. To participate in this VIP Rake Race, you must be a VIP Level 5 or higher in the William Hill Poker VIP Scheme.

Play on both cash game tables and tournament tables are eligible for status on the rake race leaderboard, kept live at the site throughout the promotional period for players to check at will. Play on Hold’em, Stud, and Omaha are all valid for performance in the rake race, as is play in No Limit, Pot Limit and Limit games and tables.

Players earn 10 race points for every $1 in rake they generate on cash game tables or 10 race points for every $1 they pay in tournament fees.

Players who achieve Level 5 VIP status at William Hill Poker during the rake race promotional period will have their points counted toward the rake race leaderboard from the time that they achieve Level 5 VIP status. Players can compete in any of the 3 major currencies (US dollars, Euros, and British pounds sterling) but all points will be calculated based on US dollar value.

First place in the William Hill Poker $10,000 VIP Rake Race for October 2012 will win $2,000; second place will earn $1,400; third will earn $1,100; down to the 46th through 50th place finishers who will each claim a $30 prize.

Smart Live Poker Holds Monthly $10,000 Points Races

As of January 2013 Smart Live Poker is now holding two points races each month with a combined total prize pool of $10,000.

Every month from now on, Smart Live Poker will hold 2 monthly points races, each with a $5,000 prize pool. Smart Live Poker is one of only two Ongame skins offering this opportunity, which can be used in addition to whatever reload bonuses or welcome bonuses a player may still be clearing.

Earn points by playing at any SmartLive Poker cash games or tourneys, Hold’em, Omaha and all other poker variants offered on the site. Points are earned at a rate of 3.6 points for each $1 paid in rake or fees. Every player to earn at least 500 points during a race period is guaranteed to win a prize. The 2 race periods divide each month in half, the first running from the 1st of the month through the 15th of the month, the second running from the 16th of the month through the last day of the month.

Players must first leave the table or tourney at which they were playing in order to see the points earned at that table credited to their account and therefore reflected in their position on the current race leaderboard.

First place each biweekly period will win $1,250; second will win $900, 3rd $500, 4th $300, 5th $250, 6th $200, 7th $150, 8th $100 and then 9th through 15th each get $50. Smart Live has also made allowances for the possibility that more than just 15 people will qualify for payment based on the 500 point minimum so that all qualifying individuals will receive some portion of the total payment.

Reinventing your poker game part 1

Self-evaluate your poker game
This 2-part article should be helpful to all those players who find themselves in need of reinventing their game. The guide is applicable to a wide range of poker players. Whether you are a Texas Hold Em, Omaha, Sit n Go or multi table tournament player. Whether you are a newbie micro stakes poker player just learning the ropes or even an advanced hold em shark who is in need of taking stock of and re-evaluating their game, read on, because every player needs to inject some fresh invention into their poker play from time to time.
Starting poker from a fresh perspective
Sometimes in poker you need to approach the game from afresh, almost as if it’s a clean slate and you need a total revamp. This can happen for many reasons. You might have had a break from the game. You might have been on a bad run and need to re-evaluate your playing and/or your game selection. I would even go as far as to say it’s vital that you do this from time to time, sure a routine can be good, but only to a point, being complacent in poker is a recipe for disaster, you need to be constantly learning in poker.
Keep up to speed with the changes in online poker
Online poker is always changing, the amount of useful poker software, high quality poker articles and poker training videos continues to grow and what is available now is massive compared to just a few years ago. The standard of play has increased a lot in just the past year alone and is light years ahead of what it was 5 years ago. Also the way the human mind works, with the mind over time naturally forgetting information it is imperative that you are constantly learning and indeed not just learning new lessons but quite often re-learning old lessons too.
Track your poker hands!
Ok I’m going to go back to where it all begins so to speak. If you are using a site that allows a poker tracker such as PokerTracker or Hold’em Manager then you should definitely buy yourself one of these. These are not easy pieces of software to use straight away, however they are well worth the time to get to know. Spend as long as you need to at least get a degree of comfort with using one of these programs.
Make use of available HUDS
Test these poker software programs out if necessary at micro stake games until you get more comfortable with them. Create a HUD (A real-time statistical overlay of yours and your opponents poker playing stats displayed on your online poker table) that suits you, or make use of one of the several huds people kindly make their available for other people to use on the likes of the holdem manager forum and other poker forums. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the ins-and-outs of these programs right away, that takes time.
In part 2 of this article we continue the theme of reinventing your game by an examination via your hand histories of what the winning players are doing and working on incorporating that into your game.

Winning at poker

Winning at poker – the key ingredients
Winning in poker is entirely possible, but the inevitable fact remains that the majority of players are long term losing players. In order to be a winning player at poker one must have a number of factors in your favor. We’ll take a quick look at some of the key factors here.
  1. Have a good understanding of the math of poker, i.e. your odds for hitting a flush, making a straight, your chances of hitting a set etc. It doesn’t matter how you acquire this knowledge, be it purely through instinct and experience and/or have made yourself aware of it via book learning, just as long as you understand the importance of math to the game of poker.
  2. Not going on tilt or becoming otherwise emotionally unbalanced, if you are prone to tilting, then all the good work you might have done over the previous hundreds of hands can be laid to waste in a few hands or less.
  3. Being selective vis-à-vis game choices These days of online poker there are countless games running across a big selection of poker rooms. If you find yourself in a game with tough opponents and no weak player(s) then ask yourself why? Are you really that good that you can come out on top against 4 or 5 other good players?

    Be realistic, even if you are the best player there, your edge over the others might still not be enough to beat the rake, and even if it is why play this table when with all the games available to you online there just has to be a better game out there somewhere!

    Now these days with people using Table Scanning software to find the weaker poker players, it can mean that there is a big waiting list on the juicy poker tables, there are alternatives though to getting a juicy game together, table scanning software doesn’t usually pick up players on waiting lists, so why not check out waiting lists yourself to see if there is any fish waiting there.

    If checking out waiting lists manually is too time consuming for you, you could always start your own table, and see if you land any fish on there, enough times you’ll find that is exactly what will happen, and again there’s nothing stopping you from leaving the table if it gets the wrong sort of player joining.

    Of course it can also be advantageous to be able to play more than one type of poker, that way if despite all your efforts, you are finding it difficult to find a juicy Hold Em game in the rooms you play, maybe there’s a good Omaha game somewhere or some lucrative Sit N’ Gos running.

  4. Bankroll management It’s really hard to be careful with your bankroll. Many players are eager, overly eager to progress to bigger games, when really there’s no rush whatsoever to be doing this. Playing within your bankroll, means you can play more effectively as you will never be putting yourself at the huge disadvantage of playing with ‘scared money’. if you are the guy who is adequately bankrolled for the game you are playing you will have a big edge over any player at your table just giving the stakes a ‘shot’.
  5. Knowing your poker game inside out Of course, no matter how sensible you are with not going on tilt and good bankroll management, if you don’t fully understand the dynamics of the game you won’t be a winning player. It’s important to study the game, seek poker players whose opinion you respect to review hands you have played, study the game via books, online poker strategy sites, online poker forums. Get coached at the game, use poker videos. all these activities help you to get and stay on top of the game. Remember, even if you are an experienced poker player, there is always something to learn and/or relearn.

World Series of Poker 2013 Starts This Week

The 2013 World Series of Poker is coming right up, starting Wednesday, May 29 and running through Monday, July 15, 2013.

It’s time once again for another World Series of Poker, with the 2013 WSOP taking place from this Wednesday, 29th May through Monday, 15th July. It all starts with day one of the two-day Event #1, the $500 Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em tournament, followed later that day by Event #2, the eight-handed $5,000 No Limit Holdem event. Besides Texas Hold’em the WSOP schedule features events in Omaha, 7-Card Stud, H.O.R.S.E., Razz and more. It includes Fixed Limit and Pot Limit versions of games in addition to No Limit. And includes special events like the Millionaire Maker or the Seniors Championship.

This is also when we’ll find out which 9 players will be in the running for the WSOP Championship crown currently held by 2012 WSOP Main Event winner Greg Merson. In the past several years the WSOP Main Event grand prize for the winner amounted to $8,000 to $9,000. And this year in addition to the $10,000 NL Hold’em main event there will also be a $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha main event starting one day earlier.

Meanwhile, this first WSOP gold bracelet event to take place on U.S. soil outside Las Vegas just recently took place, the invitation-only WSOP National Championship, from which Jonathan Hilton of Staten Island, NY emerged the 2013 winner. Eligibility for this event depends purely on performance at the live poker tables over the year preceding the big event.

Simple Strategies for Razz

There are tons of variations of poker. The most popular ones would be the ones that could be found in H.O.R.S.E., namely Texas Hold’em, Omaha eight or better, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card and Stud Eight or Better. One of the most popular forms of poker would be Razz. Razz poker is a variation of poker that’s not very far from seven-stud poker. They’re pretty much the same aside from the fact that in Razz, the winning hand is the lowest ranking card combination. The ace does not count as the highest ranking card, instead it is considered to be the lowest.
The Game
Razz is played the way pretty much like Seven Card Stud is played. It uses a deck of 52 cards. The game starts off with the players’ antes. The dealer then deals each of the players three cards each, a couple face down and the third one face up. The two cards faced down are called the hole cards, while the one left face up is called the door card. The player with the door card that’s highest in terms of rank shall be required to bet during the stage. Should two or more players have the same ranking door card, the suit of the cards will then determine who the first one to bet is. In Razz, the spade is the highest, followed by hearts, diamonds and finally clubs.  For example, if you manage to be dealt the King of Spades as your door card, you’re guaranteed to make that initial bet. The bet is usually a portion of the bet limit.  Razz makes use of a limit betting rule, meaning players have a fixed amount that they can bet per round. There are a total of seven cards dealt in the game and during the fifth card has been dealt, the normal bet is doubled. During the showdown, the player with the lowest ranking hand wins the pot. The lowest ranking hand in the game is comprised of 5, 4, 3, 2, and A. This counts as a high card 5, not a straight, and A is the lowest ranking card in the game.
Neat Tips
If you want to up your winning chances a bit, you might want to try a few things out while you play. Although they will not guarantee that you will win every time, if you strictly follow these guidelines, your chance of winning will increase. First off is that when you have a good pair on you, you should bet without delay. Doing so will pressure your opponents and possibly cloud their judgment and decide on an early fold. Another thing is that you should always be mindful of the cards being dealt. Being observant during the game will get you hints of cards that possibly have been used, giving you a better idea on whether to fold or to bet. Another thing is that if based on your judgment that your chance of getting a good hand is slim, fold away. It is always wise to avoid fights you can’t win, that way, it won’t cost you much and you can make up for it during the next round. Just play safe and you’ll be winning more often.

Horse Poker

No, this isn’t horse betting. We’re talking about poker. H.O.R.S.E is a type of poker that’s usually played in tournaments or in high stake casinos. It’s a compilation of poker games. Basically, the players will be playing games of Texas Hold’em, Omaha Eight or Better, Razz, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud Eight or Better. This article will discuss some general information about these five poker games.
Texas Hold’em
Texas Hold’em is a community card game that makes use of 5 community cards and the players are dealt a couple of cards each face down. The players share the community cards and use the best 5-card combination they can. As of today, it is one of the most popular forms of poker. It is the most commonly played card game in land based casinos.
Omaha Eight or Better
In Omaha Eight or Better, also known as Omaha Hi/Lo, the pot is split equally between the player with the high hand and the player with the low hand. There are similarities to the Texas Hold’em variation. The players make use of two face-down cards and also there’s the set of community cards on the board as well.
Razz is somewhat similar to Seven Card Stud games. The difference though is that the objective of the game is to get the lowest possible value for your hand in order to win the pot. The ace in Razz is the lowest ranking card, so that makes the supposed to be straight from A to 5 a simple high card 5. Also, in this variation, there’s a bet limit.
Seven Card Stud
In Seven Card Stud, the players are dealt three cards each, two of which are face down cards and the third one exposed. The players will be dealt a total of seven cards and the player with the highest 5-card combination wins the pot.
Seven Card Stud Eight or Better
This is also known as the ‘Seven Eight’ or the ‘Stud Eight’. This is another high-low split stud, and probably the most popular one of its variation of poker. The pot is split between the player with the high hand and the low hand equally. In this variation, the declaration of the high or low cards is decided by the players themselves. If however, there is no qualifying low hand, the player with the high hand wins the whole pot money.
To cycle through H.O.R.S.E., you should be prepared with strategies. A general horse strategy is to observe your opponents behavior and action while concealing yours. If you’ve got a good poker face, you have a better chance of bluffing. You should also keep in mind to observe any revealed cards in stud variations, so that you’ll get a hint on your status in the game. Also, it is always advisable to keep your cool. Learn when to fold, when call or bet and when to raise. Keeping your head cool is probably the most important aim for you in any type of poker game.

Introduction to 7-card stud part 1

Introduction to 7-card stud
Part 1 – How 7-card stud poker compares to other poker varieties
Think Omaha and Hold Em are very different?
Almost all poker players are familiar with Hold Em and many players are also familiar with Omaha and aware of the different dynamics of both games. Yet for all their differences, both games are actually fundamentally similar. They both almost always have a small blind and a big blind. They both have 4 betting rounds (pre-flop, flop, turn and river), they both use shared community cards. 7-Card stud and for that matter all variations of stud poker on the other hand are from another poker galaxy altogether.
Spread of Games online
There is a wide variety of 7-Card Stud games as well as other stud varieties available online these days and they are available on all the major online sites. Games vary from from micro stake games playing for just a few cents, to high stakes games where there are $1,000s in the final pot . As of February 2010 the availability fo ames is a as follows on Full Tilt Poker :- The smallest micro stake game has is $.05/$.10 with antes of $.01 and a bring-in of $.02. The medium stakes game of $3/$6 has an ante of $.50, and a bring-in of $1. Full Tilt hosts its highest stakes game in what’s known as Ivey’s room, there the highest available game is an absolutely massive $2,000/$4000. The offers games ranging from microstakeThe low stakes online games are usually $2-$4 while the higher games are typically $8-$16 or $10-$20.
How good is your memory?
They are no community cards for one thing. Every player has 4 cards showing by the time the river comes. So in a game with 8 players, although it rarely happens, you could have theoretically a potential 32 i.e. 8 x 4 face cards showing on the table. That’s a whole load of information to take on board and make use of that is not a feature in a community card game such as Hold Em.
Powers of memorization are a key ability in stud poker. So either you need to be naturally gifted in this area or have worked on this mental facet either through playing stud or by some other form of ‘brain training’, without this ability you will always struggle in stud poker.
Antes up always
Secondly there are no blinds in Stud Poker; instead everyone posts a small amount known as the ante. In low limit games this is normally around 10% of the big bet amount, i.e. in a $1/$2 Limit Stud game you would normally find an ante of about 20 cents. 
In Part 2 of Introduction to 7-card stud we will take a look at how to play stud poker.

Starting Hands in PLO

It’s not Hold Em
Choosing which starting hands to play in Pot limit Omaha can be a tricky business. In Hold Em you have your 2 cards and they fall pretty much into simple categories, from monster hands such as AA,KK, QQ. Good hands like TT, AQs. Marginal Hands like KQo, 55, speculative suited connector hands like 87 suited.
Choices, choices
Omaha however you have 4 starting cards, only 2 of which can make up your final hand. This means you have 6 possible combinations of starting cards to choose from. For those interested in stats this can be written as 4C2, which in plain English ,means you have 4 items from which to choose 2 = 4×3/2 =6. Don’t believe me? 4 starting cards let’s label them A B C D for easiness. It’s easy to see that AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD are the 6 possible final hole card combinations.
Get all your cards working together
It’s not a major leap to see therefore that very strong starting hands in Omaha are ones where all these 6 cards are working in combination. A hand like K-Q-J-T double suited is a great hand in Omaha. with such a hand there are several ways for you to hit the flop hard, having nut straight potential, high flush potential (though you may need to tread carefully if it’s a non nut flush draw) and possible top two pair hands also. Picture a flop of K Q 2 for where it hits your suit, you are in great shape with such a flop with your straight draw, top 2 pair and flush draw all working for you. There’s not too many likely hands you are going to be an underdog to on such a flop.
Be choosy, but not too choosy
Of course K-Q-J-T double suited is a premium drawing hand, but lesser drawing hands such as 9-8-7-6 single suited or even 3 cards working together like J-T-9-x are often playable pre-flop as well, in particular from position. Playing these and mixing in some other borderline hands like 8s-8d-6d-6c can make it hard for your opponents to get a read on your play, and making life difficult for your opposition in any form of poker is imperative.
Don’t throw your money away with trash hands
Hands to watch out for, particularly for Hold Em players looking to learn Omaha are single paired hands with little or nothing else going for them. Hands such as Th-Ts-6h-2c might look reasonable to an Omaha newbie poker player, but you have only one good(ish) starting combination out of all 6 cards. Playing a hand like that is throwing money away. Not only are you looking at a slim chance to hit the flop. Even if you do hit your Ten your hand could still be outdrawn or disaster could strike and you could run into a bigger set and end up losing your entire stack with a hand that should never have been played in the first place.
Get set to hit the nuts
If you are going to play hands with bare set draw potential then at least make sure that it’s hands that when they do actually hit the flop that you can be confident that it’s the nut set you’re holding. So a hand like Kh-Ks-6h-2c while it’s still not great is far more playable than Th-Ts-6h-2c.
Wipe the smile off your opponents face when low cards hit
Other nice starting hands to have are two high double suited pairs, like Ks-Kd-Jc-Jd, A-A-8-7 (single or better again double suited). For the latter imagine hitting a flop of 6-5-x with a nut flush draw. You have a massive hand that your fellow players will have difficulty putting you on. In fact it’s one of the big plusses in Omaha for a good player, in Hold Em your opponents will often (usually correctly) put you on good cards, so when a raggedy flop hits they know that more often than not it’s not one that favors you, in Omaha if you are raising with enough frequency, they can’t be anywhere near as confident that that is the case.


UltimateBet Review

US Players Accepted
111% up to $1,100 Welcome Bonus
Sleek software
Massive player volume
Loose competition at low stakes

Live support in poker client only
Very stiff competition at higher stakes

UltimateBet (UB) has come a long way over the years, now one of the top poker rooms online with excellent traffic, extensive game selection and a sleek, logical poker client, downloadable for PC and Mac. UB accepts US players and matches every new member’s first deposit 111% up to $1,100.


UltimateBet has seen its share of ups and down, much like the online poker industry itself, but in recent years, the poker site has really shined. Since 2008, coinciding with a merge onto the Cereus Poker Network, UltimateBet has seen nothing but growth, so much so that it is now the third largest US-facing network. The online poker room has always offered an extensive range of poker variants, and now with an enormous player base, all of them see consistent activity at most stakes.

To bring in the new year, UltimateBet rebranded itself as UB at the start of 2010. UB has been continuously refurbishing its software to give players a highly customizable experience with sleek dark graphics that a very appealing to most online poker players. There are a lot of special features in the poker client, and it’s even been made available in a Mac-friendly download to accommodate more players.

Welcome Bonus
UltimateBet has one of the largest welcome bonuses in the business, matching a new player’s first deposit 111% up to $1,100. UB calls this a “limited time offer”, but it’s been around for quite awhile now, and with the strong growth the online poker room has seen, it’s not likely to drop anytime soon.

To receive your UB welcome bonus, download the software, sign up a new player account and input the UB bonus code “UB200” when depositing. Clearing the bonus will require 20 RAI$E Points per $1, released in $5 segments.

UB has a wide assortment of online poker games available in the ring game lobby. All games are hosted in the tournament lobby as well. The full collection consists of Texas Hold’em, 7 Deuce Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo, Razz, HORSE, HOSE and Crazy Pineapple. Games vary between Limit, No Limit and Pot Limit. The competition at the lowest NL stakes is pretty loose, but gets downright fierce at higher limits.

UltimateBet hosts a great variety of tournaments to suit all players with daily tournaments starting as low as $1. Bigger events have buy-ins scaling up into the hundreds, some even into the thousands. He Sunday $200k GTD draws the largest crowd, and comes with multiple daily satellites. Freerolls are held regularly, some with cash prizes, others with gift packages like a ticket to WPT Boot Camp.

The online poker room also hosts a great deal of live event satellites and qualifiers, including MTTs and Steps SNGs. UB launches hundreds of its members every year into major live poker events like the WSOP, WPT, EPT, Aussie Millions and Aruba Poker Classic.

The online poker room promotes frequent reload bonuses, but they come as quickly as they go – usually offered for a 24 hour period – so it’s hard to say just what kind of reload bonus you can claim. They are usually of high value though, like 65% up to $250. Check the UB promotions page for current offers, and be sure to accept emails from ub.com to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.

UltimateBet is renowned for having the largest, fastest growing bad beat jackpot in the online poker industry. Often rising to 6-digits, the bad beat jackpot is awarded to players at bad beat tables who lose a monster hand to an even better one.

7 Deuce Hold’em is a new game from UB that works kind of like a bad beat jackpot, but you don’t have to lose to win. The game is just like Texas Hold’em, but with a progressive side pot. Any player who wins with 7-2 in the hole – notorious as the worst possible starting hand – wins the side pot!

UB doesn’t restrict its promotions to real money players only. The poker site even has cash rewards for its top ‘play money’ members. If you make it into the “10,000,000 Play Chip Hall of Fame”, UltimateBet will reward you with a free $50 cash bonus!

UB maintains its own proprietary software, which translates to a unique, versatile experience for its poker players. The software is designed with a crisp black and yellow theme that is sleek and attractive. The poker client comes fully equipped with great multi-tabling functions, lots of extra features and plenty of customization options. The speed and stability are top quality. UltimateBet has even provided separate download versions compatible with Windows PC and Macintosh computers.

Licensed in Kahnawake, UB accepts all players from all over the world. US players are welcome, with the sole exception of Kentucky residents. An impressive selection of payment options include Visa, Visa Delta, Visa Electron, MasterCard, Maestro, Solo, Switch, Laser, EntroPay, Euro6000, NETeller, Moneybookers, ClickandBuy, Click2Pay, Ukash, PaySafeCard, Nordea, Sofortuberweisung, POLi, iDEAL, 4B, EPS, GiroPay, PostePay, CartaSi, Przelewy24, Bank Wire, Fast Bank Transfer and Check.

UltimateBet supplies fast, friendly customer support via live chat within the poker client, and an email help form on the web site.


Doyles Room Review

US Players Accepted
110% up to $550 Welcome Bonus
$50k Weekly Doyles Bounty
High traffic from Cake Network
New Doyles Room Store

US restrictions: Kentucky, Louisiana, Washington
Limited cash freerolls

Since 2004, Doyles Room has been drawing in thousands of players with its broad tournament schedule, valuable promotions and loose cash games. The big name endorsement of legendary pro Doyle Brunson hasn’t hurt either. Compete with “Tex_Dolly” at Doyles Room every week in the $50k Doyles Bounty. Most US players accepted.


Doyles Room is not just another online poker room, but the web-based home of Texas Dolly himself; the legendary poker pro Doyle Brunson. The site launched in 2004 and immediately raised the eyebrows of both casual and serious poker players worldwide. Doyles Room provides poker enthusiasts with a user-friendly interface that includes a good variety of poker variants in ring games and tournaments. Promotions are widespread for new and existing members, starting with a 110% up to $550 welcome bonus and free entry to the weekly $50k Doyles Bounty.

Doyles Room was a haven for US players until the UIGEA took effect, at which time the poker site hopped onto the Microgaming Network. In 2008, Microgaming also closed its US-facing doors, and Doyles Room was again compelled to hop networks, this time landing on the Cake Poker Network. Though the repeated change of software and network provisions were a source of confusion and unrest for Doyles Room members, the unwavering devotion to US players has been greatly appreciated. Best of all, most online poker players have applauded the Cake Gaming software, game variety and networked tournaments and promotions that came along with the move.

Welcome Bonus
As soon as you make your first deposit at Doyles Room, you’ll automatically start earning a welcome bonus worth 110% up to $550. Only the first deposit is eligible, and it must be at least $30 to qualify. There is no bonus code required. Simply play real money cash games and/or tournaments to earn FPP. For every 166.66 FPP you earn, $10 of the bonus is instantly released into your real money poker account. This will continue for the next 90 days, or until you clear the full bonus, whichever comes first.

On top of your Doyles Room welcome poker bonuses, you’ll also be privy to one free $50k Doyles Bounty entry. It’s not exactly free, as you’ll have to post the $27.50 buy-in/fee to enter, but whether you cash in the tournament or not, you’ll get a 100% refund of your buy-in and fee when it’s over.

Doyles Room is a great online poker room for those seeking out low to high stakes action in Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo games, varying between Limit, No Limit and Pot Limit stakes. 7 Card Stud High and Hi-Lo are on the games menu, but traffic is extremely limited, and often bone-dry at off hours. Most traffic is concentrated in low to mid stakes FL and NL Hold’em, with the softest competition at lower stakes.

The most intriguing tournament at Doyles Room has got to be the weekly $50k Doyles Bounty, held every Wednesday. For $27.50, players compete against each, as well as Doyle Brunson, Mike “The Mad Genius” Caro, and one other big-name poker pro (such as Hoyt Corkins). Take down one pro for a $1k bounty, two pros for $10k or all three for the full $50k bounty! New players get their first buy-in/fee refunded back to them, win or lose.

Doyles Room also offers a “Beat The Brunson 10” Bounty every other Monday. There are ten up and coming poker pros, known as the Brunson 10, competing amongst the field. Take out any regular player to claim their $10 bounty, or take out a pro for a quick $500.

The online poker room hosts daily guarantees with prize pools up to $25,000, and a $25k GTD every Sunday. Once per month, the $125k GTD is replaced by a $250k GTD. There aren’t many cash freerolls at Doyles Room, aside from a weekly $1k freeroll. Most freerolls award points, or entries to bigger tournaments throughout the week.

Doyles Room has a lot of promotions, from special tournaments and live event satellites to the occasional reload bonus. Bonuses can be stacked, so if you’re still earning your welcome bonus, you can claim a reload bonus on your next deposit. Once the welcome bonus is cleared, you’ll automatically start clearing the reload bonus.

The poker site is currently promoting a ‘Vegas Experience’, where members can win a 48 hour trip to Las Vegas, accompanied by Doyle Brunson himself. Every month, players can win an all-expenses paid trip the Vegas, entering the VIP-access clubs with Doyle, complete with dining, show tickets and a photo session with the legend. Hit the tournament lobby and climb the leader boards to win.

Doyles Room hosts live event satellites to the biggest poker tournaments in the world, like the WSOP, WPT and Irish Poker Open. Play in daily satellites to work your way into a VIP prize package.

As part of the Cake Poker Network, you’ll earn Gold Chips every time your points reach a certain level. These chips are good for free tournament entries and purchases from the new Doyles Room Store. You can also gain random Gold Cards to participate in the Gold Card Daily Lottery. Collect a whole deck od Gold Cards for an awesome $52k cash prize.

Powered by Cake Gaming, Doyles Room is easy to navigate and supplies a lot of good features for novice and veteran players. The software is fast, stable and has good graphics. Features include all of the necessities, like note taking, 4-color decks, auto-rebuys and a great hand history function. Players can choose to toggle avatars at the tables, which does have a noticeable effect on game speed.

Doyles Room is open to players from all over the world. Most US players are welcome to play, though restrictions are placed on residents of Kentucky, Louisiana and Washington. Payment methods include Visa, MasterCard, Solo, Switch, eWalletXpress, NETeller, InstaDebit, InstaCash, Moneybookers, PIC-Club, GiroPay and Instant E-Checks.

Doyles Room has received multiple awards for its elite customer support services, available 24/7 via live chat, email and telephone. Toll-free access is available in the US and UK. Be sure to check out the inclusive FAQ pages before contacting support as many questions can be quickly answered here.