Texas Hold ‘Em Poker – Can You Beat a Bot?

When I first started to learn the game of chess, I bought a cheap chess playing computer from Radio Shack. I was pretty good at the novice level, but when I moved the setting up a notch or two, I soon realized just how poorly I really played. I never won a game. That was 30 years ago. Computers have come a long way since then.

I mention this because it ties in with an article I recently read about a poker playing Bot. (A poker bot is computer program written to play online poker.) Before I get into that, let me tell you about an experience I had several years ago. A gentleman stopped by my computer store one morning and asked me if I could get him the fastest computer on the market. Then he told me that when an even faster one comes along, he’d buy that one too.

I asked him what he was going to use it for (So I’d know how to set it up.) and he was very hesitant in answering me. Finally, he invited me to his house, saying it would be easier for him to show me than to explain what he was doing.

When I got there, I found two computers setting side by side. One was state-of-the-art, the other was just an average system. After much him-hawing, he finally told me that he was making a ton of money playing Backgammon on the Internet. I thought he was kidding, but he wasn’t.

Here’s what he was doing. He was entering high-stakes online Backgammon tournaments that paid big bucks to the winner. He had an edge. He had purchased a world class Backgammon program and was running it on the “fast” computer while he played the tournament on the slower computer. He would duplicate the ‘live’ game, move by move on the “fast” system, and it would analyze the board positions and tell him what move to make next. Because time was at a premium, he needed the fastest computer he could get to do the analysis. I was amazed.

In the last few years, Texas Hold’em, not Backgammon has become the game of choice. It’s estimated that as many as 2 million Texas Hold’em players ante up online each month. The PPA (Poker Players Alliance) has over 1,000,000 registered members in the United States. I’d guess that most of these players figure their odds of winning online are about the same as they would be if they were playing in a physical casino. That may not be the case.

One problem when doing anything on the Internet is that you can never be sure of who or “what” you might be doing it with. That’s true with chat lines, messaging services, and now, even fellow poker players. There are poker bots you can purchase on-line that are specifically programed to play ‘limit’ Texas Hold’em. They analyze the game in real time. They know the ‘percentage of winning’ as the hand unfolds. They don’t get tired and make mistakes, they play using the most powerful poker strategies available including pot-odds, and they need ‘no’ human intervention at all. Some of them can even play up to eight tables at the same time.

Bots are outlawed in almost every online casino. But because they are so hard to detect, my guess is…many of them are playing right now and the other players at the table have no clue as to what they’re up against! Remembering my experience with the chess computer…I doubt I’d stand a chance against a poker bot. Not in the long run. Of course, they don’t win all the time. There’s still a lot of luck involved in any card game. But if I were a betting man, I’m afraid I’d have to bet on the bot.

Remember What Your Parents Taught You About Proper Etiquette? The Rules Also Apply When Gambling

What is casino etiquette? While you were growing up, you probably learned about the rules of etiquette before you learned how to spell it. (If you ever learned how to spell it.) Remember the drill? ” Be polite, have good manners, be courteous and considerate to others, say excuse me.”

The proper rules of etiquette that you learned also applies when you’re doing a little casino gambling. Especially during peak times when you find yourself bobbing and weaving through the crowds while trying to get to you favorite slot machines or table games. But courtesy doesn’t end there. There are also rules of casino etiquette to follow during play. Here they are:

When Playing the Machines

Whether you’re playing slot machines, video poker, video keno, or any other machine game never play more than one machine at a time when it’s crowded. Always give others a chance to play. When it is very crowded, casinos may post signs throughout the slot floor requesting that players play only one machine at a time.

If you need a break, you can step away for a brief period of time. In the old days an empty coin bucket over the handle reserved your slot machine. Today the coin buckets and most handles are gone. Leave a personal item such as a jacket or sweater on the seat. Players will get the message that it is taken. NEVER leave anything valuable and ALWAYS cash out and collect your credit ticket before leaving.

Sometimes players will accidentally leave their Players Club cards in the machine. If you find one remove it and eave it visible at the machine where the previous player can easily find it. You can also turn it in to the Players Club booth.

Tipping is always up to the player(s) but if you are lucky enough to hit a jackpot that requires a hand payout by an attendant it’s customary to give them a small tip. About 1% is the norm. For example, a $10 tip for a $1,000 jackpot is fine. You will be paid in the following denominations: Nine $100 bills, four $20’s, one $10 ant two $5’s (hint hint).

When Playing Table Games

All table games have a small poster listing the minimum and maximum bets allowed. Usually the increments are $5, $10, $15, $25, and $100. Higher minimums are usually found in high limit rooms. To avoid embarrassment, always check before taking a seat.

If you see an empty seat at a table, check with the dealer first to see if the spot is open. A player may be on a bathroom break or another player may be playing more than one hand at a time. This is common in Blackjack and other table games. Unlike slots, a Pit Boss is not so eager to restrict play to single hands only, especially if the multi-bettors are wagering high amounts.

Once you are seated wait until a round is finished before making a buy in. Never hand your money to the dealer. Just place it front of you with your players card and specify the denomination of chips (checks) you want. Only put the amount of money you want to play with on the table. Dealers cannot make change.

During play never give advice to other players. If a player asks you how to make a certain type of wager, it’s permissible to explain how. Sometimes during Blackjack novice players hit when they should stand and vice versa. This is frustrating to a seasoned player but it’s best to keep mum.

Following these simple rules of etiquette should make your visit to the casino more enjoyable.

Good Luck!

Free Online Poker Guide to 3 Key Short Stack Satellite Play Winning Methods

In this free online poker article I want to give you a share a game example which I came across on a Bubbling satellite table. I played a couple of these last week, and I have encountered it a couple times before too.

The game was an $11 double shootout satellite for a $215 tournament. Top 2 makes the ticket and I was in 3rd. There were 2 bigger stacks and one shorter stack, and I was the shorter stack.

I had about 1500; my 2 adversaries had about 7000. Blinds were 75-150, so not much room to play for me. But my opponents were both playing super tight. This is one of the tells you have to immediately pick up on when you get close to the tickets.

This means that they are players who are most likely barely have $200 as a current bankroll, and do not want to mess anything up (since its so much for them). That’s of course what you have to take advantage of.

Getting back to the situation, my 2 opponents were super tight. They could’ve easily taken me out, but instead I stole my way up to about 3000 in about 10 minutes.

At this point when you get re-raised, be sure to fold, and let them have it. With the way the are playing, there will be many more opportunities.

The kept on avoiding me until they both caught a big hand (AA vs KQ where AA flopped a set and KQ the straight.) So they went on and knocked each other out. And I made the ticket.

Now I want to try to give you some 3 tips on how to maximize your chances when you’re attacking shorts or are a short.

1 – Always try to be aggressive. The bigger your stack, the better. Always raise the shorties Big Blind. Since they are short they can’t afford to play.

So they have the chance push or fold. They will most often fold though, since you are so aggressive and are hoping you will go battle with the bigger stacks.

2 – DO NOT battle with the bigger stacks, unless you have premium hands!

You want the money from the shorter stacks, not the bigger who can either knock you out or cripple you!

Even if you have KK and there’s an ace on the flop, FOLD! You want to kill shorties, it doesn’t matter if you ship some chips to a larger stack.

3 – When you raise the shorties, and you get reraised (all-in), don’t hesitate to call!

These shorties often fill up with frustration and will often push with any ace or medium king.

Don’t be afraid to call with 10-8, where you are often only 60-40 behind. When the short stack has less then 30% of your stack, I would call with just about anything (given the blinds represent a reasonable portion of your stack)

I hope that this article makes it a little clearer to you that being aggressive is the best way in cashing in satellites on both the cash sites as well as free online poker. Remember the minute you start tightening up and let the shorter stacks roam freely, you’re bringing problems that could be easily avoided!

How I Almost Got Whacked Over a Race Horse Named Sissy

Hi, my name is Joseph Pigliatti. I am also known as Joey the Pig, Shotgun Joey, Joey the Mook, Mug Shot Joey, Joey Make Me Weep and Joey Cheesecake. If you don’t mind, I prefer Joey the Pig.

Anyhow, the good people at gambleonthis.com have asked me to write an article about the time Octavio Waxed Ears Bertolucci put a hit on me. It is a bad memory but I will try.

The incident occurred at the Miami racetrack. Waxed Ears was a made man and he was showing off his brand new horse named Sissy. Waxed Ears loved this horse more than he loved his wife. And I don’t blame him, the horse was beautiful.

I was down in Miami on business and since I love to gamble I went to the racetrack. I ran into Waxed Ears at the betting window where he insisted on taking me to the stables and showing me his new horse named Sissy.

Upon seeing the horse I immediately said “Waxed Ears, Sissy is so beautiful I could make love to it.”

Unfortunately for me Waxed Ears is hard of hearing. Hence the nickname. I later found out that he thought I had said, “Waxed Ears, you are a sissy and you are beautiful and I want to make love to you.”

As you can see there is a great big difference from what I said and what Waxed Ears thought I said.

Anyhow, Waxed Ears put a contract out on me the next day. To make a long story short, I had to make things right with the local Don, Meatball Moe the Mobster. He squared things up for me with Waxed Ears. But Waxed Ears has never forgiven me and has never spoken to me since. Though, every Valentine’s Day he does send me a card with flowers.

I hope the good people at http://www.gambleonthis.com

liked my article about how I almost got whacked. I enjoyed remembering it.

Until next time, arrivederci.

© Joseph Pigliatti. All rights reserved