Roulette Strategy – Intuition to Predict Winning Results?

I know what you’re thinking – are you kidding me?! Using psychic powers to predict winning numbers in roulette seems far fetched to say the least and when I first heard of people doing just that my first thought was “what a load of mumbo jumbo!”

However, after a little research I am beginning to reconsider my opinions. It turns out that there are people who are using precognition skills to predict roulette results and make money and the weird thing is that this is a learned skill. Yup, with practice and possibly making use of the right software people with no more psychic powers than you or me to start with, are predicting where the roulette ball will land. This is something that they can use at both RNG and live online casinos.

Most people do not manage to guess the individual number where the roulette ball will land. They seem to have far more success guessing odd/even, high/low or red/black. If they can succeed in guessing 52% or more correctly overall then they will come out on top. In fact to win 60% of the time is entirely realistic for those willing to work on their intuitive skills.

There is a method called the Majority Vote that uses basic intuition to decide which bet to place. This is where you have a large group of people (say 100) and even if they have poor to average intuitive skills they all choose whether to vote red or black on the roulette wheel based on their gut instinct (intuition). If 60% choose black then you would place the bet on black. This has been proven through testing to come out on top much of the time. Of course it is not 100%, but one can’t help but wonder what would happen if you used this technique with gifted individuals.

On a personal level it may be possible to develop your intuition and go from an average roulette player to winning 60%-80% of the time. It may seem impossible at first but dedicate a little time per day for a couple of months to developing your intuition and you may be surprised at the results.

1. Sign up for a fun account at an online casino, so you will not lose any money whilst practicing.

2. Concentrate on your breathing and relax your mind and body as if you were meditating.

3. Let your mind become calm and open.

4. Let a colour pop into your head. Is it red or black? What do you feel in your gut?

5. Place your free bet on that colour and see whether you were correct. Make a note of your result.

6. Repeat 20 times.

By keeping a tally of your score, you can note your progress and check the percentage you are getting right. Once you become confident with this you can even try guessing a single number. With enough practice some exceptional people can get over 80% of bets correct- weird!

There is also a software available to help you develop your intuitive roulette skills. It allows you to place bets on either odd or even and when you are wrong a sharp buzz is emitted, which is meant to train your subconscious. Ok, I know it could all be a load of baloney, but do you blame me for testing it out? Imagine if I could harness that power to win more bets

Poker Strategy – Detecting and Setting Traps

One of the less understood poker strategies is that of trapping. When playing poker, how many times have you been trapped by a more experienced or tricky player? We all fall into these traps from time to time… but why? How can we detect traps and avoid them? This article delves into poker strategy keys for setting traps, and detecting them.

First, what is a trap? A trap play is where an opponent with a strong hand represents weakness, luring their opponent into overplaying their hand. For example, I hit a nut flush (Ace-high flush) on the flop. I have the best hand at the table now, unless the board pairs (such that someone could pull a boat or four of a kind – not likely).

So, instead of betting it big, I might throw out a smaller bet or even check it (slowplay). Another player holding big slick (A-K) pairs up with an Ace on the flop, thinking he’s got the best hand so far. Another player has a small pair (e.g., 4’s) and picks up a set on the flop (assuming flop was something like 4-A-J).

Now, had I bet really big or raised back too early, the player holding the Ace would realize he’s trouble and the small pair would’ve likely folded pre-flop. Since I just checked it down, no reason to be afraid of me, since I’m obviously on some kind of a draw…

The person with the three of a kind (the 4’s) tosses out a bet of 4 times the blind. The guy with Aces calls it. After delaying slightly, I go ahead and also call it (why not, I’m getting decent enough pot odds).

So, I’m trapping them both at this point, letting them bet into me and just calling their bets. The same thing happens again on the turn, except the player with Aces drops out.

Now it’s just me and the set of 4’s. They bet big again, this time the size of the pot. Again, after a slight pause, I just call them “reluctantly”. Then comes the river, and they go all-in.

I immediately call them…oops! They’re sunk! What happened here?

These players never asked themselves two simple questions:

1) Why is he calling that raised pot (on the flop and turn)?

2) What hands might he be holding? What could he be

up to by calling my bets like that? Trapping? On a draw?

It’s crucially important to THINK before you ACT by understanding what the other players are actually doing. It’s also very important not to underestimate your competition, as there are some very wily players out there…

There’s a potential flush showing on this flop, and since I’m kind of “lurking” in this hand, it’s very suspicious behavior, and unlikely I’m on a draw calling those kind of big bets.

Unless you’re playing against a beginner or a drunk, there’s no reason to believe someone will likely call a raise that’s 4 times the big blind on a draw. That’s the first mistake – assuming another player has no hand and not realizing why they’re behaving as they are.

Second, the board is showing a possible flush – and both of these players aren’t holding it! Just because I didn’t bet on the flop does not mean I don’t have it!

Had either of these players slowed down and considered my betting (calling) behavior, and asked themselves these questions, they’d probably have realized what was going on. Whether the player with the set of 4’s could fold them is another story 🙂

Aside from a trap, what else could have kept me in this hand?

Traps aren’t easy to detect. When a good player calls a big bet, there’s a better than average chance they are trapping! You’ll also often see them delay for an unusually long time, as if they’re struggling to make a decision about calling your hand, then either call you, raise or go all-in. If this is indeed a good player, you now know almost for certain you’re being trapped (call) or warned (raise/all-in). If you don’t have the top hand at this point, you’re probably beaten.

This lengthy delay can be a great “tell” for traps and detecting strong hands, and is one you should learn to recognize. The delay is an attempt to make you believe they’re “struggling” to make their decision – do the opposite of what your opponents want you to do when there’s an obvious tell like this one.

Good players don’t usually call bets – they usually raise/re-raise with strength or fold. They don’t often waste their money on draws, so if they’re lurking in there with you, it almost certain it’s not out of curiosity…

If you aren’t spending twice as much time thinking about what your opponent’s hand might be, based upon their betting (calling) pattern and position and play history, you should be.

Your own hand strength is quickly and easily determined. Spend more time on your opponents, learning to read their normal betting patterns and skill level, then when they do something that doesn’t match their normal pattern, slow down and ask yourself why.

I hope this helps you become a better trapper (and avoid falling in yourself 🙂

Rick

Texas Holdem Tournament Strategy – Winning vs. Aggressive Players

The Texas Hold’em poker phenomenon has taken the country by storm. There are reportedly over 100 million active poker players worldwide. Poker’s popularity is largely the byproduct of technology and several recent trends: 1) online gaming, where players engage and socialize in real-time over the Internet, and 2) the broad publicity created by high profile TV shows like the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour.

With all the poker-mania, there’s an amazing shortage of quality information to help people learn how to play properly and become great players quickly. This is the first in a series of Texas Holdem strategy articles aimed at helping players learn how to win at Texas Hold’em poker. Tournament play is a popular, fun sport. These articles will help players understand how to approach tournaments, which differ greatly from regular “ring game” play.

This installment deals with the most-asked question: “How do I deal effectively with aggressive players?” Many players struggle against “maniacs”, the aggressive, wild players who play most every hand, somehow seem to pull cards out of thin air, and often manage to dominate the table.

Here’s what actually happened in a recent poker tournament. I entered a tournament at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, about 20 minutes from my home in South Florida. This weekly $300 entry-fee tournament fills the poker room with 220 players every Monday night.

The blinds start at 50/100 and go up every 15 minutes. I spent the first 30 minutes just hanging out and occasionally limping in to see a flop. The reason for “treading water” was to study my opponents and their playing patterns very closely. There were a number of solid poker players, but right away I spotted the aggressive ones.

I was sitting in the middle, directly across from the dealer. There were two “wild men” to my right. These two participated in most every hand, and agonized with themselves whenever they had to throw a hand away. This was hilarious to me, and it was also very telling. I knew these dudes were doomed from the onset, yet they were extremely dangerous if they caught something with one of their trash hands. These types are great targets, but only when you know how to play them correctly. If you do, you’ll end up with most or all of their chips in your stack. The key is to get to their chips before someone else does.

There were some squeaky-tight and solid players, as usual. Finally, there were two other players to my left who knew one another very well and spoke what sounded like Russian. These two played very aggressively. They rarely called or checked. They would bet or raise the pot significantly, so if they played a hand, you knew they were going to bet it big and you’d better be prepared to push a bunch of your chips into the middle. As a result, the table became tight overall, except for these four players who controlled the early action and dictated the table tempo for the first hour or so. They gambled with wanton abandon, trading chips with each other as the rest of us just observed and wished for a real hand to materialize.

It became apparent that our maniacs were playing mostly garbage hands, and using assertive chatter in an attempt to intimidate everyone. They were enjoying pushing everyone around with their aggressive betting and raising style. Humorously, they got into a number of showdowns, causing all of their trash hands to become openly exposed; e.g., 69 off-suit, Q3 suited, etc. I definitely had these guys pegged now – if only I could get a strong hand…

Later, one of my Russian “friends” came in over the top of a bet I’d placed with a huge raise, then smiled at me as he leaned his head back as if to say “Go ahead. I dare you”. My middle pair just wasn’t strong enough to engage with him, but I remembered this little “lesson” and my mistake. He’d used this tactic many times against the others and I should’ve expected it. I also realized that we had not seen any of his supposed “big hands”, as he always mucked them. Whenever you see an aggressive player dominating, and then mucking all those supposed “great hands”, you know you’ve spotted a target.

We played on, with the two maniacs to my right getting busted out by the Russian contingent. It’s been an hour and fifteen minutes – and I still haven’t seen even one decent hand yet! This is, unfortunately, typical poker.

After about an hour-and 45 minutes, I finally pick up a pair of wired 9’s (99). Now I was hoping the flop would yield a set (trips). Sure enough, it came: 9, K, 5. I was elated and jumping up and down (inside). I was finally in a position to make my move, and hoped it would be against one of my aggressive Russian friends with their big stacks.

To prepare my trap, I delayed and muddled around for about ten seconds, and then casually “checked” verbally and using my hand in a chopping motion, with a slightly disgusted look. Next, the younger Russian moves in with a big bet of 3,000 chips. I was sure I had him now. As expected, everyone else quickly folded and got out of his way – except me. This fellow had pushed everyone around and I was finally properly armed and ready to do battle on my own terms. Note that this had been my “battle plan” all along. I was deliberately targeting these aggressive characters, knowing that when the time was right, their ill-gotten stacks would become mine!

The action came back around to me, so now it was just the two of us heads-up. The two Russians said something to each other that the rest of us couldn’t decipher. I delayed and bobbed my head around as if to be struggling with my decision. Then, I motioned with both hands and uttered “I’m all-in”. I knew this series of actions would likely trigger an aggressive reaction, since my “check-raise” made it appear as if I was trying to steal this pot! A check-raise almost always triggers a full-tilt response from an aggressive player.

He immediately called me – he was so aggressive (and pot-committed) that it was like a fish taking the bait and running for deep waters – hook line and sinker! I threw my pair of 9’s over, revealing the trip 9’s. There was a low murmur around the table from the other players. My young Russian friend reluctantly flipped his five/trash hand over – he had a pair of fives (with a King over-card showing on the board!). He was definitely angling to drive me out of this pot with his ascertive play – one too many times…

You see, no one actually gets that many great hands in poker – nobody. If someone plays 30% to 40% or more of the time, they’re just “gambling” and bluffing. This guy thinks he has a “good” hand, because he actually had a real pair – something he doesn’t often have when pushing everyone around with mostly aggressive betting as his only real weapon.

The turn came and it wasn’t a five – then someone pipes up and says “he’s drawing dead”. Believe me, you never want to hear that when you’re in a showdown! I looked over as he said something in Russian to his buddy – another violation of tournament rules, as everyone is compelled to speak English at the tournament table. It wouldn’t matter, as he stood up, grabbed his jacket and left after receiving some consolation from his friend.

His older friend glared over at me and uttered something derogatory in Russian. I had no clue what he said, but I knew from his tone that I didn’t like it. I also knew I’d gotten under his skin by taking down his buddy and raking in all of his chips. I responded with “what’s that, I don’t understand what you’re saying since you’re not speaking English?” loudly so everyone at the table could hear me.

He mumbled something about his friend…I smiled and said politely with a smile “I deliberately laid that trap for your friend and he fell right into it!”, pushing the knife in deeper, knowing he’d be gunning for me anyway – might as well make sure my next trap was fully set. This also signaled to everyone else at the table that whenever I checked or limped, it could be extremely dangerous if assumed to be a sign of weakness – something I’d leverage later as the blinds and antes rose and the proper time to bluff and steal blinds actually arrived.

After a slight pause, my Russian friend noticed that everyone was now looking at him. He looked down at his chips and said “nice play” with a reluctantly polite tone.

Boy, I was elated! My battle plan was definitely becoming field-proven here – and my next target was clearly sighted. It had taken careful observation, planning and a lot of patience to wait for the right hand, and then play it correctly to take this highly-skilled, aggressive player out and rake in all of his chips.

About ten minutes later, it was tournament break time, after two hours of play. I counted my chips, which totaled 14,900 (we started with 5,000 each), then grabbed a quick bite to eat, reflecting on what had just taken place.

Within ten minutes of returning from break, I finally picked up a serious starting hand: Cowboys (KK). I knew it was time for my new Russian friend and me to tango, so I fired out a bet of 3 times the big blind: 3,000 chips, bait that I was sure he couldn’t turn down. Sure enough, he bit – big time. His all-in raise came almost instantaneously, before I could even get my bet onto the table. He was totally ready to engage, and had been laying in wait for me – just like I had planned. I had set him up by taking out his friend and then challenging his poker ego in front of everyone. He just had to retaliate against me – it was a totally predictable “full-tilt” response from this kind of player.

This is what the game of poker is really all about – having a well-defined strategy, the patience to wait for the right hand, and then executing properly. It’s what makes poker a game of strategy instead of a game of chance (for some of us).

He raised by going all-in with around 8,000 chips to my roughly 14,000. I quickly called his all-in bet. Everyone else quickly folded and got out of our way.

I flipped my pocket kings over, then looked him straight in the eye and just smiled. Then someone says “Yeah! Now we’ve got some action!” He sighed and flipped over QQ – he actually had a real hand for a change. That’s one of the problems with these kinds of “semi-solid, aggressive” players, like my Russian friend here, and other poker greats like Gus Hansen. You never really know exactly what to expect from them. Of course, my opponent could’ve held pocket rockets (AA), but I’ll play those KK cowboys strong each and every time I get them, since there’s only one hand that can beat them heads-up. I also knew this aggressive player on tilt was likely to be overplaying his hand, improving my odds significantly.

The flop, turn and river came and went without another Queen and it was done – my cowboys stood up and I had all of both Russian’s stacks, which included most of the other two poor maniac’s chips (who lost to the Russians earlier). This instantly made me by far the chip leader at our table with well over 22,000 chips!

I went from having an average chip stack to being the table chip leader, against tough, aggressive opponents, within less than half an hour by:

a) Playing solid, reasonable tournament poker,

b) Not taking big, undue risks with weak or “drawing” hands,

c) Studying my aggressive prey and where the chips were sitting,

d) Formulating and refining a battle plan while observing the game progress,

e) Remaining patient while waiting for the right hand to make my move, and

f) Executing this plan with precision against a predetermined opponent, and on terms of my choosing – not the opponent’s.

There was no luck involved at all – except that my opponent didn’t hold AA or pull some lucky cards with a trash hand – which was simply playing the odds in my favor.

I started out with a high-level strategy to target aggressive chip leaders, and go after them with strong hands from the right position. I planned this before I ever arrived at the casino that day, or knew who these players would be. Then, I refined my plan once I knew for certain whom the evening’s targets would be and how I’d provoke them. It certainly helped that I caught two decent hands during those first hours of play.

Unfortunately, I later lost to a legitimate full house, but made it into the top 40 – it happens…

The key to playing against aggressive and maniac players is having a viable Texas Holdem strategy you can profit from when you get some good hands. If you have a good plan, you can convert it into a formidable stockpile of chips – a stack that you’ll definitely need as the blinds and antes increase and the tournament field narrows in the latter stages.

This is how I approach Texas Holdem strategy for tournaments now – at least when the tables are full with 8 or more players, some of them aggressive and maniacs. So, the next time you encounter wild and aggressive players at your poker table, get ready to have some fun! It’s like Tae Kwon Do – using the opponent’s own energy and momentum against them.

In the next installment, we’ll detail this Texas Holdem strategy more formally, along with exploring some other tournament tips for playing better Texas Holdem poker.

Until then – good luck!

Rick

A Beginners Guide to Blackjack – Basic Strategy and Tips

If you’re new to Blackjack, you probably have a lot of questions. If you don’t want to leave the table empty-handed, there are a few things you should know. This stuff is too simple for the pro’s, but every beginner should read this article.

The basics of blackjack

The goal of the game is for your hand to equal 21, called a Blackjack, or have the highest hand closest to 21 without going over. If you go over, you “bust” and lose. And if you have only 13 for example, but the dealers busts, you win. To “hit” means you want the dealer to give you another card. If you don’t want another card and wish to stay where you’re at, you are choosing to “stand.” There are other strategies to playing blackjack such as doubling down, splitting, insurance and surrendering, but those are beyond the basics of blackjack.

Who wins in a tie, me or the dealer?

In almost all casinos, a tie is called a “push,” and the player will get their money back. Nobody loses their money. There are casinos where a tie in Blackjack might result in a loss for the player, but these rules are rare. Make sure you check house rules for tables games wherever you’re playing. If the dealer wins in a push, you shouldn’t be playing at that casino.

What are my odds of winning in a game of Blackjack?

The house usually has an advantage of about 8%. This happens because they are the last player to lay down their card, which gives all other players a chance to bust before it’s the dealers turn. These odds can be reduced by effectively learning the game at an advanced level and understanding the probability of busting based on the cards in your hand and what could still be in the dealer’s hand or the deck. For example, only 30 percent of the deck is worth 10, making the old strategy of assuming the dealer has a 10 useless.

How much money do I need for an afternoon playing Blackjack?

The amount of money you want to spend depends entirely on your budget and the minimum bet of the table you’re playing. Dealers are fast and you can probably fit in about 25 hands in 15 minutes at a full table. At a $5 table, that’s $125 at least. Of course this isn’t taking into consideration any wins. If you just want to play and are looking to get in some decent playing time, consider playing a $1 table, where $50 can have you playing for about a half-hour if all your hands are losses. Obviously, wins will increase your playing time drastically.

What the heck is the dealer saying after I cut a new deck?

This one is funny, because even many experienced blackjack players don’t understand what the dealer is saying when they split a new deck. It happens so fast and casinos are noisy. The dealer is actually calling out “shuffle check” to the pit boss, which indicates that the cards have been cut. This ensures that the deck is not rigged.

A basic strategy to get you started

This is a basic strategy to help you get started understanding blackjack. If your hand equals 12-16 or the dealer has 2-6, it’s called a “stiff” hand. If you and the dealer both have a stiff hand, you should stand. If you have a 17 or better, or the dealer has a 7 and an Ace, it’s called a “Pat” hand. If you have a Pat hand, you should stand. If you have a stiff hand and the dealer has a pat hand, you should hit.