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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Omaha Is Not Texas Hold'em

The recent surge in the popularity of poker has had a rippling effect. While many new players are joining the game, many experienced players are trying their hand at new games. Some limit Hold’em players are branching out to play No Limit Hold’em and quite a few of them are trying the game of Omaha. Their downfall is that they think they can win at Omaha using Texas Hold’em Strategy.

Omaha may look like Hold’em because it is played with five community cards but that is where the similarities end. In Hold’em you can use any five card combination. In Omaha you Must use two card from your hand and three cards from the board.

Starting Hands
In Omaha you get four personal cards instead of two. Some players may think that this gives them double the starting hand combinations but in reality with four cards you have six possible two card combinations.

You have four cards ABCD The combinations are AB CD AC BD AD BC.

With all these starting combinations, Hold’em players think that this gives them reason more hands. You have to remember that each of the other players also has 6 two card starting combinations so in a ten handed game you have 6 combinations but your opponents have 54 amongst them. You actually need to be more selective.

Starting hands need to be coordinated. This means that the four cards should work together such as having a straight possibility that may wrap around the flop. Double suited hands that contain aces are good for the nut flush however three or four cards of the same suit is a garbage hand in most instances as you diminish your flush possibilities.

Big Pairs Rarely Win
One of the biggest mistakes I see is a player raising and re-raising with a big pair. While pocket Rockets may be a great hand in Hold’em it will rarely hold up in Omaha in a multiway pot. In Hi/lo every player with an ace and a small card will be playing which will further diminish that your pair of aces will be the winner. Omaha is a game of straights, Flushes and full houses.

Positional Raises Don’t Work.
In Hold’em you can sometimes raise from late position and win the pot when every one folds. In Omaha you will usually have more players staying in t o see the flop. This means that a positional raise will not work. With each player holding four cards many of them will find some reason to see the flop.

The Nuts Rule. In Hold’em it is rare that a player will have the absolute Nuts after the river but in Omaha it is a common occurrence. If you are not drawing to the Nuts after the flop you may find yourself second best or worse. In Hold’em 9 outs will give you a good shot at the winning hand. In Omaha you may need 16 or 20 outs to even stay in after the flop. In most instances you will have to showdown the best hand to win. Because of all the possibilities after the flop you don’t want to slow play a hand and give your opponent a chance to draw out on you.

More Bad Beats
Since more players are staying to see the flop the pots can be very large in Omaha. Players will be getting correct odds to justify staying in a hand. This means there will be more bad beats in Omaha. You have to have the Emotional fortitude to handle this if you want to play the game.

Learn the Game
If you want to be a winner you must learn to play Omaha correctly. You can’t be a winner if you use your Hold’em strategy for this game. Omaha is not Texas Hold’em.

Until next time, remember:
"Luck comes and goes...Knowledge Stays Forever!"

Monday, July 2, 2007

Casino Gambling Tips for Online Gambling

Casino gambling tips for the Internet are good to know because betting at an online casino is a little different from a land based casino. For one when playing slots, how can you tell if the odds online are good or not? Do you know what the casino requires for play before cashing out winnings? When selecting to play over the Internet for the first time you should keep the following in mind:

Read payout percentage reports for the best odds
PriceWaterhouseCoopers is the prominent accountant in the field of analyzing the game odds for online casinos. These can be viewed for separate casinos by scrolling to the bottom and clicking on the PriceWaterhouseCoopers logo.

You may have to click on the report to enlarge it, but there you can see the percentages for slots, table games and other areas in which the casino has games. There are reports for each month of operation and if the slots are 96% and above, these odds are better than in Las Vegas. Another firm is The Online Players Association that performs the same auditing and checks.

Terms and Conditions
All casinos are different and one thing that separates them is the Terms and Conditions for which they operate. Here you can find out the details for cashing out if you take them up on bonuses. Some will give you a high percentage bonus, but may want 25X play before you cash out. Unless these are games that you love to play you may want to find somewhere else to take your chances. Reviewing this policy can help you to avoid unnecessary issues.

Study Conditions for Cashing Out
Making a killing is the ultimate goal with any casino, so when the getting is good and you know it is time to get out, keep in mind how the process works by reading the Terms and Conditions. This can help you to get out at a profit. If the casino wants so much action for the bonus they gave you, make sure you know how much they want.

That way, when you hit the crossover point and you feel the action is slowing down, you can take the money and run! Turning $100.00 into a $1000.00 and losing it because you did not know when you met the casino's conditions for cash out is a bad feeling.

Have a daily goal in mind
Write down how much you want to gamble with each day. For example, if your $100.00 deposit and the casino match bonus of 100% gives you $200.00 total, then spread it out over 2 to 3 sessions. Sometimes if you gamble $75.00 and lose it in the morning, trying again tomorrow may bring you luck. BUT if you blow it all at once, you lose the future opportunity to hit that winning streak that may be around the corner.

Watch your bankroll!
Remember to place a limit on what you will spend! To reflect on the previous sentence, if you blow everything all at once, you miss the future opportunity to hit a potential winning streak. On top of that gambling should be fun, entertaining and profitable. It should not take money from your bills or necessities (or your spouse).

Tom Howze is a webmaster for 9 sites that relate to 2005 World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour events, updates and information for online casino betting .


Casinos: Magicians or Pick Pockets?

OK, I know I've said this before, but it's worth saying again: whether you are playing online or offline, always remember that casinos are businesses. They are there to provide entertainment for you while they make money.

So having said that, you know that casinos are always looking for making money from you. From the moment you walk through their door (virtual or physical), they have one hand on your wallet, and the other hand is waving around trying to distract you.

Casinos are like magicians--you're smiling while they delight and amaze you, but all the while they are picking your pockets!

The online casinos are the worst offenders. Let me give you an example...

If you've ever played online, you know that when you're done playing you hit the "cash out" button, which means you want your casino credits converted to cash and sent. Now unfortunately, casinos don't send your cash asap. They leave that cash in your account for days, even weeks...just to tempt you.

You see, you can go into your casino account any time you want and hit the "reverse cashout button," which converts your cash back into credits. And this of course means you can play some more.

Sure, for a moment you may be thinking that this is a cool feature for you, because you can change your mind and keep playing a day or two later. But the casinos WANT you to reverse your cashout! Yes! They want you to keep playing because they know the longer you play, the more likely it is you will lose your money!

Players lose hundreds of thousands of dollars at online casinos because they reverse their cashouts and keep playing!

Don't let that adrenaline rush and thrill of winning big turn into utter disappointment by reversing your cashouts and losing your winnings. Delete the casino software off your computer if you have to, just don't hit reverse.

Instead, wait until your check comes. When you have that cash in your hand, you'll be glad you didn't reverse! And of course you can redeposit some of it if you choose!