Poker is really a game of skill, and every decision you make is about maximizing your Expected Value or EV for short. The term “EV” will undoubtedly be used throughout this article and you will be seen in two ways. A player can have +EV, which is positive Expected Value or – EV, that is negative Expected Value. Poker isn’t gambling and the following explains why.

Most gambling games have a poor EV for you, and a confident EV (5.49% in this instance) for the casino. In the short run you could win, but in the long run, if you played typical gambling games 1000 times, the casino would always end up winning by about 5.49%. As you can plainly see these types of gambling games are in favor of the home. Poker pits you against other players and not the house. In a full ring game (9 players) or shorthanded game (6 players), the target is to make the very best EV decisions against the many other players playing worse (making -EV decisions) than you.

A simple example would be in the event that you were dealt KK prior to the flop came (preflop), which everyone knows is an effective hand preflop. This hand includes a high chance to win against all other hands preflop. If you played and raised “all in” with this particular hand against a player who played and called every all in, you’ll have an enormous advantage as you will be a favorite every time, rendering it a +EV decision. That is an exaggerated example and playing one hand wouldn’t normally be the smartest idea. What you will do is play say the top 20% of hands because against somebody who plays maybe 70% of their hands, you again, will be making a +EV decision each and every time you play with him. It’s likely that your starting hands will have a whole lot higher probability to win. This is just scraping the top, and there is an EV attached to every decision and every situation. Many online poker sites provide starting hand charts for beginners to use, which would be the simplest way to enhance your EV.

In addition, there is always variance and for a while weaker players might get lucky, but that’s also what attracts them another and keep playing. In the end, a good player who makes +EV decisions will always end up a winner. This is the reason poker isn’t gambling but a casino game of skill and finding out how to exploit your opponent’s mistakes.

Is it safe to play online poker?

Absolutely, some sites have over 50,000 people playing at once. Major sites like Full Tilt Poker run advertisements on it and the web and are even listed on the stock market. They let you play poker online for free or real money. Any negative publicity would affect their business so these sites often provide the best customer service. Maintaining your password secure is your responsibility and if you do this, your money will be safe. Online poker sites have no incentive to cheat when dealing hands given that they wish to be extremely fair so you continue to play, which allows them to earn their income by means of “rake.” It is a very small percent of the pot (usually less than 1%). In poker, you are playing contrary to the other players, and not the house.

Obviously if the poker site seems shady, you have never heard of it, they don’t really advertise on TV or the net and there aren’t members playing on a regular basis – you wouldn’t be depositing your cash there!!! With that said, a lot of the major poker sites have become safe and reputable.

What are the best online poker rooms?
There are three major sites for playing internet poker. Full Tilt Poker, Pokerstars and Party Poker have lots of traffic, play money tables, a lot of freeroll tournaments and have excellent customer support. If you’re a beginner you should play at Full Tilt Poker or Pokerstars when you begin. Other sites like Party Poker call you up once you sign up and require some type of id verification to activate your account. Some individuals may like this extra security, and may certainly go that route. Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars usually do not require this. Overall, all three sites are incredibly safe and well known.

Many sites state “Deposit and get another $600!” Do they really double your deposit amount after depositing?

poker88 depends on the website. Some sites give you a very small portion (around 10%) of your deposit instantly, but that’s rare. What typically happens is you deposit $600, and after you accumulate a certain amount of player points, they will provide you with the full $600. This is to make sure depositing players may also be active. With internet poker sites such as Full Tilt Poker these points are achieved rapidly.

Websites on the internet will publish poker bonus codes which must be entered upon account creation. From then on, the amount you earn depends on the time you may spend playing and the stakes you play at. When a player reaches 400NL limit, which means 2 to 4 dollar blinds and have an excellent percent of wins, they can make up to 5K a month. This is of course in the event that you treat playing just like a job and dedicate a long time each day to playing. Ultimately job freedom and the lure of easy money that is only a click away, is what draws a lot of people to online poker.

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