Poker is really a game of skill, and every decision you make is approximately maximizing your Expected Value or EV for short. The word “EV” will be used throughout this article and will be seen in two ways. A new 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 negative EV for you, and a confident EV (5.49% in this case) for the casino. In the short run you can win, but in the long term, in the event that you played typical gambling games 1000 times, the casino would always find yourself winning by about 5.49%. As you can see these types of gambling games come in favor of the house. Poker pits you against other players and not the house. In a complete ring game (9 players) or shorthanded game (6 players), the target is to make the 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 before the flop came (preflop), which everyone knows is a wonderful hand preflop. This hand has a high chance to win against all the hands preflop. If you played and raised “all in” with this hand against a new player who played and called every all in, you would have an enormous advantage as you will be a favorite every time, making it a +EV decision. That is an exaggerated example and playing one hand wouldn’t normally be the smartest idea. What you would do is play say the top 20% of hands because against a person who plays maybe 70% of their hands, you again, will be making a +EV decision every time you play with him. It’s likely your starting hands will have a whole lot higher probability to win. This is just scraping the surface, and there is an EV attached to every decision and every situation. Many internet poker sites provide starting hand charts for novices to use, which would be the simplest way to enhance your EV.
In addition, there is always variance and in the short term weaker players might get lucky, but that’s also what attracts them another and keep playing. Over time, a good player who always makes +EV decisions will always find yourself a winner. For this reason poker is not gambling but a casino game of skill and finding out how to exploit your opponent’s mistakes.
Could it be 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 the TV and the web and are even listed on the stock market. They let you play poker online free of charge or real cash. Any negative publicity would affect their business so these sites often supply the best customer service. Maintaining your password secure can be your responsibility and if you do this, your money will undoubtedly be safe. Online poker sites have no incentive to cheat when dealing hands since they desire to be extremely fair so you continue to play, that allows them to earn their income in the form of “rake.” This can be a really 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 haven’t heard of it, they don’t advertise on TV or the web and there aren’t members playing on a regular basis – you wouldn’t be depositing your cash there!!! With poker88 said, most of the major poker sites are very safe and reputable.
What are the best online poker rooms?
There are three major sites for playing online poker. Full Tilt Poker, Pokerstars and Party Poker have lots of traffic, play money tables, a lot of freeroll tournaments and have very good customer support. If you’re a beginner you should play at Full Tilt Poker or Pokerstars when you start. Other sites like Party Poker call you up once you sign up and require some form of id verification to activate your account. Some people may such as 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 popular.
Many sites state “Deposit and obtain another $600!” Do they really double your deposit amount after depositing?
That depends on the website. Some sites provide you with a very small portion (around 10%) of one’s 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 give you the full $600. This is to make sure depositing players are also active. With online poker sites such as Full Tilt Poker these points are achieved rapidly.
Online sites will publish poker bonus codes which should 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 also have a good percent of wins, they are able to make up to 5K a month. This is of course in the event that you treat playing like a job and dedicate several hours every day to playing. Ultimately job freedom and the lure of easy money that’s just a click away, is what draws so many people to online poker.