Showing a Winning Hand

One of the auto-options available to us at 32Red Poker tables is the facility to Muck Winning Hands and, nearly all of the time, this is the correct thing to do because we don’t want to be giving our opponents undoubtedly useful information for free if it can be avoided. Indeed, with this in mind, if we were to decide never to show a winning hand we could simply get on with the game, not having the ‘inconvenience’ and potential confusion – or, worse, the serious implications – caused by voluntarily making a poor decision. It sounds sensible to sacrifice possible gains in order to rule out the very real risk of losses and the additional advertising afforded the opposition. (more…)

NL Hold’em: Small Pocket Pairs

We don’t need years of experience to appreciate a couple of the implications of playing small pairs pre-flop (for the purposes of this article we’ll define small pairs as 22-77). On the upside, when the flop promotes the pair to a set it’s great news, particularly in view of the fact that such a hand can be so well disguised that the ‘reveal’ might come only at the conclusion. However, what happens far more often is that, not only does the small pocket pair remain a small pocket pair but, invariably, the arrival on the flop of at least one overcard immediately starts to sow the seeds of doubt – our pair might already be beaten and we’re effectively sitting in the dark armed with a pretty toothless pair. (more…)

Poker Psychology: Superstitions, Rituals & Habits 

It’s strange how some of the most logical, rational people are prone to superstition. Even during my days as a pro chess player it was not so unusual, in a vast hall full of people engrossed in arguably the most testing game around in terms of there being no luck element, to see superstitious types. Lucky shirts are common (despite causing certain sartorial challenges), as are pre-game rituals and even placing (and moving) the pieces in a very specific manner, and without exception. A Dutch International Master, for example – also a fan of loud shirts, funnily enough – deliberately positions knights facing backwards which, from the opponent’s point of view, can be quite disconcerting… (more…)

Thinking Poker

How far do you think ahead? Indeed, do you bother considering how a hand could pan out from street to street or – more to the point – your potential influence on the direction it might take? Poker obviously has a luck element in the form of the ‘unknowns’ but, Read more…