Archive for the ‘Poker Lessons’ Category

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

While more and more players are turning to live games, I decided to revisit a crucial topic for live play – poker tells.

Tells can be a powerful source of information if used correctly and help take your game one step further. However, poker players often miss the opportunity to build their stack by not noticing some obvious signs. I will just touch the surface and highlight the most common and trusted signs in live poker games.

Watch for poker tellsTiming

Timing is very player dependent, but when you spot some tendencies, you are likely to have a dead-on tell. People cannot change their habits very quickly, and you can use that to your advantage.

If you see someone taking a lot of time with weak hands and then checking, while checking much faster when trapping with a strong holding, it is not likely to change anytime soon. So, if you notice players taking different amounts of time to make decisions with strong and weak hands, it will be one of the most reliable tells you can use.

As a rule of thumb, when people think for an extended period and then check, they (usually) have a pretty weak or medium strength holding and almost never a nut type hand.

When someone bets big almost at once, it means they have made up their mind about betting before even seeing the following cards, and it (usually) indicates strength.

Bet sizing

Similar to the timing tell, sizing is also player dependent and is essential to use against weaker players. Regulars can easily manipulate bet sizing and will tend to remain fairly balanced unless they’re trying to trap you, but either way, you should not go out of line versus professional or more experienced players.

However, when you are up against recreational players, you can get pick up on a few signs. First, they are very unlikely to bluff with small sizing so if you face lower than ½-pot size bet, most of the time, it is going to be for value.

Second,  when you face a huge bet on a dry board, the vast majority of the time it indicates strength. However, this is not the case on connected boards so you should not make your decision based on bet sizing in that situation.


I can assure you that very few players talk while they are running a big bluff. Most likely, you will see them trying not to show any signs of weakness and staying quiet. They don’t want to risk talking and giving up the strength of their hand with a shaky voice, so many prefer not to say anything.

Therefore, when someone starts talking while in the hand, they are much more likely to be confident with their holding, and it is (usually) an indication of strength.

All things considered

Obviously, you should be aware that poker tells can give you a lot of information about recreational players, but not so much about regulars. Moreover, some of them can be faked, so you want to treat tells  as extra information without making your decision based entirely on a perceived tell.

There are many other signs you can notice and take into consideration both live and online. Therefore, I encourage you to learn more about poker tells and make more informed decisions with that extra information.

Send me your thoughts, comments or questions!

Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

There are times when you’re at the poker tables that would drive anyone to go on tilt and swear that they’ll never play again, but of course, we all know that if you’re a hardened poker player you’ll always come back. Those times usually happen when you are holding what you believe to be an unbeatable hand and shove all-in. Then everyone folds at the table, except the one player who snap calls you.

You’re holding pocket Aces, your caller turns over Ace – King which, justifiably so, makes you a little nervous, but it’s too late now and all you can do is keep your cool and pray to the poker gods that your pocket bullets hold up. The flop is K-6-9 and you smile from ear to ear with your Aces. The turn is a J, and now you’re breathing easy with your bullets in hand, and for good reason. Your opponent has one and only one out, and you’re already thinking that you’re raking the pot; you can imagine the chips moving closer and closer to you. The river comes and all hell breaks lose in your head as you stare at another freaking KING, sending you immediately to the rails while vehemently shaking your head and swearing that you’ll never play again….

We all know that you’ll be back, but nevertheless we feel your pain. We have certainly been there, done that. With that in mind, check out these three Bad Beats from the 2016 WSOP Main Event.

Texas Poker Store Key Chain


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Texas Poker StoreBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

If you watch poker games as much as we do you’ll catch some very valuable lessons from time to time. Such as when Daniel Negreanu said to Upeshka De Silva … “I didn’t know what I was going to do if he raised me.”

Daniel Negreanu This took place at Level 25 of the 2015 World Series Main Event. He was heads up with Neil Blumenfield and both players raised and re-raised each other to the flop, then both checked the turn and the river. Negreanu took down the pot with {A-Hearts}{A-Diamonds}against Blumenfield’s {J-Diamonds}{J-Clubs}. Negreanu said to Blumenfield; “I was thinking you had tens or queens.” Then Kid Poker mumbled under his breath “I could have bet one there.”

DeSilva heard that and simply said, “he would not have called you,” to which Negreanu responded as I stated above, and there in lies the valuable lesson:

Before you bet (or raise), know what you’ll do if your opponent raises you back. If you don’t know, it’s usually better to check than to bet, or to call rather than to raise.

Texas Poker Store Nighthawk Poker TableNext time you are at a table and find yourself in a similar situation remember this valuable little lesson and maybe, just maybe, you’ll run the table and win enough to get your very own custom Nighthawk Poker table like the one pictured here on the right. Good Luck!

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Pocket Bullets ParisBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

There are a total of 169 pre-flop hands possible in any game of Texas Hold’em. Out of those starting hands, Pocket Bullets (my nick-name) is considered to be the absolute best starting hand. And it is, but it does nothing for you if you don’t play it right. So here are a few things we have learned along the way from watching other players and listening to what the pros have to say.

First and foremost, you need to control yourself from over reacting when you get it; don’t start jumping up and down or laughing or displaying any other emotion except to stay totally cool. Don’t play it up; don’t play it down; just stay neutral.

Second, try to make the right bet. Sometimes it’s better to slow play while other times it may be best to be aggressive and splash all in. It’s really up to the mix of the players and how well you know them. It also depends greatly on your position and it’s usually probably best to bet just right. If there is action before, you always call it. When you’re out of position, raise as many times as possible.

If someone goes all in pre-flop, be careful and call it only when it makes sense to you, but don’t re-raise; just call it.

Pocket BulletsThere’s a lot more that could be said as to how to play the number one starting hand, ACE-ACE, and lots of varying advice from all the pros, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to read the dynamics of the poker table you’re facing. Stay cool and you just may scoop the chips your way.

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