Beginners Card Counting Guide

Before you learn the different card counting strategies I want you to read through this guide, which is packed with information about card counting that all beginners should learn. Card counting hasn’t been around for that long as the first card counting system was released in 1962 by a man named Edward Thorp. Since the first card counting system was released the techniques have been fine-tuned and several other similar systems have been developed..

The biggest question that new blackjack players ask me is whether or not counting cards is legal. Although some countries may have laws against this in most countries you’re allowed to count cards “legally”. The reason I put “legally” in quotations is because you can get kicked out of the casino for counting cards, but the casino can’t have you charged with anything. Once you’ve become known as a card counter it may be hard to find action in your local casinos since they all share information with each other, so make sure you hone the skill before trying it out in the casino.

The basic idea behind counting cards in blackjack is to create an advantage for you while playing. Most card counting systems are really simple and any competent individual will have no problem using the techniques. You’re basically going to be counting every card that is dealt to all the players at the table including the dealer. The way you count cards is by adding +1/-1 in most card counting systems, so as you can see it’s really easy to do.

When the count is high (+) it means that the deck is in your favour and you should increase your bets a bit. When the count is low (-) it means there are a lot of low cards in the deck and it isn’t a good time to make large bets. You obviously need to be really careful in the amount that you bet because if you make a huge change in betting patterns it’ll definitely set off some warning symbols to the dealer and pit boss that you may be counting cards.

There are a few different card counting strategies out there that you should try learning and practicing. There are a few popular card counting systems that I’d recommend learning first, which include the KO Count, Hi/Lo Count, Hi-Opt 1 Count and the Hi-Opt 2 Count. All four of these systems are fairly similar and will only differ slightly, but they each have their own set of positives and negatives, which is why you need to decide what system will work for your game.

Once you learn these four systems and try them out you can choose the system you like the best and continue practicing with the chosen system. You should play at home or with friends for a while before you try counting cards at the casino. Casinos nowadays all have incredible security and cameras are everywhere looking for card counters, so it isn’t something that you can easily get away with, but if successful you can make some good coin.

Playing in a Poker Tournament

There is nothing quite like participating in a poker tournament. It doesn’t matter if you are playing in a small online tournament that no one else cares about, or if you are preparing for the World Series of Poker. Knowing you are competing for a championship will give you a thrill that a regular poker game just can’t. The only thing better than playing in a poker tournament is winning in one.

Although there are several factors that can determine whether or not you will win the poker tournament, there are also several things you can do to increase the chances of you doing well.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you get plenty of sleep the night before the tournament. Too often, people let their nerves get in the way and stay awake the night before. This impedes your ability to focus during the event. If your nerves are making it difficult for you to fall asleep, you should try drinking some herbal tea, reading a boring book, or sipping warm milk.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the tournament. If you are nearly late, you will have a difficult time getting your mind to focus and could very well botch the first few hands. If you are playing in a real world casino you want to be on site a minimum of an hour before the tournament begins. If you are playing online, give yourself plenty of time to make sure that your computer is working properly, that your internet connection is strong, and that you have logged into the website with plenty of time to spare. Remember that it is always better to be early.

In addition to getting to the casino as early as possible, you also want to collect your chips. Having your chips will help you start to get into the competition zone. As soon as possible, you want to settle into your seat and arrange your chips in the manner that your prefer. At this point you also want to make sure that you have everything you need to be comfortable while you are play.

When you estimate that you are in the middle of the world series of poker tournament, you want to start getting rid of your small chips. At this point you will start to notice that the players who aren’t doing as well start to eliminate themselves from the game.

With some of the players gone, you want to up your game. This is a good time to play aggressively, but not to take chances if you have questionable hands. Your goal is to intimidate novice players, but not to take stupid risks.

As the game gets close to the end, you will need to play more aggressively. This is the time to take bigger risks. With a little luck you will be able to wrap up this round and move onto the finals table.

Poker tournaments require a different level of play. If you are new to tournaments you should not get discourage if you gamble yourself out of the game early on. You’ll quickly catch onto the ebb and flow of the tournament scene.

Blackjack Tournaments – Land Based V/s Online, Which One is the Best?

The Blackjack tournaments are gaining popularity day by day, and simultaneously the online casinos as well. This availability and popularity gives you an opportunity to play the tournament whenever you want and any time in the day. There are few differences between the online blackjack tournament and land based casino blackjack tournament, and it is essential to know the differences between both.

The Tournaments

Lot of people play blackjack tournament because they are fascinated by the pressure involved in the game. Players love the experience of being at a table with an opponent and studying their expressions and playing habits. They use this information in the game accordingly to use it to their advantage. The exciting part is the elimination round where the winners and losers are separated, the interaction between humans and the drama getting unfold live in front of them is the reason behind the increasing popularity of the blackjack tournaments.

The Land Based Casinos and Tournaments

People who love to watch the game in real prefer land based casinos, such as The Taj Majal in Atlantic City, they like to watch this because of the drama, interaction and participation involved in the game. There are set of people who do not want to play the land based casino and prefer to stay away from the theatrics implications encountered during the live games, these set of people prefer to play online casino. The other reason people prefer playing online casino is because of the ready availability of the game, so people with hectic lives and busy work schedules can participate per their convenience and sharpen their skills and win some real cash.

Online Blackjack Tournaments

The online blackjack tournaments are best for those who are not very comfortable around too many players or those who get easily distracted. Those who are not too willing to take on new risks and techniques, can practice them online in order to get some confidence before they take it to the real world. The online blackjack casinos and tournaments offer a safer environment to play in along with the flexibility which is not available in the land based tournaments. With the online tournaments, it is possible for the players to win money and compete against other players also.

Many blackjack players like this game because they like the fact that they are going to win some serious cash, this appeals them more than the game. Lot of players do not prefer to play the land based casino because they think that lights, noise and other players are elements of distraction. So these players prefer to play online casino since they have an option to sit at their own homes an play the tournament. In the online casino one can participate in more tournaments than in land based casino.

The player has more chances to win since blackjack tournaments offer more options to play. This winning is the most important thing for lot of players. Several players play both, online casino and land based casino to meet their different gaming requirements.

Scotty Nguyen and the WSOP

I caught an unusual situation recently that involved Scotty Nguyen. Unusual in the fact that not only does it not happen often, but you’re shocked as a spectator whenever it does happen.

We’re in one of the earlier rounds of the Full Tilt World Championship of Poker in Las Vegas back in 2007. We pick up the game post-flop, the only two players left are Robert Varkonyi and Scotty Nguyen, who the commentators remind us is “one of the most feared players in all of poker.” Hard to argue with that, but he won’t be for this one hand, at least.

So here’s the situation. Varkonyi has 9, 7 clubs – basically nothing. Scotty Nguyen has Ace, Jack off-suit. The flop comes up Jack (clubs), 2, King. Already, Nguyen, sitting cool in his red baseball hat and midnight black sunglasses, has a 93% advantage. That won’t stop Varkonyi, however, who’s ready and willing to try to take this hand with a bluff. He steamrolls in $1,600. His eyes give away behind his immovable mug that he’s praying Nguyen folds. But no such luck as the pro thinks for a second and then calls.

The turn is a queen of diamonds. On the PKR screen, Nguyen gets a check mark. There’s no way Varkonyi can with this hand with better cards now. However, both players check. Just by judging the game so far, I was convinced Nguyen was playing coy, and that he knew he had the man in a bad, half-assed bluff.

The River is a four of hearts, no help to either player. Varkonyi quickly turns to his chips and shovels in $3,000. This is a great but extremely bold and risky move. Great because it shows online poker balls, and he hasn’t really given away anything up to this point. Risky because he’s in for almost half of his chips with the bet on absolutely nothing. But you gotta spend money to make money.

Scotty Nguyen fondles his chips a few times…you’re just rooting for him to call or push back. But he doesn’t, he actually gives in to the bluff and folds his cards. I was more shocked to see him fold than I was to see the second bluff come out. An incredibly unusual, backward turn of events.

Of course, you can’t keep the most “feared player in all of poker” down for long. Just a few hands later, Nguyen gained his revenge and sent Varkonyi packing for good.