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The Poker Guide...Read this first - Acroynms/Links/Good threads, etc.

  • 31-10-2005 5:17pm
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 8,876 Mod ✭✭✭✭

    1. History/Where to Start/Online Play (below)
    2. Playing Live
    3. Links
    4. Quality Threads
    5. A Guide to Low Stakes (separate thread)
    6. Bonus Whoring (separate thread)

    Welcome to the Boards Poker Forum's Poker Guide. The guide has come out of older posts covering tips, links etc. and is intended to be a definitive guide on poker in general, in Ireland and on the interweb thingy. It is primarily made up of two older posts, Poker Links and Tips for the Fitzwilliam on Thursday. I will not be crediting individuals here but the links to the older posts contain the evidence of those who contributed.


    The Poker Forum was requested by me many moons ago (my claim to fame) and got plenty of support. In no time the powers that be provided us with our own little corner in Boardsdom. While online play was common among us all a good social circle grew around the infamous freeroll on Thursdays in the Fitzwilliam where I first heard the words "you wouldn't be Musician by any chance?" uttered to me over a poker table. A solid group of us formed Suited Aces (R.I.P), our aim to bring poker to the masses of players out there who wanted to play but did not want to break the bank. We held some very successfull and controversial tournaments over a series of months but sadly things didn't last and we have gone our own way since. The bright side is that most of us are still here on the forum, still meeting at tourneys online and offline and there are more of us now as the scene expands ever further. Other groups have taken poker to the masses, others still travel to foreign lands to report on Irish fortunes in big tournaments and the rise of Poker in Ireland seems to have, like our favourite game, no limit (sorry).


    To my mind to get started in poker there are a few simple and perhaps obvious things you need to do.
    1. Read books, online articles, hand discussions etc. i.e. Educate yourself.
    2. Ask questions here or elsewhere.
    3. Play some free games be it online play money or live freerolls but only to get used to the mechanics not to improve your skills. A free or play game will not be a test of nor a method to improve your skill.
    Use the links at the end of the guide to find these books, articles etc.


    First off any game can be of certain limits.

    Limit is a fixed structure that limits the betting to a certain amount and limits the raises to 4. The bet doubles from the turn on but the max raises remains the same.
    Pot-Limit is what it says, the max bet is the pot.
    No-Limit, the most famous, is as we know the game where you can bet everything you have.

    Heres a quick run down of the types of games you might find yourself playing either online or off:-

    Cash Games - Cash games are exactly what they say. You play for cash and you can sit down with as much as you wish (up to the max buy-in). Lose it all and you can put more on the table. Most of these games are 9 seats but these days 6 seats is quite popular too.
    STT(Single Table Tourney)/Sit and Go - These are one table tournaments that can be 6,9 or even 10 seat games. The 6 seater games often pay the top 2 and the others pay top 3. These games kick off the minute they are filled, hence the name sit and go.
    MTT(Multi-Table Tourney) - These are large tournamanets with a buy-in (often with rebuys) and multible players playing down to 1 winner often with good payouts to the top 18 or 27 depending on number of entrants. These are the games you see on TV for the most part.


    Playing online has a few simple requirements that may seem obvious but I'll mention them anyway.

    A decent PC with a connection to the internet using dialup or broadband.
    Visit the site of your chosen poker software, download and install it.
    Once you are ready to play for real money you need a credit card or an internet bank account that is accepted by the site you want to play on, e.g. Neteller.

    Playing the games is pretty straightforward and alot of the machinations are handled for you. Simply join a game for whatever price and then the only decisions you will be faced with are whether to fold, call or bet (and the amount to bet). Most of your decisions can be made at the click of a button and it doesn't take long to get the hang of it. As I said above you can use the free/play money games to become familiar with the working of the software but don't use it to improve your game. When it comes time for you to play for real money you need to be careful. Start small by playing micro-limit cash games or tourneys. These days it is harder to make money at low limits because the play will be quite loose but this is part of the challenge. If you intend taking the game more seriously then you need to consider your bankroll. It must be substantial and it must be able to withstand bad runs in the game.

    One of the advantages of online play is that you can almost always find a game to suit your tastes at any time of the day and depending on the site there could be thousands online at any monent. Thanks to HJ I now have an answer to the rigged site claims and here it is. So as far as sites being rigged goes proove it or leave it.

    Some things to look out for on a site are:-

    Does it allow notes on players? - it's harder to read players online for obvious reasons but you can build a history on players you face regularly by taking notes on their play and keeping these notes up to date (after all your opponents can improve)

    Does it offer protection in case of a disconnection? - the net is more reliable than it ever has been but you will still get disconnected from time to time. Alot of sites will protect your investment in a hand if this happens by treating it like you are all-in for whatever amount you had invested in the pot at the time of disconnection. Check the site for details on whether they have this protection and under what rules it operates.

    Does it provide a hand history? - Having access to the detailed accounts of the hands you have played can be very useful for analysis by either software like Pokertracker or humans on discussion boards like this one.

    How does the site facilitate cashing out? - It's vital to know how easy it will be to cash out those winnings so check the options and make sure you are happy with the setup.

    Bonuses & Rakeback - when you're signing up at a site, make sure you're aware of any signup bonuses and the conditions attached to clearing the bonus. reviews the details of the bonuses available on most of the major sites.

    If you can get rakeback on a site, it can do wonders for your hourly rate. Rakeback is a mechanism where the affiliate who gets a proportion of your rake from the site gives some of the rake back to you every month. The charter forbids starting threads requesting rakeback but check people's sigs for more information. It's a good idea to go to an affiliate who has been around for a while and is able to provide references of some kind from posters here or elsewhere.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 8,876 Mod ✭✭✭✭mewso

    I love online play for the convenience but I love offline play for the rush. Nothing beats facing down opponents in the real world in my opinion and I encourage all online players to get out there as often as possible. The biggest problems new players face when they site down at a real poker table are often the things they don't have to worry about online like betting and etiquette. Casinos offer tournaments and cash games but not usually as much choice as online so you will often have to plan your visit according to the casino's schedule, particularly tournaments. Most casinos require you to become a member (particularly here in Ireland) but is normally free. All you need is some ID with you when you go for the first time. Never be afraid to ask the poker room manager about the games on offer, the structure, buy-in and so on. Here are some general things to look out for:-

    Always protect your cards in a live game - put a chip on them or something. If the dealer takes your cards into the muck thinking you have folded when you have not it is considered your fault and not the dealers.

    Keep your cards on the table at all times - alot of home game players are used to holding the cards up and carefully scrutinisng them. It is not recommended. Keep them on the table and simply lift the corners to get a peek. you don't need to see the whole card to know what you have.

    Leaving the table - in tournaments you are generally allowed to leave the table at any time. Your hand will be folded in your abscence and your blinds will be posted. In some cases even if you are on the big blind your hand may be folded if there is a raise or not. It is down to the policy of the poker room. As a general rule if I need to leave the table I wait until the button has just passed me.

    General behaviour - you will meet different characters at the poker table, some friendly, some obnoxious but I would hope that you would aim to be of the former. Don't allow annoying players to affect your game. That is often their intention.

    Betting - it's always vital at a real poker table to be perfectly clear about your betting intentions. Say out loud that you are betting or raising and the amount you are betting or raising to. This avoids any confusion that can work against you like string betting. String betting is where you drop chips one after the other when making your bet. It is not allowed. The first chip out will be your bet and no more will be allowed if it is adjudged to be a string bet. You can avoid this by stating the amount you intend to bet or raise to before moving any chips out. A common mistake is this: the blinds are at 50 and 100, and you want to raise to 500, so you put in one 500 chip and don't say anything, expecting that your scary pink chip will do the talking. However, unless you have announced "raise", this is treated as a call. If you had put in five 100 chips, then your intention would be clear and this would not be an issue, but even then, it's advisable to clearly announce that you are raising and how much you are raising. Many times you will have people who aren't that focused on the game and won't notice your raise unless you say it. Also remember your raise must always double the current bet. Not raising the correct amount will often be adjudged to be a call. Never ever say "Call and Raise", as this is just considered a call.

    Acting out of turn - to deliberately act out of turn is strictly against the rules. Acting out of turn means calling, raising OR passing before it is your turn to act. The reason this is not allowed is becuase it gives information to people who are still to act before you, and this is unfair. Once in a while you will unwittingly do this when you genuinely think that it's your turn to act, and this will always be forgiven though should still be apologised for. You should always be aware of when it is and is not your time to act. This applies to passing your cards. Do not pass out of turn, despite the fact that you've just gotten 2-7 offsuit for the 9th time running, it's still poor ettiquete to do so. If you call a bet out of turn, the bet stands, If you raise out of turn, the raise stands.

    Talking about hands - never discuss a hand while it is still in play.

    Dealing - sometimes if it is a freeroll or the casino is shortstaffed the table may be required to deal for itself. Some people get very nervous about this but there is no need. If you must then ask someone beside you if they would be willing to do it for you. If you are willing to deal then make it simple. Deal out the hands in front of you counting out according to the number of players then get the players to pass the hands down. Simple rules on dealing are get the person on your right to cut the deck before you deal, if you expose a card when dealing the first card of the 2 then it is a re-deal. If you expose a card when dealing the second card to each player then continue dealing out the hands and then replace the players exposed card with the third card from the bottom of the deck.

    Dress code - most casinos have no strict dress code. Assuming you are wearing clothes and are not covered in mud you should be ok and don't forget a quick spray of some deoderant can't do any harm.

    Tournament times - check the time the tournament you plan t play in starts and plan to be there 15 minutes before it starts. Poker is very popular these days and it's worth getting there early.

    Good Start - a good place to start is where alot of us started, in the Fitz freeroll on thursdays (except the last thursday of the month) where you can sit down for nothing and rebuy chips for a tenner for the first few levels. It's a tourney to win tickets to the €250+€20 tournament on the last thursday of the month and is a great introduction to real world poker.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 8,876 Mod ✭✭✭✭mewso


    Books to Read
    Poker is huge and the books are plentiful. Some good, some bad. For any kind of book I always like to read reviews on Amazon to get an idea of how good or bad the book might be. You will also see recommendations here quite often. For my part I will put a short list but it is by no means the ultimate list just based on my own preferences and some suggestions from other posters. Here they are and in no particular order.

    Theory of Poker by David Sklansky - the general guide to poker and the perfect starting point.
    Winning Low-Limit Holdem by Lee Jones - highly regarded guide to playing the lower limits.
    Holdem Poker for Advanced Players by David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth - more excellent holdem discussion from Sklansky.
    Tournament Poker for Advanced Players by David Sklansky - yet more but from the tournament (most popular) angle.
    Weighing the Odds in Holdem by King Yao - a new favourite of mine concentrating on limit holdem.
    Harrington on Holdem 1 & Harrington on Holdem 2 by Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie - the must reads for aspiring tournament winners.
    Doyle Brunson's Super System by Doyle Brunson- I always mention this book with some hesitation. Read it when you know the game well.
    Doyle Brunson's Super System 2 by Doyle Brunson - the updates version of Super system
    Holdem Excellence by Lou Krieger - has a very good start chart at the back suggesting what hands to play in early, mid and late position
    Zen and the Art of Poker by Larry W. Phillips - timeless secrets to transform your game
    The Psychology of Poker by Alan N. Schoonmakerp - the human side of poker
    Caro's Book of Tells by Mike Caro - the accepted authority on tells in the game

    Other Games
    Championship Omaha by Tom McEvoy, T. J. Cloutier - get your omaha up to scratch
    Winners Guide to Omaha by Ken Warren - Ken Warren hasn't received much praise in general but I thought this book was a good primer
    Pot-Limit and No-Limit Poker by Reuben and Ciaffone - aggressive big bet poker including PLO.
    Gambling Theory and Other Topics by Mason Malmuth - explains some important concepts for beginners but the last third of the book is filler
    Seven Card Stud for Advanced Players by David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth, Ray Zee - Sklansky tackles another popular game
    High-Low-Split Poker For Advanced Players by Ray Zee, Lynne Loomis - ok if you get this far you don't need me to recommend books.

    Here is a list of non-educational books that are an entertaining read for the poker fan

    Big Deal by Anthony Holden - One year as a professional poker player
    The Biggest Game in Town by Al Alvarez - a journalists view of the characters of the game while at the 1981 WSOP
    Positively Fifth Street by Jim McManus - a riveting read about a journalist who goes to the WSOP to cover the event only to be one of the big money winners.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 8,876 Mod ✭✭✭✭mewso

    LINKS Ctd.

    Sites to Visit
    There are a huge amount of sites and I have listed as many as possible here that might be of use.

    News/Articles/Discussion - the biggest poker mag has great articles and coverage of major tournaments - our very own Tom and Mike travel to exotic locations to report on Irish players at major events
    Two Plus Two - our forum is great but this is THE forum for poker discussion - all round guide to odds, strategy etc. for beginners - another all round guide - tips, reviews and guides - Another quality discussion board
    Gutshot - the site for the London poker room with articles and tournament coverage - Articles, results, player database and more

    Mike Lacey - Mike of
    Tom Murphy - Tom of
    Hectorjelly - Our guiding light
    Nicky's Poker Blog - the adventures of Nicky O'D
    PokerGimp - Big Dragon's poker life in words
    Diverdown Poker - the boardsies keep on bloggin
    Chief's Take on Things - Poker, life and a springer spaniel
    Rounders123 Poker Blog - had enough of Irish poker bloggers yet?

    Pokertracker - the indispensible tool for logging your hands and analysing your play
    Twodimes - hand odds calculator. Find out how much of a dog that idiot was when he sucked out on you
    Pokerstove - odds calculator.

    Online Poker Rooms (so many I'll just mentiono a few for now)
    Paddy Power Poker - "It's all luck", said 75% of the Irish Horse Racing fans who accidentally joined an STT
    Victor Chandler Poker - same network as PPP but with Neteller and bank account options
    Ladbrokes - another popular site made famous/infamous in Poker Godfather
    Pokerstars - call me stars. The most famous site in the world thanks to Moneymaker and Raymer
    Partypoker - the biggest site now goes it alone and the fish are now exclusively at Party
    Ultimatebet - one of the longest running with some nice tournaments
    Fulltilt - backed by some big names

    Casinos/Events in Ireland
    The Fitzwilliam Card Club - the best poker room manager you will ever meet
    The Merrion - the best known casino in Ireland that hosts all the major events
    Sporting Emporium - new kid on the block.
    4 Aces Galway - Galways Casino
    Tournaments - the AntesUp list of tournaments upcoming in Ireland
    Checking this forum will also help keep you up to date with new casinos and events.

    Poker on TV
    Challenge - home of the World Poker Tour and the tour de force that is Tilt (check the site for times)
    Living and Leisure - Relive the good old days with re-runs of Late Night Poker
    Pokerzone - a new channel with many different programs on poker
    Poker Channel - another new channel with some good homegrown programs but which also suffers from repeat-itis ad nauseum

    Getting Connected for Online Play
    There are many ISPs in Ireland that will get you connected. In general a dialup connection will do the job but as ever with broadband the experience may be less fraught with disconnections etc.

    Irish Broadband
    Also check the Broadband Forum for any other info.

    Here is a thread with lots of good advice and tips for anyone going to Vegas

    This Guide is a work in progress. P.M. me with any corrections, suggested additions or removals.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,806 ✭✭✭Lafortezza

    This post will be for top quality (in poker talk or just entertaining) threads that are of value to the forum. Hopefully keeping a list here will be good.

    1) Advice for 6max HE cash games.
    Fuzzbox and others give tips and advice on how to play winning poker in 6max hold'em.

    2) Bonus Whoring thread, started by bohsman, will probably be a continuously updated thread with current bonii. Handy if you're on a small bankroll.

    3) IPC Trip Reports form BCB, Smurph, LLoyd and others. Lots of reading about how boardsters performed in big buy-in tournaments.

    4) Dealers vs. Pokerevents. Dealers raise issues with PE practices. Entertaining all the way through.

    5) Cardshark broke????

    6) Q&A with HectorJelly///Nicky O'D///Fuzzbox///NorwichFanRob///(un)LuckyLloyd///Valor///ianmc38///
    Jesse May///DeVore///Robin Lacey///Flipper///nicnicnic///El Stuntman///Doke
    Van Dice///Kayroo//
    Jude Ainsworth aka j.thaddeus
    //The C Kid

    7) Tournament Life Syndrome. Hw do i ply DONKaments plz??!

    8) Gholimoli makes a few observations.

    9) pok3rplaya's guide to building a bankroll at low stakes ring games

    10) Big Dragon's 1% Pledge charity.

    11) Legendary Merrion Thread.

    12) Amaru's STT Challenge thread. Entertaining!

    13) Boards poker forum meets Celtic Poker Tour.

    14) Lol, washing playing cards.

    15) Boardsters like teabagging.

    16) Hyzepher's thread about pot odds in poker.

    17) Playing AJ to a raise thread.

    18) Going Pro?

    19) Introducing Gholimoli.

    20) Folding AA preflop? You crazee!1

    21) Bops makes his intro to the forum.

    22) Poker Blogs.

    23) Continuation Bets. Ianmc38's take on continuation betting.

    24) All you ever wanted to know about 3 betting - possibly.

    25) Bankroll Management Discussion

    26) Guide to useful stuff on 2+2

    27) Calling 3-Bets Pre-Flop

    28) Amaru and the SNG Prop Bet.

    29) LuckyLloyd and BCB disagree, lol donkaments.

    30) Woot!! Move seats! Me?? .... NEVER!!!!

    31) Sikes wonders whether to put poker in his CV???

    32) Information on the Taxation of Poker income: Read here, but get Professional Advice as well!!

    33) The mighty DeVore explains Internet Security

    34) Who says Railtard begging never works? Woot Woot! Go!!!!

    35) RedJoker's guide to PokerTracker and PAHUD

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 8,876 Mod ✭✭✭✭mewso

    Really Silly acronyms and geeky terms/expressions used in forums:-

    I'm easily annoyed by these and I'm well aware this forum in particular is populated by posters who rarely read or post in forums along with those who sniff the whole culture instead of glue so heres a list I will expand as I learn more (i.e. get irritated by more).

    . - yep it's a dot folks (even putting it in bold doesn't make it look much better). Thats all. usually posted with a quote and basically means the posters agree with the quote. I like to step beyond the norm and say "I agree". I have carefully and with great expertise used the dot where I feel it belongs at many points in this post.

    FTW - from the Urban Dictionary - " Commonly used among geeks to express their enthusiasm for something", i.e. For The Win. Enough said. I haven't checked but I would assume that if they haven't already geeks all over the world will no doubt combine the dot with FTW to imply enthusiastic support for a quote.

    Atari Jaguar - commonly agreed amongst geeks as being the console with the worst games in history and now used as the last option in polls generally for the don't knows or those who think the poll is a waste of time.

    Time for Bed - Oh yeah thats me sorry not a term. More upon further irritation.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,537 ✭✭✭Ste05

    Some more Acronyms to help people decipher the Poker forum:

    Thanks to CelticPhantom for compiling the list

    ORLY - Oh Really!! = I don't believe you!
    YA RLY - Yeah really.
    NO WAI - No way
    OP - Original Poster
    FFS - For fecks sake
    QFT - Quoted for truth = I agree with the quoted passage
    FTW - For the Win
    FYP - Fixed Your Post (Mostly used in a humorous manner)
    FWIW - For What It's Worth
    BTW - By the Way
    IIRC - If I Recall Correctly
    AFAIK - As Far as I Know
    "." - Agree with the quoted passage (Like Ditto?)
    IMO - In My Opinion
    IMHO - In My Humble (Honest) Opinion
    TY - Thank You
    TYVM - Thank you Very Much
    LMAO - Laughing my Ar$e Off
    ldo - like duh obviously [Helps if you are a blonde Californian saying this]
    ducy - Do you see why
    boc - Balling out of control - The act of a baller spending and partying like there is no tomorrow
    LOL - Laugh out Loud
    tl;dr - Too long; Didn't read

    Poker Related :
    ATC - Any Two Cards
    OOP - Out of Position
    CRAI - Check Raise All-In
    PFR - Pre-Flop Raise(r)
    OESD - Open-Ended Straight Draw
    FD - Flush Draw
    TPTK/GK/NK = Top pair top kicker/ good kicker/ no kicker
    TLS - Tournament Life Syndrome = Change your tactics coz you're afraid of being busted
    WA/WB - Way Ahead / Way Behind?
    MHIG - My Hand is Good
    MHWG - My Hand was Good
    TAG - Tight Aggressive
    LAG - Loose Aggressive
    Nit - Very tight player
    WP - Well Played
    GG - Good Game
    NH - Nice Hand
    MUTBS - Monsters Under the Bed Syndrome
    EP - Early Position
    MP - Middle Position
    LP - Late Position
    CO - Cut Off (1 to right of dealer)
    SB - Small Blind
    BB - Big Blind or Bad Beat
    UTG - Under the Gun (First to act - 1 to left of BB preflop)
    PSB - Pot Sized Bet
    STT - Single Table Tournament (Knock out match between all players on a single table)
    SNG - Variation of STT, No set time to start, People sit down at a table and when the table is full the tournament starts
    MTT - Multi Table Tournament, Lots of people start on >1 table, as people are knocked out tables are merged until only one table is left (see FT), last player remaining wins.
    Fish - Easy prey, bad players
    Donkey - Player who throws money into the pot when he is losing (see Fish). Also mythical prize which sh!ts cigarettes
    Donkament - Tournament
    FT - Final Table, Last table of an MTT. You usually have to beat many players & get lucky to get this far

  • Registered Users Posts: 39,509 ✭✭✭✭KevIRL

This discussion has been closed.