Poker Tips

POKER: Introducing NHL to Your Home Game

Option 1Now is the time to tell you that if you introduce NLH to your own home poker game, watch out! The money won and lost can escalate pretty quickly. Before long, the size of the pots will be more than you bargained for. As a brake against this tendancy I reccommend that you introduce NLH in a “cash-down” format, which allows people to take a portion of their chips off the table at a certain peredetermined chip total.

For example, you could require everyone to keep at least $50 in chips in play (making that the maximum they could lose in one pot), but allow them to take off the money above that amount. If someone wins $110 pot, he can remove $60 in chips and put it in his pocket while keeping $50 in play in front of himself. In this way, the stakes won’t go up and up and up after a few hours ofNLH plays, as they usually do. (more…)

POKER: Top 10 Starting Hands for Beginners

In this column we typically discuss more advanced Hold ’em strategy. But sometimes, it’s good to take a few steps back. And for beginners, I recommend playing only these top 10 hands and folding on all others.


World Series of Poker Circuit Event at Horseshoe Tunica – Jan 22 – Feb. 2

Tunica, Miss. —The World Series of Poker Circuit returns to Tunica this season with a new home. For the first time in the tour’s history, the Horseshoe Tunica will host a Circuit event.

Horseshoe Tunica has been part of poker history since it opened its doors. It was originally founded by Jack Binion, a member of the Poker Hall of Fame and son of WSOP founder Benny Binion. Now, the Horseshoe becomes part of the WSOP Circuit as well.


Video Poker: Selecting a Casino

IF YOU’RE A FREQUENT PLAYER you already know all casinos are not created equal. Since individual priorities differ, you should take some time to consider what’s important to you and find the casino that is the best match.


Poker: 7-Card Stud Eight or Better Strategy

WHEN YOU MAKE A STRONG five-card hand in Stud 8/b, you have to decide whether or not you want to jam it in order to eliminate players, or slow-play it in order to keep more players in the pot. Often, the nature of your hand and the nature of the board will tell you what you should do.


Phil Hellmuth, Robert Williamson III & Denny Crum to Host Annual Celebrity Derby Party May 1

Southern Gaming’s Derby Poker Celebrity Bourbon Bash, sponsored by Jim Beam and, is returning to the Derby week festivities for a fifth consecutive year. The annual Oaks Eve party and poker tournament is hosted by Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum and Poker professionals Phil Hellmuth, Jr. and Robert Williamson III and benefits Blessings in a Backpack and Thoroughbred Charities of America.

Formally known as the Derby Poker Championship, the event has become a must-attend Derby party that caters to an array of celebrities, athletes, jockeys, poker professionals and race fans looking to kick-off the Derby weekend in-style. Last year, the event raised just over $20,000 for Blessings and the Louisville chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and organizers are setting their goals event higher this year.


Poker Strategy: Mathematics in PLO & Phil’s Flaw

I played PLO very badly, in the sense that I wasn’t seeing one basic mathematical principle of the game. I can’t believe that I missed it all those years, but no one was coaching me on how to play the game.

After playing PLO for more than seven years, I finally learned something while watching “Houston Sammy” play one day.

Sammy is considered the best PLO player in the world, and one day in a big game in Tunica, Mississippi, I watched him get involved in a big pot.


Poker: Playing A-x Suited on the Flop

WITH PRE-FLOP SITUATIONS, if no one else has raised the pot before the flop and you have A-x suited, then you should make it two bets to go. In general, if you’ve done that but missed the flop, you should bet out once anyway, thus representing that you’ve hit it.




HOW TO PLAY AND WIN at Today’s Table Games

If you’ve been around the casino scene for a couple of decades, chances are you remember table game pits being dominated by four games.

Blackjack was the most popular of course, followed by craps, then roulette, and for the high rollers there was baccarat.

Well…things have changed and today there is a lot more to choose from.


Million Dollar Poker Tournament Series at Beau Rivage

(Biloxi, Miss.) – Do you have what it takes to play poker with the best? Beau Rivage Resort & Casino has announced the schedule for their Million Dollar Heater poker tournament series taking place January 4 – 23, 2013.

It is one of the biggest tournaments in the region and top pros from around the world are expected to attend.



Casino Knowledge: Q&A with John G.

Q: My friend says that when you’re dealt a winning hand or have four parts of a royal flush in video poker, you should pull out your player rewards card before you draw. She says it’ll help your comps. Is that true?


Texas Hold ’em: Never Give Up


While I was playing in Bellagio’s Five-Star World Poker Classic $1,000 buy-in, pot-limit Hold’em tournament in December 2002, the following series of hands unfolded.

Two off the button, with the blinds at $100-$200, I opened the pot for $600 of my remaining $900 with K-9. Max Stearn, holding 10-10, just called in the small blind, because he was afraid to re-raise and possibly run into a big hand in the big blind. I don’t blame Max for just calling at this point in the hand; after all, it looked like he was going to get my last $300 in any case.


Poker: Hellmuth vs. Chan

In 1989, the amazing Johnny Chan and I played heads-up for the World Series of Poker’s world championships and its first prize of $755,000. At the time, I was a young, up-and-coming professional poker player, pursuing my dream of winning the WSOP. I beat Johnny to become the youngest World Champion at the tender age of 24. Johnny was also playing for history, because he had a chance to win the WSOP three years in a row. What a feat that would have been! My hat’s off to Johnny for winning it two years in a row and finishing second the third time around. In fact, Johnny’s back-to-back first and second in 1987, 1988 and 1989, respectively, is one of the greatest feats in poker history.


Texas Hold ‘Em: Beginners and Top 10 Hands

To begin with, I recommend playing only the top 10 hands and folding on all others. The top 10 are in order of relative promise: A-A, K-K, Q-Q, A-K, J-J, 10-10, 9-9, 8-8, A-Q and 7-7. Experience has shown me that these are the strongest starting hands in limit Hold ’Em. The beginning strategy for survival is designed to keep you in the game while you learn the more subtle techniques that are necessary to beat tougher games, or to extract more money from weak games. And, in some games, using just this strategy will make you a winner. With this patient strategy alone, and really not much else in the way of poker instruction, I was able to crush the games in Madison. What happens is, when you consistently play only the top 10 hands, your opponents will begin to fear your bets and raises because they’ll see that you’re always playing something powerful. This fear gives you some leeway to make a few different plays later, when you’ve absorbed the intermediate and more advanced advice I’ll be giving you later. In other words, the top-10-hands strategy teaches the right fundamentals. You will need these fundamentals when you add some intermediate and advanced strategy to your arsenal, because playing super tight alone won’t get the pots in these tougher games. The good hands don’t come along often enough, and perhaps even more important, you risk becoming a bit too predictable.




It is a time of year like no other for poker players. The summer months in Las Vegas are filled with nonstop gaming, thanks to the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Players begin anticipating the release of the tournament schedule as soon as the year begins, and one look at said schedule drives them to plan for living arrangements and start bankroll analysis. And, by the end of May, there is a worldwide rush to get to Sin City and register for that first tournament.