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Free Online Poker Against Real People?

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As per title really- my wife's gone away on holiday with a close friend (I couldn't get the time off work) and now the friend's fiance (who's a nice chap, but one of these programming maths type people) has invited me round for a poker game tomorrow, with, I'm guessing, a bunch of his equally geeky friends (or more geeky in the case of the one who is doing a physics PHD- he wasn't much cop at the pub quiz mind). Apparently the buy-in is a fiver a game, with an optional £20 game at the end of the night "if people are up for it". Now I've just apparently made £250 on the RM float, but it'd be a bit of a bugger to lose it all, so I've been boning up.

I've done about an hour on http://www.thepokerpractice.com/ and managed to win a game, but I think there's something odd going on with a few of the hands; and the betting is sometimes silly- I've folded on the first hand, and then seen all four of the computer players go all in on little more than a pair of 5s...

Presumably some of the gambling sites offer free play against real opponents to try and suck you in...so any recommendations?

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You are best off playing Poker in the "real world"! :huh: With some mates! They might be honest! ;)

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You are best off playing Poker in the "real world"! :huh: With some mates! They might be honest! ;)

They can be as honest as the day is long Mr P, as things stand I can't really fail to lose my shirt :( .

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They can be as honest as the day is long Mr P, as things stand I can't really fail to lose my shirt :( .

Have a real game for small small stakes! With mates! I won 50p the other night! ;)

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If you can't tell who the mark is, it's you.

I went to Las Vegas for a stag do this year. The stag, who's an actuary with a degree in physics from Cambridge and whose nickname is 'Rain Man', hit the poker tournaments and left several thousand dollars richer. I stuck to blackjack and struggled to break even!

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If you can't tell who the mark is, it's you.

I went to Las Vegas for a stag do this year. The stag, who's an actuary with a degree in physics from Cambridge and whose nickname is 'Rain Man', hit the poker tournaments and left several thousand dollars richer. I stuck to blackjack and struggled to break even!

Wise words. Will! ;)

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Most poker sites offer a signup bonus, just deposit a few quid with them and play some low stakes sit and goes e.g. $1 buy ins (play money games are a waste of time)

just play good cards e.g. top 10%, try and play in position, and you'll do ok (most people at low stakes play far too many hands i.e. bad cards)

good luck!

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Online free play is useless, people play stupidly with nothibg at stake.

Between today and tomorrow best you can do is learn your pot odds and the rule of 4 and 2. Even if you lose you'll look like you know a little about what you're doing.

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As per title really- my wife's gone away on holiday with a close friend (I couldn't get the time off work) and now the friend's fiance (who's a nice chap, but one of these programming maths type people) has invited me round for a poker game tomorrow, with, I'm guessing, a bunch of his equally geeky friends (or more geeky in the case of the one who is doing a physics PHD- he wasn't much cop at the pub quiz mind). Apparently the buy-in is a fiver a game, with an optional £20 game at the end of the night "if people are up for it". Now I've just apparently made £250 on the RM float, but it'd be a bit of a bugger to lose it all, so I've been boning up.

I've done about an hour on http://www.thepokerpractice.com/ and managed to win a game, but I think there's something odd going on with a few of the hands; and the betting is sometimes silly- I've folded on the first hand, and then seen all four of the computer players go all in on little more than a pair of 5s...

Presumably some of the gambling sites offer free play against real opponents to try and suck you in...so any recommendations?

problem is that if it is a free game people have nothing to lose, so they often do stupid things. You have to have some skin in the game to play properly.

A fiver a game isn't too bad if you are playing tournaments. Let's say there are six of you playing, they will probably last about an hour, so even if you play for four hours and lose all 4 you are only in it for £20. You could stuff that in a fruit machine in under 10 minutes.

One thing I can guarantee is that there will be someone who wants to up stakes, normally the best player (or the one that thinks they are). Poker sessions with your mates aren't supposed to be about taking money off them, they are supposed to be having a laugh. Even a small stake of 5 quid each is not a lot to lose and the £30 pot for a winner of a tournament is enough to want to win and feel pleased about it without screwing people over and creating bad feelings. £20 for me is a bit high. Of course everyone has their limit of what they are prepared to stake. To me I would just play for a fiver and then skip the last game.

As regards tactics, probably for the beginner don't overvalue ace-rag and be careful when you get dealt high pairs like jacks. It's hard to put down a pair of jacks because you think it is a good hand, but if the flop has a higher card you are pretty much ******ed in a game of 10 people.

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AK very hard to play. Sometimes just worth trying to get all-in before the flop (only AAs and KKs are favorite against AK pre-flop) as likely the flop won't bring you much while someone else might have hit their low pair or have a good draw.

They're not nicknamed Anna Kournikova for nothing - looks nice but doesn't win much.

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Thanks for the help all!

Between today and tomorrow best you can do is learn your pot odds and the rule of 4 and 2. Even if you lose you'll look like you know a little about what you're doing.

Right, sorry to be a thicko here, but as I understand it you then compare the pot odds with the probability of making your hand, and thus decide whether to call or fold? Is there an easy way to then factor in the likelihood of your hand winning- say if the pot odds are marginally in your favour, but you're only going for two pairs, it might be better to fold anyway, say?

Does it make any difference how much money you've put into the pot already? I don't think we're ante-ing, but there's a small and a big blind.

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problem is that if it is a free game people have nothing to lose, so they often do stupid things. You have to have some skin in the game to play properly.

A fiver a game isn't too bad if you are playing tournaments. Let's say there are six of you playing, they will probably last about an hour, so even if you play for four hours and lose all 4 you are only in it for £20. You could stuff that in a fruit machine in under 10 minutes.

Gosh Mr Slug, you play high stakes! ;)

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A fiver a game isn't too bad if you are playing tournaments. Let's say there are six of you playing, they will probably last about an hour, so even if you play for four hours and lose all 4 you are only in it for £20. You could stuff that in a fruit machine in under 10 minutes.

Yes true, and I'm hoping that that's how it'll go down. I did 45 quid in the pub last week on a fairly boring evening, so I'll not be the slightest bit bothered about redistributing 20 quid to some lads who are almost certainly all younger and less affluent than myself, but if I get knocked out of each tourney after 5 minutes and never win any hands I'm going to be in for a tedious evening! :P

As regards tactics, probably for the beginner don't overvalue ace-rag and be careful when you get dealt high pairs like jacks. It's hard to put down a pair of jacks because you think it is a good hand, but if the flop has a higher card you are pretty much ******ed in a game of 10 people.

Good tip, cheers!

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This wikipedia page is quite interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_poker_hands

...listing the odds of any particular hand in five and seven card poker. Presumably one can apply the 5-card odds to after the flop, so if you are lucky enough to have a triple at that point you ought to be raising (2.11% chance), whereas after the river it's only worth a call (4.83% chance?).

Anyway matey has just texted me, it's only a £2 buy in per game, so perhaps I ought to get on with what I was supposed to be doing this afternoon which is calling my knowledge runs, rather than frantically cramming poker odds! Danger is though that at those low stakes I might play a bit recklessly :rolleyes: .

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Yes true, and I'm hoping that that's how it'll go down. I did 45 quid in the pub last week on a fairly boring evening, so I'll not be the slightest bit bothered about redistributing 20 quid to some lads who are almost certainly all younger and less affluent than myself, but if I get knocked out of each tourney after 5 minutes and never win any hands I'm going to be in for a tedious evening! :P

Good tip, cheers!

No need to get knocked out too early.

As a beginner learning the game if you don't want to lose too much just play tight. The books probably say as a beginner you should play 1 in 20 hands or so. Of course that's pretty boring, which is why most people don't do it and lose. 1 in 10 is probably better for a begineer at a low stakes mates evening, of course you can play more hands as you get better at it. Get yourself a good idea of what starting hands you want to play, say any combination of A down to 10 and any pair and stick to it. See the flop if its cheap and make it expensive for other people to see it if you have good cards. Remember if you are dealt J-J before the flop you are probably in the lead, but when the flop comes everyone elses position will almost certainly improve, so make them pay to get the extra information.

Don't be afraid to fold if after the flop you aren't in the lead. If you are dealt J-J you are in the lead but if the flop comes A-K-rag then you are almost certainly no longer in the lead on a full table. Also remember to try to imagine what cards other people have got. If you are dealt Q-J and the flop comes 3 lower cards but of the same suit, you are in maybe a good position to make top pair and you might get excited about that, forgetting that someone else round the table has made a flush and will batter you into the ground if you bet into them. Sometimes it is so easy to focus on your own cards you forget to try to imagine what others have.

Oh yeah, and as the grannies always say, don't draw to an inside straight !

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Gosh Mr Slug, you play high stakes! ;)

We should ahve a hpc poker night. I wonder whether there is the ability on the web to rent a virtual table and have your own players. Don't normally do the web stuff.

I imagine the hpc massive sitting in the freezing cold, pushing piles of mouldy pennies into the centre with wild eyes while carefully sipping on a mugs of steaming gruel and breaking down in tears at the loss of a years interest on a single hand.

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We should ahve a hpc poker night. I wonder whether there is the ability on the web to rent a virtual table and have your own players. Don't normally do the web stuff.

I imagine the hpc massive sitting in the freezing cold, pushing piles of mouldy pennies into the centre with wild eyes while carefully sipping on a mugs of steaming gruel and breaking down in tears at the loss of a years interest on a single hand.

I am far more miserable than that!! ;)

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We should ahve a hpc poker night. I wonder whether there is the ability on the web to rent a virtual table and have your own players. Don't normally do the web stuff.

I imagine the hpc massive sitting in the freezing cold, pushing piles of mouldy pennies into the centre with wild eyes while carefully sipping on a mugs of steaming gruel and breaking down in tears at the loss of a years interest on a single hand.

Perhaps an HPC poker meet-up?

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What under the 'bridge'. ;)

Would you like to be my partner in a game of Bridge? The Pin remembers every card played! ;) So although I can see my hand, I can't see yours, because I cannot read minds, but I know what you haven't got! ;)

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I imagine the hpc massive sitting in the freezing cold, pushing piles of mouldy pennies into the centre with wild eyes while carefully sipping on a mugs of steaming gruel and breaking down in tears at the loss of a years interest on a single hand.

LOL'd at this.

Anyway, just an update for anyone interested. I wasn't first out of any game, in fact I think the host was first out of both. I wasn't the most conservative player, that honour went to the Masters physics student sat next to me. But I was never really in it; the first game would have gone to the host's impatient, teetotal brother if he hadn't got bored with our drunken nonsense taking two hours for one tournament. The big game of the night was for 5 quid stakes, and ridiculously it went to a cool, languid young lad who I took an instant shine to: he wasn't drinking beer, just whisky; and he didn't even bother looking at his cards when they were dealt- his policy was to see the flop every time come what may, and I don't know if he just had the luck of the devil, but it worked. I certainly made them all pay to see the flop if I had a pocket pair of aces or kings, but by that point he had a massive bank, and he just chided me for my impertinence, before beating me half the time anyway! Meanwhile I was folding crap pairs when it was free and losing my blinds.

I daresay if I try the same next time I'll be out in three or four hands. Que Sera Sera! :P

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There was a fraud case investigated on one of the major sites that involved groups of people posing as unrelated genuine players who were in fact connected to each other with instant messaging and playing in concert to hoodwink the others. Though I guess you wouldn't have such fraud in the "free rooms".

I haven't played online poker but I've always thought that the game was partly about the ability to read body language and I've never understood how the game works fully when that is absent.

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There was a fraud case investigated on one of the major sites that involved groups of people posing as unrelated genuine players who were in fact connected to each other with instant messaging and playing in concert to hoodwink the others. Though I guess you wouldn't have such fraud in the "free rooms".

I haven't played online poker but I've always thought that the game was partly about the ability to read body language and I've never understood how the game works fully when that is absent.

:lol: have you a link? I suggested this to a friend, playing in the same rooms and sharing cards.

Never did though...

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