as it may seem, the rules of play aren't standard
in American casinos, not even in all the casinos in
Las Vegas or in Reno, for example. This fault lies
with the Gaming Commission of Nevada, which doesn't
require standard rules and doesn't even require a
particular casino to post the standard and prevalent
rules in that individual club. In fact, the situation
is so chaotic that rules may change from table to
table in each casino.
I can mention personal experiences which have been
frustrating because of this situation. Playing alone
at a table, head to head with the dealer, I was making
opening and neutral bets of $15, raising them to $30
when the deck was favorable and lowering them to $5
when the cards were unfavorable. I was also playing
two hands at a time, since I was alone, and this enabled
me to slow down the game and also made it easier for
me to thoroughly count the cards.
I had played for about half an hour against one dealer,
then he took his break and another dealer took over.
When the deck next became unfavorable, I reduced both
bets to $5, but this dealer informed me that if I
played two hands at a $5 minimum table, I'd have to
bet at least $10 a hand as my minimum bet. I told
him that the previous dealer had allowed me to bet
"I'm sorry; you'll have to bet $10."
"Where does it state that I have to bet $10?"
The dealer disregarded my question and called over
a floor man, who informed me that $10 was the minimum
bet at a $5 table when playing two hands, even though
this same floor man had been watching my play before
and had seen me bet $5 a hand.
It's this kind of arbitrary rule-making that's not
only irritating but illegal, as far as I'm concerned.
If these are rules for the game, then the Gaming Commission
should enforce them, or at least have them posted.
In most of the Vegas casinos it's impossible to know
what the rules of that house are. Nothing is posted,
either on the walls or at the tables. A player must
ask for every option allowed. In Northern Nevada and
Atlantic City the situation is a little bit better,
since the important rules concerning doubling down
and splitting cards are posted at the tables.
To clear up the mysterious Las Vegas rules, let's
first deal with the Vegas casinos, which are the center
of gambling in America.
already discussed how people tend to project their
own values onto others. You can take this a step further
in the psychology of reading other players hands,
and in how they read yours. If you're up against a
level one "strong means weak" player, he
will probably think you employ the same "clever"
poker at a strong level, you need to study yourself,
your opponents, your opponents' view of you, and (if
you still have any energy left) what you think your
opponents think you think of them.
that, you need to study and remember everything that
happens at the table. In online poker, this is fairly
easy: Almost every site now has a note-taking feature
that allows you to store useful notes like "Likes
to over bet pre-flop with small pairs."