poker games is a simple games; even a child can learn
it. It's a game of money and of people, played with
cards. The object of the games is to win money or
chips, collectively called the "pot," wagered
during the play of each hand. (Don't get confused
here, but a hand also refers to the cards in a player's
possession.) A pot can be won in just two ways:
By showing down the best hand: When two or more players
are still active after all betting rounds are over,
they show down their hands by turning them face up.
The player holding the best hand wins the pot. While
with in-the-flesh play it's possible for an all-too-human
dealer to goof by misreading your winning hand at
showdown, in Internet online poker games it's not.
Online, your winning hand will always be rewarded,
whether you've read it correctly or not. As long as
you've called all bets in the final round (or gone
"all-in," meaning you've put the remainder
of your table stakes into the pot in the course of
the hand), the games "invisible dealer"
automatically awards you the pot, or whatever portion
of it you're entitled to if you've gone all-in.
By having all opponents fold their hands: No, their
hands aren't clasped in front of them. Folding means
a player relinquished any claim to the pot by deciding
not to match (call) an opponent's bet. He discards
his hand - also called "folding" or "mucking."
To "muck" one's hand means to fold it. Either
way you put it, those losers bit the dust. But in
Internet online poker games, rather than see folded
cards in a physical discard pile, or "muck,"
you'll simply see them vanish into the void of cyberspace.
Poof! They're gone!
If you win the pot because all your opponents fold,
you may have had the best hand, or you may have been
bluffing - it doesn't matter. If all others surrender
their claim to the pot, it belongs to you.
what did he have? I didn't know a lot about this player,
but he seemed to be fairly straightforward and not
terribly passive. He was in a perfect position before
the flop to raise and steal the blinds, but he didn't
do that. That's passive behavior from a player who
isn't real passive. With a big hand, a raise would
have made sense because a raise would just look like
a steal and probably wouldn't scare anyone away. With
a couple of big cards, I'd have expected him to raise
with as little as an Ace or a King. But he didn't
raise, he just limped in. I concluded he probably
didn't have any big cards.
I thought the flop didn't hit him very well. Maybe
he had a jack, or maybe he had a 10 and flopped a
straight draw, but I didn't think he had a strong
hand. I didn't have anything at all. But more importantly
I didn't think he had anything either. Possibly a
draw. Possibly bottom pair. Probably nothing.
I raised. He called. The turn card was 4?. I bet.
He called. The river was 2?. I bet. He folded.
This is an example of hand reading. He limped from
late position preflop. There was no way I believed
he hit part of that flop. He was aggressive enough
so that I think he would have raised rather than limped
if he'd had a big card. And, I think he was also aggressive
enough so that he would take a stab at it after I
checked the flop even if he'd missed. I was a little
worried when he called the turn though. He probably
hit some part of that flop, he just didn't hit it
It could be I just got real lucky on that hand. The
point isn't whether my read was right or wrong, but
that sometimes you can be confident enough about your
opponent's hand that it doesn't even matter what your
own hand is.