Thursday, June 25, 2015

Playing Poker in a Casino

by Lily Vega
Why should guys have all the fun? Have you wanted to play Texas Hold’em in a casino, but decided to stick with video poker or slots?
Here are some tips to help make the experience fun and less intimidating.

#1 Find out which games the casino is running. Players can’t just sit down at a table and play. The games and the waiting list names may be displayed on a monitor. If you are not sure which games are running, just ask. Most casinos offer limit and no limit Texas Hold’em. Some also offer tournaments and games such as Omaha. Ask about specials or bonuses. Some casinos offer a bonus for bad beats or high hands e.g. four of a kind or straight flushes. Consider joining the casino’s players club to earn comps based on hours of play.
#2 Choose your game. Consider starting with a low limit game such as $2/$4 limit Texas Hold’em. For this game, the initial betting rounds are in $2 increments. After the turn card is dealt, the betting rounds are in $4 increments.  Some games are “kill” games. In a kill game, once a player wins two pots in a row, the limit doubles e.g. in a $2/$4 game, the limit raises to $4/$8, or $3/$6 for a half kill. A low buy-in tournament is another great option for a new player.
#3 Get on the list. Tell the host your name and the game you want to play. If an open seat is available, you may be seated immediately. If not, your name will go on the list. They’ll call your name when a seat opens.
#4 Obtain chips. When your name is called, let the host know how many chips you want. Depending on the casino, either the host will give you chips or you may need to get them from a nearby poker room cashier. For a $2/$4 limit game, consider starting with $50 to $100 in chips. You can buy more at the table from the dealer, but when you have a great hand you don’t want to be short stacked. When you are in a hand, bets can only be made with chips/money on the table.
#5 Play. At the table, the dealer may ask you if you want to post the big blind or if you want a hand. You may want to wait until the dealer button is to your left before playing. You’ll have a chance to observe the other players before investing any of your chips.
#6 Use good poker etiquette. Wait for your turn to bet or fold. Unless you’re first to act, you’ll follow the action of the player on your right. Be sure to say raise before raising. When folding, push your cards to the dealer facedown. Don’t discuss the cards while a hand is in play and don’t show your cards until the showdown. Place your bets in front of you; not directly into the pot.
#6 Have fun. Adopt a tight aggressive strategy. Get your money in with the best cards and fold bad or mediocre cards. The best position is when the dealer button is in front of you and you are last to act. Consider what cards the other players may hold based on their play and the community cards. Pay attention to the cards others hold at showdown. This can provide important information about their play. If someone at your table makes you uncomfortable, let the dealer know you want a seat change. You’ll be notified once a seat at another table is available.
#7 Tip with chips. When the waitress brings you a drink, be sure to tip her. When you win a hand or a high hand bonus, tip the dealer. Consider tipping the poker host and/or the cashier. Casino employees work hard to make sure players have fun. Expressing your appreciation in words and tips is good mojo. 
#8 Take a Break. You can leave the table whenever you aren’t in a hand. If you want to play when you return, leave your chips on the table to save your seat. If you miss the blinds, you may need to post the big blind when you return. When you’re done playing, let the dealer know and take your chips to the cashier.
I hope you give casino poker a try. Check out my 1Night Stand and see how Ian and Kira go all in for love.

Going All In Blurb:
Ian Harding didn't gamble on getting expelled from the poker room for defending a gorgeous cocktail waitress. Another loss and he’ll be forced to face the past he escaped to Sin City to avoid. But Lady Luck is finally on his side when he wins a date arranged by the 1Night Stand dating service.
Jaded by the men she meets at the casino, Kira Marchi bets on Madame Eve to set her up with the right guy to work through her sexual bucket list. When her date turns out to be the sexy poker player who came to her rescue in the poker room, she can’t wait to get started on that list.
One night isn’t enough for Ian or Kira, but he has a past to face and she doesn’t think a future for them is in the cards. Can he convince her to go all in? 

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