How To Win At Poker Even When You Lose

VennerRoad By VennerRoad, 21st Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Gambling>Poker>Online Poker

How to ensure on-line poker pays, even when it costs you money to play.

Article about on-line poker

Okay, the title may sound paradoxical, but the advice is not. First, no one said anything about gambling. The definition of a wager is an agreement by two or more parties to stake a sum of money on the outcome of an uncertain event. The stake need not be actual money, ie cash, but it must be something tangible. The important feature of a wager/bet/gamble, is that all parties involved must be able to both win or lose.

The event wagered on may also be in the past, although this can be tricky because one or more of the parties may have access to information the other(s) do not, which may reduce the odds of losing to 0%. For the sake of argument we will assume there are only two parties: the punter and the house.

There is no need for the parties to have what might be called fair odds; for example, if two men agree to toss a coin all night taking it in turns to call heads or tails, and one party is paid at 6/4 when he wins while the other is paid only even money when he calls correctly and wins, that is still a wager. You can argue that it is not fair, but is life fair?

The following is not a wager:

Mr A tells Mr B he will race him to the end of the street on the following terms: if Mr A wins, he will forfeit $5; if Mr B wins, he will forfeit nothing. That is not a wager. If Mr A forfeits $5 in the event of losing the race while Mr B forfeits only 1c, that is a wager, regardless of the odds, even if Mr B is on crutches and Mr A is a champion sprinter, because it is theoretically possible for both parties to win or lose.

To play poker on-line, the only thing you need do is sign up with a poker site. There are many to choose from, but if you intend to gamble, you should sign up through a rakeback affiliate such as RakeTheRake or Professional Rakeback. If you don't intend to gamble, you can play with play money; many sites allow this, including PokerStars, the biggest site in the world; PokerStars is also the owner of Full Tilt Poker, having taken it over in the wake of the Black Friday domain seizures. It is possible to transfer money between the two sites, but they are operated as separate entities.

If you play only for play money, then don't expect to win real money whether you play tournaments or (play money) cash games. This is a service operated by the sites for people who don't want to gamble, and also for those who want to hone their skills before taking the plunge and playing for real.

You can also play for real money without gambling; the way to do this is by entering freeroll tournaments. Some of these are in theory free to enter but in practice you may need to qualify. For example, PokerStars is currently running four so-called privilege freerolls daily. One way you can qualify for those is by making a deposit of $20 or more. As you are not obliged to gamble with that $20 you can theoretically play these privilege tournaments for free. In addition to the privilege tournaments there are other free tournaments which offer no strings attached cash prizes. The catch is that you have to play one tournament – a qualifier – and if you qualify, use the resulting ticket to enter the main tournament at the weekend.

Many other poker sites also offer special promotions at Christmas and so on; you can keep track of these by checking out poker blogs and for example the 2 + 2 Forum.

If you want to play for real money, this need not count as gambling provided you budget it as entertainment. This is not sophistry, consider the following. Saturday afternoon you can go to a soccer match shelling out fifty or sixty pounds to stand on a terrace in either the baking sun or the freezing cold, watching 22 blokes in shorts running up and down trying to kick a ball into the back of a net. Or alternatively you can stay home and shell out $3.30 for the stud hi lo on PokerStars and another $3.30 for the razz tournament later that afternoon. You can also play two or three freerolls. That is $6.60 for a full afternoon's entertainment, and you might even get lucky and win.

The bottom line is that you must consider your poker cheap entertainment and never be tempted to up the ante. Everything in this life has a price, and as long as get out of poker more than you put in, you're playing a winning hand.


Gambling, Poker, Pokerstars, Rakeback

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author avatar VennerRoad
Independent researcher based in South East London.

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author avatar Ditadinata
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11th Feb 2016 (#)

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