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The etiquette behind the chips of a poker game

For poker players in Canada who may not have a whole lot of experience beyond friendly games between buddies where standard etiquette isn’t always followed to the letter, playing poker with strangers might create a lot of room to insult someone. To avoid making a faux pas due to not understanding and therefore not following standard poker etiquette, read these tips carefully and be sure to remember them the next time you’re playing poker online or in a casino.

Cashing out your chips is fine – in fact, it’s expected at some point – but there are right and wrong ways to go about doing it. If you’re playing a cash game, you have two choices: play with all of your chips, or play with none of them. It’s considered poor form and is usually against the rules to cash out only a portion of your stack rather than the entire thing. However, if you’re anxious to cash out, by all means do so, but remember to cash out everything and then adhere to the rules and wait until you can take your seat at the table again. The exact amount of time you have to wait varies, though most online poker rooms tend to require you wait half an hour. Some casinos require you to wait longer. This entire process is referred to as “recycling.”

Similarly, it’s considered poor form to try to buy chips off another poker player. Never, ever try to do this unless you want to look bad. Rather than try to buy someone’s chips, buy them from the house or the dealer instead. This can even be enforced and practiced at home by always having one person act as the house and conduct all transactions involving money.

You can avoid a lot of embarrassment, confusion, and ridicule by remembering these small tips.

Poker is an intellectual and scientific game

With the increase in popularity in online poker, more and more people are realizing just how good they are at poker, even if they never had the chance to play the game before. One type of person who seems to be especially suited to the game are theoretical physicists – people like Albert Einstein, in fact – who are masters of complex calculations and have the patience to crunch the numbers needed in order to make sound decisions when playing a game of online poker.

The thing that physicists seem to be particularly good at, aside from calculating the odds of any given hand, is avoiding tilt. Tilt is the world assigned to the phenomenon that occurs when poker players lose their cool. They may lose their patience, let their frustration overcome them, or simply become too eager to get to the good part of the game. Physicists, who are highly trained in remaining focused on long, complex equations and problems, seem to have a higher tolerance for this sort of stress that is so common in a game of poker.

A great example of a physicist playing poker well is Michael Binger, who won about four million dollars at the WSOP main event back in 2006. He got his PhD in physics from Stanford University and uses some of those skills as a part-time pro poker player and even more skills as a full-time physicist. So if there are some Canadian poker enthusiasts out there looking for a way to not only improve their poker game but also have at shot at being the next Einstein, look into a career in physics!

How to overcome variance in your poker game

One of the most fundamental concepts behind the game of poker is the fact that it is a game strongly rooted in probability and averages. Anyone can have a great streak of success, but it’s a rare poker player indeed whose success isn’t eventually countered by a streak of “bad luck.” We put “bad luck” in scare quotes because when you step back and look at your performance as a whole, it isn’t so much bad luck as the law of averages revealing itself. Probability is something that few people manage to escape for any significant length of time, and while skill can keep things in your favour most of the time, it’s inevitable that eventually things will not go your way. This unfortunate side of the game may last one hand, one game, or even longer. Sometimes no amount of skill can turn your game around until the poker gods smile upon you once again and you start getting the cards you need in order to put your skill to use rather than sit by and watch helplessly as things go to pieces.

Remember, variance is not a reflection of your prowess as a poker player and should not have any effect on your confidence. In fact, allowing variance to affect your confidence is what makes it infinitely worse in the long run, as you may begin to make poor decisions or lose your focus when you believe you’ve lost your edge. When variance comes knocking at your door, do your best to place its visit in the context of your poker experience as a whole rather than focusing on how “unlucky” you feel at the moment. With the good comes the bad, so keep your chin up and things will soon be good again.

How Canadians can play online poker safely

Around the world, online gambling revenue is estimated to reach upwards of $12 billion. This means that a lot of people have taken their love for poker online rather than limiting themselves to games at casino or with friends. While this is great news for poker fans looking for an easier and more convenient way to gamble, it could spell trouble for some players who don’t know how to recognize when they’ve taken their love for the game to unhealthy levels.

According to a survey conducted in Ontario, about 92% of adults are capable of spotting unsafe gambling habits in others. While this may sound like a great statistic, it’s a little more complex — one out of five adults in Ontario have what researchers call “blind spots” when it comes to recognizing these same risky behaviours in their own gambling habits. Being able to notice unsafe behaviour in others doesn’t necessarily mean someone is capable of noticing when they themselves are engaging in risky online poker behaviour.

So what does this mean for Canadian online poker fans who gamble regularly? Just be conscious of your habits and make sure you really step back and think before engaging in something risky. Always be aware of how much time you spend playing online poker, and if it gets to be too much, take a break. If you often lose track of time when playing online poker, set boundaries and stick to them so that you don’t get in the habit of gambling more than you intend to. Also, be careful about how much you bet. This is another place where setting strict boundaries for yourself and not straying from them will keep you gambling safely and enjoying online poker in a healthy way. If you make sure you’re conscious of these three factors when you’re gambling and remain firmly in control of them, you’re well on your way to having a responsibly good time.

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