March 8, 2011
If there’s one of the many sports betting tips out there that can turn an unprofitable sports bettor into a profitable one, it’s betting on the home team underdog. In almost any sport, you’re bound to have a home team that constantly under performs, seemingly getting little respect from the books and getting lines that seem almost silly; think like, 14 point underdogs at home in College Basketball, and so on.
Usually, if these teams have had any success at all during the season, they’ll play more inspired at home, with their hometown fans cheering them on and the people paying their salaries or keeping their scholarships intact watching their every move.
This causes the home team to be a lot more effective, especially in close games. Looking for lines that give a underdog home team a big deficit can be a wonderful bet in disguise; if the game is even remotely close in the waning minutes of the game, the home team will have the crowd and the support behind it for a late game push, meaning they’ll be more likely to hold the spread down in home games. As far as MLB predictions go, you could do worse than always picking home town underdogs.
In football, that makes 7+ point spreads ideal to pounce on, if you’re sure the home team has an even remote chance of winning the game.
Also be on the lookout for rivalry games where the home team is an underdog; this gives them even more incentive to keep the score close, in attempting to keep the score respectable in case of a blowout that could completely demoralize an underdog team. Watch for the home underdogs and make smart bets for them, and you’ll have an added avenue of profit in your sports betting.
March 5, 2011
It’s the dreaded position that no one wants to be in come tournament time; stuck in the blinds against a player that has made it his personal mission to steal those precious blinds every single time you’re in them, making your life hell and your stack dwindle. You want to take a stand against the bully, but you keep getting absolute garbage in the blinds and have no way to play defense against his barrage, so what are you going to do? It’s not like the old days when there were tons of paypal gambling sites and people played terribly all the time – in today’s modern online poker games you need a real plan to end up a winner.
There are a few things you can do to quell his raises, at least temporarily. If you and him are both deep stacked, it may help to begin to three bet him with some of your garbage hands, enough to where he can’t simply call the three bet, he either has to four bet or fold. This is a play I’ve had a lot of success with in tournaments over at PKR poker – the softness of their tournaments combined with the standard PKR rakeback deal makes for a pretty good value indeed. If he opens to t2,200 at the t500/t1,000/t200 level with a t30k stack, a three bet of t5,500-t6,000 makes the price to take a flop expensive for his hand, and forced him to commit almost 20% of his stack before the flop. Many times, the aggressive player opening to steal the blinds isn’t looking to play postflop, and will either let his hand go or four bet shove. Most of the time, though, if he’s really been active, you’ll accomplish the fold and get him to slow down on stealing your blinds. For more on deep-stack tournament strategy, check out www.onlinepoker.net, a site with tons of content and in-depth room information.
You can also start taking flops with him with somewhat playable hands, like 57s, Axs, 89o, things that are marginal at best, but allow you to show the opener, “Hey, you can’t just expect to take my blind every orbit, I’m going to call you with some of my crap, too.” Just knowing that you have the ability to call him when he opens will slow him down a bit in raising your blinds with some of the more garbage type hands he may be leaning on your blinds with. The more you can show your opponent that you’re leaning towards playing back at him or with him, the less lucrative it looks for him to come after your blinds.
However, this doesn’t mean you should be attempting to trap with your monster hands, necessarily, especially if you’ve made a light three bet before. More often than not, you’re going to want to go ahead and three bet your hand anyways, simply because of the positional disadvantage you’ll be in postflop. Take those queens and get your three bet in now, and be happy if you drag the pot and ecstatic if he get stubborn and shoves or calls. Many times, the “any two” openers will not be as reliable in continuation betting as most openers, just because the initial open was already weak to begin with. You’ll see them enter a “hit and bet” type of mentality post flop, or maybe a tiny stab on either the flop or turn, more often than the normal continuation bet, making the three bet preflop with the better hands in your range a better play in the long run.
March 1, 2011
When playing 3 Card Poker, playing the pair plus wager is simple enough; just place a bet and wait to see if your hand qualifies or not. Playing the ante/play bets, however, requires a little more thought about whether or not you have a qualifying hand worthy of posting both bets, or simply discarding your hand and losing just your ante.
The first thing to remember is the dealer qualification; he must have queen high or better to have a qualifying hand if you choose to play. Anything worse will result in your play bet being a “push” and your ante being matched at 1:1. If his hand qualifies, and you beat it, you win 1:1 on both the play and ante bets, along with any bonuses for playing pair plus and for the bigger hands (straight or better) on the ante. When playing optimum strategy on ante/play, the house edge is a paltry 3.4%; not a terrible edge compared to many of the other games casinos offer.
And just what is this optimum play strategy for reducing your variance to a bare minimum? Just remember this hand: Q-6-4. If your hand is better than this, you should make the play bet and see the hand through.
The catch with this, however, is hands between Q64 and KQ10, which all have negative expectations as far as placing the play bet is concerned, but the edge the house has when simply taking your ante and forfeiting is greater than if you complete the bet and see the hand through; this is where beginners make mistakes, discarding hands like K42 and QJ9 instead of seeing the hand through.
This seemingly innocent mistake pushes the house edge up significantly; suck it up, remember Q64, and you won’t go wrong at Three Card Poker.