The following questions were collected from various places including our poker strategy section, Quora, Yahoo! Answers and other places online. Today we’ll take a look at revealing your hands, TV poker and what it means to get “counterfeited” in poker. Feel free to drop questions in the comments section below and we’ll answer them next week.
Your Poker Questions - Answered
Q: When I’m watching poker on TV the players seem to get so many good hands. Do they rig the deck?
A: You’re witnessing the beauty of editing. Editors chop hundreds of hands from televised poker to make things more interesting. No one wants to see the player in the big blind get another walk. TV poker is heavily edited. Another note when it comes to televised poker: You’re almost never watching live poker. WSOP does a great job of making every hand seem like its happening in the moment. Like the Benger-Kassouf Main Event hand in 2016. But there’s actually a months-long gap between filming and when episodes air.
Q: Heads-up I pushed all-in and the other player turned over his cards without saying anything? Is this considered a fold? I mucked as I thought he folded. He said he turned them over for a reaction???
A: First off, exposing cards does not indicate action. However, players with the nuts (the best possible hand) will frequently flip over their hand immediately in order to avoid putting their opponent through unnecessary torture. In these situation it’s very clear what their action will be based on their holdings. Even so, don’t be afraid of simply asking your opponent what he or she is doing in situations like this.
Bigger question: Will there ever be another Rolf Slotboom?
Is it shady for you opponent to try and get a reaction out of you like that? Maybe - but maybe not according to widely accepted rules. In some games you are allowed to reveal your hand in these heads-up all-in situations. It’s also worth noting that in tournaments you’re generally not allowed to expose your cards ever but they are much more lenient in cash games. It sounds minor but it’s actually worth making some house rules to avoid these kinds of conflicts.
Q: Will there ever be another poker boom?
A: There’s no “correct” answer to this question and anything we say will be pretty subjective. That said it’s unlikely there will ever be a poker boom quite like the early 2000s when online poker caught fire so quickly that governments couldn’t move fast enough to regulate it. The sudden influx of new players also created likely the best, softest games in the history of poker. There is so much poker strategy and information out there these days it seems doubly unlikely that will happen. Despite that, there's a good chance of more US states legalizing online poker. We've already seen Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey make changes. But if New York or California were to legalize the game it would likely create a mini-boom. Meanwhile South America is currently in the midst of its boom that has many poker enthusiasts very excited. Finally Asia remains the great white whale of the online poker industry but it seems unlikely China will loosen regulations any time soon.
Q: My friends and I are playing poker. The board is 4-4-3-10-10. I have 7-3. My friend has J-6. Who wins the hand?
A: Your friend. This one tends to get most people confused. Your two-pair has been beaten (in poker terms “counterfeited”) by the board. You have two-pair with fours and treys but the board is now two pair with fours and tens. All that matters is who has the better kicker. Don't check the nuts. In this case your friend has the better kicker to make 10-10-4-4-J. Your best hand is technically 10-10-4-4-7.
Q: I’m trying to learn how to play No-Limit Hold’em online but someone told me they were going to report me for collusion after I checked the river in a hand.
A: There’s a good chance you checked the best possible hand on the river with no more action to go. It looks iffy to seasoned players because you theoretically might be playing soft against someone. Don’t worry about it though. Everyone makes mistakes and the other player was likely just tilted about something else.
Q: I play low-stakes online poker and cashed out winnings a couple months ago ($2300). Since then, no matter what hand I have, my opponent catches the one card he needs on the river to beat me. This has been going on for at least 8 weeks.
A: Sad to say but this is just variance. There’s a good chance you were running pretty well before (congrats on the cash out!) but it appears luck has caught up to you. If you’re really concerned, record detailed hand histories for a year and take a close look at them. In time it all evens out. Check out the sample size section of Eight Biases that Are Making You Worse at Poker to learn more. It’s VERY common to feel this way, if it makes you feel any better.