Free online poker started in the late 1990s. Planet Poker was the first online card room with real money games.

Over time, access and ease of use websites increased. People came in droves to learn about this fascinating game and what the excitement was all about. Free access to virtual games and free trials brought in even more players.

Today, a huge number of players invest hundreds (sometimes thousands) of hours playing per year. Many play multiple tables at once.

Beyond gaming websites there are an amazing number of useful resources on the web such as:

- Poker Websites
- Poker Podcasts
- Poker Blogs
- Poker Magazines
- Poker Training sites
- Poker Stars Websites
- Social Media

In recent years smart phones are another major portal to poker websites, podcasts, blogs, magazines, training sites and social media. And, there are some incredible apps such as the WSOP App, the Poker Heat App and the PokerCruncher App.

The internet has changed the poker landscape forever. All these portals mean that people can get huge amounts of poker experience and knowledge in a much shorter time than in the past. Even though it isn’t face to face, the learning curve has been slashed dramatically.

In the next Blog we will cover the fascinating story of the Chris Moneymaker effect and how massive number of players emerged because of this Rocky type story.

Stay tuned!

Chuck

One of the first major books on poker was Doyle Brunson’s

Other seminal works were David Sklansky’s book:

Over time what started as a trickle turned into a waterfall of books as more and more pros exposed their secrets. The floodgates of how to play excellent poker is out in print and accessible to anyone with $20 in their pocket, a few hours of spare time, and a hunger to learn. But it didn’t stop there.

Henry Orenstein invented the hole cams that display player’s hole cards. It became popular in 1999. Watching people play poker before this was as exciting as watching paint dry.

Seeing someone’s hole cards coupled with engaging personalities and the romance of being in control of your own destiny made the game a great deal more fun to watch.

Armchair poker players came in by the droves. Many of them started playing themselves.

In recent years a new king of hole card technology called radio-frequency identification (RFID) is being used at some live poker productions. Instead of hole cams, RFID uses special playing cards with radio-frequency identification chips known as “tags.” RFID readers under certain spots on the poker table read the card tags. The readers send the information to tournament or TV production computers.

In the next blog we will cover how the poker landscape changed forever with the internet and smart phones. Stay tuned!

Chuck

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Excelling in Texas No-Limit Hold’em is all about using as many of your advantages as possible to defeat opponents. Those advantages have changed over time. In this section we will review key events in the evolution of Texas No-Limit Hold’em and what is required today to become *A New Breed of Poker Player*.

Mystery shrouds when Texas No-Limit Hold’em was invented, however it is thought to have started in the early 1900’s in Robstown Texas.

It gained traction when the early pioneers such as Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim, Johnny Moss and Bobby Baldwin played it. These men had to learn the game relying on their knowledge of human behavior, intuition, tells, basic math skills, and table experience.

There were no books, no internet, no courses, no training, no YouTube video’s, no hole cams, and no easy access to play. At times these trail blazers would drive long distances just to get into a game. Many of those games were in the back rooms of shady places. Poker players were looked down upon. There was little respect for them in regular society.

When they won money, they would still have to avoid being robbed or beaten. Their sheer passion and force of will helped them to become excellent players. It was truly a time of the*Wild West* in the poker world.

The first World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event was in 1970 with only 7 entrants. Johnny Moss was the winner. Poker has grown exponentially since.

In the next blog we will cover the importance of books, hole cams and RFID Technology in the growth of poker.

Stay tuned!

Chuck

]]>It gained traction when the early pioneers such as Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim, Johnny Moss and Bobby Baldwin played it. These men had to learn the game relying on their knowledge of human behavior, intuition, tells, basic math skills, and table experience.

There were no books, no internet, no courses, no training, no YouTube video’s, no hole cams, and no easy access to play. At times these trail blazers would drive long distances just to get into a game. Many of those games were in the back rooms of shady places. Poker players were looked down upon. There was little respect for them in regular society.

When they won money, they would still have to avoid being robbed or beaten. Their sheer passion and force of will helped them to become excellent players. It was truly a time of the

The first World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event was in 1970 with only 7 entrants. Johnny Moss was the winner. Poker has grown exponentially since.

In the next blog we will cover the importance of books, hole cams and RFID Technology in the growth of poker.

Stay tuned!

Chuck

The *Rule of 2 and 4* are quick shortcuts to help us work out the percentage needed to get a draw in Texas No-Limit Hold'em. These shortcuts aren’t exact. However, they are good enough for doing quick probabilities in our head at the tables.

**The Rule of 2**

The Rule of 2 states: Multiply your number of outs by 2 to get the approximate percentage of a draw you have on the turn or the river.

For example, let's say you have a flush draw after the flop.

*The Rule of 2 works because there are 52 cards in the deck*

and 52 goes into one hundred approximately twice.

**The Rule of 4**

The Rule of 4 is used when you are considering an all-in move after the flop and will see both the turn and river cards. Multiply your number of outs by 4 to get the approximate percentage of a draw.

Like the Rule of 2 example, you have a flush draw after the flop.

Once again, that’s close and useful for quick estimate at the tables.

Note: The Core Math Chapter of Mastering Poker Math provides more detail on how this equation is derived.

]]>The Rule of 2 states: Multiply your number of outs by 2 to get the approximate percentage of a draw you have on the turn or the river.

For example, let's say you have a flush draw after the flop.

- There are 2 cards of the same suit in your hand and 2 cards of the same suit on the board.

That makes 4 cards to a flush. - There are 13 cards to a suit, and 9 cards (outs) that can help you make a flush (13 - 4 = 9).
- Use the Rule 2 to approximate your percentage of hitting a flush on the next card.

2 x 9 = 18% probability of getting your flush.

- There are 13 cards to a suit, and 9 cards (outs) that can help you make a flush (13 - 4 = 9).
- There are 52 cards in the deck minus 2 cards in your hand and 3 cards on the board.
- This leaves 47 cards remaining (52 - 5 = 47).
- (9/47) = 19% probability of getting your flush.

and 52 goes into one hundred approximately twice.

The Rule of 4 is used when you are considering an all-in move after the flop and will see both the turn and river cards. Multiply your number of outs by 4 to get the approximate percentage of a draw.

Like the Rule of 2 example, you have a flush draw after the flop.

- There are 2 cards of the same suit in your hand and 2 cards of the same suit on the board.

That makes 4 cards to a flush.

There are 13 cards to a suit, you have 9 cards (outs) remaining that can help you make your flush (13 - 4 = 9). - Use the Rule 4 to approximate your percentage of hitting a flush on the next two cards.

4 x 9 = 36% probability of making your flush.

- There are 52 cards in the deck minus 2 cards in your hand and 3 cards on the board.

Consequently, there are 47 cards remaining (52 – 2 – 3 = 47). - There are 9 cards that will help you make your flush.

Thus, there are 47 - 9 = 38 cards that will not make your flush on the turn. - The probability of not making your flush on the turn is 38/47.
- Subtract one from the numerator and denominator for the river card which is 37/46.
- Multiply both numbers together and subtract from 1 to determine your probability of making a flush.
- 1- 38/47 x 37/46 = 35% probability of making your flush.

Once again, that’s close and useful for quick estimate at the tables.

Note: The Core Math Chapter of Mastering Poker Math provides more detail on how this equation is derived.