Archive for the ‘Guides’ Category

Point Poker

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Point Poker is a betting and poker site located in Malta. The site offers wagering on things such as soccer, hockey, tennis, basketball, baseball, F1 racing and snooker. Point Poker offers an advantageous starting bonus if you send in a bonus code. With their poker offers you can play all the common poker games such as Texas Hold ‘Em. They have freeroll tournaments, races and cash games, etc. Point Poker also offers two different game modes, real and fun. When you play for fun it is more a practice mode where you do not have to worry about lost money, but you can’t win any.

The design of the site differs from the usual poker sites and is in a beautiful blue-purple tone, which is a nice break from the usual dark, more casino-style poker sites that to say the least has been worn out in recent years. The navigation is simple and everything is in its natural location. Its style blends very well with the whole site. The index page offers a good overview of what odds and games are current. The creators have also spared the viewers from the use of annoying flash banners and ads, creating a good atmosphere, which is much more rounded and calm compared to other sites.

The site supports a range of security and payment protocols which makes you feel really confident in your play. When you deposit money in your account, you can either do it directly through your credit card or online services such as NETeller, Moneybookers or Bank Transfer.

Posted in Guides

How to set up a remote gaming company in Malta

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Malta has become a hub for the remote gaming community, in fact, it constitutes the most dynamic and fastest growing sector of Malta’s entire gaming industry. And with good reason. While steeped in heritage, Malta has become a modern country with a good economic track record, open economy, low inflation and stable currency. The climate and lifestyle make it an excellent place to work and live, for a relatively lower cost than other EU countries.

Setting up your gaming company

When considering setting up your remote gaming company in Malta, there are a number of stages you will need to be aware of. The application process can be quite rigorous but is generally fairly efficient – if you are thoroughly prepared you could look to be operating within 6 weeks.

After that you can get started with all the details, such as choosing a platform, creating a poker odds calculator, and so on.

The application process


First and foremost you need to be a company registered in Malta and, to obtain your remote gaming license, you will need to have the core of your business based in Malta. This means that peripheral services such as customer support functions or front end games could be based outside of Malta in any destination of the company’s choice.To obtain your license you will need to submit an application form (available from the LGA) along with your business plan, personal declaration for all shareholders, passport/ID, original birth certificate and original copy of your police conduct report gained on registration in Malta. An LGA Control Officer for Remote Gaming will then thoroughly review your case. This involves investigation into all parties involved in financing and managing the business and the overall financial viability of your operation.Normally this stage will take about 2 weeks.


Having cleared the above checks, you will receive a letter of first stage approval. The LGA will then go on to check your ability to carry out the operation by assessing the following: the games, business process for conducting remote games, the rules and regulations of games offered, terms and conditions, your system architecture of the gaming and control panels, agreements with third parties and so on. You will need to provide all of this information to your LGA Control Officer.If all submitted information is correct and present, this stage should take approximately 3 weeks.


Assuming you pass the above investigation you will be granted a provisional license to operate remote gaming with the intent of obtaining a certification of compliance within three months. In this period you will be expected to establish your business in Malta according to your business plan. Testing of your set-up, processes, systems and completion of third party agreements should all be concluded in order to gain approval from the LGA compliance certification entity. You will then be granted a full license.After the 3 month trial period, compliance approval should take about 1 week.


The application process will require fees to be paid at varying stages. This will include a non-refundable application fee which will be submitted with the initial application as well as an annual fee which is to be paid within 15 days after your license is granted. This will then be paid annually thereafter. Licenses are generally granted on a 5 year basis and will need to be renewed after this period.Other costs will include the company fee of the company engaged by the applicant plus all set up costs involved in establishing your business in Malta.Corporate tax and gaming tax will also be paid monthly and the gaming tax will be relevant to the licensing class you are in.

Licensing Classes

There are four classifications of remote gaming operators – your license will be granted in the class representing your business make-up.

  • Class 1: Risk-taking on repetitive games generated by random events e.g. skill games, online lotteries
  • Class 2: Risk-taking by creating a market and backing that market e.g. fixed odds, spread betting
  • Class 3: Promoting and/or abetting gaming in Malta e.g. betting exchange
  • Class 4: Providing a Remote Gaming System to another Licensee e.g. software vendors

Once you are fully licensed, what you do with your business is up to you as long as it conforms to the LGA’s rules and regulations of responsible gaming practice. Malta provides a highly sociable network of like-minded, entrepreneurial people with an innate passion for the gaming industry. With countless forums and events hosted by many of the companies based there, sharing business knowledge is easy and fun.

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Poker Tools Top 5

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

You have of course spent a lot of time wondering what poker tools are best. To get your mind at ease we decided to list the best poker tools of all kinds.

  1. Poker Office,  when it comes to keeping track of your opponents and your own game you need a statistics tool. Poker Office is the absolute number one in this business and will give you all the information you can possibly think of on direct overlay in your poker client. They have just launched their latest version and you can read our article about it in Poker Office 5.
  2. Pokerscout, Pokerscout is the leading tool for keeping track of the poker rooms and the different networks. You can see what pros are playing at the moment and how many real money players there are in a specific network.
  3. SharkScope, have you ever dreamt of the possibility to look up your opponents, maybe there is someone that keeps beating you in the sit’n’go every single time and you want to see what he really is. On SharkScope you can get statistics on every single player in SnG’s on a lot of networks.
  4. Poker Manager, Poker Manager is a really neat little poker tool. What it does is that it handles your game with all the biggest networks. It keeps track of all the games and you can chose whatever you want instead of having to log in and search one room at the time. Poker Manager even comes with a built in instant messenger so you can keep in touch with your poker buddies.
  5. Poker Academy Pro, with Poker Academy Pro you can improve your poker playing skills in a simulated enviroment. Play with highly complex bots and learn how to improve your game.

Here are the Poker Office Poker Tools if you are interested in trying. You can get a free trial or download the full version for free if you use one of their partner deals.

US Poker Sites – a complete list

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Poker Players in the US (flag)

Several of our readers have contacted us and asked for a list of poker sites accepting US players. As you know most of the poker rooms don’t accept players from the US because of the tougher gambling laws. Even though this might change soon it is still very useful to know what rooms you can play at for the time being. Becasue of this we set up a complete list to the US poker sites.          

 Creative commons Image by Elaron

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A Beginner’s Guide To Texas Hold ‘Em Part 4 – How To Avoid Common Beginner Pitfalls

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

This is part 4 of a 4 part beginners series on how to effectively play Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. In Part 3 of this series we saw how holding a premium hand does not guarantee you a win. In this final part of the series we’re going to go over some of the most common pitfalls that often plague the beginner texas hold ’em poker player.

Despite knowing which hands you should play pre-flop and how you should play them once the flop comes some beginner poker players still make some crucial mistakes that end up either costing them their entire chip stack or drastically crippling them.

Pitfall #1 – Moving all-in pre-flop with a premium hand

This is a very common mistake and while most often times it’s committed by a beginner poker player, several pros are also guilty of committing this error.

You’re holding A K in the BB and the SB decided to raise three times the big blind in the early rounds of a tournament. You figure your opponent has a strong hand but he’s still an underdog to your A-K if he calls. So you move all-in, everyone folds to the SB who calls and he shows you

Odds of winning 67.24%
Odds of winning 28.36%

The 4.40% discrepancy is in the unlikely event of a tie. For instance if the flop came 234♠ and the turn came 5 would make both players a straight resulting in a tie.

So in this case you’re slightly higher than 2 to 1 favorite to win the hand.

The flop comes

4♠ 7♠ K



Only one more card to dodge


What a heart breaker, you just made a set but your opponent caught the flush on the river. Now you’re out of the tournament 76th out of 80 and you’re going home empty handed.

The point that needs to be stressed here is that regardless of whether you’re a favorite going to the flop it doesn’t mean that your opponent isn’t going to hit his 2% chance of catching the card he needs to beat your pair.

There are some instances in which it is conceivable to move all-in pre-flop with a strong hand like A K which is either when you are on the verge of elimination and you only have enough chips for a few big blinds or when the player against who you would be all-in has less than 20% of your chip stack. In all other circumstances the idea of moving all-in should not enter your mind and instead you should opt to outplay your opponent on the flop.

Pitfall #2 – Checking the flop with the best hand.

Aside from slow playing the absolute best hand, checking with the best hand on the flop is simply asking for trouble.

You’re holding A♠ Q and you simply call the big blind to see the flop.

The flop comes

10 8♠ Q
You check, perhaps because you don’t want to scare away your opponent.
He in turn calls you all-in. Now you start to think that you’re A♠ Q is probably trailing either a set or two pairs and you decide to fold. Your opponent smiles at you and flips over Q♣-2.

Did your opponent make the right move? Perhaps it was rash to move all-in in an attempted bluff, but you not betting your Q with the A kicker was an even bigger mistake that allowed your opponent to take control of the betting and made you doubt your hand.

This concludes the 4 part series on the beginner’s play of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. Hopefully by now you feel more confident in your abilities as a poker player and you’ll be ready to crush the low limit cash games and tournaments. Be sure to come back to read the intermediate series on selecting your pre-flop hands which will cover suited and non-suited connectors as well as A-x and K-x hands.

A Beginner’s Guide To Texas Hold ‘Em Part 3 – Playing A Premium Hand On The Flop

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

This is part 3 of a 4 part beginners series on how to effectively play Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. In Part 2 of this series we expanded a little more on which hands are suitable to play before the flop according to your odds of connecting on the flop. In part three of this series we will talk more about how to play these hands on the flop.


Your pre-flop hand selection is undoubtedly the most important factor to your overall success playing Texas Hold ‘Em poker, but that’s not to say you will win them all based solely on your pre-flop judgment. At the average online poker table a flop will be dealt approximately 30%-35% of the time, meaning that the other ~70% of the time the hand will be won pre-flop. The problem with that is a pre-flop pot will only be a few blinds and perhaps a raise, and if you are to going to win a poker tournament or make a considerable amount of money at a cash game you will need to learn how to play your cards right on the flop as well.


Remember that the odds of winning with a particular hand we discussed in the first part of this series is based on a heads-up all-in situation with a flop-turn-river showdown. These odds don’t take into consideration the fact that your opponent will most likely bet on the flop forcing you to either call, raise or fold.


With that being said let’s go through a few scenarios.


Scenario #1


Your hand 9♣ 9

Odds of winning heads up 72.1%

Odds of winning against 9 players 15.6%

Odds of flopping a set 11.76%


4 players call the big blind and now it’s up to you.

You raise 3 times the big blind

The big blind calls and two players call, the other two fold.

So now you’re 4 to the flop


A quick calculation reveals that you are now a 32.6% favorite to win the hand assuming everyone checks to the river.


The flop comes

K7♣ 6♣


The BB checks, Player 2 checks, Player 3 bets the minimum, and now it’s up to you. Let’s take a second and do a quick analysis of the board.


Q: How does your hand relate to the board?

A: Middle pair, only one overcard.


Q: Is it possible someone is holding a K in their hand?

A: The BB and player 2 checked which potentially rules them out. Player 3 bet the minimum which is generally a fishing bet and not representative of a K.


Q: Is it possible someone is holding 7-7 or 6-6?

A: Same as with the possibility of a K if someone was holding trips they would have bet out on the flop and more than the minimum amount.


Q: Are there any possible draws?

A: A club flush draw is possible.


Q: Are my pocket 9s good?

A: Only one way to find out: raise.


You raise half the pot.


The BB folds, player 2 fold. Player 3 thinks about it for a second and says those words you didn’t want to hear “I’m all-in”.


You fold immediately.


Chances are that player 3 was in fact holding either A-K or made a set on the flop.


Keep in mind that while you may have lost a small portion of your chip stack by raising a fractional amount of the pot you were able to determine that you were behind and most likely beat by an opponent who was bent on slow playing a stronger hand. In texas hold ’em poker, a good laydown is often more valuable than a good win. Had your opponent been holding 6 or 7 he would have laid it down immediately following your raise.

Continue Reading… 



A Beginner’s Guide To Texas Hold ‘Em Part 2 – Expanding Your Starting Hand Selection

Friday, July 11th, 2008

This is part 2 of a 4 part beginners series on how to effectively play Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. In Part 1 of this series you learned the odds of winning pre-flop with the top 10 best starting hands in Texas Hold ‘Em Poker in a heads up situation as well as in a 10 player situation. Part 2 of this series will focus on expanding your starting hand selection based on the probabilities of connecting your hand on the flop.

As you saw in the first part of this series the odds of flipping over one of the top 10 hands in Texas Hold ‘Em are fairly slim. While playing conservatively and waiting to be dealt one of these hands is a good beginner strategy in a cash game where the blinds always remain the same, in a tournament with increasing blinds and antes this strategy will result in your being blinded and lead to an eventual early exit. Let’s take a look at some more odds to illustrate this logic:

Odds of being dealt either A-A or K-K 1 in 110.5, or 0.905%

This means that for every 110 hands dealt you will be dealt the pocket rockets or american airlines only once.


Odds of being dealt 7-7 or better 1 in 27.6, or 3.62%

Granted your odds are improving but you are still looking at very marginal odds.


Odds of being dealt ANY pocket pair 1 in 17, or 5.88%

Now you’re getting some slightly better odds but remember a pocket pair doesn’t always make you the favorite in a 10 way pot.


Let’s take a look now at the odds of improving your hand on the flop;


Flopping a set with ANY pocket pair 1 in 9.51, or 11.76%

Those odds make a lot of starting hands look more attractive. Your 2-2 which had coin flip 50% of winning pre-flop now has an extra 11.76% chance of winning on the flop.


What’s important to remember with low pocket pairs such as 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, and 6-6 is that they are vulnerable to a lot of overcards that can come on the flop. While the odds of hitting a set on the flop are 1 in 9.5 which gives you great odds and justify a raise pre-flop if the flop doesn’t make you a set you need to be ready to throw your cards in the muck as soon as an opponent raises. Let’s look at an example:


Your hand: 3 3

Odds of winning heads up 53.7%

Odds of winning against 9 players 12.0%

Odds of making a set on the flop 11.76%


With any pocket pair you should always put in a raise pre-flop to knock-off as many players as possible to improve your odds.


You raise the standard 3 times the BB and you only have 1 caller.


Let’s look at two different flops to analyze how to act accordingly:


Flop #1

3♠ 5♠ 9


Great flop, you hit your 1 in 9.51 odds and made a set. You move all-in and your opponent folds.

*** Normally in this situation you would slow play your set to extract the most chips as possible from your opponents but we’ll save that for a more advanced lesson.


Flop #2

A♠ 9♣ Q♣


Now you’ve completely missed the flop and there are 3 overcards to your pocket 3s. Make a small continuation to see whether your opponent connected with that flop and if you are faced with a raise fold immediately.


The more advanced strategy in this situation would be to make a sizable continuation bet to represent a big hand and take down the pot but playing an underpair on the turn and river requires a deeper understanding of the game.


We’ve now expanded the starting hand selection to include lower pocket pairs. Here’s a quick reference guide of your odds of winning with these pocket pairs.



Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 63.3%

Odds of winning against 9 players 13.1%



Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 60.3 %

Odds of winning against 9 players 12.3%



Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 57.0%

Odds of winning against 9 players 12.1%



Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 53.7%

Odds of winning against 9 players 12.0%



Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 50.3%

Odds of winning against 9 players 12.0%

Part 3 


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Posted in Guides

A Beginner’s Guide To Texas Hold ‘Em Part 1 – Selecting Your Starting Hands

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

This is part 1 of a 4 part beginners series on how to effectively play Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. Part 1 of this series will focus on selecting your starting hands.

Whether you’ve been playing texas hold ’em poker for a few months or several years you will surely know by now that the most important decision you can make is which two cards you will play before the flop. Unfortunately you can’t count on flipping over two aces every time as you will be dealt the pocket rockets on average once every 220 hand or 0.45% of the time. Since those odds don’t seem very favorable you will need to loosen you starting hand requirements. Determining which two cards to play preflop is not an easy task and there are several factors to consider most importantly your position at the table but we’ll get into that later on in the tutorial. For now let’s review the top 10 texas hold ’em poker starting hands.

The hands are ranked according to the odds of winning preflop against one opponent.


Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 85.3%

Odds of winning against 9 players 31.1%


Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 82.4%

Odds of winning against 9 players 26.1%


Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 79.9%

Odds of winning against 9 players 22.2%


Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 77.5%

Odds of winning against 9 players 19.3%


Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 75.1%

Odds of winning against 9 players 17.2%


Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 72.1%

Odds of winning against 9 players 15.6%


Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 69.1%

Odds of winning against 9 players 14.4%

AK Suited

Odds of being dealt 0.3%

Odds of winning heads up 67.0%

Odds of winning against 9 players 20.7%


Odds of being dealt 0.45%

Odds of winning heads up 66.2%

Odds of winning against 9 players 13.7%

AQ Suited

Odds of being dealt 0.3%

Odds of winning heads up 66.1%

Odds of winning against 9 players 19.3%


While it’s not important to memorize every single percentage, what is important is to realize that even pocket aces, the strongest starting hand in texas hold ’em poker, are only a 31.1% favorite to win in a 10 way pot. As a beginner player the concept of slow playing a big pair is too advanced and requires a deeper understanding of possible outs and probabilities therefore until you become more comfortable with these concepts you should focus on always raising when you are dealt one of these top 10 hands so as to preferably go heads up to the flop.

Let’s use an example to illustrate the importance of raising strong starting hands pre-flop. For the time being we will omit the positional advantage and just focus on starting hands.

Your hand: A♠K♠

At this point there are 9 players to act after you. If you call and everyone else calls your odds of winning at this point are 20.7%. The flop could come all ♠ giving you the best possible hand but it could just as well come all ♣ with no A or K thus putting you in a tough spot against 9 players as the odds of another player having x♣x♣ are approximately 25%.

You raise three times the big blind everyone folds around to the BB who calls.


Now your odds of winning before seeing the flop are 67.0%, you’ve just tripled your odds of winning a substantial pot.

We’ll go into post flop play in the next few lessons, but here’s a preview.

The flop comes

A♣ 37

A quick analysis of the board shows that you are now an 85% favorite to win the hand with your pair of aces and top kicker assuming your opponent did not flop a set or two pairs. You bet half the pot and unless your opponent is holding two pairs or made a set, he will fold.

That concludes the first lesson on the top 10 starting hands in texas hold ’em poker. Remember the key is to raise before the flop to knock off as many players as possible in order to improve your odds of winning.

The second part of this series will go into more detail about how to select your starting hands based on the probabilities of connecting on the flop.


Part 2 



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