FirstPokerTips Room Blog Poker Tips and Strategy Sun, 18 Sep 2011 13:32:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bonus Blog: Where To Find The Highest Poker Bonuses Sun, 31 Jul 2011 14:17:39 +0000 An incentive payment made by an online poker provider is known as a ‘poker bonus’. The purpose of poker bonuses is to encourage potential customers to use a particular website. Since online poker is such a competitive industry, there are a number of good offers available – usually to new customers who open an account and make a deposit – and, in this bonus blog, we will look at some of the good sites. Offers are liable to change from time to time and the following were on offer in September 2011, when I last confirmed.

  • Titan Poker ( offers a bonus of 150% up to $600. This means that they will pay a maximum bonus of $600 and the actual amount receivable will be 150% of the amount deposited. So the minimum you can deposit to obtain the full amount is $400. This room is recommended by this bonus blog.
  • Party Poker ( provides a 100% match on an initial deposit up to a maximum amount of $500. Deposit $500 to receive an additional $500. This bonus blog notes that Party Poker is one of the most popular online poker sites out there.
  • Cake Poker ( offers an equivalent bonus to that provided by Titan Poker. Players from the USA are welcome.
  • Victor Chandler ( sometimes offers one of the most generous and alluring incentives – a 300% match up to $600. This bonus blog advises you that this means that the full $600 bonus is receivable on an initial deposit of just $200.
  • Pacific Poker ( offers a smaller bonus in comparison to some of the other sites that have been mentioned. It is 111% up to a maximum amount of $444 (the full amount being receivable on a deposit of $400). However, it earns its place in this poker blog since it tends to provide very good promotions to existing customers, rather than concentrating solely on snaring them in the beginning.
  • Lucky Ace Poker ( offers a 100% matched bonus up to a maximum amount of $400. However, the level of skills and experience of the players on this site is often considered to be poorer than on some of the others, so the chances of success are maximized.
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Room Blog: Which Poker Rooms Are Best? Fri, 04 Feb 2011 10:24:18 +0000 Almost regardless of your level of experience as a poker player, one effective and fun way of improving your game is by reading poker room blogs. Here, professional and amateur players alike are able to share their tips and tricks in an informative and often interesting way. The quality of a poker room blog varies from site to site and we particularly recommend the one on First Poker Tips, at The room blog here has articles on a range of subjects, including:

Tips for beginners

This room blog is an eye-opening look at the complexities of a game which is much simpler on its surface! No beginner player should enter the lions’ den without first understanding and practicing some of these simple tips and hints about the game.

Tips on bluffing

This room blog contains helpful advice on how to introduce the famous art of bluffing into your game. Virtually every poker player will need to exercise this skill from time to time and some more so than others! However, it can be difficult for beginners to introduce it into their game and even accomplished players will benefit from learning about the techniques employed by other players. This blog looks at how to reduce your risk when bluffing and how to avoid getting caught out!

Rankings of poker hands

This room blog introduces players to the fundamental concept of the order in which poker hands are ranked. A beginner player will not get far without a comprehensive understanding of this subject. Familiarity with this topic is necessary not only to understand the strength of your own hand, but also to understand the possible hands represented by your opponents.

Using poker calculators

If used properly, poker calculators can introduce mathematical principles to the art of poker. First Poker Tips contains a room blog which explains how to download the requisite tool and then use it effectively to understand concepts such as pot odds and out odds. With a bit of practice and application, this tool will help the poker player to make informed and scientific betting decisions.

The World Series of Poker

The World Series of Poker has been instrumental in bringing the game of poker into the popular mainstream. Excellent television coverage and commentary has transformed the game into a fascinating spectator sport which make it one of the easiest ways to pick up the game without even thinking about it. There is even a blog to explain how you can enter this event!

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Prestige Casino – Paid Testers needed Thu, 03 Feb 2011 15:50:31 +0000 An all new Prestige Casino has just been revealed in the UK, soon to be launched by the same company as William Hill.  We wouldn’t normally cover non-Poker sites, but read on to see why this is different.

Prestige is unusual in that the casino offers not only a huge range of games, but it will offer a monthly freeroll, similar to Poker, where players can win large cash sums on Roulette or other table games.   

Ahead of the launch Prestige is looking for paid testers to try out the slots.  Testers will be given £750 and can keep any winnings they make.  In return you just need to give feedback on the games to the company when requested.  Apply here

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UKGeoSweep postcode lottery site tactics Sun, 19 Dec 2010 18:35:20 +0000 By now you have probably heard of UKGeoSweep.  If not, you soon will.

UK GeoSweep is a new postcode lottery game that lets you purchase the area where you live, or indeed any other area that you might be interested in.  There is a daily draw for a lottery postcode box and if you own that postcode you win the £1M prize.

A second daily draw is done amongst only the postcode boxes that have actually been sold, so that ones is guaranteed to be won every single day.

If you want to play first check if your postcode is available.

For an excellent article on tactics, try UK Geosweep strategy

Good luck!

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New Poker Room reviews on the FirstPokerTips Blog Sat, 19 Jun 2010 15:37:01 +0000 sexy-poker-faceOver the last 6 months Poker sites have continued to expand their functionality, in particular in the inclusion of Automatic Poker calculators, comments capture and intelligence on other players.

With this in mind I have decided to update the poker room reviews on this site.  The reviews are cleanly laid out, with no advertising, and they also show which poker sites are open to US players.  Read the full transcripts and poker room reviews at the links below:

Post your comments on these reviews and poker rooms here.  Remember, every comment gets another free entry to the monthly $100 Amazon prize draw.  Last month only 3 comments were entered, so Jane Ashurst from Milton Keynes in the UK, had an easy win!

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WSOP 2010: Key Facts On The World Series Of Poker And How To Qualify For Free Sat, 08 May 2010 10:21:33 +0000 The World Series of Poker 2010 (WSOP 2010) begins on 28 May 2010 at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This year marks the 41st running of the competition, having been held on an annual basis since 1970.

The event contains many different tournaments over almost every imaginable version of poker. The No-Limit Hold’em begins on 5 July 2010. From this date until 17 July 2010, play is whittled down to 9 players who reconvene in November for a chance to become the tournament winner, an accolade commonly regarded to be the poker world champion for that year.

How to qualify for WSOP 2010 for free

Event number 57 is the No-Limit Hold’em Championship, unquestionably the main event and the one for which WSOP 2010 will be renowned. The buy-in for this tournament is usually $10,000 but it is possible to qualify for free.

In order to do this you will need to enter – and succeed in – one of the WSOP 2010 feeder tournaments. A good place to start looking is 888 poker ( which is offering 88 people the chance to win a seat at the prestigious WSOP 2010. Each prize package includes the cost of buying in to the tournament plus hotel accommodation, travel and spending money. 888 poker is running 8 competitions:

  1. A monthly points race – the top 4 players each month will win the prize of a place at the main table. Other players towards the top of the leader board win other WSOP 2010 related prizes.
  2. Bounty tournaments – by finishing first or second in one of these tournaments, or by knocking out one of the bounties, you can also win a place at the table.
  3. A cards and coins points race – this is a similar concept to number 1., but points can be accumulated in other casino games as well as poker. Ideal if you enjoy a variety of casino games.
  4. A monthly points race for women only – the top player will win a place at the main table, with other WSOP 2010 prizes for those finishing high up.
  5. Raked hands race – monthly competitions offering the 2 players who play the most real money poker hands the chance to win a place in the main event.
  6. YouTube competition – make a video about why you deserve a place at WSOP 2010. The most watched one on YouTube will also win a place in the main event.
  7. Tournament competition – another place is available to the best tournament playing customer. The formula to calculate this is linked to the number of tournaments played and their values.
  8. Customer generator – finally, there is a place for the person who introduces the most number of customers to 888 poker each month.

To become an expert poker player you need to understand bluffs and common poker tells.  Alex Mayer provides free unbiased poker advice including psychology  of poker on the First Poker Tips Poker blog. Many more articles are available on everything from bluffing, to tournaments and how to qualify for the WSOP for free.

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Poker Beats: What Is A Bad Beat And How Can You Deal With A Poker Beat? Sun, 11 Apr 2010 13:19:18 +0000 Poker Beats

Bad poker beats occur when one player beats another one in unlikely circumstances. Although there is no strict definition of the term, the winning player often takes the pot by hitting an unlikely card on the turn or river. Sometimes the winning player is rewarded despite making mathematically unsound decisions in calling another player’s hand or, alternatively, a really strong hand is beaten by an even stronger one.

Risks associated with poker beats

Suffering a bad beat can be extremely hard to accept. Some players, including poker professionals, will be sufficiently unsettled to enter a state of extreme frustration during which they risk allowing their emotions to rule their head. Typically, this could mean that their usual prime game strategy is neglected and they adopt a more aggressive style of play, remaining in hands which they would normally fold and trying to bluff their opponents.  When learning to play poker, its important to understand the best time to bluff.

Poker Beats girl on a beach

How can I cheer myself up?


How to deal with bad poker beats

The best thing a player can do when they suffer from bad poker beats is to forget about them. Poker players should understand that chance is one element of the game and accept that they offer themselves to the luck of the gods with every hand they play. However, over a sustained period of time, the element of skill will prevail over the element of chance.

Of course, this is much easier said than done and, as mentioned above, even professional players are not immune from the unsettling psychological processes which can be triggered by a bad beat. The old saying about not throwing good money after bad has great relevance here – when you have been a victim of a bad beat, it is more important than ever that you make your remaining chips harder for your opponents to win.

Finally, one way to make bad poker beats work in your favor is to remember the potential effects that they can have on players so that, the next time an opponent suffers one, you will be aware of his potential vulnerabilities and able to capitalize should he be unable to harness his emotions.

Bad beats can actually work in your favour and provide you with a killer advantage.  This simple trick will let you beat the opponent every time, especially if combined with a killer tool, an automatic poker calculator.  Find out more and download your free automatic poker calculator here.  Combined with your skills and a Free WSOP entry, this tool could win you a million or more.

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Poker Language: Some Common Poker Terms And Language And What They Mean Tue, 30 Mar 2010 20:16:52 +0000 Poker uses a number of distinct terms and phrases. When playing at a table it is often helpful to understand these. There are almost enough to write a poker language dictionary! Some of the more common terms are listed below:

poker language image

Pair of aces - Pocket rockets

  • Flop – most commonly associated with Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker, this poker language term refers to the first 3 open cards which are dealt.
  • Turn – this is the fourth open card which is dealt in Texas Hold’em or Omaha poker.
  • River – the final card which is dealt in a game of poker.
  • Nuts – at a given point in a poker game, this refers to the strongest possible hand.
  • Big blind – usually payable by the player sitting 2 spaces clockwise from the dealer, regardless of his cards. Blind refers to the fact that the player has to make it regardless of his cards, or as though he hadn’t even seen them.
  • Small blind – the amount payable by the player sitting next to the dealer, in a clockwise direction. It is often half the amount of the big blind.
  • Bluff – in poker language, the art of representing (usually through betting patterns) that a player has a stronger hand than he actually does.
  • Call – remaining in a hand by matching the previous bet.
  • Raise – increasing the bet which has been made by the previous player. Other players then need to call or re-raise in order to remain in the game.
  • Re-raise – the act of raising a previous raise.
  • Fold – in poker language, this is the procedure followed by a player who does not wish to continue with his hand (he does not want to pay to stay in the hand – usually because he has weak cards or believes another player has stronger ones).
  • Pot – this is the amount of chips / money which has been put into the center of the table and which the winning player will receive (subject to the rake).
  • Rake – this is a commission taken out of the pot by the casino.  Lower the rake, the more you make.  The lowest rake is currently at PKR (Click to join)
  • Straight – in poker language, a poker hand containing 5 consecutive cards.
  • Flush – a poker hand containing 5 cards of the same suit.
  • Pair – two cards of the same value.
  • Trips – three cards of the same value.
  • Quads – four cards of the same value.
  • Kicker – the highest card in a player’s hand which is not in a pair. It is quite often used to determine close hands – for example, a pair of Kings with an Ace kicker beats a pair of Kings with a 2 kicker.

Many more terms can be found in the online Poker Glossary.

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World Series Of Poker – 10 Things You Can Learn By Watching Mon, 22 Mar 2010 23:17:20 +0000 The annual World Series of Poker, held in Las Vegas, is (as its name suggests) one of the biggest poker tournaments in the world. It is now broadcast on television with glass tables and under-the-table video cameras to allow viewers to see the hole cards, allowing a fascinating insight into the betting patterns and behavior of the players. The televised images are backed up with expert commentary and so provide a great way to learn more about the game from the experts.  Anyone can enter, and some sites even offer a free WSOP entry.  Below is a list of 10 things you can learn by watching the World Series of Poker.

  1. Since the World Series of Poker is such compelling viewing, beginners can pick up the rules of the game automatically, simply by watching.
  2. Note how players maximize the potential of good hole cards. Note the early raises, reflecting the fact that they have a higher percentage chance of winning the pot.
  3. The coverage of the World Series of Poker will sometimes show the percentage chances each player has of winning the pot. Examine these carefully and, as an exercise, try to work out the cards required by each player to win.
  4. Watch how the experts try to extract as much money as possible from their rivals when they have good hands. Look at how they judge bets to try to avoid scaring other players into folding.
  5. Take particular note of rounds where expert players fold strong hands which they believe will be beaten. Listen to the commentators try to explain the psychology and reasoning.
  6. Watch the way the players behave and interact with one another during hands. Bearing in mind their hole cards, try to work out what sort of message they are trying to project into their opponents’ minds.
  7. The World Series of Poker will exhibit some of the finest loose and tight players in the game. Study players who play in a similar way to yourself in order to improve your own game.
  8. Study all the different types of players. These might be experts, but you will encounter the playing styles in your own games so you need to understand them.
  9. Watch the techniques the experts use to bully low chip players out of the game.
  10. Examine the techniques players use to try to avoid being ‘read’ by other players. Look particularly at their body language and the way they project themselves, particularly when they are bluffing, as described in the article “Learning To Play Poker – Tips When Bluffing


Alex Mayer is a Poker playing professional who issues her tips and strategy knowledge at the FirstPokerTips website. Hundreds of great tips available on everything from poker hand rankings to bluffing.

To become an expert poker player you need to understand bluffs and common poker tells.  Alex Mayer provides free unbiased poker advice including psychology  of poker on the First Poker Tips Poker blog. Many more articles are available on everything from bluffing, to tournaments and how to qualify for the WSOP for free.

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Learning To Play Poker – Tips When Bluffing Fri, 19 Mar 2010 14:45:31 +0000 If you are learning to play poker then, at some stage, you will need to add the art of bluffing into your game. Bluffing, put simply, is the act of representing that you are holding a stronger hand than you actually are. It is a technique which is performed better – and therefore more often used – by some players than others.


Poker player who looks a little bit like Madonna

  • Use the ‘semi-bluff’ first when learning to play poker. A semi-bluff involves falsely representing that you have an excellent hand, in cases when you have quite a good hand. Take the case where 3 hearts, including the 10, have appeared on the flop and you are holding another 10. If you make a large raise, you are representing to the other players that you hold 2 hearts and have a flush. In actual fact, you have a pair of 10s, which is a much weaker hand but not an outrageous bluff. You will be able to draw some confidence from the fact that you have a hand which could win and this might be sensed and misread by other players as the flush. Also, if you are called, it is not entirely clear whether you have made a bluff and your competitors might be left confused by the type of player you are.
  • If you have been recently caught bluffing, take care with future plays. Remember that other players will have now formed an opinion of the type of player you are, which might make them more likely to call you on a future bluff. Note, however, that you might also be able to turn this into a positive by fleecing them for more money when you have a very strong hand.
  • When learning to play poker you will encounter many different styles of play. On a new table you will find it helpful to assess your competitors before deciding whether to bluff. You are more likely to get away with a bluff on a table where most of the players are tight and more easily frightened off by a raise. However, good tight players will obviously play strong hands so try to assess the confidence of the table before deciding to bluff.
  • Practice bluffing skills at a poker room where the initial stakes are very low, or where you can play tournaments for free, for example at 888 Poker.
  • Consider whether you might have a ‘tell’ and if so, whether you are able to conceal it. Another part of learning to play poker is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your own game. Some players are wonderfully intuitive about reading other players. If you think you are giving something away in your body language the following might help:
    • Consider wearing sunglasses to the table if you are allowed. If not, on big hands stare directly down on the table (regardless of whether you are bluffing or not).
    • Play online poker rooms to largely discount the effect of the ‘tell’.
  • Bluffs can be made more effectively if you are nearer the end of the betting round, when you have assessed other players’ confidence. Remember this when learning to play poker.

To become an expert poker player you need to understand bluffs and common poker tells.  Alex Mayer provides free unbiased poker advice including psychology  of poker on the First Poker Tips Poker blog

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Poker Tips cash pile

Some now banned...

If you are looking for Poker Calculators, please be careful when searching for software which claims it can automatically detect and advise which card to play. . Very few work consistently. Those that do can be expensive, but the rewards can be handsome if you select one that works with your Poker room.

You can get free advice on our Poker Calculators page, and even download an entirely free poker calculator that automatically reads the cards from the screen, tells you pot odds, and even advises on which bet to play, whether to raise or fold [Read more...]

PDF Downloads

Main Story

In partnership with Pacific Poker, recently rebranded 888Poker we are offering a stunning competition, to allow you to play at the WSOP entirely funded by us. The package includes $2500 for flights, full accommodation, the $10 000 entry fee and spending money. Choose one or more of the following ways:


·         PERSISTENCE PAYS: Race to play the most raked hands

·         RACE YOUR WAY: Race to earn the most poker Status Points

·         BRING YOUR BUDDIES: Refer as many friends as possible

·         SOCIAL SUCCESS: For YouTube, Facebook and Twitter fans

·         CARDS AND COINS: Race to earn the most casino and poker Status Points

·         BOUNTY HUNTER: Knock out the poker celebs or come first in one of the tourneys

·         TOURNEY LOVERS: Race to play the most tourneys with the biggest buy-ins

·         ONE FOR THE LADIES: Ladies only race to earn the most poker Status Points

This promotion opens the prestigious World Series of Poker event to everyone, regardless of poker playing ability. To find out more visit the 888Poker page now! [Read more...]

Learn the subtle psychology tricks that can turn you into a Poker shark:

  • Know who the weak player is. If you don't know who the fish is, then you are the fish!
  • Read the other players. Take notes. How long do they take to bet? On a weak hand, and on a strong one.
  • Choose your bluffs carefully. In tournament games people play far more aggressively
  • Understand the psychology of poker. This free download ebook on psychology of poker and poker tells will help turn you into a stronger player
  • Learn to lose. Don't show emotion when you do.
  • Focus closely. You need all your wits and scruples, so turn off the TV, turn off the iPod and you will feel yourself immersing more deeply.
  • Download the Poker Tips and Tells guide, and see the other useful downloads in the section above.

November's Best Poker Offers...

Room Rating Free Bonus Our comments Review
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