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Off Table Edges in Poker

Texas Holdem is a game of small edges. Not all of these edges are directly related to the actions you undertake at the table however.

As a matter of fact, some of the most lucrative edges that take the least amount of effort on your part, are off-table edges.

The best known such edge is game selection.

Regarding game selection, you should know, that even though they're related, there's one big difference between Holdem and Omaha.

Holdem, being much more dependant on the luck factor, will give rookies some acceptable odds when faced with experienced opposition. Omaha on the other hand though, won't even allow them to think about winning.

What this means for you is this: If you're a good player and you can choose between an Omaha game full of rookies and a Texas Holdem one which is loaded with fish too, I suggest you pick Omaha. Texas Holdem makes it tougher to beat fish for a variety of reasons. Be careful though, as Omaha is hell if all players around the table are good ones. It is easier to beat good players in Holdem than in Omaha, and it is obviously easier to beat fish in Holdem than it is to beat experienced players in Omaha.

That should give you a pointer or two as far as game selection is concerned, now on to table selection.

No matter what game you choose to play in, one thing is certain: you do not want to be faced with good poker players.

Whether it is Omaha or Holdem you play, good players will certainly give you a much harder time than any rookie would or could.

Since online poker is not played for glory and bragging rights, but mostly for money, you want to avoid confrontations in which you're not a favorite.

In this respect, you have to be on the lookout for tables full of fish.

Online poker rooms offer great opportunities for table selection. You can just watch the action at any table without the players knowing that you're there and draw your conclusions. You will never find such an opportunity for table selection in any live poker game.

Another extremely useful off-table edge is rakeback. I hope I needn't tell you how the poker room you play at earns its money.

They take a certain percentage off every pot. Despite the fact that it's apparently only the winner who pays the rake, every player who puts money into the pot contributes to the rake. The poker rooms keep track of this contribution and they give you a certain percent of the rake you generate through the course of a month, back.

It is important that you choose the rakeback program you sign up with carefully.

The way the poker room calculates the rake is quite important as well. Some poker rooms simply divide the total amount of rake taken at the end of a hand with the number of players at the table. If you're a good player, this is not what you should be looking for.

Whenever you're dealt a hand, you already generate rake, even if you fold your pocket hand without contributing to the pot at all.

Again, a good player might not want to play with Dealt Rake, because it rewards passive and tight players.

If contributed rake is what you're after, make sure the poker room you sign up with, calculates rake that way.

You may also want to check that the room does not deduct bonuses from the rakeback you earn.

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Did You Know?

There are more than 10 million real-money online poker players in the U.S., which is over five times the amount in the U.K., the second-biggest market.

Definition

Hot Hands
A run of high value hands.

Bubble
The point in a tournament at which there are only slightly more players remaining than there are finishing positions that receive a prize