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Guide to Party Poker

Party Poker is by far the largest online poker room. Games of all stakes are widely popular. Because Party Poker has such mainstream appeal, the games tend to be fairly soft at this site. Many casual players are present at Party Poker. Of course, the multitude at fish at this site means that many online sharks also make Party Poker their home.

Like at any other poker site, possessing solid poker skills is the most important component to winning. Nevertheless, here are a few tips that apply especially well at Party Poker because of its size.

First, there are plenty of tables to choose from at Party Poker, so only play at the ones where the game is loose. Why play against sharks when you can play against fish? If you see people making a lot of basic mistakes, such as calling raises preflop with [[cards Kd 8c]], join in! If everyone at your table is a tightwad, find another table!

While the size of Party Poker makes game selection a dream, it unfortunately means it is difficult to keep accurate player notes for a large percentage of players in the poker room. Over time, you may see a few familiar faces. But to quickly get a handle on a lot of players at the table, you'll need to take a few short cuts.

The best way to quickly gauge the skill level of an opponent is to pay attention to his stack size. Generally, good players buy in for a lot at a limit poker game (and generally the max in a no-limit game). Lesser skilled players generally buy in for low or moderate amounts. For limit games, this is because they want an effective way to limit how much they may potentially lose at the table. Furthermore, in a no-limit game, it is much easier to play a small stack than a large stack. So buying in for a short stack is strategically advantageous for a lesser-skilled player.

This is not to imply that anyone with a large stack is a shark and anyone with a small stack is a fish. Much of the time, this is not the case. But as far as poker stereotypes go, there is a decent amount of truth to this one.

If you are an advanced high-stakes limit player, you can further take advantage of this stereotype by "scaring" away sharks from your table. Buying in for a large stack is a "signal" to other sharks that you are a good player. Since most sharks are aware of the stack size stereotype, they tend to look for games with smaller stacks. If they see a bunch of players with big stacks, they will probably look for a different game. Again, this tip only applies to winning players who play at high-stakes, and the only advantage it gives them is to hopefully limit the number of sharks that decide to play at their table.

Also, keep an eye on the bad beat jackpot tables. These tables charge an extra rake, so many sharks avoid them. This means that much of the time, only fish play at these tables. While you have to pay extra rake to sit at these tables, it may be worth it if you find a particularly soft table.

Something else I've found particularly interesting is that the games seem to get much tougher once you go past $15-$30 at Party Poker. Obviously, the higher the stakes, the tougher the games. Most players do not even play as high as $15-$30 anyway. But for those that do, the competition seems much tougher at $20-$40 and higher than the $15-$30 games. If you are thinking about playing higher limits, think twice before advancing past $15-$30.

Another standard poker skill that is especially important at Party Poker is the ability to stay off of tilt. Party Poker's software is very fast. There are also a lot of bad players at Party Poker who will lay some pretty stiff bad beats. The combination of these two factors causes many players to tilt.

Since the software is so fast at Party Poker, even a short tilt can mean losing a lot of money quickly. This is especially the case if you are playing no-limit hold'em. It is important to stay off of tilt and capitalize if you notice your opponents are tilting.

Finally, if you are an SNG player, Party Poker is an excellent poker room due to the number of SNG's available. Try to get skilled enough so that you can play higher than the $5+$1 tables. A 20% rake is pretty high for a tournament, so it makes sense to play the $10+$1 instead of the $5+$1, provided you are a winning player at these types of tournaments.

Next Article: Guide to Pacific Poker

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