George Epstein

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Stats Has written 20 posts about poker strategy

May 06 2021

Poker Tips by George: Don’t Be Predictable

It’s one thing to win at poker; it’s another thing to win CONSISTENTLY – well beyond your fair share. No matter how skilled you are, the element of luck (probability) is bound to get involved. You may be highly skilled but luck is beyond your control. However, you can influence it. That can be important. For example, suppose you are playing low-stake limit...

May 01 2021

Poker Tips by George: The Greatest Tell Concept

A poker tell is a change in a player's behavior or demeanor that can give a clue to his/her hand. A player gains an edge if s/he observes and understands the meaning of an opponent’s tell, particularly if the tell is unconscious and reliable. There is a vast range of tells, and there are false tells and reverse tells that a deceptive player...

Apr 20 2021

Poker Tips by George: Buy-in Is Important

My favorite poker game is $4-$8 limit Texas Hold’em. The casino has a minimum buy-in of $40, which is 10 times the lower limit. Most recreational players buy in for that amount or a bit more. Personally, over the years, I have increased my buy-in to $100 – a full rack of chips. But now, I am considering upping it to two...

Apr 03 2021

Poker Tips by George: My Favorite Bluff

The Esther Bluff is bound to improve your bluffing success while playing poker; and it can often help on other occasions when playing deceptively. Created by my granddaughter when she was a teenager, it entails playing with confidence and self-assurance. Indeed, when she raised my bet, I was convinced she had a big hand. It was the expression on her face accompanied by...

Mar 05 2021

Poker Tips by George: Beware of Loose-Aggressive (Wild) Games

One of my favorite poker authors is renowned poker psychologist Dr. Alan Schoonmaker. Years ago, in Poker Digest magazine, he published a series on “Selecting and Adjusting to Different Games.” His views on loose-aggressive games merit comment. With two or more loose-aggressive players (Maniacs), expect frequent raises and three-bets,...

Feb 25 2021

Poker Tips by George: The Kicker Can Make The Difference

I always look forward to reading the poker column in the Sunday issues of the Los Angeles Times. They are usually interesting. Unfortunately, it seems they are only written for the pros and other high-stakes players. It would be appropriate to have a few columnists for us recreational players who prefer low/middle limit hold’em and represent the majority of poker players. At...

Feb 22 2021

Poker Tips by George: Who Do I Fear the Most at the Poker Table?

Back in June 2002, the memorable Poker Digest magazine was published biweekly by an incredible couple, June Field and her husband, Phil. It always carried a number of fascinating articles about poker. One that I will never forget was titled “What Type of Player Should I Fear? Who are the 'dangerous' players?" Written by Art Santella for his “Arty’s Poker Q&A” column,...

Feb 10 2021

Poker Tips by George: Politics and Poker – Use Your Imagination

Can politics and poker ever play together to benefit the world? Is there room for politics in poker? In that regard, using my imagination, here is a poker story that could have happened. Admittedly, and importantly, it is a piece of fiction. But it gives us food for thought… Joyce C. learned to play poker from her husband, Sam, a political...

Jan 28 2021

Poker Tips by George: Limping

The language of poker often captures my interest and imagination. "Limping" is the term poker players use when calling the Big Blind (BB) to see the flop. It is the minimum amount of chips needed to stay in a hand during the preflop. It may also be identified as a “flat call.” The limper is entering the pot by calling rather than raising....

Jan 27 2021

Poker Tips by George: Playing Ace-rag

The best card in the deck is an Ace. Playing Texas Hold’em, the best starting hand is a pair of Aces. Therefore, you can expect to see an Ace in the hole one out of 13 hands dealt to you. On the other hand, the odds against looking down on pocket Aces in the hole are 221-to 1. Far more likely, you will...

Jan 14 2021

Poker Tips by George: Cheap Flops Are the Best

Playing low/middle-limit Texas hold’em, your goal is to go home a winner. Being the best player – the most skilled – at the table will help. But, more likely, you will rank near the middle in the skill department; let us assume that is the case. With eight opponents vying for the same pots, the cost-to- play (house rake, Bad Beat Jackpot drop, and...

Jan 07 2021

Poker Tips By George: Distractions Can Be Costly

Poker is game of partial information. The more pertinent information we have, the better chance we will win more pots and be able to build them up in size. I have often written about the importance of focusing on the game and paying attention to gain as much information as possible. That gives us a decided “edge” over our less attentive opponents. Mistakes...

Dec 27 2020

Poker Tips By George: Bluffing on the Turn

I have a huge poker library, including my own three books. One of the best is “Poker for Dummies” by the memorable Lou Krieger, co-authored with Richard Harroch. Enjoying the warm fall weather, I was scanning the book while relaxing in my backyard. A section on “Bluffing on the Turn” caught my attention. Superb! My first thought was to share it...

Dec 21 2020

Poker Tips by George: Can You be a Winner?

It is hard to win if you play poker where the house takes a rake (i.e., anyplace aside from the friendly home game). The cost-to-play (the rake, Bad Beat Jackpot drop, and tips to dealers) is not easily overcome. In a low-limit hold’em game, it averages about $25 per hour for each player, so eight hours of play will cost you $200. It...

Dec 01 2020

Poker Tips By George: Understanding Outs

Playing hold’em, starting-hand selection is your most important decision; on average, only 25% are playable. Next is whether to invest further in the hand after the flop is opened on the board. At that point, you will have seen over 70% of your final hand. If your starting hand does improve, most often it will be to a drawing hand that still needs...

Nov 29 2020

Poker Tips By George: Playing A-Q Offsuit

Some hold’em players believe that A-Q offsuit (A-Qo) is the hardest hand to play. They may be correct. World-famed poker pro Daniel Negreanu considers it a “trouble hand.” He says that he loses much more than he wins with it. But it is a hand with good possibilities. Based on the math probabilities, starting with A-Qo can be expected to win the pot...

Nov 20 2020

Poker Tips By George: Know How to Use Your Outs

To be a winner at Texas hold’em, you must learn how to count and use your outs. Outs are the unseen cards (presumably still available in the deck) that will complete your drawing hand after the flop. This applies when you need to catch a card to give you a strong hand – a made hand. The best examples of this are when...

Oct 31 2020

Poker Tips By George: Set and Trips

Poker has a language of its own. Some words are coined specifically for the game. Some are a part of our regular English language, but may have a somewhat different meaning in practice. It could be confusing, especially to new players. I will wager that there are many frequent poker players who are not aware of the sometimes subtle differences that may affect...

Oct 20 2020

Poker Tips By George: Three Types of Tells

Poker is a game of partial information. The more knowledge and data you can glean, the better your chance of winning. Skilled players seek it out before and during play of a hand, and while sitting out a hand. Obviously live poker and online poker are different, and one of the main ways in which this is so is that in live poker...

Sep 23 2020

Poker Tips By George: Be More Aggressive Post-flop

In my last article, we discussed the idea of being more aggressive pre-flop. In this article, we continue our discussion on playing a bit more aggressively. Let’s explore post-flop play…...

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