In a few hours I will be heading out for a night of Poker, which comprises 4-5 of my nights each week. My favorite is High/Low 7 Card Stud, but tonight is strictly the 7 Card Stud people and THEY are good. You don't make mistakes with these people.

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Talk is minimal, tells are invisible, mistakes are costly and mercy is absent. Talk too much, they'll pick up a tell. Look the wrong way and they get a read on you, make a dumb move and it'll cost you. Newcomers to the game would be better in a tank with sharks. These guys would eat the sharks!

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The point I'm making is that if you really want to be a great poker player, or even a successful one at kicking off some decent profits, the key is being perfect in every phase of the game.

Today I'm going to dwell on one tiny thing: STRAIGHTS. I don't win with straights because I don't go for straights. Obviously if one is dealt to me in the first 5 cards, I'm not throwing it back. But chasing a straight, even open ended, is a waste of time and money - mostly money.

A straight is only a freckle more powerful than 2 pair and needs 5 cards in order to be made. Two pair needs only four cards. Trips are even more powerful than two pair and require only three cards of the same value, of course. But measured against the difficulty of trying to fill a straight is the all important facet of EXPENSE.

Just think for a second how long you have to stay in a hand in order to get your straight. It doesn't just happen all the time in the first five cards you are dealt. Yet once you cross over to sixth street, and definitely on seventh street, the betting increases by leaps and bounds.

The person chasing the dream of catching a 5 or a 10 to complete his slightly meager valued straight is caught between players looking for, or worse, HAVING their Full House, Flush or Higher Straight. The catch might be made but the hand may not be strong enough to off-set others who end up stronger.

The amount of money a poker player uses in CHASING hands eventually comes back to eat into overall profits. I'm not saying to drop every hand unless you are dealt trips or three cards to a Royal. Just for smiles, put away the chasing of straights for the next three poker sessions you find yourself involved in. Watch and see if it doesn't leave you with more money to use, going after better valued hands.

And with that said, I will now spray on my shark repellent and enter the room, set aside for all aspiring poker players, who hope to get out of that rat trap in about 7 hours with more money than they went in with.

You can be sure that IF I win tonight, it won't be because I caught a gut straight or two but because I had enough chips in front of me to go for broke with three lovely cowboys wired. Chasing straights will lead you STRAIGHT to a quick dent in your session money! Don't do it.

For more information on how to get started, open an account, play and win at multiplayer poker visit

This article is courtesy of It looks carefully at a base element of a good poker playing strategy.

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