How to Find the Best Lake Texoma Fishing Guide

How Do You Find the Best Lake Texoma Fishing Guide?

If you are planning a trip to Lake Texoma and want to Stripper Fish with a good guide, here are some tips that will make your adventure a success. Start with a Google search, and be prepared for a lot of fishing guide choices. You can search "Lake Texoma Fishing Guides" or "Lake Texoma Stripper Guides" and get all the listings you will need. Make sure you book 30-60 days in advance. Lake Texoma is the Stripper Capital of the World and the guides stay booked up year round. If you are booking a multiday trip make sure your Lake Texoma Fishing Guide understands. Now you have the task of finding a quality Texoma Fishing Guide. You will find lots of Google Ads at the top and bottom of the page. Most Texoma Guides pay for ads on Google!

What Does the Website Look Like?

Eight out of ten Google searches are done on a tablet or smartphone. If the website does not adjust to your smartphone and the text and pictures are small, move on to the next guide. Does the website have a fishing report? Are the fishing reports up to date? If you find a fishing report that is two years old and the site has only two reports, move on to the next guide! Does the Texoma Fishing Guide website have links to social media? If the answer is no, find another candidate. If there are links to social media take a look at them. If you do not find many posts on Facebook, find another guide. Take time to read the home page of the guide's website! Is the content readable or does it sound mixed up and confusing? Spinning content is very common on a guide's website, and ranking on Google is easier with mass-produced spun content.

Lake Texoma Fishing Guides Boat Pictures

Texoma is a very large lake and can get difficult to navigate when the weather turns bad. Make sure your Texoma Fishing Guides boat is big and safe. A 21-foot boat is standard, anything less is not safe on Lake Texoma. You are going to spend 4-6 hours on Texoma with a guide, make sure the boat is nice! If you are a master angler and familiar with fishing rods and reels, ask the guide what he uses! Most good Texoma Fishing Guides will have this information on their website, so look for it!

Social Media and Lake Texoma Stripper Guides

You can find customer reviews on websites and social media, but the very best way to find a good review is on Facebook. Not a Facebook review, because those are cherry picked! Find a fishing guides post, then look at the comments. Most customers reply to Facebook posts. Message the customer and let them know you need a review and are thinking about booking a trip. 9 out of 10 customers will respond and let you know how good or bad the guide was on their trip.

Customize Your Lake Texoma Stripper Trip

Once you get a list of 10 possible Texoma Fishing Guides, get your smartphone out and start texting. Make sure your potential guide knows the following:

1) Dates you wish to fish

2) How many anglers in your group

3) Your groups angling skills

4) Any special needs (kids, disabilities)

If you email this information it will take 2-3 days for a response, a text message will get a fast response. Some guides will be booked, so make sure you book 60 days in advance. If you have a group of artificial lure anglers, do not book a live bait trip. If you have neophyte anglers that simply want to experience Texoma, a live bait trip could be best. If you have kids, make sure your guide will fish them. Most Texoma Guides fish kids, but it's better to find out in a text message and not at the marina boat dock.

Lake Texoma The Stripper Capital of the World

Texoma is one of the few fisheries in the USA where Stripper reproduce naturally. The Red River picks up salt near Wichita Falls and carries it into Lake Texoma. The high salt content and moving river water let Stripper reproduce each spring. Texas and Oklahoma stock Stripper in Lake Texoma each year too! Texoma doubles down on Stripper each year and is a great fishery! If you are looking for Memories of a Lifetime, book your Texoma Stripper Tip Today!

Does Winning Facebook Poker Chips in Facebook Texas Hold Translate Into Success in Real Poker?

So you've been playing Facebook Texas Holdem poker for a while now and you've managed to rack up millions or even billions of Facebook poker chips. You do not use cheats or hacks for Facebook poker, you never downloaded any bots that play the game for you, you never bummed Facebook chips from friends, and you've never stolen any poker chips from family members. If poker skill was measured in Facebook poker chips, by all measures you'd be the top of the game, but does this need translate into real world success in poker? Would you have the success in, for example, a real money game at your house, a live tournament game in Las Vegas, or another online game that uses real money instead of Facebook chips?

There are some marked differences between real money and play money games that range from the obvious to the more minority. It's obvious that the biggest difference is the currency used in the games. One uses Facebook poker chips and the other is real world currency with real world value. But is this enough to alter how people play in the corresponding Texas Holdem games? Do players who bet with Facebook chips bet more carelessly or more often than they would with real money?

It's fair to say that players would play more freely, less carefully, and be willing to lose play poker chips than they would real money. Facebook poker chips have no real world value – they can not pay the rent or buy food, you can not deposit them in a bank, and they will not send your kid to college, but they do have another kind of value – social value. Players who frequent social networks and the games they host value the prestige and recognition that they get from their friends when they win a lot of chips in Facebook poker. And so maybe this prestige gives these chips enough value to force the player into assigning a perceived value to them, whether real or not. They want to win more poker chips so that their Facebook friends will see them climb the ranks of Texas Holdem and earn a spot on the top players list. They will never be able to cash out these chips, but they'll have the honor of being among the best players in the world.

To most players this is quite a valuable thing, and so this may be enough to make them play more carefully with their Facebook poker chips. So much so that their playing style may be reflective of someone who is playing with real money. This probably is not the case in some of the beginner tables where new players start out. Only having a few thousand Facebook pokerchips is not much motivation to play seriously, as reaching the top players list is such a far possible, but players with billions of chips who frequent the highroller tables in Facebook poker seem to play much more disciplined as they gain more and more chips and rank. They treat their virtual chips as though they were real money, because the prestige of reaching the top players list is as much of a motivator as making real money. So it would seem that while beginners with a few chips may treat Facebook pokerchips as just another virtual play currency, the top players in the highest rooms value these chips quite highly and play accordingly.

The Explosion in the Popularity of Texas Holdem Poker

Blackjack was once the most popular casino game. It could not have been simpler. The player who comes closest to 21 without going bust wins. Now poker is giving blackjack a run for the money, capturing the hearts and minds of more and more people. The World Series of Poker was created nearly 40 years ago by Jack Binion. But in the last 10 years poker has the growth worthy of a fortune 500 company. The success of the World Series of Poker has spawned another industry in itself with more poker games featured on TV, magazines and more media outlets. This exposure has increased poker's popularity many times over and people realize anyone can play and more and more people join in.

Along with the increase popularity is the increasing jackpots. The original winner won $ 30,000 in 1971. By 2009 the winner took home over $ 8,000,000. 00 – yes 8 million dollars. Very good for looking at numbers and hedging bets. There's a lot more to it than hedging bets including strategy, bluffing, luck, card counting and more ways to give the player an advantage. The jackpots today are a major incentive to learn and play. And even the smaller winners, the bracelet winners, take home nice paydays for winning along the way. And there are many tournaments throughout the year to test and hone poker skills.

The kicker in more people playing is the internet. Many online casinos offer online satellites where everyone from anywhere can play from the home computer. Leron Washington won $ 100,000 in the WPT, World Poker Tour. Online poker gives many more opportunities to enter big tournaments unless you live in Vegas or where tournaments are being played. Poker is anyone's game anyone can join, anyone can win. And with the increase in popularity the winners have become celebrities in their own right with casino endorsements, and coaching lessons via internet of land casinos.

The most common form of poker variations played is no limit Holdem poker and Omaha poker but most tournaments have the largest types of poker but the maximum jackpot is usually no limit Holdem poker. Also played are pot limit Holdem poker, Omaha hi / lo and pot limit, razz or low-ball and more. Poker is becoming the most popular card game played in casinos because of media exposure such as the TV, internet and print magazines.

How to play Texas Hold'em

Both variations of Texas Hold'em (Limit & No Limit) are played with a standard deck of 52 cards, what's different about Hold'em is how players make their hands. In this popular version of poker, players receive 2 face-down cards – called the hole or pocket cards. These two cards make your starting hand. As betting rounds progress, up to 5 community cards (dealt face up in the center of the table) will be eliminated. The winner is the player who either forces his opponents to fold, or has the best ranked 5 card poker hand at the end of the hand (the "showdown").

So what hands are better than others? Remember, each player makes their best 5 card hand out of the available 7 (the 5 community cards plus the 2 hole cards) – every player can use the community cards and sometimes the 5 communal cards from the best hand (in which case the pot is shared between all remaining players). Hands rank as follows …

  1. Royal Flush (10, J, Q, K, A of same suit)
  2. Straight Flush (any consecutive 5 cards of same suit)
  3. 4 of a kind (as it says! 4 cards of the same value)
  4. Full house (3 of a kind combined with a pair eg A, A, A, 5,5 "Aces over 5's")
  5. Flush (5 cards of the same suit)
  6. Straight (any 5 consecutive cards, not suited)
  7. 3 of a kind (3 of the same value)
  8. 2 pairs (exactly what it says eg A, A, 5,5,3)
  9. pair (two cards of same value)
  10. high card (no other hand)

In the result of 2 players having the same hand (eg a pair of aces), the high card kicker (the highest card after the Aces) determines the winner.

The order of play in Hold'em is determined by the "dealer button". This is a visible marker that rotates between the players, in a clockwise motion, before the start of each new hand. The player left left of the button always acts first in any given betting round. The player who has the button therefore, acts last. This is a huge advantage as this player can wait to see how all the other players act, before making his own decision.

After players are eliminated their hole cards, betting begins with the obligatory blinds. These are small forced bets that ensure that every single pot has a value. In Hold'em, the two players left of the button place these small bets. As the button moves before each round begins, so does the obligation to place blinds. It's always the two players left of the button that pay the blinds. The value of the blinds depends on how big a game you are playing and are only placed on the first round of betting.

So now, we're set up and ready to gamble – the hole cards are fatal and the blinds are in. Let's start gambling!

When it's a players turn to act, he has 5 options.

  1. Call – match a previously made bet
  2. Bet – wager an amount, adding it to the pot
  3. Check – make no bet but stay in the hand. This can only be done if no other player has made a bet before him in this particular round of betting
  4. Fold – drop out of the pot and throw away your cards. Cards should never be shown when folding as this could give an unfair advantage to another player.
  5. Raise – increase the wageed amount

A betting round does not end until all players have either folded or matched the highest amount bet. When ended, all chips are collected into the total pot and the next card (s) deal if applicable. Remember the player to the left of the dealer button always acts first (placing a restricted blind counts as an action).

The first betting round, the pre-flop betting round, begins with just the hole cards in play. When it is completed, 3 community cards are eliminated and the flop betting round begins. Next is the turn betting round where an additional community card is deal, and, lastly, comes the river betting round – with all 5 community cards now on the board.

A little about Hold'em variations

There are 2 variations of Hold'em – Limit and No Limit.

Limit – Each table has a specific limit. This limit determines the forced blind amounts, for example, in a $ 1 / $ 2 game the blinds would be $ 0.5 and $ 1 to get the action started. The small blind is usually half the value of the big blind. Remember to choose a table that suits the amount you have to gamble, there is no point joining a $ 10 / $ 20 table with $ 100 as you stand the chance of being 'blinded' out of the game ie losing your money before you even have a hand good enough to bet on. In a limit game of $ 1 / $ 2, the first bet must be $ 1, a raise would be an additional $ 1. No more, no less.

No Limit – This is the most popular version of Hold'em. Any player can bet or raise any amount – only limited by the amount he has in front of him! If a player puts their whole stack of chips in, they are going "all in". If a later player puts even more chips in, the first player does not lose but will only win the amount equal to his own bet. Should there be a third player in the hand, the two players with remaining chips can continue betting as normal. In this case the players' chips which are all in are matched with the same amount from the other 2 players and are moved to one side as the main pot. The other two players will add any additional chips to what is called a "side pot" and continue as normal.

Montgomery Central Appraisal District (MCAD) – Texas – Property Tax Protest

The TEXAS Montgomery Central Appraisal District [ MCAD ] appraises homes and other real estate; this value determines your property tax amount. Reducing your property taxes involves some knowledge and a modest commitment of time, although you do have the option to hire a professional property tax consultant. Basic steps to reducing the taxable value set by the appraisal district include annually protesting market value and/or unequal appraisal annually, reviewing the appraisal district evidence, preparing your case for presentation, attending the informal conference with a staff appraiser, and appearing at a formal appraisal review board (ARB) hearing if necessary.

Note: Most people are not aware that the Texas property tax code makes provision for the property owner to obtain the appraisal district evidence. This information, sometimes called the House Bill 201 package, can be very useful in preparing the case for your reduction.

The administrative appeal process at the appraisal district office usually involves two steps: 1) an informal conference and 2) a formal ARB hearing. Although the property owner is not required to attend an informal hearing, most property tax protests are resolved by agreement between the property owner (or property tax consultant) and a county appraiser at these meetings. County appraisers are supposed to make changes if there is evidence to support the change, but they are typically reluctant to reduce the taxable value for home by significant amounts. The next level of meeting, which can occur if you are not able to reach an agreement one-on-one with the county appraiser, is a formal ARB hearing. Property owners who were not able to settle through an informal conference have a second opportunity to present their case, and are sometimes able to receive resolution at a formal ARB hearing.

It is important to arrive early for your appraisal district meetings and make an effort to have a polite, pleasant, and calm disposition, even if you are feeling anxious. After you check-in with the clerk at the front desk, be ready to wait 30 to 60 minutes. Maybe bring a book or some work to pass the time. Greet the appraisal staff kindly and graciously. At this level, their goal is like yours, to reach a settlement expediently. After you discuss evidence with a county appraiser, they will sometimes make an offer to settle your property tax protest. You can either accept the offer or continue your appeal with the ARB hearing. In most cases, the value offered informally will also be recommended by the county appraiser at the ARB hearing. The appraisal district knows that most property owners are often reluctant to attend the ARB hearing because of the additional time involved and the process of a formal presentation can feel intimidating for some people.

Formal hearings typically consist panels of three or more ARB representatives, the property owner (or property tax consultant ), and the county appraiser. After introductions and a short explanation of the process, the county appraiser will describe the subject property. The property owner presents opening evidence and responds to any questions from ARB representatives. Next, the staff appraiser presents evidence on behalf of the appraisal district and responds to any questions from the ARB panel. The property owner has an opportunity for rebuttal and to respond to any further questions from the ARB panel for clarification of the facts presented. Finally, the ARB panel deliberates and announces a decision. The decision is not subject to further negotiation at the hearing. You should politely thank the ARB members for their consideration. If you are not satisfied with their decision, you may be able to pursue binding arbitration or a judicial appeal.

Family Vacations – Texas Vacations That Strengthen the Family Ties

Idea # 1: Family activities for water lovers.

Broken Bow Lake has over 14,000 acres of pristine deep water. The water is incredibly clear and cool because its 180 miles of shore is lined with the forest covered Kiamichi Mountains. Nature in its most unspoiled state is found along the Glover River, Oklahoma's only untamed waterway (which means there are no dams blocking its course). Because Glover is secluded, its calm waters are ideal for floating on a raft. Beavers Bend has paddle boats and bumper boats. Rent a canoe and take a long lazy cruise together. Take turns paddling, then stop and drift for awhile, taking in the scenery – that includes Eagles flying overhead. Canoes seat two adults and two small children. Older kids will love kayaking, rafting or zooming around the lake on jet skis.

Idea # 2: Create your own family posse on horseback.

Southeastern Oklahoma is home to over 535,000 acres of land available for horseback riding. The Ouachita National Forest and the Three Rivers Wildlife Management areas are prime areas for exploration as a family. Horses can travel on the forest floor. The Beavers Bend Depot is perfect for beginners and children where a 2.5 mile ride allows riders to catch a glimpse of deer and various types of wildlife. For more experienced riders, the back roads of McCurtain County offer endless riding adventures.

Idea # 3: Play a game of family golf in a pine-laden wilderness.

The course has a pro shop, resident pro, cart and club rentals. Fairways cascade through stands of pine, oak, and hickory and past deer, fox, and wild turkey. More than one hole offers a fine view of Broken Bow Lake and the occasional glimpse of bald eagles.

Idea # 4: Take a stroll together in a nearby small town

Head to nearby Broken Bow, OK to walk around and do some window-shopping. Grab hamburgers at Stephen's Gap. Catch an old timey radio show live on Broadway Street. Watch chainsaw sculpting at Hochatown Junction Station. Culture and history are plentiful in Broken Bow with three museums each with its own unique subject to offer a rewarding learning experience. The Gardner Mansion and Museum has a collection of pre-historic and historic Indian and pioneer artifacts. Located outside the museum are the remains of a 2,000 year-old Cypress tree.

Spending quality time together as a family can solidify and strengthen family ties, particularly when activities involve water sports, the great outdoors and splendor of nature as that can be found in McCurtain County.

Marriage Records in State of Texas

Texas was one of the first states to classify marriage records as public information. With 20-plus million residents, marriage records in Texas have built up over the years. Government agencies provide public databases of Texas Marriage Records as a public service and private ones also exist on a commercial basis. The largest databank is at the Texas Vital Statistics Office. It is the state repository of public records and all state marriage records are routiniously uploaded to it from respect counties and districts. The office reports into the Department of State Health Services of Texas.

The Texas Vital Statistics Office began officially filing Marriage Records in Texas in 1966 simultaniously with Texas Divorce, Birth and Death Records. There were variations over the various counties and districts especially during the early years but all the marriages within the state would have been very posted at this office. Erstwhile marriage records in Texas as with other states during that era were administrated by the county or district offices where the interviews took place.

Actually, Texas County Marriage Records were already in existence as early as 1837 in some areas of the state. Much of them were lost through accidents and other mishandling over the ages but for those which are still intact, they have been filmed, restored and properly archived. Having said, the majority of historical database remains pretty much inactive. Predominant public interest mainly centers on the current generations. With advancement in modern data-filing, their records are in far better order.

By token of Texan laws, a great deal of information can be derived from such database. They are public records and everyone has the right to them. People can literally access and assess anyone's entire romantic past and present on demand. Documents such as Marriage License, Certificate and Verification Letter are typical and so are related dispute matters. Particulars of involved parties like parents, witnesses and conducting officers or ministers are also standard information. Marriage records are never linked between states. As a result, marriages in other states will not show up in a Texas public marriage record search and vice-versa.

Different people will have their own preferred way of conducting marriage record search but the clear-cut favorite is the online method. This is quite expected as it's convenient, immediate and private. Depending on the needs of the situation, it can even be completed free of charge. However, it's recommended that professional record providers be engaged as their fees are typically very reasonable anyway and the bona-fide ones offer excellent value for money.

Texas Marriage Records are the top public records in the state when it comes to search activity. From background-checking a boyfriend or girlfriend to legal investigation, people are constantly checking out each other and the best thing is it's done in secrecy. But why not, it's easy and it's over in a jiffy for that peace of mind never ever so often. So it might be a good idea to self-check your marriage records regularly just to be sure that the record is straight, so to speak.

8 Things To Do In Amsterdam

Are you planning to spend a weekend in Amsterdam? Here are a few things you can do to make your stay even more memorable.

1. Delve into Amsterdam's glorious past

Delve into the city's golden past by paying a visit to its celebrated museums. The Amsterdams Historisch Museum and the Museum Amstelkring are particularly popular with travelers. They showcase objects as old as 700 years.

2. Get lost in the maze of canals

165 canals run through the city of Amsterdam. The most beautiful among them is Prinsengracht. You can find shops, galleries and authentic caf├ęs on either side of these canals. There is little traffic around the canal areas making them ideal places for taking a pleasant stroll.

3. Visit the parks

The Vondelpark, which is named after the celebrated poet Joost van den Vondel is the largest green space in Amsterdam. It is a great place to visit during the summertime. The park is a hub of cultural activities. There is a cinema at the Nederlands Filmmuseum and a Picasso sculpture. The Vondelpark Openluchttheater becomes the venue of dance, music and kids' activities from June to September.

4. Get on your bike

Amsterdam is the most bicycle friendly city in the world. In fact, cycling is the Dutch means of getting around the city. So hire a bicycle and get around the city like a free spirited citizen of the world. In Amsterdam you can hire a bicycle from plenty of places. You can also book guided bicycle tours.

5. Try the local cuisine

Get a taste of the authentic Dutch cuisine. If you visit the city between May and July you should try eating a raw herring. It is a kind of fish very popular in Holland.

6. Marvel at the Golden Age art

Go and see the works of the celebrated painters Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum. Perhaps the most famous museum in the city, the Rijksmuseum has the country's largest collection of art and artefacts from the 15th century until 1900, including 40 painting by Rembrandts and four by Vermeers. You can find an amazing collection of 20th-century artists at the Stedelijk Museum.

7. Indulge in a bit of skating

If you visit Amsterdam during winter, you can indulge in a bit of ice-skating. During winter months, the frozen canals become the perfect playground for locals interested in ice-skating. In the summer, you can find locals and tourists skating through the park.

8. Visit the flea markets

Amsterdam is home to people from all over the world. You can get a feel of this multi-ethnicity by visiting the flea markets. The most famous is the Albert Cuypmarkt from where you can buy everything from smoked eel to Surinamese sherbets.

How to Play Texas Holdem

Texas Holdem is currently "the" game to play in the poker world. The rules are fairly simple and so with relatively little information even the newest of players can win a pot or two.

The game works as follows:

Each player is deal 2 cards face down. Then there's a round of betting where you can either fold (cast out) your cards believing that they are not good enough to win, calling which means placing the appropriate minimum bet into the pot, or raising if you think your hand has a good chance of winning. Once everyone at the table has bet the dealer will place 3 cards face up in the middle of the table. These cards are called "the flop" and are the first of 5 community cards that all players will be able to use in combination with their original cards to make the best possible hand.

Once the flop is shown, there is another round of betting where some players will fold because the flop has meant their hand is not as strong as they thought it was, and others will raise as they'll now have a better hand than they were originally dealt with. Again, there's always the possibility to "check" which at this stage means you do not need to place any more money into the pot, but as with the first round of betting, this is only possible if no-one else at the table has during this round of betting. If someone has raised, then you will need to either fold your hand or "call" which means matching the amount of money placed by the person who raised – or you could raise again if you're confident that your hand is best.

When betting is completed, then the 4th card, known as "the turn" is placed face up on the table, followed by another round of betting as in the one following the flop. Finally the 5th card, "the river" is deal face up by the dealer followed by a final round of betting. Once the bets are complete, whoever is still left in the game turns over their cards and the winning hand gets all the money in the pot.

Winning hands:

One of the most important things to learn in how to play Texas Holdem is which hand out racks another from a 3 high to a royal flush, so in order from least to best the hands are:

Single Card High – you have no pair, no nothing, but you have the highest card of the players left in the game. It's not unheard of to win with a King or Ace high.

One Pair – a pair of anything, but highest pair wins the hand – your pair of 8s wins over my pair of 4s.

Two Pair – 2 pairs, that could have paired up your clearance (hole) cards with 2 of the community cards, or if you already have a pair, you could make 2 pair if a pair is deal in the community cards.

Three of a Kind – also known as a set or trips, you could have 1 or 2 of them in your hand and the others are in the community cards – remember that if you only have 1, it's possible someone else also has one in which case the other card in your hand (the kicker) will have to be higher than the ones in order for you to win.

Straight – 5 cards in consecutive numerical order of any suit. If there's more than one person with a straight, then the person who has the highest straight wins – but if both straights are the same, then the pot is split between the players who have the straights.

Flush – 5 cards of the same suit. Simple as that. If more than one person has a flush in any one hand however, it's the person with the highest ranking flush card that takes home the pot – my Ace high flush will win over your 9 high flush.

Full House – If you get a pair, plus a set – that's 2 of one card and 3 of another, that's a full house. It's a pretty good hand!

Four of Kind – also known as quads – unless there's a straight flush possibility, or someone else who has a higher set of 4, you are guaranteed to win with this hand.

Straight Flush – 5 consigned numbered cards of the same suit.

Royal Flush – this is also a straight flush, but it's as high as it gets (10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace qualified) – get this, and you bought to take home the money!

In simple terms Texas Holdem is a poker game where you make the best hand you can from up to 7 cards available – 2 you are dealt with, plus 5 community cards available for use by all players.

New Medicare Supplement Competition in Texas

The top dogs of Texas's Medicare Supplement market are getting a run for their money. Two competitive carriers have entered the stage, and are clawing to the top in most Texas zip codes. Cigna, insured by American Retirement Life Insurance Company, and Manhattan Life have been catching the eyes of Texas agents and consumers of late. With low premiums and speedy processing, it's no wonder that these two carriers are succeeding in drawing massive amounts of new business and notoriety so quickly.

American Retirement Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Cigna, began selling Medicare Supplements in Texas early February of 2013. In the past year, ARLIC has delivered highly competitive rates – improving the Texas Medicare Supplement landscape drastically. Prior to the Cigna brand, only three carriers could actually offer the lowest premiums: Omaha Insurance, Oxford Life, and Continental Life (Aetna). These carriers each have their own zip codes that they pursue competitively. Your chances of getting more than 1 or 2 "good" rates in each zip code were low a year ago. You either got Omaha, Oxford, or Continental, alongside one of the less-competitive brands. It was slim pickins.

Now that Cigna has been added to the mix, consumers are finding better rates, as well as more options for selecting a quality carrier.

Cigna also offers a quick and easy application process, as does Manhattan Life. Via an electronic application, agents are able to submit new business and save their clients money effortlessly. New business is typically issued anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks (they boast policy issues of 3-5 days). Of course, this is also dependent on the time of year the application is being submitted – Open Enrollment months are busier, inevitably.

Due to their inexpensive rates, Cigna has seen a boom in demand. They are quickly hiring more staff to keep up with the demand for their product. This growth in their company within the first year of business is extraordinary, and can only mean success. If you are a consumer, and are worried about the financial outlook of this company, this should reassure you that ARLIC's low rates and the Cigna brand are here to stay.

Located in Austin, Texas, ARLIC's rates are highly competitive for residents of Travis county and surrounding areas. There are also a few other "hot" areas, such as zip codes in and around North Texas. If you are a Medicare Supplement policyholder living in one of these areas, it may be time to call an agent and have your current policy reviewed.

ARLIC offers plans A, F, G, and N– which are also available in 18 other states. You can check availability at ARLIC's website.

A more recent addition to the Texas Medicare Supplement market is Manhattan Life. A few months ago, Manhattan Life did not sell in Texas. I was completely unaware of this company, to be frank. Then, slowly, I began to see their name pop up on my quote engine– and now when I search Texas zip codes, Manhattan Life is definitely top 5 in most areas, even top 2 in some. I suspect this will change (for the better) as they grow in the next year.

Similar to Cigna, Manhattan Life is a reputable and financially sound carrier, which is part of a larger family; Central United Life, Western United Life, and Family Life are all close relatives, and trusted brands in the industry.

Along with Texas, Manhattan Life offers Medigap plans in AZ, GA, IL, IN, MI, MS, NC, NE, PA, SC, TN, TX, and VA. The plans available for purchase include A, B, C, D, F, G, M, and N, offering more breadth than ARLIC (although not all are offered in each state).

Both Cigna and Manhattan Life are leading in many areas around Texas. While Cigna is still number one out of the two, I suspect Manhattan Life to target more specific niches if it has not already done so. I also expect both companies to evolve in the next few years– whether this means steadying their rates and focusing on specific areas or sometimes in Manhattan Life's case, pushing Cigna out of the top spot; only time will tell.

A few consumers have expressed concerns about purchasing a policy from a new carrier and then having the carrier pull a "bait and switch" by spiking the rates and leaving their clients stuck with large premiums. While I will not guarantee anything, I do not think that would be a smart technique for either company. Remember, even though their rates are low, they are still competitive with powerhouses who have been selling in Texas for years. It will take them 5-10 years to gain a solid reputation amidst domineering competition.

Luckily for consumers, the emergence of these new products is only pushing rates to be more competitive. If you have never considered having your policy reviewed, now is the perfect time to call an agent as carriers are fighting for your business more than ever.