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Poker

Post  Admin on Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:57 am

Poker sites to play Poker on that are rated safe:

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Playing Poker Online

Post  Admin on Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:00 am

Playing Poker Online
From Bill Burton
Pokers popularity continues to skyrocket. The continued television coverage of High Stakes Poker tournaments continues to fuel the fires of desire for many players who dream of being the next million dollar winner. Five years ago if someone told you a National Television Network would broadcast a Poker tournament opposite the Superbowl pregame show you would probably laugh at the ludicrous idea. But this year NBC did just that and the ratings were astronomical. Poker has become that big and the urge to play casino style poker is growing for many kitchen table players. Millions of players who may have only played in home games are flocking to the casinos and Poker rooms across the country to try their hand at live poker. Many more are getting their first live poker experience online.

Online poker has become very popular and since Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker after gaining entry from playing in a satellite at an online Poker site, the number of online players has skyrocketed. This growth in online play is world wide. In the Poker Britain Report (see link in sidebar) it was reported that thirteen million adults have played poker in one form or another and 2.9 million have already or are interested in playing online. In a country of 60 million this is a large percentage. Although there has no similar survey in the United States, given the population of the country one can only imagine that the number of online Poker players is huge and there is no question that this number is growing.

There are a number of reputable online sites that are now catering to millions of players every day. Several years ago I was a little leery about playing online and suggested you limit online play to practice in the free games. I still suggest that all new players get some free practice before putting their money at risk in a live game; however my views online poker has changed. After some research and some actual play over the last two years I am now convinced that it is safe secure and a great alternative for many players who are not able to make a trip to a cardroom without traveling long miles to play poker for a few hours. There are actually several other advantages to playing online. Several of them are listed on the next page.

Lower Stakes
Online you can play for very low stakes. Since there are no dealers, rent or utilities to pay, the online sites can offer games at very low limits. This would not be practical or profitable a brick and mortar cardroom. If you are a new player you can find some sites with stakes as low as a nickel or dime. It is a World wide “Kitchen table” game and is a great way to make the transition from free play to money play.

No Tipping Required
In a cardroom it is customary to tip the dealer when you win a pot. This tip along with the rake is money you have to pay to play. Online you are not required to tip the dealer which means you are keeping more of what you win.

No Intimidation
Sitting down in a live game and facing nine other players can be very intimidating for a new player. Playing online Poker is akin to playing a video game as you are sitting in front of your computer facing a monitor instead of a live person. You can interact with the other players via the chat box or choose to just play your own game without having to talk or socialize. Nobody can see you and if your hands are shaking because of nerves nobody can see this.

Fits Your Schedule
Online play fits your schedule because you can play anytime you want 24/7. There is no traveling time involved and there is little or no waiting to get into a game once you are logged on. Since poker has become so popular it is not unlikely that I have to wait an hour to get into a game at the cardroom where I play. This is after an hours ride to get there and then when I am done I still have an hours drive back home. Online I can log on and ply even if I only have an hour or less to play.

Everybody Acts in Turn
Because of the software used online, nobody can act out of turn. Some sites have buttons or boxes you can check so you can choose to fold, call or raise as soon as you see your cards, but the action will not take place until it is your turn to act.

Pot Odds Shown
When you play in a live game some players find it difficult keeping track of pot odds and determining if they are getting the correct odds to call a bet or not. When you play online you always know exactly how much money is in the pot. You can easily calculate the pot odds for each decision you have to make. If you are unsure you can refer to an out chart and even quickly use your calculator to do the math. This is not something you can do sitting at a table with other players.

Keep Notes
In a live game you may not know another player’s name, but online each player’s screen name is in plain view. It is easy to keep accurate notes about the other players you meet online. In fact most winning players keep a note book by their computer and make notations about the types of hands played by their opponents also whether the player is passive, aggressive, tight or loose. Nobody can see you writing so you can be as detailed as you want to be. If you meet a player a week or even months later you can just look them up in your book.

Multitask
Although you should concentrate on the game at hand, when you are playing online you can do other things in between hands. Some players watch TV, talk on the phone or read. Some players even play in more that one game at a time. Online play is faster than a live game and because you can use the action buttons you can easily jump from game to game on your screen.

One of my biggest concerns about online poker was the idea of collusion among the players. Online players have numerous ways to communicate with each other via ICQ instant messenger or even the telephone. In fact with a cable router you could actually or multiple phone lines you could have two people playing side by side in the same room. But collusion happens in brick and mortar card rooms as well. I ran into an instance a couple years back on the Vegas Strip that I wrote about in my book. In a cardroom it is not often easy to prove when it happens. Once the dealer mucks the cards the hand is over and it is hard to prove anything went on. This is not the case however when you are playing online.

If you even suspect that some players are colluding with each other all you have to do is contact customer support and they will investigate. The operators of the online sites have a recorded history of all hands that have been played by each and every player. Many of the sites utilize special software programs to track the betting patterns of players suspected of collusion. They can search back over every hand played by the parties involved and look for anything out of the ordinary.

With the new technology and vast improvements with encryption and security the chance of someone hacking is not really an issue. Nobody can see your cards as you ply except you. The online Poker sites use the same technology that is used by with online banks and other financial sites. If you are not worried about banking or trading stocks online, you shouldn’t be concerned playing low limit poker either.

Do Your Own Research
If you want to try online Poker I would suggest you pick a site that offers free games as well as money games. Download their software and play for a while to make sure you like the interface and the way the software play and the graphics look. Observe some of their money games. See if they offer enough tables for the limits you want to play. You may end up trying a few different sites and if you are like a lot of players you may decided to play on several different sites.

If you are a interested I tournaments, you might want to see if the site offers Freeroll tournaments that will give you an opportunity to win some real money to get your account started.

Before you put money into a site, look into the history of the site. You may want check around with other players to make sure payments are made in a timely fashion. You can check the RGP, the Poker newsgroup( rec.gamling.poker) for recent posts about the site you are considering.

Until next time, remember:
"Luck comes and goes...Knowledge stays forever."

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