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Online Poker

Are You Ready To Play Online?

Around the world from Kyoto to Kalamazoo, thousands of people are already playing poker online for both fun and real money. Web sites offering both cash games and free play-money games are sprouting in regulation-friendly countries in the Caribbean and Central America and in far-flung places like Asia and Australia.

Are you ready to make the leap from "in-the-flesh" battle of the felt to virtual table Internet poker for real money? Take our quick quiz to find out! Answering "yes" to even one of the following questions will tell you you're at least ready to consider a cyberspace ante or blind:


Do you already have experience playing poker in a casino or card room setting, or in a long-running home game? (If you're a rank beginner, you're not ready to play for cash online, but you may benefit enormously from the free play-money preparatory games offered at many established Internet cash games sites. Therefore, don't be discouraged if your answer to this question is "no. ")


Are you comfortable doing things on the Internet you once did only in person, such as making new friends in chat rooms or forums? What about more complex tasks such as banking or shopping? (If you're computer literate and already making purchases or doing financial transactions online for business or pleasure, you're ready for play-money games and will quickly be ready to test your mettle in small limit online cash games as well.)


Are you allergic or otherwise adverse to cigarette smoke, erratic ventilation systems, noise, or other physical conditions prevalent in casinos and many home games?


Do you consider any of the following behaviors prohibited by most casinos to be an essential part of poker: Smoking cigars; playing shirtless (or without any dress code whatsoever), or indulging in whatever vulgar or animalistic utterances spew from your mouth when your opponent makes a one-out draw?


Would you prefer having invisible (but highly competent) dealers and cashiers to handle all aspects of money and chips, including tracking pots and verifying change, rather than make necessary calculations and handle germ-laden chips and bills yourself?


Are you a multitasking Type A who'd like to spice up the workday by combining a live poker games with spreadsheets, routine correspondence, lines on hold, frustrations of incompetent office help, and other aspects of the daily grind? Or merely a Type A wannabe who'd simply like to squeeze in a few rounds of stud during lunch hour or when the boss isn't looking?


Conversely, are you a Type B or confirmed couch potato for whom home-delivered pizza, remote-control access to favorite sitcoms, and the most lenient of dress codes are obligatory before you'll ante up?


Do you live too far from a real casino, card room, or juicy home games to justify the flight or drive?


Is your favorite game, such as hold'em or stud or Omaha, unavailable in your area? Or if it is, has the easy money dried up to the extent that the game is but a futile stroll in a rock garden?


Are you troubled by rude opponents, those who seem to live at the poker table and rarely bathe, pests who ask for a deck change every round, or space hogs who always seem to have their elbow in your chips or a knee slanted sideways into your turf?


Do you find yourself annoyed by the inevitable delays in real casinos - the time consumed waiting for a table or better table, the obligatory dealer shifts and financial tallies, disputes requiring floor intervention, and run-of-the-mill time-hogs like the dealer's duties of dividing pots, making change, verifying raises or re-raises, and tabulating all-in side pots?


Would you like to find a game where you can skip to king the dealer without nominating yourself for jerk Dom?


Would your husband, wife, or significant other tolerate your poker passion more easily if you never had to leave the house and could even participate in routine conversations, babysitting, or chores without missing a hand?


Are you infirm or bedridden through age, accident or illness? Saddled with small children, elderly parents, or a business that keeps you housebound? Or simply a misanthropic introvert who loves poker but hates company?


Would you - for whatever reason - like to play poker in total anonymity without donning a disguise. In an environment where all your opponents' see of you is a generic icon or cartoon caricature or as deceptive a photograph as you'd care to submit, accompanied by a made-up pseudonym or "handle" that protects your identity?


On the other side of the coin, would you enjoy playing poker against opponents who may be anywhere in the world, whose only tells are deceptively unnatural pauses or accelerations in action, and whose true identities are likely to remain unknown to you?


Have friends said you exhibit costly tells (unconscious physical or verbal mannerisms giving opponents clues to your holdings) in face to-face play?


Would you like the opportunity to play in more than one games or tournament at a time?

If you've answered yes to any or some of the above, you're at least ready to consider playing poker online. But wait - here are just a few more questions:


Are you reluctant to give out personal and financial information online? (Though there are ways you may deposit funds at Internet poker sites without giving out a credit card or bank account number, it slows the start-up procedure considerably, and you'll still be required to give your actual name and a mailing address for taking cash-outs.)


Are you concerned about being cheated or swindled in online games through collusion, hacking, programming glitches (unintentional or otherwise), or access to your financial records?


Are you concerned that you may wind up a victim of financial malfeasance or outright fraud if the online casino suddenly files for bankruptcy, has its funds frozen by court order, or simply disappears overnight - taking your money with it?


Are you concerned about the legality of playing online for money?

If you've answered yes to any or all of the last four questions (19-22), you have concerns that must be addressed before you pony up your hard-earned dollars in an Internet poker games. To explore those concerns, see in: "Signing up and Buying In, "Guaranteeing Yourself an Honest game," and "Internet Poker and the Law.

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Internet Poker IntroInternet Poker Intro
All About Internet PokerAll About Internet Poker
Players, Dealers, Decks, Chips and Hand RankingsBetting
Internet Poker StrategiesInternet Poker Strategies
Essential Poker Strategy
Internet Poker Type GamesInternet Poker Type Games
Seven-Card StudTexas Hold'emOmaha Hold'emOmaha High
Choosing The Internet PokerChoosing The Internet Poker
The Bottom Line on Games Selection: Nine Caveats for Internet Newbie’s
Joining The Internet GameJoining The Internet Game
Waiting ListsSeatsBuying InMaking Use of Checkboxes to Post, Ante, Wait for the Big Blind, or Sit OutHow Long Can I Sit Out Before Playing?
Playing The GamePlaying The Game
Keeping Pace with the ActionWhat if I Fail to Act?The History of Online All-In PolicyThe Bottom Line on Timing out with a Live ConnectionBut What If I Really Lose My Internet Connection?The Pre-Action CheckboxesSitting OutChattingNote-Taking ScreensStatsTen Point Prescription for Pleasant games
Internet Poker HonestyInternet Poker Honesty
The Bottom Line -As We See ItThe Random Shuffle of Internet PokerCollusionConspiracies
Internet Poker And The LawInternet Poker And The Law
Money ManagementMoney Management
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