Poker Basics

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Buying In

OK, let's assume you've taken a seat at the table. Your next task is to buyin. Just as in brick and mortar casino games, there's a minimum buy-in for Internet games. In most cases, it's ten times a small bet for a fixed limit games. Once you're in the games, if you lose all your chips, you may (depending on the cardroom) be allowed one "short buy" of five times the amount of the small bet.

Also, at many sites, there's an exception to the minimum buy-in rule: If you lose to the point that funds in your account dip below the minimum buy-in for any games, you may be permitted to play in the smallest games available for whatever amount you have left until you either earn a minimum buy-in for another games or bust out.

In many event, as soon as you’ve claimed your seat, a pop-up screen will suggest a buy-in for the games. The screen will also tell you the games’s betting structure and minimum/maximum buy-in amounts. You may simply click OK to buy in for the default amount given, or you can hit the "Delete" key and type in an alternative amount. Provided your revision is acceptable, you'll see a stack for that amount appear over your seat within seconds.

Amounts represented by your chip stack, stacks of other players, bets, raises, and the pot itself - along with any side-pots - are either readily visible at a glance or may be quickly seen by gently resting your cursor over the chips in question. Try this out before getting into a hand, since you'll always want to know how much is in the pot before you act, as well as which players are short-stacked and likely to go all-in, and which have enough chips to make an opponent's second-best hand a costly proposition.

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