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The Pre-Action Checkboxes

The action prompts are designed to control games with split-second efficiency: Since there's no access to the main action buttons until they appear, it's impossible to act out of turn online. The other players can never know your action before you have either acted or timed out.

Although you can't act out of turn in Internet poker, you can ask the games's software to execute your action for you at the proper time during that round. What if you get a run of garbage cards and want to muck them instantly so you can repeatedly dash to the kitchen and stir the soup? Or suppose in a wild games full of maniacs you catch a monster flop and decide to raise or re-raise all comers to build a pot - no matter what the action. On a more mundane note, suppose someone ahead of you is playing very slowly and you know you want to call?

In such situations, you have a way to "pre-act" before the action reaches you, but without playing out of turn. By using pre-action checkboxes, you can predetermine your action. You can click your intent to muck, call, or raise any bet before you run to quickly do something on the other side of the room. In pot-limit or no-limit games, you may find only a single pre-action checkbox: fold. Your specified action will be executed automatically by the software the very moment action reaches your seat. and the other players will know only that you acted quickly and decisively in turn.

The pre-action checkboxes are considerably smaller than the pop-up action buttons appearing only when it's your turn to act. The checkboxes are small and unobtrusive and you almost might miss seeing them unless you look for them, but ever-present while you're in a hand until the very moment it's your turn, whereupon they yield to the larger visual prompts. You must click in them. rather than on them, meaning that you can click again to remove a check if you change your mind before action reaches you.

To use them, simply click in the little box next to "Fold," "Check or fold," "Call any," "Raise any," etc. Be warned, though: Returning with your snack or drink, you may find that pre-checking "Call Any" got you embroiled in a capped round. So make sure you understand the implications of your anticipatory check!

By making wise use of the pre-action checkboxes, it's easier to play in another games simultaneously. You might also multitask in the office, read, watch TV, or do housework while playing. We're not saying we recommend dividing your attention in this way - indeed we do not. But since we know many of you will anyway, make things easier for yourself by using those convenient little white boxes.

As an aside regarding "pre-action" checkboxes, it's possible to pick up a tell (or a false tell) when someone acts very quickly by using a checkbox. For example, after a player has bet, if the next player raises in a split-second, it's very probable that he used a "bet or raise" or "raise any" checkbox. This usually means the player has a powerful hand, but it could also be a move set up for deception. Be alert to the speed of actions by your opponents, and you might pick up a thing or two about the strength of their hands, or, at least. their tendencies in certain situations.

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