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The Virtual Dealer

If a dealer is depicted at all, he's only for show. Indeed, one successful site employs a round table with no dealer box and no dealer, creating the illusion of a home games rather than a casino games.

Whether visually represented onscreen or not, the actual dealer of online games is invisible. All dealer functions are implicit in the games technology. You'll see and hear cards shuffled, scrambled, and dealt; bets collected; pots and side pots awarded - all at lightning speed though functions generated by games software.

At some Internet poker tables, you'll see a dealer box where it's customarily found in brick and mortar games - in the center of the table between the #1 seat (directly to the dealer's left) and the last seat on the dealer's right.

If there is a dealer box, it's often a one-stop information and chip supply post where you'll re-buy when your stack gets low, and, depending on the site design, do such things as change player images, modify chat or sound effects, request a four-color deck, or request live assistance. Dealer box functions vary widely between sites. Try double-clicking on it to bring up a command list.

If there's no dealer box, or clicking on it fails to bring up a command list. look for anything on the games screen that says "Options," and also try going to the lobby screen, where you're likely to find an even more extensive option list under a prominent tab

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