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Online Poker

  1. Using the "disconnect protection" as an advantage - ethical?
  2. What is the best online poker room?
  3. Can I watch a game that I'm not playing in?
  4. I downloaded the software but cannot load it onto my computer - what do I do?
  5. What is and what is not allowed in the chat?
  6. Are poker sites able to see what is on my computer?
  7. Am I being cheated by other players in the game?
  8. I have heard that some of the online poker rooms are "rigged". Is this true?
  9. What are raked hands?
  10. When would there only be one blind instead of two?
  11. I emailed the site and didn't get a response - why not?
  12. Do I need broadband (hi-speed internet connection) to play online?
  13. What can you do to avoid eye strain from too much online poker?
  14. More problems with my computer lagging with the poker software...
  15. What is the best way to multi-table at a site without a lot of overlap of the screens?
  16. What is the difference between an add-on and a re-buy?
  17. How is a side pot is shared?
  18. I'm Having Trouble With My Password - Can You Help?
  19. Is my money safe? Aren't the people that run these sites in faraway lands?
  20. What is a poker network?
  21. Do I have to declare online poker winnings on my taxes?
  22. I don't want a site to have my real home address - can I make up a fake one?
  23. Can I play poker in an online casino?
  24. How Many Players Can Participate in a Freezeout?
  25. What should I do if I think two people are working together (colluding) at the table?
  26. What is a poker room skin?
  27. Any advice for the beginning player?
  28. I want to give my friend money on the site - how do I go about that?
  29. I use a Mac and not a PC - which sites can I use?
  30. What is Video Poker?
  31. My computer slows down when I play online poker - what should I do?
  32. How to choose an online room that is right for you...
  33. My poker site is down - is my money safe?
  34. What is Online Poker?
  35. How can I learn to play poker?
  36. I have heard that it is illegal to play online poker in the United States.
  37. What are the ranks of hands in poker?
  1. Using the "disconnect protection" as an advantage - ethical?

    Disconnect protection is there for a legitimate reason - if you actually have a connection problem. If you disconnect on purpose, realize it will get reported and you could have your account flagged. Also, if you think someone does it against you at too convenient a moment, report it to the site so they can investigate.

  2. What is the best online poker room?

    PokerNews.com does not decide which poker room is the best. All of the poker rooms are good in some areas. One may give the biggest bonuses, another the best freerolls, the third might not very strong players.

    PokerNews.com recommends a number of rooms, many of which will suit your needs and desires.

  3. Can I watch a game that I'm not playing in?

    Almost every site lets you do this, so, yes you can. It's a great way to watch how people play and perhaps add more to your game. Also, as you're thinking about moving up in levels, you can watch how people play at the next level to determine whether you believe you are ready for it. Not to mention that it's always handy to try to guess what hands people have and why they played it that way - and what better way when you don't have to worry about your own hand?

  4. I downloaded the software but cannot load it onto my computer - what do I do?

    First, check to make sure your system meets the system requirements outlined for that particular poker site.

    Second, once you've properly downloaded everything and your computer can handle the software, make sure to completely fill out the registration information. This includes all your contact information as well as checking off whatever boxes they have showing that you've read their Terms of Use. If you don't do all of this, you might not get the software to work correctly.

    Third, if you've done all that and there are still issues with your computer, you may have other background programs using up memory or RAM that will affect the software. Shut down all other programs, run a system check, Adaware, etc. etc. to make sure no extra memory is being diverted elsewhere.

    Fourth, if all that fails, perhaps there was simply a glitch with the download. RIGHT click on the icon on your desktop for the software, delete it, and re-download through PokerNews. Try again. It should work.

  5. What is and what is not allowed in the chat?

    Every site has their own specific rules but some general ones to follow:

    1. Never talk about a hand while it's going on, especially if you're not in the hand OR if you have more than one opponent in the hand. At best, this is considered bad manners and at worst it's considered cheating, so just don't discuss hands while they are in progress.

    2. Don't abuse or taunt other players. Yes, some people are rude and many will get away with it, but oftentimes it goes too far and sites have blocked chat from those that do. If you're wondering whether what you are about to say will cross the line between good-natured banter and rudeness, just don't say it.

    Also remember that if you believe someone is harassing you online, you can always write to the site with the name of the person, the time it happened, and what table it happened on. Something won't always be done, but oftentimes if someone is cursing you out, they're doing it to others as well, and action eventually will be taken.

    As with life: just be polite ... and have fun!

  6. Are poker sites able to see what is on my computer?

    In short: sort of.

    Part of the user agreement with basically every poker site (including Party Poker) includes a bit about how they are allowed to monitor what is going on your computer while you are playing on their site.

    They are looking for applications that are running that may be allowing you to cheat the game. If you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about, and their scans are meaningless.

    But if you have AOL Instant Messenger open and you're talking to your friend who has AOL IM and is at the same table - you will get your account flagged and an investigation may occur.

    To summarize: play fair and you don't need to worry about their security precautions, as they are there to protect you. They aren't looking to see what you're writing on your English paper or who you're emailing. They just want to make sure we can all play on a level playing field.

  7. Am I being cheated by other players in the game?

    We feel that our member rooms do the take the most stringent means possible to prevent any collusion from taking place. Still, at high level cash games, some collusion is possible, but highly unlikely. At higher limits, players are generally a bit more experienced, and are quicker to spot questionable activity. If you aren't playing $30/$60 or higher limits, you probably don't have a lot to worry about. Additionally, one way to eliminate the threat of collusion is to play tournaments. Seat distribution is completely random in tournaments, so the chance of two colluders being seated at the same table is very small.

  8. I have heard that some of the online poker rooms are "rigged". Is this true?

    This is a comment we see all the time, and frankly, this one drives us crazy. Online Poker rooms card distribution is a totally random process, and players have zero to worry about in this area. Ask yourself this...Would an online poker room making a boatload of money a day risk being found out about this type of "rigging", and thus have their whole business go down the drain in 24 hours? Why would it be in their interest to 'rig' the cards? Just to cause their paying customers to have a negative experience? These comments are generally from losing players who are frustrated. All of our member rooms have had their RNG's (the device that ensures a random deal) certified by a recognized authority. Online Poker is not rigged.

  9. What are raked hands?

    Raked hands are hands from real money tables where a poker room takes some rake.

    In some rooms, you can can get credit for more than 1 raked hand in the same hand: when you see Flop you have 1 raked hand; turn - 2nd; and River - 3rd.

    Sometimes poker rooms have a requirement to collect a certain amount of raked hands to participate in a tournament or to get a bonus. So if you see Titan Poker requires 100 raked hands to enter special PokerNews.com $2000 Freeroll, you determine how much play it will take to qualify, depending on the number of hands your table is getting in an hour.

    Note. Please check the information about the rake of every poker room. Some may count raked hands from higher stakes than $0.25/$0.50.

  10. When would there only be one blind instead of two?

    Imagine a full table where the players are numbered from 1 to 10. In this hand, Player 1 is the small blind and Player 2 is the big blind. During this hand, Player 2 leaves. On the subsequent hand, Player 1 would be the button, Player 2 the small blind, and Player 3 the big blind. However, Player 2 has left, therefore, there is just one blind: the big blind, Player 3.

    In this same example, if Player 3 had left, instead of Player 2, there would be two blinds as normal: Player 2 would be the small blind and Player 4 would be the big blind.

  11. I emailed the site and didn't get a response - why not?

    While every site talks about having 24 hour support and while you'll occasionally get a reply back from a site within a few minutes or an hour, sometimes your email may get lost altogether.

    Think about all the "spam" and "junk" email you get - now imagine you're a poker site with 100,000+ players making for 100,000x's that stuff that needs to be weeded through and deleted.

    This means that *sometimes* an email will get lost. If you email a site and don't hear from them with 24 hours, email them again, *politely* noting it's your 2nd inquiry regarding the situation.

  12. Do I need broadband (hi-speed internet connection) to play online?

    Do you need it? No. Do you want it if you are going to play seriously? Probably, yes. The online game moves so fast these days, that broadband is becoming more a necessity than a luxury. If you are going to play one table of .50/$1.00 poker, you could play via dial up, and probably never have an issue, and have a great time. But, if you play for higher stakes, or want to play multiple tables at once, may we recommend broadband.

  13. What can you do to avoid eye strain from too much online poker?

    Some people feel their eyes get strained from playing online for too many hours in a row. First, checking with your optometrist is always helpful. Second, take the occasional break - and try looking at things around the room besides your monitor to get your eyes moving and not just looking at the same space in front of you. Lastly, CRT monitors are oftentimes prone to cause headaches, so getting a better non-CRT monitor (and dropping the brightness) are also helpful.

  14. More problems with my computer lagging with the poker software...

    In another FAQ point, the suggestion was made to make sure your computer can handle the system requirements of the poker software.

    If it can, and you have problems, make sure to turn off extraneous programs you have running on your computer. If you continue to have problems, another aspect of the software that can take up memory are the animations and various bells and whistles of the interface.

    On the front page of most sites is a settings or preferences tab. Click it and shut off animations, sound, and all the things that aren't necessary. You should have fewer problems.

    If you continue to do so, email the poker site directly and explain everything.

  15. What is the best way to multi-table at a site without a lot of overlap of the screens?

    The size of your monitor is one factor - the larger it is, the more you can fit on it. Also, the 'tighter' you set your preferences on your computer will make everything smaller, and thus easier to fit more onto whatever you have. Furthermore, if you have the proper video card on your computer, you can set up multiple monitors on one computer in order to have many screens each multi-tabling. Some have been known to play 16-20 tables at once with 4 games per monitor.

  16. What is the difference between an add-on and a re-buy?

    A Re-buy is the additional amount of chips bought when a player runs out of chips. An add-on is the additional amount of chips bought despite of how many chips a player has. In Online poker add-ons are usually offered during the second break of the guaranteed tournament.

  17. How is a side pot is shared?

    Say three players are in the hand: Player 1-3.

    Going to the flop there is $100 in the pot and the three players left have these totals:

    Player 1: $100
    Player 2: $125
    Player 3: $50

    $50 is bet on the flop. $250 is now in the pot, but now only Player 1 and Player 2 have money ($50 and $75 respectively). Any money they bet from this point forth will go into a side pot. Say they bet the remaining $50 Player 1 has.

    Main Pot (for Players 1-3): $250
    Side Pot (for Players 1&2): $100

    First, you determine who has the best hand between Players 1 and 2. Player 1 does -- so he gets the $100.

    With Player 2 eliminated, Player 1 now competes against Player 3 for the main pot. Here Player 3 has the best hand, so he gets the $250 only (Player 1 keeps the $100 from the side pot).

  18. I'm Having Trouble With My Password - Can You Help?

    This has happened to all of us plenty of times, especially if you have accounts on all of the major sites (which you should, in order to take advantage of all of the wonderful freerolls PokerNews has to offer).

    First, make sure your username is correctly typed (remember: capitalization, or lack thereof, counts). If it is, *slowly* type in your password, making sure to capitalize where appropriate. If you're still having problems, click on the link that every site has that reads something to the effect of "forgotten your password?"

    Click that, answer any questions it has, and they will email your password to the email address you provided.

    Rememember to not share your password with anyone.

  19. Is my money safe? Aren't the people that run these sites in faraway lands?

    While it is true that most online sites are run from places like Costa Rica, or Gibraltar, we feel that the sites we work with are reputable, and that any deposits are safe. The business of online poker is so competitive these days, that a room just going belly up, and leaving its players hanging is highly unlikely. More likely is a situation where a struggling room would be taken over by a bigger room, and all deposits would continue to be safe. We have stopped working with rooms based on our experiences with them, or rumors about their handling of funds. We constantly monitor the rooms we cover, to make sure conditions continue to be safe for players, and their deposits.

  20. What is a poker network?

    A Poker Network is a group of poker rooms with the same software provider. The biggest Poker Network is Prima Poker Network with more than 30 poker rooms.

    Some other biggest Poker Networks:
    - On Game
    - iPoker
    - 24hPoker
    - VC Poker
    - Doyle Brunson Poker Network
    - Boss Media
    - PartyGaming

    Some Poker networks also have online bingo rooms and online casinos.

  21. Do I have to declare online poker winnings on my taxes?

    The safest way in life is to declare all income on your income taxes, and may we recommend this. Any money that hits your bank account should be declared in full. If you begin to play seriously, you should keep detailed, and really specific records of your play, session by session. These records will allow you to file a proper tax return. For Americans, the IRS has a guide for this, guide 529, available at the IRS.gov website.

  22. I don't want a site to have my real home address - can I make up a fake one?

    No. Some sites - like the Cryptologic network - physically mail you a code that is required in order to make withdrawals. Other sites will mail you free items (like an iPod) depending on how much you play. You need to provide 100% accurate information.

  23. Can I play poker in an online casino?

    Online casinos have some poker and card games, but usually it is Video Poker, Pai Gow, or Caribbean Stud. Texas Hold 'em, Omaha, and Stud poker are played in online poker rooms only.

  24. How Many Players Can Participate in a Freezeout?

    A freezeout is where everyone sits down with the same amount of money and you go until one person has it all. Technically, every tournament is a freezeout as you go until there is one winner. However, in almost all tournaments, there are prizes for 1st, 2nd,... whereas in a freezeout, there is just a 1st prize and usually they are smaller events (2-10 people). Much as with every question, each room will have their own guidelines and rules so check wherever you're playing to find out their interpretation.

  25. What should I do if I think two people are working together (colluding) at the table?

    Every site monitors for this so it is very rare but it is theoretically possible for two people to be working together at the table in some fashion. If you believe this is the case, send the site an email listing:

    the limit you're playing
    the table number
    the account(s) of the people you would like to report

    Even if it turns out that they aren't doing anything wrong, with thousands and thousands of tables around dozens and dozens of online poker rooms - just change tables if you think something is funny.

  26. What is a poker room skin?

    A "skin" is a poker room with someone else's software, but original graphical elements. For example, Eurobet is a skin of PokerRoom.com. That means the software provider is the same, but the design of Eurobet and PokerRoom are slightly different, especially the table view.

    Also they do separate tournaments, promotions, etc.

    Some skins have the same tournaments and players from all the skins are allowed to play.

    The group of skins creates a poker network. Sometimes players have only one login and username to all of the network rooms. For example, Prima poker: you can play in Royal Vegas Poker, 32Red Poker, or Bet365 Poker with the same username.

    The biggest Poker Networks which offer a poker room skin are iPoker (Noble Poker, Titan Poker), Prima Poker (Royal Vegas, 7 Sultans, Poker Time, etc.), On Game (PokerRoom.com, EuroPoker, Eurobet, Hollywood Poker etc), 24h Poker and others.

  27. Any advice for the beginning player?

    Pokernews.com has many resources for the online poker player, from brand new to very experienced. Basically, if you are brand new to online poker, and especially if you are new to poker, two words of advice will save you a lot of heartache. Start slow. We know of one player two or three years ago who got the bug, and with 6 months of real poker experience, opened an online account, and jumped right into the $15/30 game. Within six weeks, he had burned through five grand, and hasn't played poker since. Poker is such a grand game, but must be used with caution. Patience wins, speed kills.

    Use all of the resources that we give you here at Pokernews.com, and learn, and play, and enjoy this great game that is our true passion.

  28. I want to give my friend money on the site - how do I go about that?

    Let's say you owe "Bob" $100. You want to transfer money from your account to his. There is a way to do this, and the FAQ on each individual site will explain how to do so.

    Under no circumstances should you and Bob sit at a heads-up table you intentionally lose $100 to him. This is called "chip dumping" and every site has rules against it, for a variety of reasons.

    Go through the official authorized ways. Or, you can transfer money from the site to your Neteller account and transfer it from there to his Neteller account.

    Yes, it will take longer than "chip dumping," but you will be following the rules, and not risking having your funds confiscated for breaking a site's Terms of Use.

  29. I use a Mac and not a PC - which sites can I use?

    Check out our Poker Room descriptions here

    The right-hand column lists various technical requirements, but also if the room can by used by Mac-users.

    Be sure to click on "More about..." for each site to learn which site(s) will fit you and your needs best.

    However we recommend PokerStars and Party Poker.

  30. What is Video Poker?

    Video Poker is a casino game where people play against a computer, not other people.

  31. My computer slows down when I play online poker - what should I do?

    First, be sure before you start on a site that your system is set up to handle whatever the site's requirements are.

    Next, assuming you have the proper set-up for the site, if you experience lag or a slow-down of your system, be sure to simply shut down other programs that you're running that may be draining your resources.

    If you're running a bunch of programs and/or a DVD while playing online, that may tap into your computer's power and cause things to slow-down too much. So shut down what you don't need.

  32. How to choose an online room that is right for you...

    Many factors come into play when deciding where you would like to open an online poker account. First, you need to ask yourself some basic questions about your play.

    • What limits, and what games am I looking for? Do I just want to play low level cash games, or tournaments, or a balance of both?
    • Are satellite tournaments important to me? Am I going to put money up to try to win trips to big live tournaments, or some other type of big prize?
    • If I am a cash game player, is getting my rake back important to me, or would I rather build up player points, and go with a room where I can get cool things as a reward for my loyalty/play.
    • Is the sheer number of players important to me? Would I rather play at a huge site where there will always be massive tournaments, and multiple games at each limit, or would I rather play at a smaller room where I can get to know certain players tendencies, and take advantage of this?
    • Are the people involved in the room important to me? Is it important that a credible pro whom I trust endorses a particular site, or do I just want the site that fits my play characteristics the best.

    Once you have answered these questions, you should be able to narrow your choices down significantly. Remember, we stringently evaluate, and continuously check the rooms we work with here at Pokernews. So, if you find an online poker room that seems to have all the things you want/like, and it is on our list of sites we work with, you can trust that your money is safe, and that a fair play environment will be provided.

    All in all, it really comes down to taste. Maybe you will like the software, or the interface of a particular online room, or maybe you won't. We suggest you download the software from two or three different rooms through our online poker center, and then play for a few minutes on the free side before you make a deposit. You want to make sure there isn't something about the software, or the game play that you don't like.

    We feel that online poker is a wonderful experience, and we work really hard to make sure that the sites we work with will provide the most positive experience possible. Go to the online poker room center, download some software, and have FUN.

  33. My poker site is down - is my money safe?

    Yes.

    Every site, no matter how big, goes offline every now and then for scheduled maintanence and other fixes.

    Your money is 100% safe.

    If you find your site down, don't worry, within a day (and usually more like a few hours) it will be back and running and all your funds will be waiting for you.

    If you still are looking for more poker excitement in the meantime, why not sign up for one of the other fine sites we recommend?

  34. What is Online Poker?

    Online poker is one of the fastest growing pass times amongst adults around the world today. Professional players, amateurs or just curious surfers wondering what all the fuss is about can be found playing their favourite poker variant online, 24 hours a day.

    Online poker began back in the late 1990's as the internet boom was at it's peak, choices of poker rooms in these early days were limited, the now huge Party Poker and PokerStars being the early pioneers of poker over the internet, however, many were soon to catch on to this ever growing craze including Cryptologic who now supply the poker room software for UK bookmaker giants such as William Hill, UKBetting and Betfair as well as many others around the world. Many will claim to be the oldest online poker room to attract new customers, there are many conflicting reports on really started it all though.

    So, why would a poker player go online rather than to a card room in a casino? There are many benefits to playing online, nearly all poker rooms offer an incentive to play on their platform, from being paid per hour to play to a straight forward signup bonus of 10, 20, 50 or even 100% of your first deposit, there aren't a great many card rooms across the world that offer those kind of incentives to sit down and play a couple of hours of your favourite game. If you're a non-smoker then playing online means not having to put up with clouds of choking fumes as you try to bluff your opponent through the fog of cigarette smoke. You don't have to drive for 5 hours to get to online poker either, just switch on your computer, log in and start playing. Still learning? Then you've no embarrassment to be fearful of online, nobody can see your face through a PC monitor.

    To get started in online poker you'll need to select a poker room to play in, perhaps one with a good signup bonus. Some of the larger signup bonuses may look attractive, so do read the small print, you may have to play for a while before you are credited any bonus funds. If you have absolutely no poker experience then choose a poker room that allows you to play for free for as long as you like, this way you can find your feet and learn the rules without it costing you any money. Party Poker and Inter Poker are great places for a "poker newbie" to start out at; there are plenty of low stake areas and good bonuses at those two.

    How about cheating, is your money safe? If you're worried about others "hacking" into the poker room, you needn't be, poker room providers have extremely good security as you would expect of any company holding credit/debit card and address information about it's customers. If, in the very unlikely event somebody managed to "hack in" to the poker room you play at, in an attempt to see what cards are about to be dealt for example, he/she would be disappointed as the poker software generates cards "on the fly" meaning information about future events (cards in this case) is not stored anywhere and only provided when it is required. For your personal security you should always run a firewall, especially if you have a broadband connection which is always online, this should block any unwanted intruders from your machine. Almost all poker rooms will have a page on their web site explaining how their random number generator works, it's often worthwhile to read through this to set your mind at ease if you are concerned about the fairness of the game. Many poker rooms will have their random number generator checked independently by a trusted financial organisation. Online poker is not legal throughout every country in the world, always check your local laws before playing.

    Professional poker players have taken to the internet in number as higher stakes and bigger prizes become available, many now play as many hours online as they would in a casino poker room, if not more! The benefits of online play to the professional are almost the same as everybody else, no need for traveling, comfort of their own home, plenty of games to choose from 24 hours a day. In the eyes of some professionals the standard of online play can be much worse than in their local casino haunts, thus providing a good opportunity to increase their income and profits for less effort. If you play for any period of time online, you are likely to run into a professional player, perhaps one you've seen in WPT or WSOP events on the television. Very few professionals do not play online, many have their own poker rooms where you can find celebrity players almost every night of the week, you may find Phil Ivey on Full Tilt Poker, Phil Hellmuth on Ultimate Bet or Gus Hansen on Poker Champs. Where else could you pit your witts against such stars of poker, with such ease, other than online?

  35. How can I learn to play poker?

    There are a few ways you can learn to play poker.

    1. Friends. They can give you the basics.

    2. Books. You can get books for beginners through advanced players. Get some poker books for beginners and read them. Then try to play either with friends or online.

    Also you can find the poker rules, strategy tips, and poker terms explanations online.

    3. Online Poker Schools. Some poker rooms offer interactive poker schools with visual lessons on how to start playing poker. For example Pacific Poker, Paradise Poker and Everest Poker have their own interactive poker schools.

  36. I have heard that it is illegal to play online poker in the United States.

    At the moment, US policy regarding online gaming is cloudy at best. Online poker has neither been declared illegal, or legal. The US Government tried to assert the Wire Act as policy to declare online poker, or any kind of online gaming illegal in a recent international court case. This assertion did not stand up in court, and online companies were allowed to continue doing business. The Genie is out of the bottle on the Internet, and we feel a policy of recognition, and regulation of online gaming in the US is only a matter of time.

  37. What are the ranks of hands in poker?

    1. Royal Flush

    2. Straight Flush

    3. Four of a kind

    4. Full House

    5. Flush

    6. Straight

    7. Three of a Kind

    8. Two Pairs

    9. Pair

    10. High Card

Questions? Comments?