Internet Poker: How to Play and Beat Online Poker Games

  • List Price: $14.95
  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Date: May, 2003
  • Publisher: ConJelCo
  • ISBN: 1-886070-17-2
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Playing poker in real time against real opponents – whether for play money or real money – in an environment where a virtual table, player icons that represent you and your opponents, and algorithms that randomly shuffle the "cards," might just represent poker’s brave new world. It’s a world where you can find a game day or night. Though it may be the wee hours of the morning in California, it’s prime time in Europe, and someone, somewhere, sometime of the day or night is looking to play a little poker.

Judging by the number of sites where poker can be played online, the market is growing by leaps and bounds. After all, not everyone lives near a casino. If you’ve only a spare hour or two to play poker, the fact that there’s a cardroom 25 miles away is not all that appealing. If you live in an area where you’ve either got to make a day trip of it to play some poker, or hop on a plane to get to a casino, sitting down at your computer to play a few hands of poker is the only logical alternative.

Online poker is the real thing, too. While the play money games don’t really replicate how poker is played in casinos – after all, if you’re not playing for real money you’re going to play a lot more hands than you would if you had to wager your hard-earned dough – when you play online for real money the experience is very similar to playing in a real casino. Some players are highly skilled; others haven’t a clue. Some are tight with a dollar while others are there to gamble it up. You may be sitting at home at your computer, but it’s still poker. But it’s poker with a difference.

The game is the same, to be sure, but the technology does manifest itself is any number of ways. We’ll tell you about all of them, and clarify the way technology impacts online poker as you make your way thorough this book. For example, at a real poker table many players have "tells," imperceptible hand, eye, body, or other telltale signs that can give the observant, astute player some clue as to whether their opponent’s wager represents a powerhouse hand or an outright bluff. But when you’re playing online, you can’t look your opponent in the eye, and computer icons don’t give off tells. Or do they? Even online, astute players are able to build a "book" on their opponents. Some players may act quickly most of the time. But what does it mean when they are slow to act? Is it a sure sign they have a big hand? Could they be bluffing? Or does it simply mean they ran to the kitchen to grab a sandwich?

Poker, which has always been America’s game, is fast becoming a world game. Poker, like baseball and basketball – is now a worldwide phenomenon. You’re as likely to find a game in Australia, Vienna, or London as you are in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or Atlantic City.
Since the late 1980s, poker has undergone a renaissance of sorts – a greening, if you will. Like bowling and billiards before it, poker has moved out from under the seedier sides of its roots and is flowering. Card clubs and casinos are G-rated family places these days, just the kind of spot for a family vacation. But if that’s too far, you can sidle up to your computer and visit any of a number of online poker rooms, where you can play for real money right there in your jammies, from the comfort of you very own den.
Now that’s a real greening: A card game Capone or the characters from The Sting would never have recognized. A computer would have been foreign enough to those yeggs, but a poker game played in something called cyberspace? C’mon. Gimme a break! And if the game were not foreign enough, there’s always the issue of that new breed of poker player – the kind you’ll run into in cyberspace. No shoulder holsters for them; they’re more apt to whip out a laptop than a snub-nosed 38.

Why You Need This Book

If you plan on visiting one of those cyberspace card casinos that’s no more than a couple of mouse clicks from your computer – you won’t find all of those bizarre home games you and your cronies may have conjured up for your Tuesday night game, but you will find 7-card stud, Texas hold’em, and Omaha hold’em games on tap. And you’ll find them at a variety of betting limits – there’s something for everyone – so you can play within your means, have fun, and if you play with skill and discipline, you might even find yourself winning a little, or even a lot, if the fates are with you too.

If you’ve never played poker before, or even if you’ve played a lot of poker but it’s all been played in home games or brick and mortar casinos – you might wonder why you need a book to prepare you to play online. Why can’t you just download the software, click your mouse a time or two and give it a go?
After all, many players have learned just that way. It’s called the school of hard knocks, but the tuition can be costly. Moreover, there’s no guarantee you’ll ever graduate. But you can learn to play online poker quite well from this book, and when you click your way up to a table in cyberspace and put your hard-earned money into play, you’ll have a greater knowledge base to draw on that you would if you simply flew by the seat of your pants with the hard knocks boys. Moreover, this book comes with a CD that allows you to download the software required to play at the most popular poker sites on the Internet, and will let you get up close and personal with the look and feel of online poker before you have to put real money at risk.

Poker’s growing popularity has paralleled that of personal computers. It’s not just a case of online poker bringing more players out of the woodwork; those personal computers you and your cyberspace opponents will be playing on have been used to conduct a substantial amount of research in recent years, and some of those old concepts they’re still teaching over at the school of hard knocks have been found wanting. As a consequence, players who don’t keep their knowledge up to date might find themselves left behind. This book will provide the foundations you need to keep abreast of the latest proven poker concepts.

After all, among other things, this is a reference book, and designed to explain the basics of the game and provide a sound strategic approach so you can learn to play well in the shortest amount of time possible. While many self-taught players are remarkably skilled, most of them are not, and they’ve been making the same mistakes for years. And who’s going to tell them? Certainly not their opponents, who are quite happy, thank you, to convert their opponents’ ignorance into currency at the end of a poker session. After all, poker is a game of money played with cards, and if you find a leak in your opponent’s game you’re going to try to exploit it for all it’s worth. And why not, they’re trying to do the same to you.

What We Assume About You

Although you’ve probably played some form of poker before deciding to take a shot at the online variety, we’re gonna take it from the top, and assume you’ve never played poker before – not 7-card stud, not Texas hold’em, and not Omaha – and don’t even know the difference between a flush and a straight. This book will cover the basics, so you’re covered. Don’t worry about a thing. If this describes you, we hope and urge you to spend some time in the play money games when you first log on to an Internet poker site. And when you finally do decide to give it a go for real money, we recommend you begin at the lowest limits available and play at that level until you feel really comfortable with the procedures and your own poker skills before promoting yourself to higher limits. You’ll probably find yourself "…paying for lessons" the first few times you play for real money regardless of your previous poker playing experience, so you might just as well make it as inexpensive as possible.

Maybe you’ve been playing poker since from the time you climbed out of the crib, and for some reason you usually lose. You know the rules, but knowing how to win has somehow escaped you. Don’t you worry either. This book will certainly help you. We will present all the tips, strategies, tactics, and tricks you need to help you walk away from the poker table with money in your pockets.

Even if you’re a real poker maven – an expert – you’ll still benefit from what we have to offer. Some of our suggestions will make your transition from face-to-face poker to online poker much easier, others may surprise you, some may simply reinforce the knowledge you’ve already learned, and you may even find a few gems you’ve never thought of before.

How to Use This Book

This book is a reference as well as a tutorial, and you can read it in any fashion you wish. There’s no need to read it from cover to cover to understand where we’re coming from. If you know all the rules but want to find out more about the mechanics of playing online, or what the best starting hands are for each common poker variant, jump right in there and start reading. If you want to learn the basics and save the advanced stuff for later, start at the beginning and wait until you feel ready to tackle some of the more advanced concepts. But if you really want to flatter us, go ahead and read the book from cover to cover. We promise you an enjoyable ride.

We’ve organized this book so that the discussions in each of the chapters are self-contained. Here’s what each part covers:

Part 1: How to Play the Game

This section covers the nuts and bolts of how to play the game. If you’ve never played poker before, or you’ve some experience playing poker but are new to online poker, this is the place to start. You’ll learn hand rankings, how the mechanics of the game work, the need for patience, playing only good starting hands, how to play in cyberspace and how it differs from playing in a brick and mortar casino, and other fine points of poker etiquette that you’ll want to bring to the table with you.

You’ll also learn to play poker interactively in real time with the accompanying CD. In addition to covering general concepts for all poker games, we’ll discuss specialized concepts for online poker – the game does have some differences – and even experienced poker players will have to make some adjustments in order to optimize their skills in cyberspace.

Part 2: Advanced Strategy

Playing poker and winning at it involves much more than the luck of the draw, though you wouldn’t know it by watching how some of your opponents approach the game. Here’s where we dissect the game, showing you how to decide whether to play or fold your starting cards, and we’ll cover the essential elements of 7-card stud, Texas hold’em, Omaha, and we’ll cover the essentials of playing and winning online poker tournaments.

Part 3: Other Poker Skills

Poker is not played with cards alone, and knowing how to manage your cards is not the sole skill that separates the winners from also rans. That’s true in every form of poker you can name, and if you want to become a winning player there’s a bevy of skills you’ll need to familiarize yourself with. We’ll teach you about bluffing – yes, you can bluff online even if your opponents can’t see your poker face – money management and record keeping, playing successfully in online poker tournaments, how to read your opponent without the luxury of looking him in the eye, and we’ll even show you where to go from here in order to learn more about poker.

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