Whatever style of poker game you choose to play, whatever the stake, once you’ve reached your chosen table you will be able to adjust a number of options in order to make your playing environment as suitable as possible.

Table Display

Most poker internet poker sites will allow you to size your table as you wish, from an eighth of your screen size right up to full screen size. We recommend about one quarter of your screen size. You may make the adjustments either through a menu of options, or by re-sizing the window via your mouse.

Dialogue Boxes

The vast majority of online poker sites have a dialogue box which displays information about which deal is being played, who won the deal, who has bet and so forth. This box also doubles as a chat box, where players can type messages to each other. Here we have a very important tip for you:

Turn off the chat facility!

We say this for a number of reasons. Firstly, most players who play online poker get stressed pretty easily. The last thing you need is to get into an argument with another player. It so happens that some players are rude and insulting and some are intelligent enough to know just what to say to wind you up. If you’re serious about your poker you won’t get involved in this; don’t even listen to them.
Secondly, if you’re thinking about typing messages, you are not entirely focused on the game. You need all your concentration on the next hand and should be observing the action carefully to pick up information about your opponents. Chatting or even watching the chat box is a pointless distraction.

Card and Background Designs

The majority of poker sites offer the facility to change the background of the display of the poker table, as well as the colour or design of the cards.

Personally, you don’t need an electronic representation to remind you what shuffling a pack of cards sounds like, or bleeping warnings to tell you that it’s your turn to act. We suggest you turn off the sounds; you could alter them on your site to whatever your preference is.

Auto-Post Blinds

There is very little that is automatic in Poker-there are so many options which may be right for any given situation. However, to keep the flow of the game going, it really helps if everyone has clicked the box at the table. This ensures that, when it’s your turn to place the blinds, the computer does it for you automatically. The next hand can then start straight away and no one is kept waiting.

Additional Control Buttons

There’s a number of control buttons within the game, or tabs, which you can use. These may include “Check/Fold” when you are in the blind, “Fold to any Bet”, Call any Bet”, and so forth. Our advice is not to use any of these buttons at any given time. You should be thinking about every decision at the Poker table and the use of these buttons tells the other players that you have made up your mind before anyone else has taken action. The fact that you preset these actions on a specific hand can help your opponents work out that you have a very weak hand; they can then take advantage of this information. At the same time, if you then pause before acting, they will realise that you have a good hand worth thinking about.

Play-Money Tables

Just as you use play money in an internet casino, which enables you to try out the games and test the casino’s software, so you can also practise with play money in online Poker. The problem, however, is that poker is a game where the score is kept by the size of your stack. If you are not playing for real money, no one pays much attention and the action is wild and unrealistic.

By all means play at a play-money table just to experience the playing conditions, but do not consider it as practice for your poker at all. Instead, log in to a low-stake game, say for $20 and play some low-stake poker. At least here, even though the standard may be not as good, you will get some proper poker action.

Having looked at the start-up procedure and your options as a player, let’s now look at each form of the game and put together some really important tips (next section). If you are new to the game online, this is the absolute minimum information you require. Poker is an individual game, where skill, daring and intuition play a huge part; none is worth anything to you if you don’t know the basics.