Online Poker — Is It Safe? — Is It for Me?

Online Poker RoomsRapidly Growing in PopularityPlaying online poker is fast becoming the most popular form of Internet gambling. You can play Texas holdem online, and match your gambling skills against players from all over the world, playing live poker games, with real people, right on your computer.Texas holdem is by far the most popular online poker game today. This means that every poker room will have a good selection of Texas holdem games available. You can even enter texas holdem poker tournaments, and win a seat at the WSOP (World Series of Poker). If you think its a stretch that you could be playing in the World Series of Poker just by playing poker on your computer, consider this; Hundreds of people qualified for the 2004 World Series of Poker just from playing in texas holdem tournaments on their computers.Online poker, if you haven’t tried it yet, can be an awful lot of fun. It’s not as intimidating as a private game, much less intimidating than playing in a Casino, and there are many free tables you can sit at until you are comfortable enough to play for real money. The software does all the work for you, and will tell you when it’s your turn, and how much you can bet. Games are available any time of day or night, so you can choose when you care to play. You can play poker on line, and chat with people from all over the world, while enjoying the comfort of playing in your own home, in an atmosphere you are comfortable with.With over 2,000 online casino, and poker rooms to choose from, trying to pick one that is trustworthy, reliable, gives you the best odds, and that you feel comfortable with, is challenging. For more information on selecting a poker room, click on Choosing a Casino, and look over the Casino reviews, to get very good advice on selecting a poker room.Remember that while online poker is fun, and can be profitable, there are some things you need to know before putting down your hard earned cashSince it is not possible to know the track record of each and every online casino today, it is my recommendation to stick with the older more established, and well known ones. See my (Top 14 Best Poker Rooms, and Top 14 Best Casinos) list. Most of them use software that is leased from the larger gambling software companies such as, Microgaming, Work Gaming, Boss Media, and Playtech, and have a reputation of being reliable, and trustworthy.Most poker rooms offer instructions on how to play poker. For the beginner, Paradise Poker has created one of the best FREE poker instruction available, enabling you to learn how to play poker, at your own pace, while sitting at your computer. This is the most simplified, easy to learn, 10-minute poker instructional tool available. If your new to poker, or would like to brush up on the game, invest 10 minutes of your time watching this very well done video.Poker room.com have another excellent Free Poker School. If you know a little about poker, and would like some help improving your game, you should visit this site, where you can try out a few lessons that should help improve your poker game. The intention is not to turn you into a pro, (to do that requires a lot of study and massive experience), but rather to give you the confidence to play low limit poker for real money
and enjoy the excitement of it.Many very good books about how to play poker have recently become popular, and I have compiled a list of some of the best Poker Books available, at very reasonable, prices from Amazon.com. Gaining a little knowledge about the game and its many strategies can be a useful and wise investment of your time.Have fun playing poker online, and good luck.

Free Poker Games

There are many sites that offer free poker games online and this number is increasing all the time. Online poker is an attractive pastime for many people that can be enjoyed from home. While some sites offer a variety of free poker games for you to play, yet other sites specialize in one certain type of poker. Some of the free poker games that are offered by various poker sites are community card poker games, draw poker games, and stud poker games.Community card free poker games are by far the most popular poker games offered on the internet. These types of games deal each player an incomplete poker hand and then the player must make the best hand possible by using the community cards that are dealt out. Other sites offer different variations of draw poker games. In most draw poker games each player will receive five cards and then can bet on the five cards in their hand. After the betting they can exchange some of their cards and then betting occurs again and the best hand wins. Less popular forms of free poker games include different styles of stud poker. Five-card stud poker and seven-card stud poker are two variations of these types of games.No matter what kind of free poker games you enjoy playing, more than likely you will be able to find a site online that offers that type of game. In today’s world you no longer have to make the trip to a Casino to enjoy poker games. Technology has brought about the opportunity to play poker from your own home. Whether you enjoy community card games, draw poker games, of stud poker games, there are free poker games on the internet that will provide you with hours of fun and entertainment from home.

10 Common Misconceptions About Poker

If you play poker regularly, and you understand the game exactly as it is, you probably know that there are misconceptions among people with no direct experience. You’ve probably heard many of these erroneous viewpoints. If you are like me, you spend a fair amount of time explaining to uninformed people precisely what the game is and what it is not. For the benefit of all, this article will clear up some of the more common misconceptions.Conversely, if you never play poker, and your entire experience of the game is what you read in print and see in movies, you probably have many wrong ideas. That is to be expected. Please, allow me to enlighten you on a few points.1. Poker is not casual. Many people think of the game as a mellow social pastime, where friends sit around drinking, laughing and whooping it up. In fact, there is nothing friendly about poker. You can be cordial with others at your table (and you should be), but the game itself is vicious. Played properly, it is a form of warfare. It is an aggressive battle for domination. I think of poker as “violence, without the violence.”2. A poker face is not the main requirement to play. I cannot tell you how often I hear this misconception. Nearly every time I mention poker to someone whose only exposure to the game is the media, I hear some lame comment like, “Oh, you must have a good poker face.” No, a poker face, a steely-eyed gaze, is not the essence of skillful play. True, you do not want to be sending tells to your opponents, but the so-called poker face is widely misunderstood. The ability to create a poker face does not make you a good player. Consider this: When you play on the Internet, everyone has a poker face.3. Winning at poker is not easy. Blame television for this one. You generally see only the winners on television. Those who win get the most exposure and are most often featured. The final table in a tournament, for example, is comprised solely of players who are winners. Very little attention is paid to those who lose, say nothing of the vast majority who bust out of tournaments without fanfare. Playing well takes a huge amount of study, discipline and practice. Succeeding at the game is far from automatic.4. Women can play. The idea that poker is exclusively a man’s game is another falsehood. Years ago, many well-known authors wrote that women do not have the killer instinct necessary to play well. Time has proven that theory wrong. Nowadays, women compete at every level, and plenty of skilled women win in cash games and tournaments. The idea that poker is a man’s game is laughable these days, and I wouldn’t have included it among common misconceptions were it not for the fact that many still believe it.5. Poker is not a game of mathematics. In blackjack, for example, you always have one best move at any moment. Your task is to determine what that move is. If you have 13 and the dealer is showing an ace, then you should hit. That is always true, no matter who is seated at the table or what they are doing. Poker is different. You must take other players into account, and the mathematically preferable move may not be wise. Top caliber players often debate what is the best move in a particular situation. Poker cannot be reduced to mathematics because there are too many human factors.6. Poker is a not game of luck. This is perhaps the most common misconception, and it is dead wrong. Luck averages out. Over time, all players receive the same percentage of good hands and bad hands. The difference is what players do with those hands. A good player will maximize the amount won with good hands and minimize the amount lost with bad hands. The key element that separates winners from losers, over time, is not the cards dealt, but the decisions made. Stu Unger, three-time World Series of Poker champion, put it this way: “In cards, the luck always balances out. The good players are going to win. Any player that thinks card playing is a game of luck, I’ll show you a fool. That’s what the losers always say. The winners don’t worry about the short term; we play for the long term.”7. Cheating is not rampant. The prevalence of cheating is another incorrect impression held by many. In private backroom games, cheating does happen occasionally. But in modern casino cardrooms and high-profile tournaments, where most of today’s professionals play, cheating is virtually nonexistent. (Online, however, is a different story. It is possible to cheat when playing on the Internet, due to the nature of the technology.) Although cheating is technically possible in some situations, and it does happen, it is not nearly the factor that many people suppose. If you are hesitant to play poker out of fear of being cheated, you are overreacting.8. Poker is not an addiction. No matter what the media would have you believe, the vast majority of poker enthusiasts play because they enjoy the game, not because they are hooked in some way. Sure, a tiny percentage of players do struggle with addiction, but they are people with an addictive personality, whether or not they play poker. We should not blame poker for someone’s compulsive behavior any more than we should blame sex for someone being a rapist.9. Poker is not sleazy. There is nothing even remotely “underbelly” about this beautiful game. A great many good and decent folks play for a wide variety of reasons, such as fun, challenge and personal betterment. Poker highlights the best of human interaction and calls into play the most honorable of human qualities, such as courage, sound reasoning and self-control. The game is a wonderful way to build character.10. Poker is not illegal. Most people with a functioning brain do not actually believe this, but the forces of misguided morality want you to think that the game is against the law. It is not. Poker is not associated with crime in any way. Nor is it controlled by the mob. Not is it dangerous. You do not need to be on the lookout for gangsters. Or gunplay. No, you do not need to carry a sidearm and shoot your way out of the casino to protect your loot. You’ve been watching too many movies.These are a few common misconceptions held by many in the public. If you encounter people with these ideas, please set them straight. But be understanding; it’s not their fault that they hold these incorrect viewpoints, which are passed off as fact everywhere in today’s media. It rests with us, intelligent members of the poker-playing community, to spread the truth regarding the magnificent game of poker.