The Poker Virgin

published on 05/13/08 at 8:46 am

The world of online poker can be an intimidating jump for any new player. With thousands of people playing online, a “newbie” sometimes needs a bit of help and direction to make his/her experience as pleasurable and hopefully, profitable as well. This article identifies three questions I asked myself and discovered on my own through trial and error.

Which site do I choose?
This is the first question any new player should ask him/herself. Three of the biggest, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and Party Poker are great choices for a beginner. They offer varieties of games and blind structures (even down to pennies, i.e. micro). All three have fantastic signup bonuses, and even re-deposit bonuses! But there are other sites that offer bonuses (albeit smaller) and rakeback (Sun Poker) or profit sharing (Poker Syndicate). A lot of choices, but with a few minutes of research, a player can find the poker room he/she will enjoy. Downloading is easy and only takes a couple minutes.

How do I deposit? How much?
Depositing in today’s online world got tougher after Congress passed their anti-gambling bill (focusing on banking transactions, not playing poker). Neteller was the hardest hit, but with their decline came new opportunities. Click2Pay, ePassport, even Visa/Mastercard, and bank wires are just a few of the depositing possibilities. The easiest being a credit card, as it is usually instant and no need to sign up and verify an account with a third-party bank.

The depositing amount is also a concern. For a beginner, only deposit the amount you feel comfortable losing. If its $50, then only deposit $50. Do not think you can deposit $600 and make rent or food money each month. Being under financial stress actually works against you on the tables.

How do I begin playing?
In most cases, a beginner will be playing No Limit Texas Hold’em. Each site has main room identifying all the games that are available. This can be intimidating, so just stick with the game you are comfortable with and especially the blind ranges. Most (if not all) sites have micro limits, 1 cent/2 cent being the lowest blinds. Take a seat at the table with at least the minimum buyin funds. With micro limits, you can usually sit down with a couple bucks. The program will usually ask you to place your big blind immediately or wait until the big blind comes to you. Always wait until it comes to you, you do not want to pay the big blind twice. In addition, you will have a chance to inspect and evaluate your competition. Figure out how a particular player is betting or even folding.

This is not the most comprehensible “how-to” document, but it identifies what a new player needs to make happen when entering the online poker world. Choosing the correct site, depositing a personally acceptable amount, and selecting the correct table/limits are just the surface to making your stay at a poker site enjoyable for future chapters.

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