CPSC203 2008Fall T20 Group C
- 1 Online Poker
- 2 Introduction
- 3 What is Internet Poker?
- 4 How to Play Internet Poker
- 5 Advantages
- 6 Disadvantages
- 7 Online Poker Strategy
- 8 Online Poker Etiquette
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 References & External Links
- Abhinit Jawanda
- Jeanine Nahas
- Kyle Langstaff
- Chin-Hsien Chen
Welcome to Group C's page on Online Poker. The main objective of this particular page is to inform the reader about the several facets of Online Poker. We will weigh the advantages and disadvantages of Online Poker and assess whether it can be considered a viable, safe, and worthy pass time. As many may assume, online poker is just poker played over the Internet. However, to an unsuspecting person, the game of online poker is very different and can be difficult, challenging, and even dangerous. There is a very specific manner in which online poker is played; the software used to play the game can be difficult to use, and an in-depth understanding of how to approach the game over the internet must be mastered in order to be successful. In addition to this, information will be provided in regards to who can play the game, advantages and disadvantages of playing poker online-specifically issues of security and cheating. Lastly, an elaboration on the proper etiquette required when playing over the internet and also a psychological perspective on the game will be provided.
What is Internet Poker?
Online poker is the game of poker played over the internet as an alternative to playing in traditional casinos and/or poker rooms. Free online poker first launched in the late 1990's in the form of IRC poker. However, Planet Poker was the first online cardroom to offer real money poker. January 1, 1998 was the first money poker game ever dealt over the internet. It is said that online poker has dramaticaly increases the number of poker players worldwide. In traditional casinos, poker rooms have been replced by slots machines which take up less space and offer a larger revenue. Because of this, online poker is a great alternative for those who enjoy the game. Online poker also attracts a number of players by offering online venues that allow players to play for extremely low stakes, as well as offering poker Free Roll (no entry fee)tournaments.
There is a wide variety of online cardrooms and sites that offer online poker, Online Directory of Poker Sites.
How to Play Internet Poker
As stated earlier, online poker has rocketed to the top of the most popular pass times for millions of people. And with this great popularity comes several Internet-based sites competing for you membership such as: Party Poker, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Pacfic Poker, Poker Huis and these are only a few of the many poker sites available to poker enthusiasts. However, regardless of which online poker site you choose to play on. the goal still remains the same as always: TO WIN!
The rules to play the game of poker over the internet are very similar to the rules of poker played in-person. The only difference that arises in playing poker between the two environments, is the software used in order to put into action a player's desired move. However, before discussing the software for internet poker, a basic understanding of the rules will be provided.
When beginning to play poker over the internet, it is essential to understand the type of table you are about to join. The first kind of table and players can enter are known as the "short-hand" tables. In this particular table a maximum of six players can be participating and is recommended for advance poker players. The second type of table is known as the "large table" and can hold up to a maximum of ten players at a time; it is recommended that beginners start here. Regardless of the table an individual chooses all players at the table contribute to the “pot” which is the total number of "play chips" or "chips" which represent actual or fictitious money that each player has wagered during the game.
Once players have committed to the pot, each player is dealt cards or a "hand" in a clockwise manner. Players, based on the strength of the cards they were dealt, make wagers that will in theory lead to an accumulation of chips. Wagers can only be made during a round of betting and once the round of betting is over or the player that has the strongest set of cards will be victorious. Or it is possible that if other players at the table are not willing to risk anymore chips, decide to fold because of the mere strength of the winning player's hand. When making wagers, there are one of many things that a player can do. When a player is confident in his or her set of cards (or is using a strategy to trick an opponent into believing his or her cards are better) he or she will "call". By "calling" the player has decided to match the bet placed by the previous player; this in turn increases the pot for that round of play. Another option would be for the player to "raise" an even greater indication of confidence. This would mean that the player is raising his or her bet from the previous bet that was placed. A poker player can also choose to go "all in" meaning that the player has decided to place all his chips into the pot. Other options the player has is to “see”, this is when the player has decided to "call" or the player can “fold” which is when the player has decided to give up on the current hand. Once the player folds, the player loses all bets made up until that point; however, they have further avoided the risk of losing any more money. As stated earlier, once the betting rounds are over, the player with the strongest hand or the last player who has not folded wins the round and receives the “pot”.
In addition to this basic knowledge, it is important to know about the several hands and how each hand is ranked according to strength so that the player is successful at the game of poker. A deck of cards consists of 52 cards and are divided into four suits: clubs, spades, hearts, and diamonds. In poker, the "ace" card is the highest ranked card while "2" is the lowest ranked card; however, the "ace" card coexists as a "1" card as well.
Rank of Hands
- In this particular hand, the "Royal Flush", the cards that the player was dealt consists of an "ace" and a straight flush which is "ten, jack, queen, and a king" all of the same suit in succession. This is the strongest hand.
- In this hand, the "Straight Flush", there are five straight cards of the same suit. This is the second strongest hand.
Four of a Kind
- In this hand, the player is holding "Four of a Kind", which means that he or she has four cards of equal rank. This is third strongest hand.
Full House or Full Boat
- In this particular hand, the player's hand contains three cards of one rank and a pair of any other rank.
- This hand, the "Flush" is when the player has any five cards but of the same suit.
- In this hand, a "Straight" hand, the player has five cards of sequential rank; this means that every "Straight" hand will have either 5 or 10.
Three of a Kind
- In the "Three of a Kind" hand the player has three cards that are of the same rank; same suit is not necessary.
- In this hand, the "Two Pair" the player has a hand that consists of two cards of one rank and another two cards of a different rank.
- In the "Pair" hand, the player has two cards of the same rank.
- In the lowest hand, the "High Card" the player that has the highest card, wins!
Online Poker Software
One of the major differences between poker online and poker in-person is the software that is required to play the game online. Each poker website has its own unique poker software that enables the players to effectively and efficiently play the game of poker online. However, it can be tricky to understand how to use the software and can many times be the difference between winning and losing. As it was said earlier, it is essential to select the correct table, that will as a result give you the most success. In order to decide which table is best for you, the "Table Preview" option is made available to potential players looking to join a table. By clicking on "Preview" on the home screen, followed by selecting a table you wish to see, will allow a player to view a table for 60 seconds at which point it will close to avoid issues of cheating.
Poker Table Options1.Taking a seat at a Poker table
- The player can click on any seat marked "Seat Open" and occupy the seat for the remainder of the game.
- Once the player has clicked on the "Seat Open" button, a window pops displaying information about the game, such as the buy-in, the number of players, and your current balance.
- The player has only 15 seconds to accept the seat.
- After the 15 seconds, the player name will appear with the buy-in he or she is bringing and chips will appear on the table.
There are many different types of poker that a player may play online. The most popular ones are Texas hold 'em. There is also Omaha hold 'em, Seven-card stud, Razz, and HORSE The virtuous poker table (an example shown below from PacificPoker Guide to poker table ) shows all the players with their player box which displays their name and amount of money they are playing with; the amount of the central pot money; your hand (cards dealt to you); the action keys; a chat/stats/notes box; and options to leave the table, view the lobby, buy more chips, or to go play other casino games.
2.Selecting From Table Options
- The table information bar gives you a preview of any ring game table a player is thinking about joining. It also allows options such as viewing other player’s bankrolls and notes about their playing history.
- The More 888 games option allows players to make bets on a huge array of entertainment.
- The main table option allows players to view which tables are open, their starting bets , number of players, and basically everything you need to know about them.
- The tabs option makes it easier for a player to determine which table is the right one for them. Players can choose to play for real money or to practice their skills. This option also allows a player to pick which poker style they prefer to play. More examples can be found at (PacificPoker.com)
3. Poker Table View
- Poker pacific has a variety of options such as chat, stats, and notes with different players.
- Leave table option closes the table and takes you back to the lobby. A click on the adjacent arrow button opens multi hand viewing options, hand info and replay.
- View lobby opens the lobby without closing the table
- Buy chips allows you to buy in for the table if you have less than the maximum buy in.
- Play casino takes the player to the acclaimed casino.
- Yellow action button appear are the options where a player can call, fold, check, bet, raise, etc…when it is the players turn to act.
- Ring games are subject to small game fee called a rake. Tournament tables are not raked, therefore no rake amount will be shown if a player is in a tournament.
- Once the flop is dealt, a box to the left illustrates the best hand you could make.
- Total pot shows a player how much money is in the pot at that very moment in the hand.
Online poker sites such as Party Pokerhave developed easy to use software for the internet users to enhance their enjoyment of the game. Most online sites use keyboard shortcuts in order for more efficient strategy and play. Keyboard shortcuts also allow for greater flexibility for Online Poker players. Here the player can use the "Ctrl"(control) key plus any of the up,down,right, and left arrows in order to fold, call, or raise a bet. Party Pokerhas also created a Poker Keyboard Cheat sheet that has all the possible shortcuts an online poker player can use.
Internet Poker can be very fun and rewarding; thus, playing the game of poker has many advantages that in some peoples eyes, far outweigh the disadvantages. The Internet is world wide medium for communication between cultures. It has become one of the easiest methods in which people can effectively and efficiently communicate. In addition to this, the Internet has become competitive of sort, as past company battles involving marketing, compete with one another to sell or provide evidence that what they are providing is the best there is. This same battle has now made it to the Internet, as advertisements and company sites endorsing products do the very same thing of attempting to tempt you into using its product or services. The same can be said for poker. Poker of the past (and the present day) was and is played competitively in casinos and poker rooms. However, with the power of the Internet, poker has been able to take it to the next level, bringing competition to a worldwide scale for those who desire; poker can now be played over the Internet with anyone who has an Internet connection and access to one of many Poker sites. Competition is worldwide and there is no limit to the level of competition people can go up against; there is a match for everyone. One would classify this as the first advantage of Internet Poker. Other advantages include things such as:
A Great way to Sharpen the Mind:
Poker is a game of strategy, patience, and timing. It requires the individual to remain mentally tough and alert at all times to ensure that they come out on top. Otherwise, the slightest mistake or lack of focus can lead to significant losses. Individuals must realize when they are winning and take the right steps in order to win large, or when they are losing, so that they can take appropriate steps to fold and get out before taking a major hit. Thus, if you cannot play with friends and are looking for a great pass time, millions of others are as well, and you can always log in and join a table.
One major difference between regular poker and Internet Poker is that there is a variety for games a player can choose from. with regular poker, chances are that most people you are playing against only know a particular game. However, over the internet, there are thousands of others who know how to play a variety of games, making you Internet Poker experience much more diverse. In addition to this, you have the option to look around and join a game that you like. If you were to go to a casino down the street, there would not be much choice. However, over the Internet, the options are endless.
With the Internet only a mouse-click away, playing poker has never been easier. In addition, playing with money is not difficult at all either. You do not have to go to a bank or an ATM to withdraw cash, since everything can be transferred over the Internet. As well, there is no waiting in line for a game to end or worrying about walking around with large amounts of cash. In addition to this, when you attend a casino you must dress up and at least look presentable, but instead over the Internet you can play in the comfort and convenience of you home. You can go about your lifestyle and have the ability to do other things and still play a poker game.
Playing More than One Game At a Time:
With the introduction of Internet Poker, it has opened a door that would have remained unopened if it had not been created; the ability to play more that one game at a time which is known as "multi-tabling". This way individuals who feel that they are extremely skilled and well-versed in the game of poker can play multiple games at a time and increase their chances of winning more.
The Ability to take Notes:
In the game of poker it is very important to recognize patterns or tendencies in your opponents. By recognizing these patterns, an individual can assess his place in the game and choose the appropriate move so that he or she comes out on top. However, in a casino setting these impressions come and go and are not always completely remembered; you are not always able to remember you opponents tendencies. Instead, in Internet Poker the player has the ability to take notes on player tendencies and refer to them at a later time so that they can make a favorable move. Vice verse, opponents cannot decipher your patterns or tendencies and so once again you are at an advantage.
Other advantages include:
- Convenient pass time
- Conversation is not restricted by time (chat option)
Despite the several advantages associated with Online Poker, one must always remember to make a fair comparison and understand that there are disadvantages associated with Online Poker. Here are some of the disadvantages and things to watch out for when it comes to playing Online Poker.
The first and simplest ploy created against online gambling websites is the creation of a fake website. People register to pay-sites for the quest of profit. Because of this criminal mindsets take advantage of this lust with the creation of a bogus gambling website. An unsuspecting victim must submit their credit card information in order to pay for it and in return they truly do pay (With the balance of their credit card). Law enforcement personnel in conjunction with credit card companies’ work together to catch criminals like this and protect clients of credit card scam (“Your peace of mind and protection are paramount to Visa. Visa's Zero Liability policy is our guarantee that you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent charges made with your card or account information”*); however this is still a serious issue to deal with.
Computer hacking is always a serious issue involved with online services. Online poker websites hold a great deal of electronic funds and credit card information and because of this they become an ideal target. There are two ways that a hacker may choose to go about a website attack. One is to break into the server to steal money and credit card information. The second threat involves hacking the server to alter the outcome of a game in the hackers favour. Both of these are critical risks for a regular player to a website and must always be kept in mind.
Can also be referred to as a group attack and is the simplest of attacks. Collusion requires no real computer skill; instead it is more like “wolf styled” pack hunting. A group of attackers (Predators) working at different computers find a table of one unsuspecting victim (The prey). They all play as different people giving the appearance that they do not know each other; however they are all playing from the same shared funds. Once the game has begun the attackers use instant messaging or phone calls to share what card hands they hold in an attempt to steal all of the victims money. Hacker attacks are a responsibility of the website to look out for, however group attacks can only be prevented by a players own awareness of what is going on around him. For any person who attempts to play online poker, beware!
There is relevant information to support abilities to create computer generated players. In fact, turn on your computer right now and play a game of chess in your games section. When you play you play against a computer making decisions and choice moves based on situation and algorithms. With this being such an easy technology, one can only trust that online poker websites do not have “mock” players within their game rooms. Currently this is more of a conspiracy theory however one cannot doubt that if not now, then one day this will happen.
This is currently the most serious issue that players face. Gambling itself is extremely addictive. If you walk into a casino you can see visitors to the casino stay for hours losing great deals of money on table games and into slot machines. The problem doesn’t just end there because these people continue to gamble even after losing money in attempts to win it back. The addiction gets worse with VLT’s which have disclaimers about gambling problems. Continuing to Online poker the problem becomes worse with addition of the internet. The internet has certain characteristics to it that causes a user to get hooked: It is extremely easy to access and affordable. As well larger issues related to addiction are the anonymity and digital escape. The combination of these two allows a user to disappear into a different realm where bad decisions do not appear to come with harsh consequences. Once this appeal has attached itself to a user the issue of high frequency usage begins. Continually visiting a website over and over becomes simple habit. From this point the next issue of addiction occurs, this is the gambling. In regular casinos dollar-valued chips are used in place of money, on online poker websites virtual chips are used in place of casino chips. The virtual chips become an abstraction of real chips which are in turn an abstraction of money. This can cause large unsafe bets as the digital chips seem no more dangerous than bullets fired in shoot-‘em-up video games (Kregier, “It’s Not Real, Is It?” 2004). Because of online poker’s lack of fiscal reality it hooks susceptible youth into addiction. The addiction problem between online poker and university students is becoming more and more common. A UK advertisement for online poker was banned by the government because it was “glamorizing the risks involved with gambling” and was deemed “irresponsible”. Advertisements such as this one are what lure young people into the grasps of gambling addiction while the virtual chips tighten the grip. The lure of online poker is strong in colleges and because of this addiction is causing some students to lose their tuition money. This is why addiction is the worst of the negatives of the game. Instead of graduating with a degree a student is now forced into debt or bankruptcy.
A disadvantage that is associated with playing poker online is that eventually it can lead to a lack of interpersonal skills. Playing poker over the internet requires an individual to spend a large portion of their time sitting in front of a computer and not partaking in “real” communication. Instead communication is carried out via chat rooms within the poker site. Chat rooms can be extremely beneficial in many ways and at the same time difficult.
- There are no non-verbal cues...such as gestures that may throw-off a person’s interpretation of the conversation
- There is a physical distance between the two or many people involved in the conversation...it makes it easier for possibly family members to have a good time by playing poker even though they may be miles apart.
- In chat rooms, individuals can be anonymous having “code” names so that they do not reveal their identity...people as a result may feel more safe.
- Conversations can be continued regardless of time; if a person is in the middle of a chat room conversation and needs to use the washroom, he or she can and still return and pick up the conversation where it left off.
- It is easier to trick someone into believing something that may not be true; a useful tactic when it comes to playing poker.
- People do not gain that sense of substance in a conversation; feelings and emotions can be missed or not interpreted.
- People lose the ability to communicate with people in-person and may struggle to make small talk at gatherings or social events.
- There are no non-verbal cues which can help detect sarcasm and emotions that may be hidden under a mask of happiness.
- It is easier to deceive someone; but is useful when playing internet poker.
This means that even though poker over the internet is convenient, fast, and exciting, it eliminates that conversation that may be possible for those less serious poker players.
Online Poker Strategy
There are many strategies that a player may take advantage of while playing online poker compared to playing in a casino. For one, it is harder to tell if the players are bluffing, so it is easier to play more aggressive. Playing more aggressive can easily scare away the weak opponents and make wining the pot a bit more effortlessly. Since it is also harder to pick up bluffing online, playing more aggressive can help you earn more money by raising the bet when the hand is good or playing the deception that your hand is good even though it may be weak. Also, playing in a casino, it is hard to keep notes on the other players and the dealing pattern, but online, note taking is as simple as clicking on the player’s name and writing a short note. Note taking allows you to keep track of each player’s playing technique, the dealing patterns, and the stats of each player’s hand. Along with note taking, there is also table selection. Table selection allows the player to pick the right table for their playing skill. Each table would have their statistics of how the table is playing, and you can choose the right table of players that can be easily won over. There are also many electronic tools that a player can use to learn more about themselves and the other players at the table. Poker Tracker is a program that allows the player upload their playing hand history into the program and allows them to know their hourly prize money, which hands are winning the most money, where the player can improve and which opponents to watch out for. Many online poker sites also offer bonuses for using their site. The bonuses are money deposited into the online poker account. Different sites offer different amount of bonus according to the amount of money you are playing with. An example of a bonus would be 100% up to $200 free upon first deposit. This means that upon first deposite of $200, the player would recive $200 free towards playing on their site. 100% up to $200 Free Upon first deposit. It is a good idea to read over different online poker sites and see which site offers the best bonus and take advantage of the extra money.
Online Poker Etiquette
Etiquette refers to the general rules and courteousness that must be exemplified regardless of whether the game of Poker is played within a specific venue or over the Internet. Much like regular Poker, in Internet Poker, opponents can be quite annoyed by improper etiquette and can request for a player's removal from a game or even loss of membership for the site. Much of the etiquette involved in Internet Poker deals with the chat feature and if a player learns how to regulate that aspect of the software, he or she will be fine. Pretty much, a general rule of thumb: only use the chat feature when you need to. Therefore, in order to play the game of Poker over the Internet it is essential that players follow these simple rules:
- Do not be critical of others play
- Do not brag about winning
- If you must discuss a hand, wait till the hand is over
- Refrain from using inappropriate language
- Be sure not to play too slow; make moves quickly
- Placing "All-In" bets; this can either make you look good or make you look bad: opponents frown upon this before halfway through the game.
After assessing the various facets of Online Poker it is evident that there are several advantages and disadvantages associated with the online game of poker. Online Poker is a fun and convenient way to have a good time. It does not require the individual to be in a formal setting and gives the individual the opportunity to play from within the comfort of their home. As well, advantages presented in terms of strategy, there are several opportunities that are made possible that may not be possible otherwise. However, there are also several disadvantages and can be weighted as a greater risk than the advantages. Criminal attack, collusion, and addiction were some of the disadvantages that can be considered as dangerous when playing the game online, but one must argue that all these disadvantages are avoidable; an individual must understand what he or she is getting into and must practice safe web surfing techniques that will reduce the risk of disadvantages for the game of online poker. Therefore, according to our in-depth analysis, we feel that the game of Online Poker is a fun and convenient alternative to regular poker played in casinos. As long as people who play the game play safely and control the level of their play on the Internet so that there are not problems of addiction, Internet Poker is a great way to have fun.
References & External Links
- http://www.pokerlistings.com/analysis-software http://www.pokerstars.com/poker/room/features/software-news/
- How to play on Party Poker (Nov 25 2008) http://www.partypoker.com/how_to_play/poker_school/basic_poker_rules/
- Poker Stars Frequently Asked Questions (Nov 25 2008) http://www.pokerstars.com/poker/room/faq/
- How to play on Full Tilt (Nov 25 2008) http://www.fulltiltpoker.com/howToPlay.php
- SoYouWanna learn how to play (Nov 28 2008) http://www.soyouwanna.com/site/syws/poker/poker.html
- How stuff work (Nov 28 2008) http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/how-to-play-poker-online.htm
- How to play on pacific poker (Nov 25 2008) http://www.pacificpoker.com/en/online-poker-rules/ring_games--2,0,6.htm
- 15 Advantages of Online Poker vs. Live Poker (Nov 28 2008) http://pokeronamac.com/poker-articles/15-advantages-of-online-poker-vs-live-poker/
- Poker strategies (Dec 2 2008) http://www.pokerstars.com/poker/strategy/
- 10 Poker Tips for Winning Online Poker (Dec 2 2008) http://www.cardschat.com/10-tips-for-winning-online-poker.php
- Beginners's Guide to Online Poker (Dec 2 2008) http://www.onlinepokerfaq.com/guide/basic-strategy.html
- HoldEm Bonus (Dec 4 2008) http://www.holdembonus.com/faq/poker_bonus.htm
- Online Poker Advantages (Dec 2 2008) http://www.cardschat.com/online-poker-advantages.php
- Poker Tracker Software (Dec 2 2008) http://www.pokertracker.com/
- Online Poker Etiquette (Dec 3 2008) http://www.onlinepokerlabs.com/articles/online_poker_etiquette.html
- Online Poker Etiquette (Dec 3 2008) http://www.absolutepoker.com/absolute-poker-school/poker-etiquette/
- Online Poker Security Issues (Dec 3 2008) http://www.pokernewsdaily.com/security-an-issue-for-online-poker-players-259/
- Online Poker Etiquette (Nov 28 2008) http://pokerworks.com/poker-articles/online-poker-etiquette.html
- How to Play and Etiquette (Nov 28 2008) http://poker.bodoglife.com/how-to-play/etiquette.html
- Poker Security (Nov 28 2008) http://www.playwinningpoker.com/online/poker/security/
- Psychology Applied to Modern Day Life (Weiten et al) Ninth Edition ((Nov 30 2008)
- "Online Poker Players Worry of Cheating, Casino Players Don't" (Dec 2 2008) http://www.newonlinecasinos.org/casinoarticles/33/1/198/Online-Poker-Players-Worry-of-Cheating-Casino-Players-Dont.html
- http://www.partypoker.com/ *Licensing small print at bottom.