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By John Finney
People usually play poker at home or with friends for starters and the transition from their usual style they developed in these kinds of games and the style required if you play in a casino online or offline can be hard for some. The home games have always a simpler structure. Usually, all the players at the table ate a small amount. And then the bids and raises are situated somewhere between 25cents and maximum $2. Home games also don't value the best game style, they value only the best hands. This means home games are a lot about luck and very little about strategy. When a home player decides to turn to casino poker, then he must know the three essential differences between what he knows and what he is about to start: competition, the forced bets and the bets in general.
The first difference is at the very beginning of your games: you will see that usually the antes are gone and in their place there come the blinds. The blinds are forced bets that have to be placed by the first person after the dealer (the small blind), and the person after him (the big blind). The rest of the players at the table don't have forced bets - they will however bet the blinds when their turn comes. The only obligation the players have is to call the big blind or raise it, accordingly to their hand and strategy.
After the first round, called pre-flop, you go into the flop, which is the round you see the two hand cards you are given. And here you can see the second big difference. Firstly, the thing about folding when someone bets more chips/money than you have is not true. If someone bets $10 and you only have $5, then you will call him all-in, for the $5 you have, you don't have to fold. This situation only occurs in no-limit poker. Then, there comes the pot limit version, where the bets must be situated between the minimum bet and the size of the pot.
And, the version recommended for beginners and at the same time the most played online poker version is the limit poker (or fixed-limit). Her you must place the bets accordingly to the limits set by the game's name. So, if you are currently playing a $4-$8 game, then the bets until the turn will be of $4 and the bets placed from the turn on will be $8.
And then, the human factor comes - the competition. Game style counts the most when playing online in a casino or poker room. Luck has a small part also, as always, but this part is so small that it can be countered through a good play. Actions that you used to do in home games, like calling a player on the river just to see its hand are not that popular here. It is mostly because here you play for real money, not for pocket change and you actually have a chance to win a lot, from different players, due to the great amount of players that are usually in online casinos.
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