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The Poker Room:
What's Behind the Door?

The poker room you choose can have a major impact on your play. If this is your first time playing poker online then you might be curious about what you'll find. Well, the poker room is a technical marvel with most rooms letting you join a virtual table that looks just like the real thing. It's just a shame they haven't managed to get the aura of beer stains and stray popcorn pieces there yet!

Joining an online poker room is just the same as joining a real game - you just do it on your computer. So, when you join a game you'll see a table on your screen with the relevant number of seats around it. You might be playing against computer-generated characters or against real people who are online in their own part of the world.

Each player will be represented by either their screen name or a computer generated image of a person, also known as an avatar. If the site offers images then you can choose one too - this can be half the fun of joining a poker room! Do you go for a svelte blonde bombshell, do you want to look like a cool dude or do you want to be Mickey Mouse? The choice is yours, and this can often play into your strategy. Don't worry if your image choice embarrasses you later - you can always change it!

Your poker room might be on a specialized poker web site or be part of a general casino portal. In order to play you might have to download some general software to make sure that your game runs smoothly but this should only take a couple of minutes and you'll only have to do it once. Once you're ready to go then you just have to choose what kind of room you want to join.

You will have to open an account with the poker room before you can actually play to win - this is a simple process and should only take a few minutes. Online poker rooms and casino sites are renowned for their high levels of security so you should not have to worry about depositing money over the Internet.

You'll get all sorts of choices when you want to play online. You can play all the major types of game (and most of the obscure ones too!). You can also choose different structures so you can play in a tournament, you can play in a ring, you can play one-on-one or you can choose how many seats you have at the table. You can play a couple of quick games for fun or you can make like you're taking part in a major tournament and go on for days. This is all about having fun - and making money!

Your poker room will probably offer you various options for getting into a game. You can play immediately or you can sign up for special games or tournaments that you might be interested in. These might be taking place in a couple of hours or in a couple of days. It's real easy to play most games - each room will have its own instructions on the screen, will run you through how to physically play in a Help section and will tell you everything you need to know (apart from the cards in the other player's hands that is!).

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