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Poker Card Rooms

Written By:  Roy Valntino
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

There’s nothing like a live poker game. Almost every casino has a poker card room. Here’s some basic information about how to play poker in a card room.

The first thing to know is that playing in a card room for poker has some important differences from playing at home. Contrary to what you might think, you can’t just sit down at a table in a card room for poker play like you would if you wanted to play blackjack or another table game in the main casino. Since in a casino, the card playing poker room is usually physically separate from the casino proper, they’re usually staffed with a casino employee who acts as the room’s host. Once in the room, you’ll need to sign in and let the host know what game you want to play. If all tables are full in a card playing room for poker, the host will ask for your name or initials for a waiting list. In some casinos, you’ll find a board listing the waiting players. When your name comes up, they’ll seat you at a table.

When you arrive at the table, you’re pretty much ready for poker play in a card room. Either the host or the dealer will handle the buy-in for you. If you’re moving from another table, you can bring chips from the other game with you to use at the new table. Remember that there’s usually a minimum buy-in when playing poker in a card room. In a low-limit game, expect the buy-in to be about $30.

An important difference between home poker games and a card room for playing poker is the concept of table stakes. This means that there’s a limit on the amount a player can win or lose in a hand. You must play the hand with the chips you have on the table, i.e., you can’t buy more chips in the middle of the hand. Announce that you’re “all in” if you run out of chips in this situation. At this point, the main pot freezes and subsequent bets are placed in a side pot. If you win the hand, you win only the amount in the main pot. When the hand is over, you can buy additional chips.

With a little thought and maybe a bit of advanced research, your first experience in a poker playing card room will be both exciting and (hopefully) profitable.

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