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Cheat Sheet

Winning at Internet Poker For Dummies

From Winning at Internet Poker For Dummies by Mark Harlan, Chris Derossi

Even if you're an old hand at playing Internet poker, new nuggets of information can always help you win or make online poker more enjoyable. For example, understanding common abbreviations can solidify your standing in the online poker community; knowing what to do if you get disconnected from an online poker game staves off panic; and creating a comfy place to play helps you stay focused on winning.

Common Abbreviations Used in Online Poker Chats

If you're an online-poker player, then you're likely familiar with abbreviations that make Internet poker more enjoyable. At the very least, knowing online-poker abbreviations lets you know what people have to say about the poker prowess of the table (including what they say about you).

With the exception of referring to a card with capital letters (AKQJT), do use lowercase letters as you correspond, because UPPERCASE MAKES IT SEEM LIKE YOU'RE YELLING. Have a look at some of the common poker phrasing that shows up on the Internet:

Online Poker Chat Abbreviations
Abbreviation Meaning
86 To remove or ban
Ac Ace of clubs
Ad Ace of diamonds (or Ad)
Ah Ace of hearts
As Ace of spades
bb Big blind
bl Better luck
brb Be right back
c Clubs
d Diamonds
gc Good call (rarely good catch)
gg Good game
g1 Good one
gl Good luck
h Hearts
h/l High-low
J Jack
JK Jack king
j/k Just kidding
K King or okay, depending on context
l8(r) Late(r)
lol Laughing out loud
m8 Mate
n1 Nice one
n Nice or no, depending on context
nc Nice catch (usually referring to a lucky turn or river draw)
ne1 Anyone
nh Nice hand
nhs Nice hands (usually used when a great hand beats a good hand)
NL No limit
o Off-suit, written as 78o
ott Over the top
PL Pot limit
pls Please
Q Queen
qed Math geekspeak for so it is proven
rgp Rec.gambling.poker (a Usenet group)
rofl Rolling on the floor laughing
ru Are you
s Spades
sb Small blind
sob I think you're a particularly nice person, we should have dinner
str8 Straight
T Thank you or 10, depending on context
tx Thanks
ty Thank you
u2 You too
x Any non-specific card
y Yes
y? Why?
yw You're welcome
: ) Smiley face (view sideways)
: ( Frowny face

What to Do When Disconnected from an Online Poker Game

Getting disconnected from an online poker tournament is a jarring experience, but after it happens, you need to put it behind you. Focus harder than you normally do on the game and calm down. You've already had to deal with the inconvenience the disconnection handed you — you don't need to make it worse by playing it over and over in your head.

The first hint you get that you're disconnected is the normal flow of the game suddenly stops. No bets. No cards being dealt. No chat from players. Nothing.

One of two things may be wrong: Your computer, or the site, has dropped its Internet connection.

To determine which is the case, quickly launch a new web browser window and do a search for something (anything) you've never searched for before (just look across your room and type in the name of the first object you see if you have trouble thinking of something).

  • If you can bring up information from your search, the problem belongs with your poker site, in which case you should just sit tight and wait.

  • If the poker application quits while you wait (sites often reset if they have a wide outage), re-launch it.

So, if you're disconnected from the Internet as you are playing a tournament, do the following things, in order, as quickly as you can:

  1. Quit your poker application.

  2. Reconnect to the Internet.

  3. Re-launch your poker application.

  4. Log in to your poker site.

  5. Once you're logged in, if you're not immediately directed to your table, do the "find a player" search on yourself and go to your table.

Creating a Comfortable Place for Playing Poker Online

When playing poker online, give some thought to the physical space you play in: The more comfortable and focused you can make your playing environment, the more focused you can become at game time. Playing poker online isn't only about computers and software; after all, you don't play inside your computer.

Consider the following pointers to ensure a comfortable and focused poker experience:

  • Set up your screen in as glare-free a position as possible. You don't want to misread your hands — especially important in Seven-Card Stud, where you have to view a greater number of cards in various positions around the table.

  • Find a good spot for your drinks and food. You have to sit for long periods of time, so you need to plan ahead of time for your sustenance. Remember: Bad bets are made about ten times worse if you spill a soda on your keyboard as they happen.

  • Put a trash basket within arm's reach. Respect the final resting spot for your waste and you greatly reduce the chance that you'll fling an empty bottle when you get outdrawn on the river. (Mathematical note: Having a trash basket at arm's reach doesn't reduce your chances of being outdrawn on the river.)

  • Minimize your distractions. Sure, every brick-and-mortar card room has a television showing such superlative tidbits as the Saharan Dune Bobsled Racing Championships, but watching TV doesn't help you win; it can only hurt.

    Play sober. Yes, it may be tempting to knock down a few icy cold ones as you play, but it doesn't help you keep a positive balance in your poker site's account. Being drunk only lessens the pain as you hit yourself in the financial head, but it doesn't make the lump any smaller the next day.

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