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ALL ABOUT POKER:

POKERPRO DIGITAL POKER TABLES

by Bill Burton

Bill Burton is the Casino Gambling Guide and columnist for the Internet portal About.com located at: www.casinogambling.about.com. He is the author of "1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets" (available online at www.billburton.com) and "Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Hold'em" (available at 10% discount from the BJI online store). Bill is also an instructor for Golden Touch Craps: www.thecrapsclub.com

Electronic poker tables have been making their way off of the internet poker sites and into the brick and mortar card rooms around the World. These new tables are sure to modernize the face of the traditional poker rooms. If you havenít seen one yet, you probably will before too long. Many poker rooms are adding electronic tables as well as several Cruise Lines who want to accommodate poker players at sea. Leading the way in this high-tech revolution is a company called PokerTek who developed a fully automated electronic poker table that is called PokerPro.

The Tables

The PokerPro table is about the same size as a regular table that you would expect to find in a traditional poker room except that it is missing a seat for the dealer. The hands are dealt electronically, and the community cards are displayed on a large screen in the center of the table. Each player has a screen in front of them that displays their two hole cards, their chips, and buttons for any actions they want to make during the hand. There is also a button to "confirm" your action so you donít mistakenly fold or go all in if you are playing a no limit game.

When the cards are dealt the playerís hole cards appear face down on their screen. When a player cups his hand over the screen the hole cards peel up to reveal the cards. When the playerís hand is removed, the cards appear face down again out of view from other players.

PokerPro also offers a Heads Up table for two players. Many of the card rooms that have installed the PokerPro tables have also installed a couple of these smaller tables which can double as demonstration table. These are used to allow new players to get the feel of the game before sitting down in a live game.

The Games

An unlimited number of game profiles can be are programmed into a table from a central control panel. Texas Holdem, 7-card Stud, and Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi/Lo can be played at any limits, no-limit, or pot limits. Options such as Kill Pots, Straddles, Chop Blinds, and even Rabbit Hunting can be programmed into the games as well. The PokerPro tables can also run single and multi-table tournaments.

Advantages

Player who got their start playing online readily accepted the new tables. Some of the older players are coming around more slowly. There are several advantages to the new electronic tables.

Have you ever sat on a waiting list with a dozen other players waiting for a dealer to show up so they could open a new table? This problem is eliminated with the PokerPro tables because the card room manager can open a new table or change the type of game as well as the limits with a push of the buttons. This alleviates scheduling problems for the management and makes it easier for a player to find a game at any time.

The biggest advantage to the electronic poker table is the speed of the game. You will get many more hands per hour because there is no manual shuffling of the cards required. If you play in the no limit games that charge you by the hour you will get more for your money.

Most dealers do an excellent job; however, there are occasional mistakes made with miss deals, exposed cards, players acting out of turn or disputing the winner. All of this eliminated with the electronic tables.

Many low limit players find it difficult to make a profit because you not only have to overcome the rake, but it is customary to tip the dealer when you win a hand which further cuts into your profits. Since there is no dealer to tip, you can add that money to your profits.

Setting Up an Account

I first played on the PokerPro tables when they were installed at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut in November 2007. Since you donít use chips on the PokerPro tables, you must set up an account before you play. The procedure was simple and was fairly quick to do. I went to the main desk in the poker room and told them I wanted to set up an account. I gave them my playerís card and my name and address which they entered into the data base. I created a pin number for security and chose a screen name that would be displayed on the table and on the electronic waiting list. After I registered I went to the cage and deposited money into my account. I was now set to play.

Getting In The Game

There is an electronic display board that lists all of the current games being offered. Underneath the display board is the waiting list kiosk. To get on the list, you just swipe your card and chose the game you wish to play. Your screen name will then appear on the list.

When your name comes up you will be directed to a seat at the table. The first thing to do when you sit down is to insert your account card into the slot at the top of your personal screen and enter your pin number. The screen will display the amount of money in your account and you then decide how much you want to play with. You can use all of it or just some of it to start. If you only use a partial of your bankroll, you can add money from your account to the table between hands.

 

When you finish playing you just log out on the screen and take your card out of the slot. Any money you have will be transferred back to your account. If you chose to, you can leave your money on account for the next time you play, or you can withdraw all of your money or a partial amount of it by going back to the main cage.

Sooner or later you will come across a card room with the new electronic tables. Sit down and give them a try. You may find that your enjoy playing on them

Until Next time remember:

Luck comes and goes.....Knowledge Stays Forever.

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