The Poker Mavens player module is an Adobe Flash file that is automatically served to your web browser when you connect to a Poker Mavens server. This connection can come from the server directory at www.PokerMavens.net or via a direct link from an email message or another web site. This means you do not have to install any new software to play. If you do not have version 10 or later of the Flash player installed on your system then you will receive an error message to that effect along with a link to the Adobe web site.
Once the Flash file is loaded, the first thing you will see is the lobby window. This window is not a real operating system window but is instead a graphical representation produced by the Flash player. It can be moved and closed like a real window but is confined to the interior area of your web browser. Note that you may want to turn off the various toolbars and use the browser's full screen mode (typically on the View menu for most browsers) to maximize the space available for the various windows available in the game.
The menu at the top of the Lobby window contains the following commands:
Login - This is equivalent to the Login button on the Logins tab and displays a Login dialog.
Create - This function displays a dialog so that first time visitors can create an account on the site. It is the equivalent of the "Create New Account" button on the Login dialog.
Change info - This function allows you to change any of the editable fields for your account, such as password, avatar, email address, etc.
Show balance - This function displays your chip balance and is equivalent to the "Account Balance" button on the Logins tab.
Transfer chips - This function allows you to transfer chips from your account to another player's account. This function has to be enabled by the site administrator.
Request more chips - This function allows you to receive more chips if your balance has fallen below the default starting balance. This function has to be enabled by the site administrator and may have a limitation on how often the request can be made.
Exit - This function will log you out and close the Lobby window. To reload the Lobby window and log back in, just click the refresh button in your web browser.
Beep sounds - Plays a beep sound when it is your turn to act at a poker table.
Bet sounds - Plays a sound effect when any player bets or calls a bet.
Card sounds - Plays a sound effect when cards are dealt onto the table.
Check sounds - Plays a sound effect when any player checks on their turn.
Pot sounds - Plays a sound effect when a pot is awarded to any player.
Login sounds - Plays a sound effect when a new player logs in to the site.
Sound volume - Set the sound effects volume from 0 (mute) to 100 (full).
Four-color deck - Check this option to display cards so that clubs are green instead of the traditional black and diamonds are blue instead of the traditional red.
Bring active table to front - This option brings tables to focus (above other windows in the game) when it is your turn to act.
Number format - Displays a dialog giving the player the option to display numbers with either periods or commas for decimal marks.
Font size - Displays a dialog with a menu of font sizes from 9 to 13. This change will take effect on your next login.
Start tournament - Displays a Start Code dialog allowing the current selected tournament to be started remotely (if that option was enabled in the server module).
Player search - Displays the table names where a specified player is seated or in the waiting list. This function can also be called by clicking the "Player Search" button on the Logins tab.
Contact site administrator - Displays a dialog with links to the site administrator's email and web site.
View site news - Displays a news bulletin provided by the site administrator.
About Poker Mavens - Displays a copyright notice and a link to the Briggs Softworks web site (optional in Gold version).
As a player, you must login before you can join any poker games or use the chat feature. Clicking the Login button on the Logins tab or selecting Login from the Account menu will display this dialog:
First time visitors can click the "Create New Account" button to create a new account at the site. All fields except "Real Name" are mandatory. Remember that each Poker Mavens server is operated independently so an account created on one site will not be recognized on another.
Once logged in, you can see the list of all players currently logged in on the Logins tab:
The chat feature on the Logins tab can be used to talk to other players (assuming they are monitoring this window). Just type in a line of text in the Chat box and then press Enter to submit it. Clicking the "Chat +" button will open a larger chat box to the right of the lobby window. You can block the chat of others from showing in your window by selecting their name in the login list and clicking the "Block Chat" button. Clicking a second time removes the block. The block also affects chat entered at the poker tables.
You can click the "Account Balance" button to see what your current chip balance is. Each site administrator determines what a new player's starting balance will be. The default setting is 0 with balances allowed to go negative. In those cases, you will not run out of chips and have to ask for more. Over time, a positive balance indicates that you are winning player while a negative balance indicates that your are a losing player. For sites that do not allow negative balances, you will have to ask the administrator for more chips if you run below the minimum required to buy in to any particular table.
Click the "Player Search" button to search all the tables for a specific player name. This feature is also available on the Options menu.
The Ring Games tab displays a list of the active ring games currently available at the site (note: only site owners who have the Pro or Gold version of Poker Mavens can put more than one table at a time online). When one is selected, the list of players currently seated there is displayed. Click the "Observe Table" button to observe or join the selected ring game. To join a ring table, the player simply clicks on any empty seat in the table window. If all seats are currently filled, a "Waiting List" button will be enabled in the Lobby window. Clicking it will add your name to the waiting list. Once a seat become available, a popup invitation will be displayed asking you to join the table.
The Tournaments tab displays a list of the active tournaments currently available at the site. Again, only the Pro and Gold version of Poker Mavens supports multiple tournaments or multi-table tournaments. When one is selected, the list of players is displayed if the tournament has started. Click the Register button to join the waiting list for the next tournament. Seats are randomly assigned and no one is seated until the tournament is ready to start. Also, no one can join a tournament after it has started. You can, however, register for the next tournament while waiting for the current one to finish.
Basic information for the selected tournament can be seen by clicking the "Tournament Info" button, including the starting options. A tournament can be started by up to 5 different methods as long as there are at least 2 people registered to play:
Each poker table is represented in an independent window that can be moved and resized anywhere inside your web browser. Click and drag the small triangle icon in the lower right corner to resize the window. The table graphic is identical for both ring games and tournaments. Site owners who have the Pro or Gold version of Poker Mavens have the option to replace the background graphic and table logo so those sites may look different than the default table displayed here.
In the upper left corner of the table is an Options menu with the following commands:
General info - this menu displays general information about the table in an independent, resizable window. For tournament tables it also includes the payout and blinds schedules.
Extended chat - this menu displays an extended chat area that allows the chat to be moved from the table to a larger area.
Statistics - this menu displays some basic statistics including the number of hands you played, flops seen, and pots won.
Hand history - this menu displays a detailed hand history of all the action that has occurred at the table.
Add more chips - this function applies to ring games and rebuy tournaments. In a ring game, you can add more chips from your account up to the maximum buy-in limit for the particular table. In a rebuy tournament, you can add chips during the rebuy period when your stack is at or below the starting chip count.
Default window size - this command will reset the table back to its default size.
Mute dealer chat - this is a checkbox option that will turn off messages from the dealer in the chat box.
Display hand helper - this is a checkbox option that will identify the poker hand you are currently holding. For example: "You have a flush, Ace high".
Auto muck - uncontested winning hands will be mucked automatially when this option is checked. Otherwise you will be prompted to show or muck your cards.
Deal cards face down - check this box to have your hole cards dealt face down. Click on your cards to flip them back up. This option is handy when playing in the same room with other players. You can manually flip your cards face up and down any time even when this option is not checked. Doing so does not expose them to other players.
All four tab windows shown above have a right-click popup menu that contains commands for selecting and copying text to the clipboard, which can then be pasted into an external program.
Click the Leave button in the upper right corner to leave your seat and/or close the table window. In a tournament, the you will be placed in "Sitting Out" mode and will eventually get blinded out if you don't return. In a ring game, you are removed immediately and any chips in your stack is added back to your account.
The Chat area is located in the bottom left corner of the table. Just type in a line of text and press Enter and your name and message will be displayed at the bottom of the scrolling chat box. Seated player chat is displayed in blue, observers in green, the dealer in black, system messages in purple, and the administrator in red. If your prefer a larger chat box, click the Options button and then select "Extended chat" as described above.
Whenever it is your turn to act, your name plate will glow with a yellow color and two or three Action Buttons will be displayed in the lower right corner of the table. For Pot Limit and No Limit games, if there is a possibility of betting or raising a variable amount then an edit box and a slider bar will also be displayed for selecting that amount.
Fold any bet - When you check this box, your hand will be folded when it becomes your turn to act and there is a live bet that has not been called. However, if you have an option to check your bet, then the check will be performed automatically for you. This option is cleared at the end of the hand.
Out next hand - Check this box to go into "Sitting Out" mode when the next hand starts. For ring games, that means you will not be dealt any hole cards and the blinds will skip past you. However if you do not return before a specified amount of time (default is 10 minutes), you will be automatically removed from the table. For tournaments, a player sitting out will continue to get cards and post blinds and will eventually be blinded out of the tournament if they do not return.
Out next blind - Checking this box will put you in "Sitting Out" mode whenever it is your turn to post a small or big blind. This option is only available in ring games.
Next Move - These Check/Call/Fold boxes will be displayed on the right side of the window when there is action pending at the table but it is not yet your turn to act. You can use these if you know what move you are going to make in advance of your turn.
Folded Cards - If you've already folded your cards, you can still see what you had by moving the mouse cursor over your avatar. They will be displayed in a semi-transparent state. And of course, you can also see them in the hand history window after clicking the Options button.