The basics of Poker
Still one of the most popular games in the online casino scene. Online Poker is a great way to play the game and have a different experience to your standard brick and mortar casinos, it still retains the excitement and the skills are still required. Some people would say not having to physically sit next to an opponent is a positive in itself for online poker.
One thing you’ll find about Poker… it doesn’t matter if you’re big, small, male, female, loud or quiet, online poker can be enjoyed by literally anyone.
Online Poker really is the traditional card game poker being played online. You’ll find some other variations whilst looking through sites. Online poker follows the same rules of traditional Poker. These rules can be found here.
The differences you will find in online poker are that the games will play a lot quicker and flow will likely feel smoother. The stakes don’t have to be high meaning you can play at a more affordable amount. However, some players will say that playing with physical players helps them work out if someone is bluffing etc. – This can’t be seen on online poker.
How to get started playing online poker?
You’re probably thinking what is needed to play online poker? Well as you’re reading this article then it’s very likely that you are already using a device capable of playing online poker on.
These days most companies will have released an app for devices like phones and tablets.
Will I spend a lot?
Not at all – a lot of sites will actually let you play for free to help you get the hang of it and also to pick up the rules. Once you’re ready to play you’ll need to deposit some money, on average most players will deposit £50-£100, this amount depending on how you stake will keep you going for a long time in online poker. Staking in poker is up to you some tables will even allow you to stake as low as 0.1/0.2.
Online Poker tends to be a bit different to other casino games. Most poker sites will have downloadable software you’ll need to download and install before you can play. This software is so popular now it’s easily accessible for most devices no matter how old or what processing speed, making online poker available to all.
Your next step would be to deposit money to play with, most reputable brands will allow you to deposit in a number of ways – credit & debit card, paypal and skrill payments are often the most common. After you have funds available to play with it’s time to dive in. Read below a guide to playing poker.
Texas Hold’em Poker.
This being the most common version of poker and the game that is usually played on TV or you may have seen your friends playing – it can also be called No-Limit Hold’em Poker.
The rules are as so:
Players are dealt two cards, both face down – they will not receive any more cards.
The aim is to then use these two cards in a combination with the five community cards (known as the flop) the player with the best five card poker hand wins pot, simple right?
Following the two cards being drawn for each player is four rounds of betting.
To start the player on the left of the dealer (in online poker the cards will be dealt automatically but a dealer chip will still be passed around) will be the first player to act. They options are 1 of 2
- Bet (bet an amount to start)
- Check (Do nothing and wait to see what others do)
IF a player decides to bet and put money into the pot then the rest of players options will change too:
- Call (match the bet)
- Raise (match the bet and add more)
- Fold (Don’t match the bet and give up your cards including any bets you may have already added to the pot)
This cycle will keep happening until everyone has called.
Once this round has completed then the three cards called the flop will be dealt for the table. These are community cards that players can use to make a combination with their hand.
Now everyone gets the chance to bet again for the second round. Same choices are available bet, check, raise and fold. Obviously this is where people start beginning to put their chances together and what options they can make with their hand, so betting starts getting interesting.
After this round is complete a fourth card is revealed also know as the turn.
Again betting recommences with the same options of bet/check/raise and fold. Players will make decisions on what they want and also starting think of their chances of winning the pot. Once this is finished a fifth card is revealed known as the river.
This opens the final round of betting – no more cards will be drawn so all players will now know their strongest hand. If there is more than one player remaining after the final round of betting then their hands are exposed to the table. The player with the highest value hand will win the pot.
See below the winning hands ranked in order:
- Royal Flush (All the same suit, sequence A-K-Q-J-T)
- Straight Flush (Any sequence all the same suit, for instance 9-8-7-6-5)
- Four of a Kind (Four cards that are the same value, for instance A-A-A-A)
- Full House (Three of a kind AND a pair)
- Flush (All the same suit)
- Straight (A basic sequence such as 6-5-4-3-2)
- Three of a kind (Three cards that are the same value such as 5-5-5)
- Two-pair (Two pairs, such as 9-9 AND 5-5)
- Pair (Any pair whether it’s A-A or 2-2)
- High Card (Whatever your highest card is)
Players who have the same combination will be resolved by highest card in the combination.
You’ve probably heard the term “Blinds” before and they are indeed a part of Texas Hold’em Poker. But they’re not as complicated as you might think and they are actually help the game.
The small blind and big blind are both relatively small bets that the two players on the direct left of the dealer are forced to put in the pot before every hand starts. You’re forced to put them in without seeing your cards meaning you are “blind.”
You can think of them as an ante if that makes it easier for you. Texas Hold’em Poker features blinds to increase the action in otherwise boring hands. Otherwise players could fold every hand with no consequences, which would be a problem.
Understanding the game of Poker is one thing and agreed it is a very important point. Being good at the game is very different. There are plenty of tips out there, so we won’t bore you with them. We’ve given you the basics that you need to get started with online Poker, we recommend getting stuck in and seeing if it’s for you.
We’ve selected our favourite online poker brands and popped them below for you to have a look at. Also, don’t forget to read our casino reviews before you play.