Guide to Playing Poker Online

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Poker is the kind of game that is fun, simple, thrilling, and requires a bit of intelligence. You can play it for free in online gambling sites or wager any range of stakes at real money casinos.

Now, you can play it live against your friends or other players at a brick and mortar casino. However, online poker is faster, easily accessible any time of the day, and most importantly, comes with lower risk and you have the opportunity to wager small amounts.

Whether you a live poker veteran or entirely new to this side of casino staples, we have got you covered in terms of online poker. Just continue reading our expertly-crafted guide to online poker and be a master of this popular game by the end of the article.

What is Poker Online

Like any casino game, poker is a game of chances. You start with a traditional 52-deck card and receive 5 cards with each dealing which are called poker hands. Each of these hands has distinct rankings. Based on the rankings of your cards, you can decide to call, raise, or fold.

If all this information is going over your head, no worries, we have a detailed explanation of these terms in later sections.

Playing poker in online casinos will require you to join a gambling site that offers different variations of the game. While you can opt for any casino if you are aiming for free play, however, we recommend you to settle for a licensed casino if you are playing online poker with real money.

How to Get Started on Online Poker?

To get started on online poker, you will need to learn some basic poker rules. Generally, a poker game consists of lower-ranked cards (10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2), higher-ranked cards (King, Queen, and Jack, and Ace (can be both high and low ranked depending on the poker variant).

Each poker hand comes with 5 cards, and the one with the highest hand wins the round.

Hand Rankings in Poker

When the cards are dealt, it is evident that each hand will come with a random set of cards. Yet there are some best possible hands that follow standard poker rules, such as:

Straight

When you have 5 consecutive cards in different suits, you have a straight.

For example: 8♥7♣6♦5♦4♠

Flush

With 5 cards in the same suit, you have a flush.

For example: A♥J♥8♥4♥2♥

Straight Flush

If you get 5 cards in consecutive numbers from different suits, it’s known as Straight Flush.

For example: 8♠7♠6♠5♠4♠

Royal Flush

When you get an Ace high-straight flush in the same suit, it’s known as the royal flush.

For example: A♦K♦Q♦J♦T♦

2 Pair

Two pairs of cards of different suits and a 5th card make this hand.

For example: A♣K♥5♥K♠5♦

1 Pair

When you have 1 pair of cards from different suits and three distinct cards, it’s a one-pair hand.

For example: A♦A♣7♠4♠2♣2

5-of-a-kind

5-of-a-kind occurs with an inclusion of a wild card when 5 cards in the same rank appear in one hand.

4-of-a-kind

Four cards of the same rank are known as 4-of-a-kind.

For example: A♠4♠4♣4♥4♦

3-of-a-kind

Three cards with different suits but the same number are regarded as 3-of-a-kind.

For example: A♠K♥5♠5♦5♣

High Card

If no one receives any of the above-mentioned hands, then the player with the highest card wins.

How to Bet on Online Poker?

Now that you know how the hands are ranked, here’s how you can make a bet on online poker:

First, you need to ‘ante’, or place your stake. All stakes combine the winning amount that the player with the highest have will gain at the end of the session.

After the wagering takes place, all players are dealt cards. At this point, take a look at your card hand and decide any of the following bet moves:

Call

Call means rising your bet to match the sum of any bet made since your last bet.

Raise

Raise means matching the total since your previous bet (calling) and betting an additional amount when you are confident about your hand. You can raise the stake till you reach the maximum betting limit for that session.

Fold

A fold means dropping your current hand. So, you do not have to put any wager for the session and lose the possibility of winning that bet.

The betting will continue as long as every player makes a move. Then, the cards will be shown and as mentioned above, the player with the highest hand will bag all the winning prizes.

Popular Variations of Online Poker

There are many variations of online poker that are played in different rules and come is diverse wagering and winning limits. For beginner punters, we recommend Texas Hold’em as this the most popular online poker available in gambling sites. However, there are a few more poker variants that are totally worth checking out, such as:

  • Five-Yard Draw
  • Caribbean Stud
  • Seven-Card Stud
  • Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo
  • Pai Gow
  • Omaha Hi/Lo
  • Badugi
  • HORSE
  • Razz
  • Short Deck Hold’em
  • Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple
  • Two-Seven Triple Draw

Best Online Poker Tips for New Players

Poker rules may seem simple at first as they are easier to learn but they take years to master. Nonetheless, you can still gain an upper hand in online poker within a short time if you follow a few simple tips and tricks. There are tons of poker tips that will help you throughout your journey, but you may want to start from the ones mentioned below:

Pay Attention to Your Opponents

Avid poker players tend to form a few habits, make the same moves with a distinct hand, and often have certain hand gestures that distinguish them from other players at the table.

So, even though you are playing online and cannot read your opponents’ facial expressions, study their betting habits to learn the gameplay over time.

Play at Multiple Tables

Online poker is played relatively faster than live pokers, but still, there may be times when players wait for a long time before making a move. If you lack patience and want to get the most out of your sessions, play at multiple poker tables at the same time. This will also allow you to apply many strategies at once and learn from different outcomes.

Wager The Smallest Amounts

While free play poker is pretty good, it lacks the thrill of wagering with real money. To save both your wallet and excitement, join poker tables that accept micro stakes with a few pennies.

How to Win at Online Poker

Okay, let’s be honest here – unless you have a very lucky day, you may not be able to win in few first sessions of online poker. It will require both time and practice to start winning real money from online gameplay. So, keep this in mind and follow these learning tips that will help you to get better over time and reward some generous winnings.

  1. Memorise poker terms and hand rankings.
  2. Learn each potential move for each hand ranking.
  3. Understand the importance of table positions.
  4. Don’t chase your previous losses.
  5. Manage steady bankroll every session.

FAQ

  1. Is playing poker online legal?

Ans. Yes. As per UK Gambling Acts, playing poker in licensed casinos is legal as long as you are 18 years or older.

  1. Can I win real money while playing online poker?

Ans. Of course! As long as you are wagering at a safe and licensed online casino, you can win real money while playing online poker.

  1. What is the difference between online poker and live poker?

Ans. While the rules remain similar in both versions, the main difference between online poker and live poker lies in stake limits, ease of accessibility, and time of sessions.

You can play online poker faster with lower stakes and continue playing for as long as you want. However, you cannot see anyone’s faces or read from their expressions in online poker, an advantage that can be gained in live poker.

  1. Where can I play online poker?

Ans. Online poker is available in many UK-based gambling sites. You can easily join one if you if eligible as per the casino’s terms and enjoy playing different online poker variants.

  1. Can I participate in online poker tournaments?

Ans. Yes. It’s very easy to take part in online poker tournaments like Sit & Go and Cash Games where you can start your stakes from as low as £10 and sit for sessions for  a minimum of 10 minutes.

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